San Jose, 17 May 2019 (IICA). The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) agreed to strengthen their partnership to drive progress in the agriculture sector and in rural territories across the hemisphere, through new initiatives related to the bioeconomy, innovation, public policies, sustainable agrifood systems, as well as plant and animal disease surveillance.
The decision was made following a visit from a delegation of directors and delegates from CIRAD to IICA Headquarters in San Jose, Costa Rica, where they met with the Director General of the Institute, Manuel Otero, and part of his technical team.
The relationship between both organizations was established in 1989.
“The agreement will lay the foundation for a new partnership: one that must be reassessed based on changes in the current context, to ensure that it generates a virtuous circle that improves the quality of life of rural inhabitants in our hemisphere,” commented Otero.
He underscored the need to take full advantage of CIRAD’s research capabilities and to integrate them into IICA’s technical cooperation projects, in order to achieve broader results.
“The agenda is open and, early next year, we will sign a new agreement with CIRAD,” added the Director General of IICA.
The new actions will build upon the achievements of the Central American Program for Integrated Coffee Rust Management (PROCAGICA), which IICA has executed since 2017 in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and the Dominican Republic, and in which CIRAD is involved as a strategic partner.
“The coffee chain affords valuable opportunities to implement initiatives related to the bioeconomy, innovation and plant disease surveillance, which would directly benefit small-scale producers,” explained Guy Henry, CIRAD delegate for Latin America.
Federico Villarreal, Director of Technical Cooperation at IICA, agreed with Henry, adding that the goal will be to expand the portfolio of joint projects, some of which could focus on the most important production chains, such as cocoa, grains and avocado.
Federico Villarreal, Director of Technical Cooperation at IICA.