ACCORDING to the program shared by IICA on the Conference’s website, the top-ranking officials will also discuss the situation surrounding the detection of African swine fever (ASF) in the Americas, recently recognized by the Dominican Republic.
In the respective segment of the Conference, in addition to presentations by the ministers, secretaries and heads of delegation, Monique Eloit, Director General of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), will also make a presentation.
The environmental, social and economic challenges facing food systems in the Americas will also be a topic of discussion.
“We cannot continue to produce as we have done for the past 60 years. The environmental cost we have paid has been very high. The balance of social exclusion has also been very high and is a huge debt we must pay. We are faced with the challenge of continuing to produce food for a growing population, but doing so more sustainably”, commented Víctor Villalobos, Secretary of Agricultural and Rural Development of Mexico, prior to the Conference.
The Mexican official also congratulated the Director General of IICA “for the initiative taken to ensure the voice of agriculture of the Americas, and especially the voice of the continent’s producers, is heard at the Food Systems Summit”. He continued, “the consensus we have reached is good news and a call to strengthen the multilateral systems that today, in the face of the health emergency, have demonstrated their relevance and strength”.
María Emilia Undurraga, Minister of Agriculture of Chile, expressed that “this meeting of the Inter-American Board of Agriculture as the highest governing body of IICA is especially relevant as an item on the agenda embodies the consensus of our countries, that is the transformation of agri-food systems and the role of agriculture in the Americas”.
She added that, “Building healthier, more sustainable and equitable food systems must be our target; to that end, we must work in collaboration with the entire agri-food chain on matters related to government policy”.
The Conference of Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas 2021 and the Twenty-First Regular Meeting of the Inter-American Board of Agriculture (IABA) will be held virtually due to the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.