|Buenos Aires, 20 September 2022 (IICA) – The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) was among the massive crowd of more than 4,000 producers, professionals, researchers, business people, schoolchildren and university students attending the inauguration of the Congreso 2022 conference in Buenos Aires. The conference was organized by Argentina’s Regional Consortium of Agricultural Experimentation, CREA, which is an association of agricultural producers.|
The event, which enjoyed unprecedented attendance, discussed a long-term agenda for food production in Argentina and the region.
The event exhibition was held under the theme “Broaden your perspective” and provided a 360° experience, designed to inspire people from different all walks of life to become leading players in agrifood system transformation.
The broad agenda of the three-day congress was organized around four thematic areas: food trends; the cultivating of talent; sustainability and community development. The activities were staged in three separate areas at the facilities of the Argentinian Rural Society (ARS) in the capital city.
The auditorium was the venue for meetings with leaders, with the aim of anticipating future scenarios for agricultural production in the context of the converging crises that have accelerated in recent times. Then was also an area for networking, to allow participants to present proposals aimed at generating ideas for the sustainable development of businesses, organizations, institutions and projects. Finally, there was an exhibition area featuring production developments, tractors and state-of-the-art combine harvesters.
The CREA Movement is an Argentinian non-profit, civil society association, made up of and managed by Argentinian agripreneurs that come together to share experiences and knowledge. It is comprised of more than 2,000 agricultural businesses that are seeking to improve the performance of their organizations, by sharing ideas and experiences.
Argentina and the region: key to the future of the planet
The opening event—“Food Trends: Taking Perspective”—was held in a vast auditorium with gigantic screens and was live streamed. Speaking at the event, IICA Director General, Manuel Otero, emphasized that ensuring a sustainable food supply is not only a problem for agricultural producers, but it the responsibility of the entire society.
Otero stated that, “Argentina and the Americas must play a key role in the planet’s food and environmental security”, while emphasizing that one in every four tons of food in the world is produced in this region.
The region also plays a pivotal role in international trade, as it accounts for one third of global food exports.
The IICA Director General stressed that, “The world depends on our agricultural production and on our position as an exporter; and if we play our cards right, in terms of our production and trade policies, this scenario will improve”.
From an environmental perspective, Latin America and the Caribbean possesses extraordinary wealth, including 16% of the planet’s agricultural land, 50% of its biodiversity, 23% of its forests and 30% of its fresh water.
“The region is essential for environmental sustainability, biodiversity conservation and the world’s water and oxygen cycles. As such, we feel it is our duty to be at the forefront of tackling the major challenges facing the planet and we must assume this responsibility”, said the Director General.
In particular, Otero emphasized that bioeconomy development is destined to play a key role in the future of Latin America and the Caribbean. He pointed out that, “The bioeconomy concept refers to the responsible intensification of biological processes, which is instrumental in building a bridge between agriculture and the environment”.
He also referred to the importance of the upcoming Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 27), which will be held in Egypt. IICA will set up a permanent exhibit at the event to demonstrate the progress that the region has made on the path to greater environmental sustainability, by implementing best practices such as direct seeding and introducing agrosilvopastoral systems in various countries, thereby facilitating a balance between production and natural resource conservation, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Otero maintained that, “We have to recognize that agriculture must be sustainable or it will not function. COP 27 will be the COP for the agriculture sector and we must ensure that decisions do not remain solely in the hands of environmental negotiators. Relying on the support of the ministers of agriculture of the region, we are going to highlight the work of our farmers. In Egypt we will have an opportunity to properly position agriculture and we will need to build capacities to stand firm amidst potentially adverse discussions”.
“Production and environmental protection must become the two arms of the future of agriculture. The future that awaits us will be much more complex, but will also open up major opportunities”, he concluded.
|About IICAIICA is the specialized agency for agriculture in the Inter-American system, with a mission to encourage, promote and support its 34 Member States in their efforts to achieve agricultural development and rural well-being through international technical cooperation of excellence.|