America and Africa establish common agenda for agricultural development

San José, Jan 18 (EFE) .- Ministers and experts from America and Africa launched this Tuesday a common agenda for the development of agriculture, focused on priority issues such as innovation, environmental sustainability and the profitability of family farmers . In a virtual meeting organized by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the ministers agreed to work together and agreed that both continents face challenges and common opportunities for the transformation of agri-food systems to make them more sustainable and inclusive. They also agreed to create agendas that link technical assistance institutions for agriculture and their scientists and professionals to deepen exchanges between the two continents. The Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply of Brazil, Tereza Cristina, affirmed that there is room for a rich cooperation between the two continents and emphasized that “it is crucial to consider agriculture and food security together, to think about free agricultural trade and fair and sustainability”. The minister linked the sustainability of agri-food systems with the need for international agricultural trade to be transparent and fair and was critical of the “protectionism of developed countries that has hindered the consolidation of more sustainable food production. modern and dynamic in developing countries.” The president of AGRA and former Minister of Agriculture of Rwanda, Agnes Kalibata, said that from a perspective of South-South Cooperation the two continents have common challenges and was convinced that there is much to learn from Latin American countries, of which he highlighted the advances in scientific research and trade. ” It is a perfect time for south-south cooperation and learning from each other. We are going to show that international cooperation can help us feed more people and take better care of our planet, being responsible producers. This meeting is the beginning of a series of commitments”, he expressed. During the meeting, the call was made to hold a broader ministerial summit of the two continents this year, with the theme of innovation and research as axes to achieve greater productivity and sustainability. Other issues of common interest that emerged from the debate were the recovery of degraded soils, efficient water management and the promotion of a more open, fairer and more transparent international food trade. The meeting also raised common challenges between the Caribbean Community (Caricom) and Africa in terms of the special vulnerability they face in the face of natural disasters and climate change. The Director General of IICA, Manuel Otero, emphasized the need for more and better international cooperation in the face of the complexities of the global scenario, as well as work with a shared vision and a common agenda. “No country is going to save itself in this crisis. We need to be together to face problems of a transversal nature. Everything makes more sense if we build bridges. And that is what IICA is doing: building bridges between actors, countries, subregions and also with other continents,” said Otero. The initiative to carry out this rapprochement between the Americas and Africa arose during the long preparatory journey for the Food Systems Summit held last September. EFE dmm/jrh

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