The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) this Wednesday highlighted science and innovation as keys to transforming agriculture in Latin America and the Caribbean, within the framework of a context in which both food security and the reduction of environmental impact of production are at the top of the global agenda.
This was warned by specialists convened by the Pan American Association of Agricultural Engineers (APIA) and IICA, in a high-level debate in which ways to increase production, efficiency and sustainability of agrifood production were explored.
The Director General of IICA, Manuel Otero, pointed to science and innovation as transformative elements, which are already pillars of many positive actions that are being carried out in the region and carried out an analysis of the threats that arise in the international context. .
“We are only now coming out of the pandemic, which generated a very harsh setback in our Gross Domestic Product (GDP), greater than that of the rest of the world. We have regressed in terms of food security and we are in a serious situation, from which we must emerge strengthened with agriculture as the articulating element,” said Otero.
According to the expert, the objective should be the industrialization of primary production, which is why it is necessary to add knowledge and technologies and understand the dynamic international markets and their demands. Otero expressed that “knowledge will be what will make it possible to achieve achievements such as food production in environments that until recently seemed impossible.”
“We are facing a new frontier of science and technology and for this reason we must continue to strengthen our research systems linked to agriculture (…) It is necessary to bet on innovative agriculture and it is necessary to increase investment in research”, highlighted the general director of the IICA.
For his part, the president of APIA, Octavio Pérez Pardo, who was in charge of opening the conference, expressed that agronomists are central actors in the discussions that intersect production and environment, since they are strongly involved in the definition of innovative actions and policies.
“We are in charge of transferring knowledge from academia and research centers, which are essential both for large and medium-sized producers and for family farmers,” Pérez said in his speech.
Among the special participants of the event were the president of the Confederation of Agricultural Engineers of Brazil and vice president for the Southern Cone of APIA, Kleber Santos, and the director of Foreign Relations and International Cooperation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Israel, Daniel Werner.