Institutional Communication Division.
The agreement was signed by Terry Branstad, CEO of WFP, and Manuel Otero, Director General of IICA, during the opening ceremony of the Conference of Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas 2023.
San Jose, 4 October 2023 (IICA) – The World Food Prize Foundation (WFP) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) will engage in joint work in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) to enhance agricultural sustainability and food and nutritional security in the region, which is one of the world’s top food producers.
The agreement, signed during the opening ceremony of the Conference of Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas 2023, will contribute, among other things, to overcoming technological challenges in the agriculture sector and providing training to youth involved in agrifood systems transformation in the region.
Terry Branstad, President of WFP, underscored the importance of working together with IICA to drive agricultural innovation. “More and more every day, agriculture is becoming a driving force for economic transformation in countries of the Americas. We cannot afford to stall our efforts to improve agriculture and the environment through innovative technologies”, he said.
Every year, the WFP Foundation awards the World Food Prize, dubbed the Nobel Prize in Agriculture. Rattan Lal, an IICA Goodwill Ambassador and leader of the Living Soils of the Americas initiative, was awarded the prize in 2020.
According to Branstad, the joint work between WFP and IICA will seek to drive the positive transformation of agricultural systems in the region with a focus on innovation and sustainability, recognizing producers and their families as a force for change in the sector.
“The agricultural economy is inextricably linked to the planet’s sustainable development. In times of political and environmental crises, agrifood systems and water must not be used as weapons”, stated Branstad at the opening ceremony of the conference, at IICA Headquarters.
IICA Director General Manuel Otero reiterated the Institute’s commitment to fostering the strengthening of regional agriculture together with WFP, which he considered to be a valuable partner in the implementation of innovation and empowerment projects in rural areas of Latin America and the Caribbean.
“IICA serves as a bridge between stakeholders, countries and their agriculture sectors, looking outward to the world from the Americas. Through this agreement with WFP, we will be able to implement initiatives that drive the inclusion of youth and women, increase the use of digital technologies, and bridge agricultural gaps in our region”, remarked Otero.