Otero asked Secretary Bahillo to include the province of Entre Ríos in a program under which some 5000 students from 100 agrotechnical schools in Argentina are to receive training in the use of digital technologies and learn about their application in agriculture.
Buenos Aires, 12 August 2022 (IICA) – The Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of Argentina, Juan José Bahillo, met with the Director General of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Manuel Otero, to discuss a range of topics, including the role of the agriculture sector in the global climate negotiations and the strengthening of Argentina’s agrotechnical schools.
Otero gave details of IICA’s work in drafting the preparatory agenda for the upcoming Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27), due to be held in November in Egypt. It is anticipated that agriculture will be a strategic, crosscutting issue, and that the sector will play a leading role given the substantive contributions it can make to tackling the challenges posed by climate change.
The IICA Director General also invited Bahillo to participate in a meeting of ministers and secretaries of agriculture of the Americas scheduled to take place at IICA Headquarters in Costa Rica on September 23. The purpose of the meeting is to establish points of consensus across the continent and raise the agriculture sector’s profile in the climate negotiations.
In 2021, for the UN Summit on Food Systems, the Americas presented a joint position developed through a wide-ranging debate coordinated by IICA. The position taken was based on two premises: that agricultural producers and food system workers are an indispensable and key link in the chain, and the fact that without agricultural production there would be no raw materials for processing into foodstuffs.
The objective of these efforts is to ensure that the countries’ needs are duly reflected and addressed, by shining the spotlight on farmers and the development of effective, modern public policies for agriculture that guarantee a correct balance between productivity and sustainability.
After wishing the Secretary every success in his new position, Otero detailed other hemispheric IICA programs, such as the “Living Soils of the Americas” initiative, in which he invited Argentina to participate.
Governments, the private sector, international organizations, and universities are participating in the initiative, which is spearheaded by IICA and Nobel laureate Rattan Lal, of Ohio State University. The aim is to coordinate efforts to combat soil degradation, a phenomenon that threatens to undermine the countries’ capacity to sustainably meet the demand for food.
During their meeting the two senior officials also discussed several regional issues, including the work of the Southern Agricultural Council (CAS), a ministerial forum of the expanded Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay) whose secretariat is operated by IICA; the biggest global meeting ever held on the bioeconomy, which is due to take place in Córdoba, Argentina, in 2023; and a program launched by IICA recently designed to strengthen the operations of agrotechnical schools.
Otero asked Secretary Bahillo to include the province of Entre Ríos in the latter program, under which some 5000 students from 100 agrotechnical schools in Argentina will be trained in the use of digital technologies and learn about their application in agriculture. Schools of this kind are regarded as strategically key to the productive development of the country’s rural areas and the strengthening of young people’s ties to the countryside.
The Programa Nacional Agroedutec was developed by IICA in collaboration with Microsoft, and with support from the World Bank, the Office of the Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers and the Ministry of Education of Argentina, and Bayer.
During the first stage, the program will benefit students in the last two years of secondary school in the provinces of Buenos Aires, Córdoba, and Tucumán.
Institutional Communication Division