FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean

Hemispheric meeting: Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas to define mechanisms to strengthen food security

The ministerial meeting is being promoted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Mexico, with support from IICA and FAO.

Mexico City, 10 July 2020. The ministers and secretaries of Agriculture of the Americas will meet on Monday, 13 July for the second time this year during a virtual meeting aimed at defining actions that can contribute to strengthening the continuity of farming activities amidst the current pandemic as well as increasing the exchange of food and trade information among countries in the hemisphere.

The meeting, which will be hosted by Victor Villalobos, Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development of Mexico, is being jointly organized by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

“The objective of this virtual forum is to reiterate the importance of continuing to produce. Agriculture must not come to a halt, because it is our only way to guarantee food for all of society. It is also very important that we undertake these efforts without hindering the exchange of products between our countries”, stated Villalobos.

The dialogue will focus on topics such as food security, economic recovery in the aftermath of the pandemic, international trade, agricultural health and the promotion of agrifood chains.

Future challenges facing the agriculture sector in the Americas include expanding family farmers’ access to short marketing circuits; strengthening multilateral governance to boost trade and reduce the emergence of new trade restrictions; driving the reactivation and integration of export chains at the regional level; and strengthening national sanitary and phytosanitary control services.

“We must maintain a constant flow of information among all of us. I urge my colleagues responsible for agriculture in the hemisphere to participate in the meeting, which will provide an opportunity to align our interests and ensure that agriculture can continue to supply food and raw materials to the entire population”, stated the Mexican Secretary of Agriculture.

Manuel Otero, Director General of IICA, and Julio Berdegué, Assistant Director General and Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean of FAO, will also participate in the meeting on 13 July.

This will be the second occasion on which the ministers and secretaries of Agriculture of the Americas will meet virtually with support from IICA and FAO. The first meeting, which was held on 22 April, was promoted by Chile.

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