The point was made during the first meeting between President Iván Duque and the country’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Andrés Valencia, and representatives of all the agencies involved in agriculture.
San Jose, 29 May 2019 (IICA). The National Council of Secretaries of Agriculture (CONSA) of Colombia has underscored the importance of the technical support provided by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) for the development of the country’s agriculture sector.
The observation was made during a meeting between the President of Colombia, Iván Duque, and the 32 heads of the country’s departmental secretariats of agriculture.
The Executive Director of CONSA, Jairo Patiño, explained that the purpose of the meeting with Colombia’s President was to provide him with a complete picture of the needs and challenges, and the actions that could be implemented to strengthen agriculture and benefit Colombian rurality, in which IICA could play a key role.
“We wish to underline the importance of the support that IICA has been giving us, the projections, and what we can do together to ensure that Colombia once again has a large number of development projects for rural territories. It was very valuable; President Duque and the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Andrés Valencia, are now up to speed with everything that we have been doing and that is at an advanced stage,” observed Patiño.
IICA, the specialized agency for the hemisphere’s agriculture sector, is currently an advisor to CONSA. The ongoing cooperation initiatives include the preparation of agricultural extension plans for six departments, those of Caldas, Quindío and Risaralda among them.
The IICA Representative in Colombia, Humberto Oliveira, mentioned that the National Council of Secretaries of Agriculture also requested cooperation for the design of development projects for the agriculture sector, in order to seek resources from the Science, Technology and Innovation Fund, another priority of President Duque.
Other cooperation actions
Oliveira pointed out that IICA is also helping to prepare a four-year technical cooperation program in Colombia on agricultural health, an issue of the highest importance to President Duque’s government.
“We are working on the question of health diplomacy, so that Colombia can take more advantage of free trade agreements. This has to do with the bioeconomy, and especially support for the palm, cacao, and rice production chains through producers’ associations,” Oliveira remarked.
The Executive Director of CONSA added that, following the meeting with the Head of State, other subjects that will be given priority are the economic and rural development of territories, associative undertakings, and orange and 4.0 technologies.
“In all these areas, we need to have IICA as a partner, to provide support and advice. For example, we want an agreement under which the Institute would develop the agricultural extension plans of Colombia’s 32 departments, as our support agency and consultant, and work closely with the Ministry on all the projection and planning of the country’s agricultural development in the years ahead,” Patiño concluded.
Humberto Oliveira, IICA Representative in Colombia