IICA will open the doors of its internship program to female Ukrainian professionals
San Jose, 1 March 2022 (IICA) - The Director General of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Manuel Otero, announced on Tuesday that it will open the doors of the agency’s professional internship program to female Ukrainian graduates in fields related to agricultural sciences who are refugees.
IICA has a scholarship program for professional internships in agricultural research, development and innovation to support its work for the benefit of the agriculture sector and rural communities. The Director General of the specialized agency decided to make the program available to young Ukrainian women trained in a country known for its agricultural tradition and for its reputation as a producer of raw materials for food processing.
“We are moved by profoundly humanistic instinct. Hundreds of thousands of people have fled Ukraine over the past few days and we must put into practice what we publicly advocate: to generate opportunities and decision-making forums in a manner that benefits migrants and women in particular”, remarked Otero in making the announcement.
“By implementing inclusive actions, we also seek to strengthen agricultural research and technological development, helping to build up strategic competencies in agricultural research, development and innovation”, he added.
The Director General of IICA also urged “other international and national institutions to join this initiative, offering a present and a future to generations that have been displaced and frustrated by conflict”.
The decision to open IICA’s doors to female Ukrainian professional interns is also part of the international organization’s commitment to “to increase the technical cooperation and assistance it provides to the countries of the Americas – many of which are food importers – in an effort to address and mitigate the consequences of the conflict in the region”, added Otero.
The Director General of IICA recently warned that the situation in Eastern Europe could have potential negative consequences for global food security and trade in agricultural goods. He recalled that the impact on world peace, and the widespread uncertainty it triggers, disrupts the regular operation of markets and compromises food supply, affecting food prices and key inputs required for food production.
Ukraine, a predominantly agricultural state, is one of the largest global producers and exporters of sunflower, sunflower oil, barley and corn, as well as the European country with the largest percentage of arable land. At the global level, it is also a leading producer of potatoes, rye and wheat, among other products.