Summits of the Americas Newsletter

February 2008 | Summits Online | Espaņol

BACK TO NEWSLETTER: Youth and the Inter-American agenda | Ministerials: Agriculture - Labor - Education

Ministers of Agriculture Work Together for Agriculture and Rural Life of the Americas

The Fourth Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture took place in Antigua, Guatemala, on July 23rd and 24th, 2007 under the theme “Working Together for Agriculture and Rural Life of the Americas”. The event was held in the context of the “Week of Agriculture and Rural Life in the Americas,” and was hosted by Guatemala’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Nutrition, in conjunction with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA). This high-level meeting addressed current hemispheric agriculture policies as well as the future challenges facing the region as the Fifth Summit of the Americas draws closer. The challenges in implementing the Plan AGRO were an integral part of the discussion, as well as questions as to how to best implement and follow up on mandates emanating from the Fourth Summit of the Americas.

It was in the context of the Week of Agriculture that the Group for the Implementation and Coordination of the Agreements on Agriculture and Rural Life of the Summits Process (GRICA), which is comprised of representatives from OAS Member States agricultural delegations and serves as a complement to the Summit Implementation Review Group (SIRG), met in order to discuss the progress of the implementation of Summit commitments and to reach agreement on the content of the Draft Ministerial Agreement of Guatemala 2007.

In preparation for the meeting of Ministers, two forums involving civil society stakeholders from the private, social and academic sectors involved in agriculture and rural life were held on the themes of “The Role of Agribusiness in a Renewed Institutional Framework for the Development of Agriculture and Rural Life”, and “The Role of Social Actors in a Renewed Institutional Framework for the Development of Agriculture and Rural Life”. The findings and recommendations from these fora were then compiled and presented to the Ministerial delegations in the course of the plenary sessions and prior to adoption of the Ministerial Agreement of Guatemala 2007.

As a result of this meeting, the opinions and commitment of the region’s Ministers of Agriculture were embodied in the Ministerial Agreement of Guatemala 2007 (Spanish only). A focal point of this document is the spirit of collaboration between regional governments as well as the local private and public sectors in order to achieve progress in the areas of agriculture and rural life in the Americas. Among the other topics addressed in the Agreement were: the need for improved competitiveness; the creation of opportunities in rural areas; the modernization and strengthening of the rural public sector; among others. These topics all play a part in a holistic approach to improving the current status of agriculture in the Hemisphere and the impact it has on the lives of rural citizens of the Americas.

For more information please visit the IICA website.

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