“Food safety actions never cease, hence the importance of viewing agricultural health and food safety as a cross-cutting issue that requires constant work, coordinated with the other areas of agriculture,” said Jessica Mahalingappa, the Administrator for Trade and Capacity Building of the U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and advisor on Agricultural Health and Food Safety.

“It is vitally important for IICA to be able to avail itself of the advisory services of the technical committees, in order to keep abreast of the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities in relation to the flagship projects or agricultural health and food safety. The external advisers will also play a strategic role, ensuring that their vision and experience as part of global, cutting-edge institutions, organizations and companies is reflected in our activities,” said Víctor M. Villalobos, Director General of IICA. On officially launching its flagship projects for the next several years and announcing the strengthening of its capabilities in agricultural health and food safety, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) set up five high-level technical committees that will underpin the efforts of the organization and its member countries to promote agriculture and rural well-being.

Víctor M. Villalobos listed the challenges in question: bridging the gaps in productivity and competitiveness, reducing vulnerability to climate change and the degradation of natural resources, promoting the inclusion of women, young people, indigenous groups and people living in extreme poverty, achieving food and nutrition security, and tapping the opportunities for innovation in each country.

To support the efforts of its 34 member countries to meet those challenges, IICA will now carry out its work through the following four flagship projects (FP) and one cross-cutting area of work:

  • Resilience and comprehensive risk management in agriculture
  • Competitiveness and sustainability of agricultural chains for food security and economic development
  • Inclusion in agriculture and rural territories
  • Productivity and sustainability of family agriculture for food security and the rural economy
  • Agricultural health and food safety (cross-cutting area of work).

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