SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, Jun 4, CMC – The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) says it will cooperate with the Regional Office for the Americas of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA-Americas) to promote and strengthen agricultural and agro-industrial cooperatives in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).
Under the terms of the technical cooperation agreement, the two organizations will carry out joint activities targeting area-based development and rural well-being, productivity and competitiveness, climate change, natural resources management and food and nutritional security.
IICA said the objective of these actions will be to contribute to the agricultural and rural development of IICA member countries by promoting their competitive growth with equity and environmental sustainability.
IICA’s Agribusiness and Commercialization Programme manager, James French, said cooperatives are key, strategic organizations for boosting producers’ participation in agricultural value chains and local, national and export markets.
“Since family farms account for most agricultural production, it is important to work together to enable small- and medium-scale producers to gain greater access to resources and new technologies, to equip them to produce high-quality food,” French said.
The partnership also establishes a commitment to implement actions that have a positive impact on youth and the development of rural women.
The regional director of ICA-Americas, Manuel Mariño, noted that it was essential to strengthen the agricultural sector in order to combat the economic and social inequality that exists in many rural communities.
“LAC enjoys strong economic growth but the level of poverty and social differences are very extreme in rural areas. This partnership is essential to help people improve their living standards and gain access to services not available to them at present,” he added.