The new Director General of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Dr. Manuel Otero, has laid out his vision for the future of agriculture in the region:
We must broaden the limited perception of agriculture as a mere supplier of raw materials for global value chains. Instead, we must undertake our work with a transformative vision that will allow for converting the Americas into a large factory of processed food, bioenergy, probiotics, nutraceuticals and biomaterials.
It is time to view agriculture as a biomass industry and a key player in this new era characterized by a society that aspires to be less dependent on fossil fuels and to implement climate-smart production strategies.
That is precisely what makes agriculture an inseparable part of the solution to the planet’s most pressing problems: the lack of food and nutritional security as well as the population, energy and environmental crises.
The goal, in short, is to contribute to fostering intelligent industrialization using our abundant biological resources, as well as to promote greater sectoral diversity and international competitiveness, increase the number of jobs, and strengthen climate change mitigation, based on science and technology.
[Image via: IICA]