For more than seven decades, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) has been the agency of the Inter-American System specializing in the promotion of agricultural development and rural well-being in the Americas. Its aim, through technical cooperation, is to achieve competitive, inclusive and sustainable agriculture that feeds the world and creates opportunities for reducing hunger and poverty.
Its mission is to “encourage, promote, and support our Member States in their efforts to achieve agricultural development and rural well-being through international technical cooperation of excellence.”.
Strengthening the capabilities of the Member States at the national, regional, multinational and hemispheric levels to establish public policies and institutional frameworks in order to make agriculture more productive and competitive, improve management of rural territories, adapt to and mitigate the impact of climate change, and promote food and nutritional security.
Implementing, through public and private institutions, technological, institutional and business innovations aimed at boosting the productivity and competitiveness of agriculture and the production of basic foodstuffs of high nutritional quality.
Increasing the capabilities of the public and private sectors to ensure agricultural health and food safety and thereby improve productivity, competitiveness and food security.
Strengthening the business and associative capabilities of the different stakeholders in the agricultural production chains.
Increasing the capacity for area-based social management among stakeholders in rural territories, especially those involved in family agriculture, in order to improve food security and rural well-being.
Enhancing the capabilities of different stakeholders of the agricultural production chains and rural territories in the integrated management of water and sustainable use of soil for agriculture.
Increasing the capacity of public and private institutions to promote and implement measures for adapting agriculture to climate change and mitigating its effects, as well as promoting integrated risk management in agriculture.
Improving the efficacy and efficiency of food and nutritional security programs in the Member States.
Ensuring that producers and consumers benefit from a greater use of native species, promising crops and native genetic resources with food potential.
Improving institutional capacity to address losses of food and raw materials throughout the agricultural chains.
Strengthening the Member States’ capacity for consensus and participation in international forums and other mechanisms for the exchange of knowledge and mobilization of sizable resources for inter-American agriculture.
Formulation of innovative policies and strategies for agricultural and rural development, aimed at facilitating business activities and promoting innovation, participatory management, inclusion, and family farming.
Linking to markets of at least eleven agricultural chains in ten countries, through the creation of committees for competitiveness; training in management, entrepreneurship, associative enterprises, and value added; and the operation of market information systems.
Promotion of technological and commercial innovations aimed at improving agro-ecological production, agroindustry, fish farming, beekeeping, and water resource management, and reducing food loss. The improvements adopted can be seen in products such as rice, vegetables, poultry, cacao, coffee, flowers, avocadoes, tomatoes, potatoes, and cassava.
Agricultural health and food safety assurance in the Americas through the training of sanitary officials, the harmonization of processes to gain access to markets, the use of good agricultural and production practices, emergency response actions, and the management of risks, particularly those associated with climate change.
Increase in 16 countries of public sector capabilities for integrated water resource management, the use of irrigation systems and water harvesting, waste management, and the implementation of measures to combat soil degradation and to make better use of agricultural insurance.
Coordination of institutional efforts designed to achieve climate-smart agriculture, promoting capacity development within the ministries of environment and agriculture, the development of plans for climate change adaptation in agriculture, and integration of the gender perspective to address the threat that climate change poses.
Promotion of knowledge-intensive agriculture through networks, grants, and information systems. Of special importance was the approval of 301 grants to enable students to take master’s and doctoral degree courses under the program with Mexico’s National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT), and the enrollment of 121 students in the master’s degree program in food security operated by the Open and Distance University of Mexico.
Contribution to the hemispheric dialogue on sustainable agricultural productivity and rural inclusion by means of the Declaration of Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas Mexico 2015, which was presented at the Eighteenth Regular Meeting of the Inter-American Board of Agriculture (IABA).
The Member States have recognized the Institution’s efforts and have increased IICA’s annual quota budget by 6.57%.
In 2015, the Institute fully implemented its program budget model aligned with the strategic structure established in the 2014-2018 MTP; it completed the accreditation process of the European Union (EU) based on the four institutional pillars and opted for the fifth pillar (grants), which has allowed IICA to qualify as an organization eligible to implement technical cooperation projects with EU resources in LAC; it succeeded in securing the member countries’ approval of a 6.57% increase in the quota budget beginning in 2016, in order to support its finances and continue to provide cooperation to the countries on the same scale and of the same quality as previously.
Most of the countries also offered to pay varying sums in the form of over-quotas, which constitute not only an important form of complementary financial support for the Institute’s activities, bringing the total increase to 8.11%, but also a good indicator of the degree of satisfaction of the member countries with IICA’s performance.
At the same time, the Institute placed emphasis on the process of continuous improvement initiated in 2010 involving systematic work that has generated clear results and a positive impact on the modernization of the organization that is currently underway. The following are some of the most important results: