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Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture

Technical cooperation is key to the sustainable development of cooperatives in the Americas


At the V Cooperative Summit of the Americas, held in Argentina, the IICA Regional Coordinator for the Southern Region, Caio Rocha, highlighted the role played by cooperatives in agriculture and the importance of technical cooperation on the subject.

Representatives of cooperatives, governments and international organizations, including the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), met at the V Cooperative Summit of the Americas held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to analyze the current scenario, discuss proposals and define joint initiatives based on the development of cooperatives in the region.

The event, under the motto “Cooperativism in the hour of global challenges”, summoned more than 1.500 participants from 42 countries, and also sought to strengthen cooperative organizations in business, in dialogue with the entire social and solidarity economy, as actors to promote the defense of the planet and the construction of a financial system at the service of sustainable development.

The summit was organized by the Cooperative of the Americas, a region of the International Cooperative Alliance, and during its different thematic panels, works were presented around three axes: global challenges and possible solutions in defense of the planet; the construction of a financial system at the service of sustainable development; and the new paths of cooperative integration, a strategic debate to strengthen and energize the movement.

The IICA Regional Coordinator for the Southern Region, Caio Rocha, represented the Institute, and during his intervention on the panel "Public policies for the agricultural cooperative sector and family farming", highlighted the role played by cooperatives in agriculture, and the importance of technical cooperation on the subject.

“The union of rural producers through cooperatives makes it possible to promote participatory and supportive processes, to overcome market imperfections, since it is bought and sold cheaper, thus helping farmers and consumers. International technical cooperation is positioned as an important solution to encourage cooperatives, since it is possible to promote an exchange of knowledge, technologies, research and good practices, at a very low cost.Rock explained.

Rocha also stressed IICA's willingness to be a facilitator and a “bridge” through its representations in the hemisphere, between public institutions and governments; and private entities and the cooperative sector.

The IICA Regional Coordinator for the Southern Region also presented an overview of agricultural cooperatives in the Americas. He cited the case of Brazil, where there are more than 1.600 cooperatives that bring together 4 million family farmers, which have state support and thanks to agricultural research, technology, innovation, and good technical assistance, have achieved such growth.

cooperation agreement

At the summit, IICA and the Cooperative of the Americas signed a cooperation agreement to develop joint actions in areas such as production development based on bioeconomy chains; the formulation of policies and programs for territorial development and family farming; the promotion of agri-food trade, mitigation of the effects of climate change, and actions related to the issue of gender and youth. The alliance will give continuity to the existing cooperation between both organizations since 2014.


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