Challenges to transforming agrifood systems: A high-level debate in conjunction with the conferral of the World Food Prize

San Jose, 21 October 2021 (IICA). The necessary transformation of agrifood systems to tackle the challenges posed by the post-pandemic recovery will be discussed at an event organized by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) to be held in conjunction with the 2021 World Food Prize ceremony.
 
Top agricultural officials from Latin America and the Caribbean will join executives from important private-sector companies, prestigious academics and representatives of civil society organizations at the debate scheduled for 21 October 2021.
 
Scientist Rattan Lal, considered the world’s leading expert on Soil Science, 2020 World Food Prize laureate and IICA Goodwill Ambassador, will speak at the event. Lal leads the Center for Carbon Management and Sequestration (C-MASC) at The Ohio State University.
 
Other participants include José Ángel López Camposeco, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Food of Guatemala; Indar Weir, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security of Barbados; Fernando Zelner, Special Advisor to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply of Brazil; Natasha Santos, Vice President of Global Stakeholders Strategy and Affairs at Bayer; Arturo Durán, Senior Director for Latin America at Pepsico; José Ysambert, Syngenta’s Business Responsibility Head for North Latin America; Eugenio Díaz Bonilla, Head of the LAC Program at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); and Manuel Otero, Director General of IICA.
 
The participants will exchange ideas and information on the actions needed to achieve more sustainable agrifood systems in the region—a primary net exporter of food—and in the world.
 
This discussion is being held less than a month after the United Nations Food Systems Summit, at which the Americas was the only continent with a unified message. The document, which was coordinated by IICA and agreed to by the countries, highlighted the central role of farmers in decisions regarding food production, the need for changes to be science based, and the recognition of agriculture as part of the solution to the challenges facing food production and consumption.
 
In the framework of an urgent need for an accord between agriculture and sustainability, the debate will take place just days before the start of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), which will convene leaders from 200 countries from 31 October to 12 November in Glasgow, Scotland.
 
The World Food Prize recognizes exceptional achievements that contribute to human progress in terms of food quality, quantity and availability. It is bestowed by the World Food Prize Foundation in October of each year in conjunction with a series of debates and activities held in Des Moines, Iowa.

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