Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, August 26, 2013

Second Sub-Saharan and Argentinean Agriculture Ministers Meeting in Buenos Aires

Sub-Saharan and Argentinean Agriculture Ministers
at their meeting in Buenos Aires.
Photo: Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto, Argentina.
20-23 August 2013. Buenos Aires, Argentina. Second Sub-Saharan and Argentinean Agriculture Ministers Meeting in Buenos Aires.

“It is time for Latin America to increase its contribution to African development,” Director-General of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) José Graziano da Silva said at the second Sub-Saharan and Argentinean Agriculture Ministers Meeting in Buenos Aires, which this year focuses on ‘Efficient Agriculture for a Sustainable Agricultural Development.’

Mr. da Silva, who was one of the co-chairs of the meeting, noted that cooperation between Latin America and Africa could be mutually beneficial for the regions as they share similar challenges as well geographic, climate and social characteristics.

He also reiterated FAO’s commitment “to strengthen and channel exchanges between Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa with the aim to adopt, adapt and broaden best practices that promote agricultural development.”

In addition, South-South cooperation could also help make strides in the fight against hunger, Mr. da Silva said, emphasizing that international and multi-stakeholder cooperation will play a crucial role in meeting the Zero Hunger Challenge. He pointed to the High-Level Meeting of African and International Leaders, held in July in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia under the auspices of the African Union, FAO and the Lula Institute. During the meeting, African leaders, together with representatives of international organizations, civil society, the private sector, cooperatives, farmers, youth groups, academia and other partners unanimously adopted a declaration calling to end hunger in Africa by 2025.

Since FAO's South-South Cooperation initiative was established in 1996, over 50 South-South Cooperation agreements have been signed and more than 1 600 developing country experts and technicians have been deployed to support other countries' food security initiatives.

Felix Koskei, Kenya's cabinet secretary for agriculture, livestock and fisheries, who represented the country at the meeting, said Kenya hoped to gain from Argentina's expertise in livestock, especially in fighting cattle diseases.
"Kenya has for many years worked with Argentina in trying to come up with a long-life vaccine for foot-and-mouth disease and we want to work on this even more closely," says Koskei. 
"The available foot-and-mouth vaccine gives protection to an animal for about four months forcing farmers to have to vaccinate their cattle as many as three times a year, but we think with expertise from Argentina's more advanced vaccine-production laboratories we can make good advances," he adds.
Kenya, he said, is also seeking to promote fish farming and better management existing fisheries resources by tapping into Argentina's knowledge and technology.

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