Agriculture Deputy Secretary Merrigan Leads US Delegation to Sixth Meeting of the Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas

WASHINGTON, October 19, 2011–Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan will lead the U.S. delegation to the Sixth Meeting of the Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas in San José, Costa Rica, October 19-21. The theme of the ministerial is “Innovation for Sustainable, Competitive and Inclusive Agriculture.”

“At this ministerial forum, agriculture officials from across the Western Hemisphere will discuss how innovation can make agriculture competitive, sustainable and inclusive,” said Merrigan. “Whether investments are made on the farm, in the supply chain or at the market where the food is sold, they will contribute toward ensuring food security and addressing the challenges of climate change.”

While in San José, Merrigan will present the U.S. perspective on the role of innovation as a solution to combating hunger and conserving natural resources, as well as encouraging the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) to continue its efforts to review and establish a sustainable working budget for the organization. 
 
The ministerial meeting is taking place in conjunction with the biennial meeting of the IICA’s highest governing body, the Inter-American Board of Agriculture. IICA was founded in 1942, thanks to the vision of Henry Wallace, then the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, and Ernesto Molestina, Director General of Agriculture of Ecuador. IICA’s work helps promote stability in agriculture and trade among its 34 member countries and strengthens agricultural cooperation in the Western Hemisphere.

For more information about the ministerial, visit http://www.iica.int/Eng/ministros2011/Pages/default.aspx.

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