- A total of 67 people participated in the forum to generate a space for dialogue and propose actions to guarantee tools for the integral and inclusive development of the agricultural sector, with the canton of Turrialba as a pilot.
August 30, 2022. As part of World Water Week, the National Groundwater, Irrigation and Drainage Service (Senara) and CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) joined forces to organize the forum "Water for Development: Water and Food Security", with the aim of analyzing the challenge of food security, management and management of water resources through the exchange of knowledge and experiences with experts, government, private enterprise and the agricultural and livestock sector.
The activity was seen as an important opportunity and strategy for different local and national development agencies to coordinate efforts to address the climate challenges and financial instability that are currently undermining food production and access to water in different regions.
The opening of the event was attended and welcomed by the Vice Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Liaison of Costa Rica, Rocio Valerio; Miguel Arvelo, representative of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA); Muhammad Ibrahim, Director General of CATIE; and Luis Fernando Coto, Deputy General Manager of Senara.
"The pressure of populations and climate change on water resources generates concern among people dedicated to food production (...) We congratulate CATIE and Senara for the organization of this forum, where different options and technologies will be presented to improve current conditions and minimize the risk that, as humanity, we are facing at this time," emphasized Minister Valerio.
The first part of the forum featured a group of panelists from CATIE, IICA, Senara, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the National Meteorological Institute (INM, its Spanish acronym), the Embassy of Israel in Costa Rica, and the Executive Secretariat for Agricultural Sectoral Planning (SEPSA, its Spanish acronym), who shared their different success stories in terms of water and food security.
"Not only should agriculture and agribusinesses contribute to guaranteeing food security for all populations, but they should also address these issues through adaptation and mitigation of climate change, proper management of natural resources and, above all, managing the competition that exists in the different land uses towards the environment," said Erika Zárate, FAO's specialist in rural development and sustainable food systems in Mesoamerica.
After each of the presentations, there was a dynamic roundtable discussion on four specific topics: food security, water resource management, agribusiness and governance, where the purpose was to reach consensus on ideas, strengthen alliances, visualize new strategies for production and market consolidation, present technological innovations for precision agriculture and efficient water use, and continue strengthening water governance among the institutions involved in order to achieve effective water and food security for Turrialba.
From this analysis process, a project led by CATIE and Senara will be generated to support producers in Turrialba and serve as a showcase of actions for the rest of the country.
Laura Benegas y Jeanette Cárdenas
Watershed, Water Security and Soil Unit
Dannia Gamboa Solís
Information Technology and Communication