- The recognition represents a tribute to five decades of hard work and dedication in favor of sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean.
July 19, 2023. During the Executive Committee meeting of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) held in Costa Rica, CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) was honored for its invaluable work and contribution to sustainable agriculture and the environment in Latin America and the Caribbean as it commemorates its 50th anniversary.
The ceremony, which took place on July 19, was led by Manuel Otero, Director-General of IICA, and attended by important figures, including Víctor Carvajal, Minister of Agriculture and Livestock of Costa Rica, and Muhammad Ibrahim, Director-General of CATIE, who represented the institution at this significant event. Furthermore, officials and staff from CATIE were present to celebrate this recognition.
As part of the ceremony, which took place at the IICA headquarters in Vásquez de Coronado, San José, a commemorative tree was planted in the IICA gardens to mark CATIE's 50th anniversary. Ibrahim had the honor of planting the tree alongside Otero and took the opportunity to express his gratitude to IICA for this important recognition.
In his speech, Ibrahim emphasized the significance of CATIE's 50 years and its commitment to finding solutions for agricultural management and environmental conservation in the region. He also highlighted the importance of CATIE continuing to contribute to Inclusive Green Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, working collaboratively with various communities and stakeholders involved in the subject.
"I want to thank IICA for this tribute and reaffirm our commitment to continue generating solutions for our region that have a relevant impact on people's lives," Ibrahim said.
Costa Rican Minister of Agriculture, Víctor Carvajal, highlighted CATIE's valuable contribution over these 50 years. He emphasized the need to continue supporting the institution as it is crucial for sustainable development.
In a context where research resources are limited, the Minister posed a reflection on what would happen if all the scientific evidence generated by CATIE during these years, as well as the training of professionals from Latin America and the Caribbean, were not available.
Thus, he called on the members of the Executive Committee to continue providing resources and support to promote research, especially in our tropical countries facing complex agricultural challenges due to climate change.
"Thanks to CATIE, today we have information to promote public policies that have a positive impact not only on productivity and profitability but mainly on sustainability," Carvajal expressed.
"From the ministerial office, we celebrate the achievements reached during these years and express the desire for them to continue promoting education, innovation, and scientific development. I appreciate the dedicated and honest work of Dr. Ibrahim. His intelligent and sensible approach has been crucial for CATIE's growth," the Minister added.
IICA's recognition of CATIE represents a well-deserved tribute to five decades of hard work and dedication in favor of sustainable development in the region. The significance of this institution is reflected in the legacy of solutions and progress it has contributed to agriculture and the environment in Latin America and the Caribbean, leaving a lasting impact on the path toward a more prosperous and sustainable future for humanity.
The Director-General of IICA, Manuel Otero, said that CATIE represents a knowledge-intensive institution that symbolizes the future of our continent. "CATIE has trained 3,000 masters, a number that allows us to understand why there are ministers, deputy ministers, and directors of institutions who are CATIE graduates. This is a fundamental task that the leading institution must deepen for the transformation of tropical agriculture."
IICA's Executive Committee
The IICA Executive Committee, which holds its annual meeting from July 19 to 20, gathers Ministers of Agriculture from the Caribbean to discuss actions that promote productivity and resilience in food production, especially in countries vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
During this meeting, specifically on July 20, Ibrahim will present CATIE's 2022 annual report and share the main actions developed in the previous year, as well as the implementation of joint projects in collaboration with IICA.
The event will also serve as the stage for the launch of the Hemispheric Plan for Water and Agriculture, an initiative aimed at designing tools and strategies to mitigate the water deficit effects faced by the American continent.
This international center has been a benchmark for sustainable development in areas related to agriculture and natural resources management in Latin America and the Caribbean. Through a combination of education, research, and external projection, CATIE has contributed to the increase of human well-being and the reduction of rural poverty in the region.
Communications and Marketing Office