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The countryside raises its voice at the climate change summit: Why can agriculture be a solution?

Experts from around the world discuss at COP 27 measures to curb global warming. The importance of food.

The agricultural sector of America, which produces a third of the world’s food it has to be seen as “part of the solution” to the global environmental crisis and must be part of the “environmental negotiations” to give its contribution in a world context “that has no real dimension of what agriculture in the Americas is.” .

This was stated this Saturday by the Director General of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Manuel Otero, head of this agency specialized in the agricultural sector of the Inter-American System at the COP27 climate summit held in the Egyptian city of Sharm. the Sheikh.

And he stressed that the work of farmers is essential to guarantee food security in the Americas and the Caribbean.

“To have food on the tables we need to have farmers in rural areas. And for food to be healthy we need health, well-being and prosperity in the countryside,” said Otero. “The quality of life in cities depends on the quality of life and prosperity in the countryside,” he added, during a panel organized by the World Food Prize Foundation.

Otero presented at the meeting where global solutions to address climate change are discussed a consensus document signed by the Ministers of Agriculture of all America in which it was stressed “that there can be no environmental sustainability if there is no food security”, for which the region has a leading role.




The General Director of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation for Women Farmers (IICA), Manuel Otero. Photo: EFE

In this sense, he warned about the requests for a transition to a production without greenhouse gas emissions, or to suppress sectors or crops, are problematic and require a lot of “responsibility.”

“The transitions have to be gradual, if you tell me that we have to advance towards the very advanced positions of agroecology, now there is no science, the necessary or available innovation. We have to proceed with caution,” Otero told the EFE agency.

Precisely this Saturday is celebrated the agriculture day at COP27, which is already entering its week of political deliberations, and in this context the Argentine expert raised his concern that the role of the region is not considered or that agriculture is even held responsible for environmental damage without considering that, fact, it is guarantor of food safety world.

In this sense, Otero defended the agriculture of the American continent for its “trend, which is going to be consolidated” to improve its land use, control deforestation and its emissions.

“It is a continent that breathes agriculture. We have a past, a present, but above all a future that must be built or perhaps rebuilt in some aspects, with this more sustainable agriculture that we have come to propose today at this COP, because many good things are happening,” added the director of IICA.

Responsibility

In his opinion, given the responsibility of agriculture in global warming, he indicated: “We are all guilty”, although within that “co-responsibility, it must be clear that only a third” of harmful emissions come from agri-food systems.

“The crisis is so serious that we all have to assume responsibilities,” he insisted.

At the same time, the expert was very satisfied with the positions that call for the global climate and food crisis to be tackled “with a systemic vision”.

“That is perfect and we accept it, I like the production from the producer to the consumer, because it is utopian to think that we are going to have healthy, abundant and quality food if we do not start at the beginning, which is to have agricultural production, and for that you have to have producers on their farms and those producers have to be in more or less prosperous rural areas where there are services,” he reasoned.

In any case, Otero pointed out that “agriculture can only be sustainable” and that if it is not, “it is not agriculture.”

Source: EFE

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