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Agricultural research and development officials visiting
the Salinas Grandes salt flats

G20 scientists dicuss agriculture challenges

BUENOS AIRES, May 30, 2018

Over 60 delegates from G20 members and organisations are discussing strategies for common solutions to problems relating to agriculture, nutrition, research and sustainability at a G20 meeting, being held in Argentina.

Agricultural research and development officials are in the northern Argentine province of Jujuy to address the sustainability of agricultural systems at the Meeting of Chief Agricultural Scientists of the G20 (MACS-G20), said a statement from the organisation.

The meeting began on May 28 with a visit to the Salinas Grandes salt flats and will conclude today (May 30) with the drafting of a communiqué, this event has been held annually since 2012. It is a platform for developing strategies and common solutions to key issues affecting agriculture and nutrition, it said.

This year, the delegates are looking at the impact of climate change on agricultural production, adequate soil management and genetic modification, and are developing proposals for a sustainable food future, one of the priorities of the Argentine G20 presidency, it added.

In his opening remarks, meeting chair Santiago del Solar, chief of staff at the Argentine Ministry of Agribusiness, said: “Sustainability can sometimes be a moving target. We need to be very careful in understanding our environment to be able to research and recommend better solutions according to a changing climate and environment.”

“Collaborative work between different branches of science have a tremendous impact and synergy. Creating new technologies means creating new jobs,” he added.

In addition to the excursion to Salinas Grandes, 12,000 hectares of white salt plains straddling the provinces of Salta and Jujuy at an average altitude of over 3,400 m above sea level, the first day of the meeting included a brief tour of Purmamarca, a traditional lunch at the Manantial del Silencio hotel, and a working visit to the Posta de Hornillos, one of the five sites of the Research Institute for Family Farmers (IPAF), which is part of the National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA).

Delegates were introduced to three of the institution’s areas of work – Andean cultivation, alpaca raising and renewable energy – to explore the institute’s technologies and understand its achievements in different ecological regions across the country.

“Research, development, reach, and transference. Recalling those four words will ensure you know INTA,” said Juan Balbín, meeting co-chair and president of INTA, the event host.

Created in 1956, INTA is a decentralised public institution pertaining to the Argentine Ministry of Agribusiness. It develops skills for the agribusiness sector and generates knowledge and technology through its information and communication networks to help benefit different sectors of society.

On day two of the meeting, specialists from Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, and the UN’s Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) are discussing genetic modification and sustainable soils.

The agenda at the Altos de la Viña Hotel in the provincial capital of San Salvador de Jujuy also includes group discussions and presentations. This evening, delegates will attend the official MACS-G20 dinner.

The final day today (May 30) of the meeting, will be dedicated to the effects of climate change on soils, and specifically to the emergence and re-emergence of diseases. In this context, they will discuss international cooperative action to take advantage of genetic diversity as a tool to drive the productivity and resilience of agricultural systems, it said.

After the traditional family photo, chief scientists will prepare a communiqué with the main conclusions of the meeting and look ahead to the agricultural issues on the agenda at next year’s G20, under the presidency of Japan, it stated. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: | agriculture | challenges | Scientists | G20 |

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