ARGENTINA - As part of the opening of the 83rd World Assembly of Delegates of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in Paris this week, the Argentine Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of the Nation, Carlos Casamiquela, called on the organisation to recognise the role of the small producer in the value chain.
The minister, who was attending the assembly together with a delegation from the National Health Service and Food Quality (SENASA), headed by Vice President Luis Carné, said that Argentina has an historical debt to the family farms for their contribution to the security and sovereignty of food in Argentina.
He said they represent 65 per cent of farmers, 20 per cent of GDP and 53 per cent of agricultural employment.
Mr Casamiquela said it was also a priority for Argentina "to combat animal diseases and search for technologies that minimise the risk of animal disease and poor safety in food and feed."
He added that Argentina backed the new Strategic Plan of the OIE which was being discussed this week.
"Our country has 40 million people and produces food for 400 million people. In 2050 the world population will exceed nine billion people, of which 6.3 billion will live in cities and this will require increasing food production by 60 per cent," said Mr Casamiquela.
For this reason, he said, Argentina is committed to global food security.
He said: “Argentina has an Agribusiness and Agro-2020 Strategic Plan, which sets a goal of producing 247 million tonnes of agricultural and forestry production of which 24.5 million tonnes will come from animal production, 7.6 million tonnes for meat products (cattle, poultry, pigs, fish, sheep) and 16.9 dairy.”
He said that Argentina has seven reference centres recognised by the OIE reference laboratories for brucellosis, tuberculosis, leptospirosis, Bee Diseases, Spongiform Encephalopathy and Foot and Mouth Disease as well as the Buenos Aires Centre for Training of Veterinary Services (CEBASEV).
In addition, it is home to two FAO knowledge exchange networks for professionals from Latin America and the Caribbean - the Network of Veterinary Public Health and Zoonoses and Helminthology Network.
These facilities as well as technical and scientific input from MAGyP and SENASA and INTA are part of the national strategy to strengthen regional cooperation – both bilateral and multilateral.
Mr Casamiquela said that Argentina has been part of the OIE since its inception in 1924 and shares its fundamental principles.