Veterinarian Manuel Otero was sworn in on Monday 15 January, as Director General of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) for the period 2018-2022. The ceremony took place in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Ms. Nisa Surujbally, Progamme Manager Agriculture and Industry at the CARICOM Secretariat, represented CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, at the ceremony.
Among those who attended the ceremony were President of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solís; Assistant Secretary General of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Ambassador Néstor Méndez; Minister of Agriculture and Livestock of Costa Rica, Luis Felipe Arauz; Secretary of Family Farming, Coordination and Territorial Development of the Ministry of Agroindustry of Argentina, Santiago Hardie; and Chair of Argentina’s Senate Committee on Agriculture, Alfredo De Ángeli and other senior officials, IICA said in a press release.
Dr. Otero was unanimously elected to the position in October last year during the Nineteenth Regular Meeting of the Inter-American Board of Agriculture held at IICA Headquarters in Costa Rica. He succeeds Mexican agronomist Víctor Villalobos. The new Director General has a wealth of experience in the fields of science and technology, agricultural health and trade, institution building and international cooperation.
With a strong commitment to area-based development and family farming, Dr. Otero said he would work to ensure the well-being of rural areas and expressed interest in working with the less developed countries to help mitigate inequality in the Americas.
— IICA USA (@IICA_USA) January 15, 2018
Dr. Manuel Otero has an MSc in agricultural development from the University of London and an MSc in animal production from the Tropical Agriculture Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), whose headquarters are in Costa Rica; and graduated as a veterinary doctor from the School of Veterinary Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), Argentina.
Dr. Otero served as the Secretariat of Agriculture’s Agricultural Counselor at the Argentine Embassy in Washington, D.C. and also held the post of Vice President of the National Agricultural Technology Institute (INTA) in Argentina.
He previously spent 27 years at IICA, taking up his first position with the organisation (as Representative in Brazil) in 1988. He subsequently held a series of other posts at Headquarters (as Adviser to the Director General, Director of Programming and Evaluation and Director of the Andean Regional Center) before serving as Representative in Uruguay and, once again, in Brazil.
He is the author of numerous technical documents on international trade, sectoral policies and the modernisation of agriculture, including Gestão da água e o futuro da vida no planeta and Uma nova visão sobre a agricultura brasileira, published in 2013. (Adapted from IICA Press Release)