During the Twentieth Annual Meeting of FONTAGRO’s Board of Directors in Buenos Aires, the positions of president and vice president were renewed.
(Buenos Aires, October 4, 2016) During the Twentieth Annual Meeting of FONTAGRO’s Board of Directors, held from September 29 to October 1 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, representatives of more than 15 FONTAGRO member countries elected a new president and vice president for its Board of Directors.
Mr. Armando Bustillo Castellanos, a Honduran national who was FONTAGRO’s vice president from 2014 to 2016, was elected president of FONTAGRO for the coming period ending in October 2017.
Mr. Bustillo is an agricultural engineer, graduated from Honduras’ Universidad Nacional Autónoma. He is the Deputy Executive Director of Agricultural Technology Generation and Transfer at the Dirección de Ciencia y Tecnología Agropecuaria (DICTA) bureau of Honduras’ Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock. He is also the national representative before the Governing Body of Plant Genetic Resources worldwide.
Mr. Julio Kalazich Barassi, a Chilean national, was elected vice president for the same period. Mr. Kalazich is an agricultural engineer, graduated from Universidad Austral de Chile, and he holds a PhD in plant genetics from Cornell University, United States. He is the National Director of the Agricultural Research Institute (INIA), under Chile’s Ministry of Agriculture.
At INIA he led the potato genetics improvement program and the task force that has released 11 potato varieties, several of which, as a whole, cover more than 50% of the area of this crop in Chile. He has extensive international experience regarding collaboration with different potato genetics improvement programs worldwide.
Lastly, FONTAGRO’s new president underscored his willingness to continue to work toward including more countries in this cooperation mechanism, both to benefit family farmers and to contribute with food security in the region.
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FONTAGRO is a unique regional cooperation mechanism that promotes family farming innovation, competitiveness, and food security. It was established in 1998 and it includes fifteen member countries that have contributed a capital of some $100 million. FONTAGRO is sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA). Its Technical Administrative Secretariat is based at IDB headquarters in Washington, D.C. FONTAGRO has cofinanced more than 100 projects and initiatives in its member countries for an approximate amount of $88.7 million, including contributions from other sources of funding and executing agencies. Its member countries are Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
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