Morelia Declaration marks the end of the 7th World Congress on Rural & Agricultural Finance
- The importance of giving renewed value to agriculture was underscored at the closing of the event and the venue of the next congress was announced.
November 25, 2022- The publication of Morelia Declaration marked the end of the 7th World Congress on Rural & Agricultural Finance, an event that took place from November 23 to 25 at FIRA headquarters in Morelia, Mexico.
The document sets out the thinking and most important commitments of the institutions participating in the congress and underscores the importance of giving renewed value to the rural and agricultural sector as a strategic venue for promoting food security and fighting climate change.
It also invites the agricultural and rural institutions to play a catalytic role in inducing the public and private sectors to inject more resources, thereby reducing the gaps in finance and promoting a more sustainable agri-food system in the world.
The text acknowledges that the rural sector exists side-by-side with a variety of production units that have different income levels. For that reason, it stresses the importance of working through an integrated and multisectoral effort in favor of financial and social inclusion and integration.
The Morelia Declaration was signed by FIRA’s General Director, Alan Elizondo; the Secretaries General of APRACA, Prasun Kumar Das, and AFRACA, Thomas T. Essel, and ALIDE’s Head of Institutional Relations, Eduardo Vasquez, on behalf of the Secretary General of the Association, Edgardo Alvarez.
Revaluing of Agriculture
During the closing session of the global event, the ALIDE Head of Economic Studies and Information, Romy Calderón, pointed up the importance of agriculture and shared basic concepts relating to its practice: sustainability, hunger and poverty, and small farmers.
“There is much to be revalued in the sector and we must feel proud of ourselves and extremely empowered,” Calderón insisted, on referring to the leading role played by agriculture during the pandemic of keeping up a sustained flow of food products to the market, thereby avoiding the chaos that hunger could have engendered.
The specialist went on to add that if the intention is to fight the poverty that is concentrated particularly heavily in rural areas, then it will be important to create strategies and mechanisms that will raise the living standards of farmers because it is they who produce the foods, but receive little in return for their labor.
Romy Calderón emphasized that in order to have a greater impact on the sector, it is important for the financing to go hand-in-hand with technical assistance and knowledge in order to bolster conditions conducive to development.
The next venue
AFRACA’s Secretary General, Thomas T. Essel, announced that the 8th World Congress on Rural & Agricultural Finance will be organized by his institution and held in Africa in 2025.
It should be pointed out that acceding to finance is still a major challenge for small African farmers, despite the fact that over 60% of that continent’s population is engaged in small-scale agriculture and that almost 23% of its Gross Domestic Product is produced by that sector.
In that connection, AFRACA consists of an important network of financial and non-financial institutions that have been promoting and coordinating access to rural and agricultural finance in the African continent since 1977. Today, it has over 90 member institutions and has provided financial services to more than 5 million small rural farmers.
The Fideicomisos Instituidos en Relación con la Agricultura, FIRA, are four public trusts in the nature of institutions of the Federal Public Administration, in which the Secretariat of the Treasury and Public Credit operates as trustor and Banco de México as the trustee. Its purpose is to facilitate access to credit by means of loan and discount operations and by granting loan guarantees to agricultural, livestock, poultry, agribusiness, fishery and other related projects carried out in rural areas of Mexico.
ALIDE is the community of financial institutions that produce banking solutions for Latin American and Caribbean development. Founded in 1968, its main purpose is to contribute to the region’s economic and social development by promoting the use of good development finance practices among its members. It is comprised of more than 80 member institutions operating in over 20 countries of Latin America and other regions of the world.