Minutes of high level meeting on agriculture of ALBA-TCP

The High Level Meeting on Agriculture of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America- People’s Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP) on February 18th, 2021, was held in virtual format in order to:

Establish strategic actions and joint response to the impacts on the agri-food sector due to the emergency of COVID-19 pandemic in order to guarantee food for our peoples.

In order to achieve this goal, the following work agenda was considered:

General reflections on the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and unilateral coercive measures for food production and the strengthening of agricultural systems in ALBA-TCP countries, as key drivers for a productive and sustainable development model.
Techniques and Technologies from the exchange of seeds and varieties for cultivation, as well as genetics of animal races.

Exchange of proposals for the construction of an alternative model of food sovereignty, based on reciprocal cooperation to strengthen the Latin American market, on the basis of updated experiences for strengthening productive agriculture, short-cycle planting and genetic improvement in minor species, as well as the exchange of successful initiatives in the field of family farming, among others. Likewise, the exchange of proposals for scientific, technological research and support for good agronomic practices.

Exchange of successful experiences or lessons learned regarding family farming matters.
Agreements for mechanization in family agriculture: Supply of spare parts, manufacture and import of agricultural machinery, for the production of balanced feed of minor species, as well as the establishment of cooperation agreements on animal health matters and veterinary matters for mutual recognition of the “Veterinary Health Certificate” between countries. Improve bilateral trade of animal health products.

Exchanges on low-cost Techniques and Technologies to achieve better yields in all soils and different crops of each country.
Exchanges on agro-industry according to the possibilities and availability of each country.
Develop and maintain a sustainable value chain system for fisheries.
Submarine, marine and coastal monitoring
Fisheries Field Sampling and reporting.
Intra-ALBA trade in agricultural products and fish.

Technical support in agriculture and fisheries.
Cross-border investment opportunities in food production.

Development and Rehabilitation of Aquaculture Sector.

Climate –Resilient Systems.

Value Chain Development.

Crop/Livestock and Fisheries Intensification.
Digital Agriculture.

Zero Hunger.

Financing and use of the Petro cryptocurrency as a unit of account and monetary benchmark to strengthen the economic and productive sovereignty of ALBA-TCP member countries.

Main agreements of the Meeting:

Strengthen food production at all scales through scientific and technological leverage in order to guarantee the security, defense and protection of peasants, fishermen, fish farmers, urban farmers, as well as all sectors of the agri-food production chain of the ALBA-TCP member countries, using as example the Venezuelan experience in the implementation of the AgroVenezuela Great Mission.

Exchange for the development of a high biotechnology laboratory for the production of biologics, reagents and veterinary medicines: It is important to consider that this proposal is intended for both domestic herd consumption and export.

Cooperation in livestock production: Harmonize animal health protocols for exporting live cattle, sheep and goats in accordance with the parameters established among countries.
Reach agreements for the reactivation of the sugar factory and sugar cane/sugar beet production: The production of sugar, molasses and alcohols in Venezuela shall be produced for the domestic market and the other part for the investor’s market.

Reach an agreement for the production and processing of soybeans, cereals (corn, rice) and legumes (beans, lentils).

Exchange of trade in fruits, vegetables and other products of plant origin, establishment of phytosanitary protocols and conditions for the entry of the product according to its phytosanitary conditions.

Support priority high-value commodities, including coffee, cocoa, arrowroot, essential oils and spices. Support production chains for domestic fruit and vegetable markets. Develop and support small-scale farming techniques and local species to produce high-value foods.

Develop cottage industries through agro-processing and agro-tourism. Increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the production chain by incorporating the use of data, low-cost technology and innovation. Support farm and product certification for more effective brand representation and market access.

Cooperate, exchange and develop inclusive, sustainable and egalitarian agri-food systems in the exercise of the rights of women and men, including local value chains of self-sufficiency at the local level, as well as in urban, suburban and family farming systems.

Strengthen the management and performance of producers, as well as the exchange of agri-food chains at the local level, in order to contribute to the continued and sustainable socioeconomic development of the ALBA-TCP countries in the agri-food chains (grains, milk and beef, among others).

Reach agreements for mechanization in agriculture: Supply of spare parts, production and import of agricultural machinery.
Provide cooperation through exchange missions among ALBA-TCP countries, in order to present successful and demonstrative integration experiences and build capacities for the formulation of public policies, taking into account the priorities of member countries.
Exchange experiences with the participation of decision-makers from the different links in the production chains and local support services in order to articulate and coordinate more efficiently the policies and strategies of the agri-food sector, including agriculture, industry, marketing, services and local governments.
Cooperation for forestry production and trade.
Cooperation in the areas of fishing and aquaculture: agreements for sardine and shrimp fishing in Venezuelan territorial waters, Tuna fishing in the Pacific Ocean (near Ecuador). Renewal of the fishing fleet.

Develop sustainable livelihood options along the production chain for fisheries. Form effective collaborations among sector key stakeholders.
Strengthen evidence for fisheries management by monitoring fish landings activity and biological data reliably and in real time at various fish landing ports.

Strengthen evidence for marine resource management by monitoring and recording coastal ecosystems and reefs. Develop geospatial maps for governance and decision-making purposes.

Cooperate in the area of aquaculture: agreements for the production of fingerlings and materials for the manufacture and maintenance of tanks for the production and harvesting of fingerlings.

Increase technical support to fish farmers for the development and rehabilitation of the aquaculture sector. Develop monitoring systems in the sector. Improve the production of established farmers. Establish adequate management plans and best practices.

Reach agreements for the mutual exchange of experts, experiences and knowledge: Development of R&D projects. Promotion of bilateral visits among countries, with the appropriate biosecurity measures adopted to reduce the risks of COVID-19 infection.

Establish a cooperation program for the exchange of knowledge for technification and/or low-scale processing in strategic areas.
Build alliances for the joint development of low-cost technological platforms that would allow tracking records of the evolution of the items per cycle.

Cooperate in the organization of mechanisms for the exchange of experiences between producers and peasant organizations of our peoples.

Cooperate in the promotion and design of public policies that contribute to reduce the gap between rural and urban areas, as well as the massive migration of young farmers to the cities.
Cooperate in technology transfer to ensure that agricultural development models are more consistent and harmonious with nature and its natural resources.

Exchange of good practices, through the use of technologies, in order to promote the generation of an organic productive network facilitating social organization and access to the resources necessary for the development of productive capacities.

Cooperate in training based on updated experiences for the strengthening of family agriculture: short-cycle planting and genetic improvement in minor species.
Cooperate in the strengthening of the brand with export capacity: involving the necessary animal health protocols.

Reach an agreement for the production and processing of soybeans and other inputs necessary for the balanced feed of minor species.

Reach cooperation agreements on animal health and veterinary matters for the mutual recognition of the “Veterinary Health Certificate” between countries. Improve bilateral trade of animal health products.

Reach agreements for mechanization in family agriculture: Supply of spare parts, manufacture and import of agricultural machinery for the production of balanced feed for small species.


Improve the resilience of agricultural communities (crops, livestock, fisheries and forestry) to disasters induced by natural hazards, climate change and cross-border pests and diseases. Strengthen natural resource management to further protect ecosystems, reduce climate-related risks, and support sustainable development initiatives. Support the incorporation of renewable energy as an integral component of sustainable resource use.
Build capacity and infrastructure development in climate-smart greenhouse technology (hydroponics and aquaponics).

Support the transformation process towards the efficient use of renewable energies. Incorporation of agroforestry systems in rural family techniques and forest regeneration. Support livestock development (improved livestock species, alternative feeds, animal nutrition and better breeding practices).

Improve diagnostic and analytical capacities of relevant ministries and support institutions.
Develop a strong Agricultural Management Information System related to the digital agriculture sector. Incorporation of the use of Drones in agriculture.


Consolidate a multimodal maritime, air and land transportation structure to enable the movement of people and goods; therefore, the transportation authorities of the Alliance countries are encouraged to hold a meeting to work on this matter.

Introduce the use of the Petro cryptocurrency as a monetary reference and financial instrument of the ALBA-TCP countries, for the creation of an Agricultural Exchange, in order to strengthen economic and productive sovereignty in the delivery of inputs, machinery, financing of seeds, production and distribution of agricultural inputs.

Bank Announcement:
Banco del Alba has offered the Eastern Caribbean countries –members of the Alliance – a revolving credit line for an amount equivalent to US$200,000 designed to finance small agricultural producers in order to strengthen food sovereignty and security.

Caracas, February 18th, 2021

Countries:
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
Republic of Cuba
Plurinational State of Bolivia
Republic of Nicaragua
Commonwealth of Dominica
Antigua and Barbuda
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis
Grenade