Corn growers from Brazil, Argentina and the United States, organized in the International Maize Alliance (MAIZALL), worked together to defend farmers’ access to technology and innovation, especially biotechnology, during a mission to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Geneva last week.
The program of the delegation included a meeting with the Ambassadors of these three countries and the representatives of more than a dozen WTO member countries. The representatives of Argentina, Brazil and the U.S. in Geneva signaled that they intend to collaborate with the Alliance in actions against barriers that prevent the free trade of food with the rest of the world. “The three countries have a common culture in the production system, with the use of biotechnology. That is why we explain to the other countries why we produce this way, so that we can break down the barriers that some countries place on us,” says Federico Zerboni, president of Maizall.
Maizall leaders took part in the mission to Europe, from April 2-6, and participated in meetings with WTO officials at the WTO headquarters in Geneva, to talk about the role of biotechnology and other tools and innovations in promoting food security and affordability and addressing climate change. They also had bilateral meetings with a dozen WTO member countries from around the world. The objective was to share knowledge, information, technological innovations, and to address the issues of trade restrictions in relation to agricultural innovation.
Bernhard Kiep, representative of the Brazilian Corn Producers Association (Abramilho), says that some countries still defend an agenda from before the war in Ukraine and are not alert to urgent food security issues. “It was clear that they are disconnected from reality and that this was a very good opportunity to defend our productive system.”
Maizall coordinator Benno van der Laan says that the meetings were productive, as representatives of the countries that participated in the bilateral meetings were receptive to MAIZALL’s data and insights. “It was a very full, positive, and constructive agenda. Everyone was grateful for the information that our producers brought to the table”.
The Maizall delegation also participated in meetings in Paris, France, with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and in a workshop with the French corn growers association. In a technical visit to a French experimental farm, they exchanged information about the application of technology in the production system.