International Tropical Agriculture Week

The Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) present the International Tropical Agriculture Week (AgriTrop), to be held from 22 to 26 March 2021. The aim of the meeting is to discuss their revolutionary model and pay tribute to one of the mentors of the Brazilian experience in tropical agriculture, Minister Alysson Paolinelli, nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, in addition to gathering support for the United Nations Food Systems Summit. Learn more.

Embrapa News Agency

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International specialists debate tropical agriculture

About AgriTrop 2021

The event will bring together leaders, scientists, environmental experts and entrepreneurs from various countries to exchange experiences, and it will offer the opportunity to share sustainable research, development and innovation (RD&I) practices that facilitate the application of this model in other tropical countries in the Americas. These actions seek to foster synergies geared towards identifying opportunities for an economic and social growth that is environmentally sustainable and ensures the well-being of the population.

One of the aims of AgriTrop is the dissemination of the Brazilian model of sustainable tropical agriculture developed over the last five decades, which transformed the country from a food importer in the 1970s, to one of the largest players in global agribusiness. This illustrates the continuous expansion of the capacity to add and generate value, which translates into increased productivity, generation of jobs and income, improved quality of life in rural areas and better preservation of the environment.

During the event, Empraba will also present an all-new publication on technologies and strategies to save the Earth.

Specific goals:

  • Based on the experience with the sustainable development model designed and exported by Brazil, contribute to the positioning of tropical agriculture as a value proposal based on sustainability, and offer alternatives for the continent, within the context of the objectives outlined for the United Nations Food Systems Summit, which will take place in New York in September. IICA, represented by its Director General, Manuel Otero, has been chosen as a member of the network of leaders of the meeting, entitled Summit's Champions. This network is one of the four main support structures of the event, the purpose of which is to set the foundations for a positive transformation of the food production and consumption systems.
  • Consolidate the array of institutional and technological innovations currently available in relation to sustainable tropical agriculture in the hemisphere.
  • Promote the exchange of ideas in order to consolidate a permanent dialogue, which encompasses multiple national, regional and international stakeholders, the public and private sectors, as well as agencies and reference bodies in international cooperation.


Preliminary program.

03/22 (Monday) - 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. (Brasilia Standard Time GMT -3)

Opening session - The development path of Brazilian Tropical Agriculture: towards sustainability

Live session:

  • Manuel Otero (director general of IICA)
  • Alysson Paolinelli (former Minister of Agriculture of Brazil)
  • Roberto Rodrigues (Agribusiness coordinator at FGV and former Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply of Brazil)
  • Celso Moretti (president of Embrapa)
  • Tereza Cristina (minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply of Brazil - Mapa)

03/23 (Tuesday) - 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. (Brasilia Standard Time GMT -3)

Overview of the development of the new Tropical Agriculture in the world

Live session:

Moderator: Evaldo Vilela (President of Brazil’s Research Council - CNPQ)

Keynote Speaker: Manuel Otero (IICA) - Importance of the United Nations Food Systems Summit for Tropical Agriculture and for the Americas


  • Dr. Fadel Ndiame (AGRA)
  • Muhammad Ibrahim (Director General of CATIE) - Beef and dairy cattle in low carbon production systems
  • Professor Joash Kibet (University of Kabianga, Kenya) - The future of Sustainable Tropical Agriculture in Kenya
  • Jesús Quintana (Director Gerente para las Américas - Alianza de Bioversity International y el CIAT) - Promoting transformation in agri-food systems through innovation and research
  • Tanguy Lafarge (CIRAD) - The international agronomic research partnership network

03/24 (Wednesday) - 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. (Brasilia Standard Time GMT -3)

The challenge of transforming agro-food systems with sustainability: main lessons learned and the convergence of agricultural and environmental agendas

Live session:

Moderator: Professor Silvia Miranda (ESALQ/USP)

Keynote Speaker: Guy de Capdeville (Embrapa) - Land saving Technologies: The Brazilian contributions for a sustainable agriculture


  • Dr. Walter de Boef (Wageningen University & Research) - Food Systems at different scales, Netherlands
  • Professor Paulo Leme (UFLA - Lavras) - Sustainability in agri-food systems: the role of technology and innovation in building sustainable markets
  • Professor Durval Dourado (ESALQ/USP) - Irrigated tropical agriculture - Sustainability, feeding the world while preserving the environment and generating more opportunities
  • Eduardo Arce (FAO Roma) - Fostering sustainable livestock for resilient and sustainable food systems
  • Dr. Alberto Vilarinhos (Embrapa Cassava & Tropical Fruits) - Organic Fruit Culture: sustainability, quality and value

03/25 (Thursday) - 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. (Brasilia Standard Time GMT -3)

Institutional challenges and innovations for a new chapter in the development of Tropical Agriculture in the world

Live session:

Moderator: Katherine de Matos (The Good Food Institute - GFI)


  • Gustavo Chianca (FAO Brazil) - Tropical agriculture and food security in the world
  • Raj Vardhan (IFAMA) - Inclusive Growth and the revival of agriculture: India's Challenges and Achievements
  • John Purchase (AgBiz, South Africa) - The Challenges and Prospects of Tropical Agriculture in Africa
  • Jason Clay (WWF) - Agriculture in the 21st century - Key issues and trends

03/26 (Friday) - 111 a.m. - 2 p.m. (Brasilia Standard Time GMT -3)

Innovation and the future of world food: a pathway to sustainability

Live session:

Moderator: Rodrigo Lima (Agroícone)

Keynote Speaker: Marcos Fava Neves (USP Business School) - Food and agribusiness in 2030: roadmap

Moderator: Rodrigo Lima, Agroícone


  • Dra. Eugenia Saini (FONTAGRO)
  • Ítalo Guedes (Embrapa) - Agriculture in a controlled environment in Brazil: why, if we have so much land?
  • Cleber Soares (Director of innovation, Ministry of Agriculture - MAPA) - Perspectives for Innovation and Sustainability in Agriculture
  • Paulo Silveira (CEO do Food Tech Hub) - Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Technology: how to build a value added, efficient and inclusive food system
  • Camila Telles (CEO of FarmCom)

Closing session - Closing remarks: challenges for the agriculture of the future

Live session:

  • Roberto Rodrigues (Agribusiness Coordinator at FGV and former Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply of Brazil)
  • Celso Moretti (president of Embrapa)


Over the course of five days, AgriTrop 2021 will feature the participation of ministers, leaders, authorities and scientists from different countries. Find below a brief bio of some of the experts that will be joining the event.

Speakers at the Opening Session

Alysson Paolinelli

Former Minister of Agriculture - Brazil

Mr. Paolinelli is is an agronomist from the Escola Superior de Agricultura de Lavras, where he was also a professor of Hydraulics, Irrigation and Drainage and director. He took over the Minas Gerais Department of Agriculture in 1971 with the challenge of implementing a new production matrix based on the incorporation of technology and policies to stimulate credit for modernization. Such work is considered the cradle of tropical agriculture. In 1974, he became minister of Agriculture and opened a period of striking policies for the sector and for the development of the Brazilian Midwest, by creating the governance structures that ensured the expansion of the sustainable tropical agricultural revolution. He also structured Embrapa and attracted the best minds from universities and technical assistance agencies. As a constituent deputy, he worked to place the pillars for a competitive, sustainable and inclusive agriculture in the Constitution. Today he conducts the Tropical Biomes project and co-articulates the technological bases for the new agricultural revolution with science organizations from all over the planet. In 2021, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Celso Moretti

President of Embrapa

Mr. Moretti obtained a degree in Agronomy at Universidade Federal de Viçosa, with a specialization course in Production Engineering from Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina. He holds a Master’s degree and a PhD in Crop Production from Universidade Federal de Viçosa. He has spearheaded both national and international projects. He was an Associate Professor of the Human Nutrition Department at Universidade de Brasília (UnB), a Guest Lecturer of the Horticultural Sciences Department at the University of Florida (USA), an Honorary Professor of the Department of Agroindustry at Universidad Nacional del Santa, Chimbote, Peru, and a Visiting Professor at the School of Engineering of Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), as well as Head of Embrapa Vegetables. He is currently the President of Embrapa.

Manuel Otero

Director General of IICA

Manuel Otero holds a M.Sc. in Agricultural Development from the University of London, a Masters in Animal Production from the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), headquartered in Costa Rica, and is also a qualified Veterinarian from the School of Veterinary Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA). Previously, he served in Washington D.C. as an Agricultural Attaché, attached to the Ministry of Agriculture of Argentina, and was also Vice-President of Argentina’s Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria – INTA (National Institute of Agricultural Technology). He began his career at the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) in 1988, and was a representative to Uruguay and Brazil on two occasions.

Roberto Rodrigues

Agribusiness Coordinator at FGV and former Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply - Brazil

Mr. Rodrigues is an agricultural engineer with a degree from Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ) of Universidade de São Paulo (USP). He works as coordinator at Fundação Getúlio Vargas and is the president of the National Academy of Agriculture. He served as Secretary of Agriculture and Food Supply in the State of São Paulo (1993/1994) and as Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (2003/2006). He was president of the mixed-capital company of the government of São Paulo, the Organization of Brazilian Cooperatives, the Brazilian Association of Agribusiness, the Brazilian Rural Society, and the Higher Council of Agribusiness of FIESP – COSAG. He was a professor at the Department of Rural Economics of the Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP).

Teresa Cristina

Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply - Brazil

Mrs. Cristina is a Federal congresswoman for Mato Grosso do Sul, an agricultural engineer and businesswoman. She served as Superintendent of the National Service for Rural Learning (Senar) and led the Secretariat of Agricultural Development, Production, Industry, Trade and Tourism (Seprotur) of the State of Mato Grosso do Sul. In 2014, while serving as federal congresswoman and president of the Parliamentary Front for Agriculture, she received a prize from Congresso em Foco in the category “Best Congressperson”, and was acknowledged as the strongest advocate for Brazilian agribusinesses in the category “Agricultural Advocacy.”


Download the PDF file with the list of AgriTrop 2021 lecturers and their profiles.


The International Tropical Agriculture Week will be free and completely virtual. The activities will be broadcast in English on IICAnews Youtube channel and participants will be able to interact through comments. Certificates will be issued to registered participants who attend at least three of the five days of the event. You may register by completing the form below:


AgriTrop 2021 is an initiative of Embrapa and IICA with the support and participation of various institutions and teams.

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