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USDA's Merlyn Carlson Visits Uruguay to Promote Sustainable Development

The Deputy Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment met with government officials and researchers

Posted: August 15, 2005

USDAs Merlyn Carlson during courtesy call with the U.S. Embassys Charge DAffaires James Nealon, left, and A/Deputy Chief of Mission Linda Gonzalez, August 11, 2005. (U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi)
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USDA's Merlyn Carlson during courtesy call with the U.S. Embassy's Chargé D'Affaires James Nealon, left, and A/Deputy Chief of Mission Linda Gonzalez, August 11, 2005.
Merlyn Carlson, USDA Deputy Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment, visited Uruguay to meet with government officials and researchers. Carlson is in the region to promote the use of new techniques to encourage sustainable development, such as no tillage techniques coupled with biotechnology to combat erosion and the loss of nutrients in the soil.

Carlson, accompanied by FAS Counselor Bob Hoff, FAS Assistant Maria Julia Balbi and APHIS Agricultural Scientist Ricardo Romero, met with Uruguayan vice Minister of Agriculture, Ing. Ernesto Agazzi, to discuss various issues related to Environment. Topics including No-Till and Sustainable Agriculture as a holistic system designed to preserve the natural resources. Agazzi mentioned that the Uruguayan agricultural system is based on a rotation with crops and pastures, in addition to a 50% of the cropping area under no-till, and represents an example on good practices for sustainable agriculture.

A separate meeting was also held with the National Institute for Agriculture Research (INIA) in the "Las Brujas" experimental station. INIA´s researchers emphasized on the importance of research on sustainable agriculture and visited a field with an ongoing experiment with no-till rotations crops. Carlson mentioned that the USDA is concerned that there will be more pressure on biomass production and research should focus on resolving environmental issues related to no-till, in addition to verify the economics of this technology. INIA's researches were interested in a cooperative agreement with USDA and agreed on sending to FAS a list of potential research topics to address these issues.

Carlson stated that he learned a great deal about the long standing commitment in Uruguay to sustainable development.

 

 
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