1953 – 2023

Seven decades of safeguarding regional agricultural health

Our history in summary: seven decades ago, we began to write a story about significant challenges, but, above all, about the defense of the common good. To protect the region from the severe economic and social damages caused by pests and diseases, OIRSA has always adapted to the challenges.

Many chapters are still left to be written, but they will have the same purpose:

To protect our agricultural heritage.


Facing the impact of the flying locust plague on thousands of hectares of Mesoamerican crops, Mexico and Central America established the International Committee for Coordinación para el Combate de la Langosta (CICLA).


The CICLA transforms into OIRSA with the creation of the Charter of the Organization, known as the 'Second San Salvador Agreement,', during the V Conference of Ministers of Agriculture and Livestock of Mexico and Central America."


OIRSA begins operations in the city of Managua, Nicaragua. It immediately starts working on the control and prevention of the Mediterranean fruit fly and foot-and-mouth disease.


The Department against the Mediterranean Fruit Flyis established. OIRSA combats scattered pest outbreaks in 12,000 hectares in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama.


OIRSA moves its permanent headquarters to the city of San Salvador, El Salvador. The technical areas of Animal Health and Plant Health are formed. Additionally, OIRSA begins to participate in the International Plant Protection Convention.


The technical areas of Animal Health and Plant Health are formed. Additionally, the organization begins to participate in the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC).


A cooperative agreement is signed with the Government of Colombia to implement the Foot-and-Mouth Disease prevention program in the northwestern region of the department of Chocó, bordering Panama, to prevent its entry into Central America.


The International Service for Prevention of Exotic Diseases is established, with objectives including the supervision and technical advisory support to national quarantine services.


The coffee berry borer is confirmed and OIRSA undertakes intensive efforts for its control to prevent further spread. The installation of fumigation stations in the region is planned to counteract the pest.


International Fumigation Service (IFS) is established and begins operations in the Guatemala-El Salvador border area, later expanding to other countries. The IFS later evolved into Servicio Internacional de Tratamientos Cuarentenarios (SITC).


The coffee rust is detected In the region, the first country affected is Nicaragua. OIRSA supports controlling the fungus in the Carazo department. Over 1345 sites with outbreaks were treated in the first phase of the emergency.


Africanized bees cross the Darien jungle in Panama and enter the region. OIRSA coordinates a series of activities aimed at the prevention and management of bees.


OIRSA opens representation offices in its member countries. Its purpose is to assist the Ministries and Secretariats of Agriculture and Livestock in the development and implementation of their agrosanitary programs.


The Committee of Ministers of Agriculture adapts the 'Second San Salvador Agreement' to the sanitary and phytosanitary realities of the region and signs the Agreement for the Establishment of OIRSA which is currently in force.


OIRSA develops the Program for the Prevention of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) , also known as 'mad cow disease.


Belize becomes a member country of OIRSA, it is marking the first state to join the organization in 43 years since its establishment.


The Regional Food Safety Directorate was established during the 10th Meeting of the Executive Commission of the Honorable CIRSA, held in El Salvador on October 2, 1998, with the aim of developing initiatives to strengthen systems related to food safety.


OIRSA initiates the administration of Servicios de Protección Agropecuaria (SEPA) in Guatemala and later in Honduras (2000). SEPA enforces Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures on imports and exports.


The organization initiates its technical area for food safety and subscribes to its entry into the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) as an observer.


OIRSA joins the Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures of the World Trade Organization (WTO) as an observer.


The Dominican Republic joins OIRSA as a full-fledged member country , becoming the ninth participating state in the organization.


OIRSA joins the Codex Alimentarius as an observer, this is a subsidiary body of the FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO).


OIRSA makes strong efforts to combat Classical Swine Fever (CSF) in the region through the Regional Program for the Prevention, Control, and Eradication of CSF.


The Regional Standard for Bovine Traceability is approved,harmonizing aspects related to animal identification, registration systems, and mobility control.


OIRSA signs an agreement with the Regional Committee on Hydraulic Resources of the Central American Isthmus (CRRH) to coordinate the Regional Program on Climatic Variables and Agricultural Health.


OIRSA supports the establishment of Canine Units in its member countriesto conduct non-intrusive inspections at airports and detect products of plant and animal origin that may serve as pathways for the introduction of pests and diseases.


As part of the project to modernize the SITC the infrastructure for quarantine treatments administered by OIRSA at ports, airports, and land borders in the region is improved.


OIRSA supported the prevention of the banana Fusarium Wilt, tropical race 4 (Foc R4T), following the detection of the disease in South America. A technical mission to Ecuador was carried out in response to the alert.


The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic, resulting in a global health crisis. OIRSA continued quarantine services regularly to ensure agricultural trade amid the emergency.


OIRSA joins efforts to eradicate the outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the Dominican Republic. The organization provides technical assistance in containing and controlling the outbreak and preventing its spread to other countries.  


OIRSA commemorates seven decades of uninterrupted work for agricultural health. Over 70 years of service, the organization has contributed to the development of its member countries, promoting healthy production in harmony with the environment and facilitating international trade.