In Memoriam Armando Samper Gnecco (1920-2010)

The Board of Directors, the General Director, the donor mills and growers and the employees of the Center for Research on Sugar Cane of Colombia - Cenicaña, deeply regret the death of Dr. Armando Samper Gnecco, which occurred on September 15, 2010 in the city of Bogotá and express to their children Marta, Belén, Mario and Cristian and other family members, their deepest condolences.

An exemplary, kind and visionary human being who dedicated his life to forging institutions for the development of agriculture in Latin America. Always accompanied by his wife Jean Kutchbach (RIP), he dreamed with her that the world could be a huge garden and that is why they worked tirelessly together. Light on the path of the friend, the teacher, the leader, the benefactor guide of the field and its inhabitants.

Armando Samper Gnecco was born in Bogotá on April 9, 1920. An Agronomist with a specialization in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University, he was the first General Director of Cenicaña (1978-1990) and, together with the founders of the Center, he was the architect of the institutional research model in force to date in the Colombian sugar sector. A model based on the commitment of the productive sector to the sustainable development of agribusiness, which has served as an example in other agricultural sectors in Colombia and in several neighboring countries.

For Cenicaña, having had Dr. Samper in the first years of operation was a privilege for the wisdom of his contributions in the organization of programs and work, the exemplary teaching of respect for ideas and diversity, the initiative to seek solutions in the experience of others and in one's creativity, the simplicity of leadership always with joy and affection. His qualities as a detailed observer and an exhaustive narrator keep institutional memory fresh.

After 1990, Dr. Armando Samper Gnecco continued to give his advice to Cenicaña as a guest on the Board of Directors and Director Emeritus. On September 6, 2002, in the celebration of Cenicaña's 25 years, it was perhaps the last time that all the collaborators of the research center had the opportunity to share with our beloved character and with Dona Jean, his wife. That day the institution paid him a tribute of recognition and gratitude for his contributions to the scientific capacity of Colombia and in particular the sugar sector, for a life dedicated to forging institutions and especially for his commitment to make Cenicaña a research center of quality and excellence. Today we raise in communion our prayers of gratitude to God for the life of Dr. Samper, confident that perpetual light will shine for him. Amen.

Armando Samper Gnecco (1920-2010).

Brief review of his time in Latin American agriculture: Director General of the Inter-American Institute of Agricultural Sciences (current Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture - IICA), San José, Costa Rica (1960-1969), Director Emeritus; Minister of Agriculture of Colombia (1966-1967) (1969-1970); Rector of the Jorge Tadeo Lozano University (1971); Deputy Director General of FAO, representative for Latin America, Santiago de Chile (1972-1974); President and founding member of the Board of Directors of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture - CIAT (1973-1976), Honorary President; President of the National Corporation for Forestry Research and Development - CONIF (1974-1978). President of the Board of Directors and General Director of the Center for Research on Sugar Cane of Colombia - Cenicaña (1978-1990), Director Emeritus.

Dr. Armando Samper Gnecco and his wife Jean Kutchbach in April 2003. They show the tribute plaque presented by the agricultural research centers of Colombia.

Dr. Samper the day he received the Simón Bolívar decoration awarded by the Ministry of National Education.

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