FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean

Regional Representative: Julio Berdegué


Name: Julio Antonio Berdegué Sacristán
Date of birth: 17 July 1957
Nationality: Mexican
Languages: Spanish: Native language, English: Fluent


1977 - 1980 Bachelor in Agricultural Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, USA.
1981 - 1982 Master's of Science in Agronomy, University of California-Davis, USA.
1982 - 1983 Course work completed for Ph.D. in Genetics, University of California-Davis, USA.
1998 - 2001 Ph.D. in Social Science, Wageningen University, Department of Social Sciences, Communication and Innovation Group, The Netherlands.


Since 22 April 2017
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean.

1995 to April 2017
Latin American Center for Rural Development (RIMISP), Santiago, Chile
Principal Researcher, 2009 to April 2017. Executive Director (interim), 2009-2010. President, 1995-2009. Coordinator of Working Group on Development with Territorial Cohesion. He was responsible for more than 40 projects involving research, capacity building and design of public policy. These projects have been implemented in nearly all of Latin America, through various types of collaborative relationships with partners in government agencies, universities, think tanks, international agencies, NGOs and social organizations.

1992 - 1995
National Agriculture and Livestock Development Institute, (INDAP Instituto Nacional de Desarrollo Agropecuario), Ministry of Agriculture, Chile.
As Director of Agricultural Development, he was directly responsible for management of extension, credit, irrigation, agroindustry and commercialization programs, working with around 700 organizations of small-scale producers, 120 private enterprises, a staff of 1,500 people and an annual budget of US$120 million, serving around 100,000 rural farm families.

1991 - 1992
Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, (IICA) Santiago, Chile.
As Researcher and Extension Specialist, he designed and coordinated a system for streamlining the relationship between Chilean government agencies working in agricultural research (INIA) and extension (INDAP).

1984 - 1990
Agricultural Research Group (GIA), Grupo de Investigación Agraria, Santiago, Chile.
Researcher and later Senior Researcher at one of Chile´s most important non-governmental organizations. He participated in various studies of agriculture systems and development programs with poor rural farming families.

Other recent relevant responsibilities in the last years

2016 - 2017
He participated in the design of a program to promote production, linked to the Guatemalan Ministry of Social Development's conditional cash transfer program.

Drafted the International Fund for Agricultural Development's country strategy for Colombia.

Coordinator of the technical team responsible for the design of a quality certification system for Chile's regional governments, and for "Region Contracts," a new instrument for coordination between regional governments and the national government; contracted by the Chilean Interior Ministry's Vice Ministry of Regional Development.

2015 to April 2017
By invitation of the Director General of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), he was member of the Advisory Committee for the "Inclusion in Agriculture and in Rural Territories" Project.

2014 - 2015
Member of the coordinating team responsible for preparation of the Rural Development Report 2015, published by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). He also co-authored two chapters of the report.

2014 - 2015
Led the team responsible for designing the implementation strategy for the Integral Rural Development with a Territorial Approach Program, commissioned by Colombia's National Planning Department.

2014 - 2015
At the invitation of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, he served as a member of the Advisory Council for the Rural Transformation Mission (Rural Mission), for which Colombia's National Planning Department is the Executive Secretariat.

Coordinator of the technical team responsible for designing the Rural Territorial Development Plan for the Regional Government of Chile's Los Ríos Region.

Coordinator of the technical team responsible for designing the Productive Territories Program implemented beginning in January 2015 by PROSPERA; commissioned by the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the Social Development Secretariat, the Finance and Public Credit Secretariat and PROSPERA, Mexico.

Responsible for preparation of the International Fund for Agricultural Development's Strategic Opportunities Paper for Mexico 2013-2018.

2012 - 2013
Consultant for preparation of the FAO Strategic Framework and Medium-Term Plan 2014-2017.

Evaluator in the Policy Decision and Analysis Research Area of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).

Responsible for preparing the International Fund for Agricultural Development's Results-Based Strategic Opportunities paper for Guatemala.

2006 - 2014
Associate Editor of Agricultural Economics, the journal of the International Association of Agricultural Economists.

2006 - 2012
Member of the Board of Directors of the International Institute on Environment and Development (IIED), London, United Kingdom.

2004 - 2011
Member of the Board of Directors of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), and Chair of the Board since 2008.

2006 - 2007
Collaborator on the preparation of the World Bank's World Development Report 2008, "Agriculture for Development," including management of a project that prepared about 20 input articles for the report, collaborating on writing of various sections and chapters of the report, and coordinating civil society and global electronic consultations.

2006 - 2007
Consultant on the FAO Independent External Evaluation.

2004 - 2007
Member of the Advisory Committee ISNAR program for the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

Direction of research, capacity-building and public policy design projects, 2000 to present

Transforming Territories Program.
Research, capacity building and political advocacy program. The topic of the program is the relationship among: (a) patterns of urbanization, with emphasis on small and mid-size cities; (b) transformations of agrifood systems; and (c) rural labor markets. The program is mainly implemented in three Latin American countries: Mexico, Colombia and Chile.

Development with Territorial Cohesion Program.
Research and political dialogue program about the causes and impacts of territorial inequality affecting non-metropolitan territories in Latin America. Accomplishments to date: (a) research: 41 working papers, 3 published books, one special issue of the journal World Development, with 11 articles; (b) advocacy: four new development policies or programs with territorial cohesion have been designed and have been approved by the governments of Mexico, Colombia and Chile. Implementation began in 2015.

Cities and rural territorial development.
Studying the role of small and mid-size cities in Mexico and El Salvador in the development of rural territories in those countries. Eleven technical papers were published.

Strengthening Institutional Capacities for Territorial Development.
Designing public policy instruments that strengthen the institutional capacities of regional and municipal governments, and which promote territorial development, supporting the strengthening done by the Chilean Interior Ministry's Vice Ministry of Regional Development as part of the discussion of political and institutional reforms.

Technical assistance for the Government of Mexico.
Contribute to the Mexican government's strategic objective of increasing the production and income of 1.2 million small farmers in 400 municipalities characterized by very high poverty levels. The program began 1 January 2015, with an initial population of 10,000 families.

Analysis of rural economies, with an emphasis on small producers.
The objective was to help the Ford Foundation gain a better understanding of rural and agricultural economies in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua.

Analysis of inclusive rural-urban connections.
The objective of the study was to increase understanding of socially inclusive rural-urban relationships and evaluate opportunities for programmatic activities in this area.

Poverty and Inequality in Rural Latin America.
An analytical research project on poverty and inequality in seven Latin American countries.

Knowledge for Change Project.
A public policy advocacy program on rural poverty and development in Mexico, El Salvador, Colombia and Ecuador. Public-private Rural Dialogue Groups (RDGs) were established in these four countries, and are still operating today. Each RDG influenced specific public policies.

Rural Territorial Dynamics Program.
An advisory program on public policies and capacity building based on research about the relationship among economic growth, social inclusion and environmental sustainability in rural areas.

International Conference on "Dynamics of Rural Transformation in Emerging Economies."
This conference was held in New Delhi, India, organized by RIMISP in collaboration with the governments of India, China, Brazil and South Africa. The purpose was to foster discussion of the new theoretical frameworks and approaches and political strategies used by the world's emerging countries to promote and govern the dynamics that enable them to address the main challenges posed by rural transformation. More than 200 experts from 14 countries participated.

The financial crisis and its impact on rural poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Research and communication project financed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

The Chilean Rural Sector in 2030.
A prospective analysis commissioned by the Agricultural Innovation Fund, an agency related to the Chilean government. The Report influenced the preparation of the Chilean Ministry of Agriculture's strategy, "Chile, a food power."

Agricultural Growth and Poverty Reduction.
The research project included five case studies, later turned into chapters of a book published by FAO.

Social Movements and Territorial Development.
A research project on the role of social movements in territorial development processes in five Latin American countries.

Inputs for the World Bank's World Development Report 2008.
Preparation of input papers and other contributions to the report, financed by the Development Research Center.

Food Markets, Supermarkets and Small Producers Program.
The purpose was to investigate the determinants and dynamics of transformation of national agrifood markets resulting from the rapid growth of supermarket chains since the 1980s, and their effects on small-scale producers and agricultural and rural enterprises. The program ran for seven years through nine sub-projects.

2003- 1999
Rural non-farm employment and income in Latin America.
The purpose of this program was to determine changes in the structure of employment and income among rural families, highlighting the growing weight of rural non-farm income. The program included various specific projects that made it possible to study the problem in 10 countries in the region and hold several international seminars.