FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean

FAO in Latin America and the Caribbean

Latin America and the Caribbean is the principal net exporter of food in the world. Rich in natural resources, and a pioneer in recognizing food security as a fundamental human right, the region is a true pillar of global food security.


Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean

Latin America and the Caribbean plays an irreplaceable role in global food security: it produces food for nearly 1.3 billion people, more than twice its population, thanks to a unique biodiversity, enormous natural wealth, abundant water and land.

Its dynamic and diverse agri-food sectors are responsible for between 9 and 35 percent of the Gross Domestic Product of the countries of the region, and contribute 25 percent of exports.

But Latin America and the Caribbean is going through a moment of great complexity. The region faces the challenge of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, eradicating hunger and extreme poverty, transforming its food systems, and halting the rise in malnutrition. In addition, it must generate new opportunities for economic development in the countryside, and ensure that agriculture is a sustainable activity that is resilient to climate change.

FAO supports countries by monitoring food security, supporting the development and implementation of strategies, laws and programs to eradicate hunger, promoting family farming, agricultural and rural development and the adaptation of agri-food systems to climate change.

FAO works with a special emphasis on innovation and digitalization, side by side with the governments of the Member Countries, civil society and international cooperation partners, empowering social actors and local communities to be protagonists of their own development.

The Organization puts all its capacities at the service of the countries, to achieve the transformation towards more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems, to achieve better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life, without leaving no one behind.


Mesoamerica has abundant and diverse natural resources that are strategically located. This represents enormous opportunities, for example, in the integrated management of common goods, transboundary disease control and proximity to key markets.

The family as a unit of agricultural production is a unique resource manager. They have at their base an enormous potential in human and natural assets that must be strengthened to generate robust physical and social assets.

In addition to these fundamental aspects, the region has in its favor the increase in agricultural consumption rates which, together with the promotion of family farming, are a possibility for including highly vulnerable populations in the development path.


Countries in the Caribbean have made progress in reducing undernourishment and towards meeting the global hunger targets.The number of undernourished persons in the Caribbean declined from 8.1 million in 1990-92 to 7.5 million in 2014-16.

For the same period, the proportion of undernourished persons declined from 27 percent to 19.8 percent. Three Caribbean Community countries - Barbados, Guyana and St Vincent and the Grenadines - have met both global hunger targets, that of the World Food Summit (WFS) set in 1996 and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2000.

Dominica, Bahamas, Belize, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago all have undernourishment levels less than 10 percent of their population. The remaining countries have undernourishment levels between 10 and 20 percent, with the exception of Haiti that has extremely high levels of undernourishment at 50 percent of the population.

FAO is supporting all countries in the Caribbean in their fight to reach zero hunger, helping countries reduce obesity, supporting the development of food value chains, improving food access, disaster risk management, and the necessary adaptation and mitigation of climate change by finding solutions to the region's food-related issues through a more holistic, transparent, and fully engaged approach.


FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean

Av. Dag Hammarskjöld 3241, Vitacura, Santiago, Chile.

Phone: (56 2) 2923 2100

Fax: (56 2) 2923 2101

E-mail: [email protected]