FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean

III The Hemispheric Meetings of Ministers and Secretaries of Agriculture

Virtual meeting.

What is the hemispheric meeting?

The Hemispheric Meetings of Ministers and Secretaries of Agriculture began as a response to the crisis generated by the COVID-19 pandemic in the region. The first two meetings aimed to create a forum for dialogue and cooperation on the policies and actions taken, especially in areas of agriculture and agrifood systems. FAO and IICA served has technical secretariat in these meetings, and will continue to do so at next meeting scheduled for this year.

The First Hemispheric Meeting was held on April 22, 2020 and was designed for analyzing and learning details of the policies and actions taken to deliver food in a timely manner to the population at convenient prices and taking into account the least risk to the health of farmers and collaborators.

The Second Hemispheric Meeting was held on July 13, 2020 and its purpose was to maintain a permanent dialogue of cooperation and relations between ministers and secretaries of agriculture of the Americas. Countries remarked the need for promoting international trade in food, agricultural raw materials, agricultural health and food safety, trade flows in agricultural chains in domestic markets and support for small and medium-sized agricultural producers.

The Third Hemispheric Meeting of Ministers and Secretaries of Agriculture will be held on April 15, 2021. Like those convened last year by the governments of Chile and Mexico, on this occasion the chair country will be Peru (Ministry of Agrarian Development and Irrigation) headed by Minister Federico Tenorio.

Who will participate?

The 35 Ministers and Secretaries of Agriculture of the Americas and 13 international organizations are expected to participate as observers.

FAO and IICA will serve as technical secretariat.

What it seeks?

The Third Hemispheric Meeting will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the current situation of agrifood systems, with special emphasis on small-scale producers, who have been most exposed to the effects of the pandemic crisis.

A preliminary mapping of successful experiences and lessons learned that can be shared at the regional level will also be carried out, with emphasis on the recovery and transformation of agrifood systems.

The purpose is to hold a high-level dialogue on the progress made in implementing policies, plans and actions to contain COVID-19 and to point the way towards new initiatives for the recovery of agrifood systems, the food security of our populations, agriculture and the rural world of the hemisphere.

This meeting seeks to remark the importance of agrifood system’s transformation, considering the challenges faced today to achieve sustainable development, with better, smarter and more competitive production. Also, due care for the environment and the threats posed by climate change, and how this affects the generation of nutritious food for better health. Finally, the promotion of a better quality of life for the population in their productive, environmental and health environments.

This event will be relevant to discuss the future of agrifood systems, a discussion that will serve for the next UN Food Systems Summit to be held in New York in September 2021.

Technical Consultation

It is targeted to ministerial technical teams. This consultation is based on the agreements taken in previous hemispheric meetings.

The objective is to know the projection in public policies for the agricultural sector, as well as to detect persistent situations and the complexity in areas of the agri-food systems of the region due to the effect of the pandemic.

These responses, which should be issued before the end of March 2021, will be key to have preliminary and systematized information to guide the dialogue and participation in this hemispheric instance.

To this end, a group dialogue will be established in order to have the necessary inputs for a subsequent plenary with a presentation by each sub-region.

Subregions considered:
- Northern Subregion
- Central American Subregion
- Andean Subregion
- Caribbean Subregion
- Southern Subregion