FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean

Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean established new FAO priorities for the region to transform agrifood systems to ensure food security

Representatives of the thirty-three member states attended the 38th FAO Regional Conference held in Guyana to discuss how to reduce hunger and inequality in the world's largest agrifood exporting region.

©FAO/Max Valencia

21/03/2024, Georgetown

The 38 FAO Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean ended today with a unanimous support of the thirty-three Member States to FAO's Strategic Framework 2022-31 and the four priorities that will guide the work of the Organization for the next biennium. 

The four interconnected regional priorities reflect the Four Betters of FAO, four interconnected dimensions that will contribute to the transformation of agrifood systems through the promotion of more efficient, inclusive, and sustainable production; ending hunger and achieving food security and nutrition; sustainable management of natural resources and adaptation to climate change; and Reducing inequalities and poverty and promoting resilience.

FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu attended the high-level gathering in Guyana. During the closing ceremony he expressed the importance of this instance as a crucial platform for policy makers to accelerate efforts towards the transformation of agrifood systems to be more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable to leave no one behind. In line with FAO's Strategic Framework, the Director General expressed the Organization's commitment in supporting Members to foster greater cooperation, investment, innovation and technology, both within and beyond the region.

“I am pleased to note that the four priorities set for the next biennium are in line with the technical and policy assistance we are set to provide, and FAO remains committed to supporting the region in achieving the transformation to achieve sustainable agrifood systems”, said FAO Director General.

During the opening ceremony, Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of Guyana, highlighted the importance of the Regional Conference and said that creating resilient and climate-protected agrifood systems is an imperative task going forward, and “decision making must be data driven as far as possible”. He also called for a greater focus on nutrition and a shift “back to the bowl from the box.

Zulfikar Mustapha, Minister of Agriculture of Guyana and Chairman of the Conference stated: "During these days, we have addressed issues that are fundamental for our region, fisheries, and aquaculture for sustainability; investments for resilience; sustainable and inclusive agri-food systems; reducing hunger and malnutrition through trade as a strategic driver of development in the region, among others." He added that "our work does not end with the closing of this Conference. I urge you to continue sharing the reflections and the connections you have made at this Conference so that our dialogue becomes concrete initiatives that drive transformational changes in our countries".   

The Regional Conference held Ministerial Roundtables focused on how to advance fisheries and aquaculture under the Blue Transformation approach, harnessing trade as a strategic driver to reduce hunger and malnutrition in the region and addressing the challenges of the water-forest-biodiversity-soil nexus in the context of climate change.

The event had representatives from all thirty-three member countries. Eighteen Ministers and three vice ministers attended in person and eleven ministers and five vice ministers virtually.

Both the Senior Officer Meeting and the Ministerial Meeting of the Regional Conference were followed by 12000 online viewers, including decision makers and non-governmental actors from the academia, private sector, and civil society.

The agenda also included high-level special events focused on how science and digital innovation can bolster family farming, the need for agrifood systems transformation in the region's Small Island Developing States, investment targeting through FAO's Hand in Hand Initiative, and foresight drivers and triggers relevant for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Brazil to host next regional conference

During the Regional Conference, Brazil announced the decision to host the 39th FAO Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean.

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, during his intervention as President Pro Tempore of G20 said through a letter: “I am pleased to announce Brazil's willingness to host the 39th FAO Regional Conference in 2026. It will be a unique opportunity for us to evaluate our progress and our strategies in terms of food and nutrition security. 


Maria Elena Alvarez Press and Content Officer [email protected]

Shara Seelall FAO Guyana [email protected]