FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean

The countries of Latin America and the Caribbean established three regional priorities for FAO

Sustainable agri-food systems, prosperous and inclusive rural societies, and sustainable and resilient agriculture, are the priorities agreed upon by the FAO Regional Conference.

Photo: ©FAO/Max Valencia

Quito, Ecuador / Santiago, Chile – The countries of Latin America and the Caribbean established the regional priorities that will guide the work of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in the region during the next two years.

The FAO Regional Conference ended today in Quito, Ecuador, after five days of debates that included the President of Ecuador, Guillermo Laso, the Prime Minister of Haiti, Ariel Henry, the Vice President of Ecuador, Alfredo Borrero, 41 ministers and 23 deputy ministers of state, and the Director-General of the FAO, QU Dongyu.

“Latin America and the Caribbean can and must face its challenges and move to the forefront of global food and agriculture. The world's food security requires it,” said QU Dongyu. “The best way to do this is by transforming their agri-food systems to be more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable.”

At the Conference, countries shared their innovations and the measures they are taking to transform their agri-food systems. “I am pleased to say that this Regional Conference ends with great success. You have clearly laid out your regional roadmap to move towards this great transformation in the three regional priorities you have endorsed,” QU said.

"I would like to thank the delegations of the Member countries for taking the time to visit us in Ecuador and for being here to exchange opinions on very important issues for the region regarding food and agriculture," said the president of the Conference. Regional, the Minister of Agriculture of Ecuador, Pedro Álava.

586 people participated in the Conference, including members of the private sector, academia, civil society and the United Nations System, and more than 34 thousand people followed the broadcasts of the Regional Conference. The Member countries chose Guyana as the host country for the next Regional Conference, which will take place in 2024.

Three regional priorities

Building sustainable agri-food systems to ensure healthy diets was one of the priorities established by the Regional Conference. FAO will help countries ensure physical and economic access to safe and nutritious food, promote healthy diets and policies and programs to support the 104 million people living with obesity and the 60 million people living with hunger.

 “In Latin America and the Caribbean there is no hunger due to lack of food. There is no hunger because farmers don't do their work. There is hunger because there is too much inequality and poverty”, explained FAO’s Regional Representative, Julio Berdegué.

The second regional priority of the FAO is prosperous and inclusive rural societies, “Half of the rural population of Latin America and the Caribbean is poor, one in four people live in extreme poverty, and 82% of those who they work in agriculture and fishing do so in informal conditions”, explained Berdegué.

Agriculture that is resilient and adapted to climate change is FAO's third regional priority. “We are strongly committed to stopping deforestation, promoting sustainable and low-emission livestock farming, and promoting the recarbonization of soils and the recovery of degraded agroecosystems,” said Berdegué.

Innovation and digitization

According to the FAO Regional Representative, all three regional priorities have a precondition: innovation. “Our commitment is that each FAO regional initiative become a motor of innovations, and that evert project should be a digitization experience. The digitization of agri-food systems and rural societies is absolutely necessary”, said Berdegué.

Innovation is central to the FAO Strategic Framework 2022-2031: it seeks to promote better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life, leaving no one behind, and was analyzed by the countries during the Conference to adapt it to their needs and conditions.

“The regional priorities are the roots that will deeply embed the FAO Strategic Framework 2022-2031 in the fertile soils of this wonderful land. It is you who must take the lead, because FAO is your Organization. You govern us and we are fully committed to working for your priorities.” QU concluded.