FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean
©FAO/Giuseppe Bizzarri

The FAO Subregional Office for the Caribbean is tasked with carrying out the organization's global mandate in the region by putting available and accessible information within reach of all concerned stakeholders; providing policy and strategic advice and sharing expertise; providing a meeting place for nations; and bringing knowledge to the field, especially international best practices.

FAO Subregional Office for the Caribbean Issue Briefs

Issue brief #18, August 2016
Reducing food loss and waste in CARICOM
Food loss and waste reduces access to adequate healthy food at the individual, community, national and global level and waste precious natural resources such as land and water. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the single largest proportion of the food lost or wasted occurs in the production and consumer segments of the food supply chain, i.e. postharvest. FAO’s work in addressing postharvest loss responds directly to the region’s need to improve on the measurement of these losses and develop necessary methods and strategies to reduce them.

Issue brief #17, January 2016
Contract farming for improved farmer-to-market linkages
Globalization has brought the world into national markets throughout the Caribbean. Food markets are fiercely competitive, and profit margins are squeezed throughout the value chain. Higher quality expectations and more stringent regulations are threatening to leave behind small farmers who do not adapt. The well-known obstacles of (small) size, remoteness, high costs of labor and land, as well as the lack of access to much needed services (extension, finance, transport, business and organization) make small farmers even mo re vulnerable.

Issue brief #16, December 2015
Governance for Food and Nutrition Security in the Caribbean

Governance for Food and Nutrition Security (FNS) refers to the set of relationships from which the various levels and sectors of society and government interact to adopt agreements that defne and regulate the food system for achieving nutritional well-being and eradicating hunger and malnutrition.

Issue brief #15, November 2015
Combating IUU fishing in the Caribbean through policy and legislation

Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing (IUU fishing) is one of the biggest threats to marine biodiversity and sustainable fishing. Every year between 11 and 26 million tonnes of fish is caught through IUU fishing. This costs the industry between $10 and $23 billion annually and threatens food security in many parts of the world. Estimates indicate that IUU fishing accounts for up to 30% of the total global catch.

Issue brief #14, February 2015
Food and Nutrition Security in Haiti

In spite of being one of the most vulnerable countries in the Latin America and the Caribbean, Haiti has been recognised for its eforts towards meeting some of the Millennium Development Goals and for its increasing commitment to food security and poverty alleviation. The level of poverty in the country experienced a reduction of 13%, from 34% in 2000 to 21% in 2012. This positive change is also noted in the report on the State of Food Insecurity (SOFI 2014), which speaks of Haiti as a country taking steps to improve

Issue brief #13, February 2015
Strengthening School Feeding Programmes in the Caribbean
School feeding programmes in the Caribbean, as elsewhere, have long been established and recognised as an important instrument in facilitating learning, especially for poor and vulnerable school children. More recently, in Latin America and the Caribbean, while school feeding programmes (SFPs) maintain their original purpose, the goals of these programmes, as well as the forms of delivery of the assistance have evolved. Experience with SFPs elsewhere, primarily in Brazil, has prompted Caribbean governments to consider SFPs as an integral part of their social protection and development strategy. 

Issue brief #12, February 2015
Addressing Disaster Risk Managment in Caribbean Agriculture

On average, there have been six natural disasters in the region annually between 1970 and 2006, with higher incidences in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The active hurricane season of 2004 resulted in damages in the Caribbean amounting to USD 3.1 billion1, with catastrophic impacts on the gross domestic product (GDP) of member countries, particularly in Grenada (estimated at 200 percent of GDP2).

Issue brief #11, October 2014
Contributing to the development of a cassava industry
The food and agriculture sectors in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) are currently facing a number of serious challenges related to low growth and heavy dependence on imported inputs and foods. Historically, the agriculture sector has been the main contributor to economic development in the Caribbean. However the two main economic pillars of the sector - sugar and bananas - have declined significantly over the last decade with earnings from exports of these two commodities drastically reduced due to the loss of market access, mainly in Europe.

Issue brief #10, October 2014
Securing fish for the Caribbean
In the Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) fsheries are an important source of animal protein with current annual fsh consumption ranging between 10 and 35 kg/capita. However the available fgures often fail to account for tourism impacts, which would reduce these per capita consumption levels of fsh. The sector also provides livelihoods, particularly in coastal communities. In the CARICOM countries at least 64 000 persons are directly employed in smallscale fsheries and aquaculture and an estimated 180 000 people are involved in fsh processing, retail, boat construction, net repair and other related activities.

Issue brief #9, October 2014
Forestry, food security and livelihoods
Without human intervention the countries of the Caribbean would be covered in dense tropical forests. The higher the annual rainfall, the higher the trees grow. However, the reality is that especially on the islands of the Caribbean most of the original forest cover has been removed for agriculture and housing purposes. Land use is not static, and so for example, the expansion of the banana industry increased the rate of deforestation on several islands. The decline of the industry, just over a decade later, resulted in reduced deforestation rates and in some instances led to an increase of forest cover

Issue brief #8, April 2014
FAO in Partnerships for Caribbean food security
FAO sees itself as being uniquely positioned to complement and supplement the work of governments, other development agencies, civil society, academia and the private sector. FAO Director-General, José Graziano da Silva sums it up best: "At FAO, we are taking a holistic view to eradicate hunger, malnutrition and rural poverty. This approach is at the heart of our reviewed strategic framework...We have repeated many times that it is possible to end hunger only if we work together. These strategies show that we are committed to working with partnerships."

Issue brief #7, April 2014
Supporting the contribution of family farmers
As the Caribbean region seek s to reduce its food import bill and build a thriving agricultural system capable of feeding its population, it is crucial that the contribution of family farmers is quantified, recognized and facilitated. FAO stands ready to increase its support to this vital segment of the farming community.

Issue brief #6, April 2014
Developing a small ruminant industry in the Caribbean
The substantial and growing importation of goat and sheep meats can be reversed by the development of a regional small ruminant industry supported by appropriate government policy and led by private sector investments. FAO will continue to contribute to the development of a small ruminant industry by offering its professional expertise and advice in the areas of innovation and technology to create a balanced system approach that is both economically feasible and sustainable.

Issue brief #5, October 2013
CARICOM Food Import Bill, Food Security and Nutrition
A continuation of the current CARICOM food import bill trends can only lead to further nutritional and economic impoverishment for the people of the region for generations to come. The potential clearly exists to significantly reduce CARICOM's dependence on imported food through a series of innovative and coordinated measures. Building the improved governance mechanisms to achieve increased food security and reduce the food import bill should be a high priority on the regional and national agendas.

Issue brief #4, October 2013
Managing Huanglongbing/Citrus Greening Disease in the Caribbean
Transboundary movement of plant diseases has always existed, presenting a constant threat and, in some instances, causing devastation to entire industries. But in an increasingly globalized world with greater and more rapid flow of people and goods across borders, prevention of transboundary movement of diseases has become far more difficult and requires the coordinated intervention of all stakeholders on national, regional and even international levels.

Issue brief N°3, July 2013
Praedial Larceny in the Caribbean
Praedial larceny is widely acknowledged in the region as a practice that is negatively impacting the development of the agricultural sector. Agricultural producers suffer heavy losses and are hesitant to invest and expand their enterprise. Illegal fishing or piracy of fishery resources in the Exclusive Economic Zones of respective member states is also considered praedial larceny and legislation in several member states also extends the definition of the offence to include the theft of agricultural equipment, agriculture inputs and secondary products such as feed and fodder.

Issue Brief #2, July 2013
Battling Black Sigatoka Disease in the banana industry
A production and environmental threat is causing the greatest concern for those involved in the banana and plantain production industry. Already accustomed to the annual risk of hurricanes, flooding and drought, banana farmers are now grappling with the dreaded Black Sigatoka Disease (BSD). Between 2008 and 2012, the fungus spread rapidly through Guyana and the main banana-producing countries of the Lesser Antilles, affecting farmer livelihoods and the very sustainability of the already-weakened banana and plantain industries of these countries.

Issue brief #1, July 2013
Aiming for Zero Hunger - Antigua and Barbuda
The Zero Hunger Challenge is an advocacy tool, a bold and urgent call to action for the world to make hunger eradication a priority. More importantly, it provides a point of convergence for the efforts of all actors in the sector - Governments, international organizations, the UN system, political and business leaders, civil society, producer organizations, academics and activists - to combine their efforts to bring lasting change.