FAO Capacity Development

Legislators of the Parliamentary Front against Hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean are trained on responsible investments in agriculture


We can end poverty and hunger! We only need to mobilize a higher level of resources, and use them responsibly. They should be channeled towards hunger eradication, combine investment in social protection with investment in production, and should prioritize rural areas, particularly the agricultural sector. Latin America and the Caribbean needs additional resources of USD 7.6 billion per annum: a figure that seems high but one that is well within reach[1].

In this context, parliamentarians and their advisors were trained on the Principles for responsible investment in agriculture and food systems (CFS-RAI). The course was held during the VI Planning Meeting of the Parliamentary Front against Hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean (FPH), which took place at the Spanish Cooperation Training Center in La Antigua, Guatemala, from July 11 to 13.

This training, organized by FAO and PROCASUR, brought together parliamentary advisors of different sectors (agriculture, environment, nutrition, healthy food, etc.) to learn and reflect on what makes a responsible investment, to identify the greatest challenges for implementation, and to develop roadmaps with concrete actions to be undertaken at regional and national level.

The Parliamentary Front against Hunger for Latin America and the Caribbean

The Parliamentary Front against Hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean is a platform that brings together regional, sub-regional and national legislators interested in pursuing the progressive realization of the right to food and in fighting hunger. Its main objective is to strengthen legislative and institutional processes within the legislative assemblies of the region, through the provision of adequate human and financial resources.

Since 2009, FAO and the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development (AECID) are supporting its efforts through the  Regional Project to Support the Initiative “Latin America and the Caribbean without Hunger 2025” (IALCSH). Fundamental elements of this initiative are the Planning Meetings and several training activities, where FAO has identified in parliamentary advisors strategic "agents of change".

Increasing audit to take action!

Many national laws that are relevant for responsible investment in agriculture already exist in Latin America and the Caribbean, such as Laws on Food Security and Nutrition, on School Feeding, on Family Farming or on Food Labeling. However, in many cases their implementation is still deficient due to inadequate budgets, and their effectiveness unknown for the lack of audit processes.

While reflecting on how to stimulate the application of the CFS-RAI in the countries, the parliamentarian advisors pointed out the need to connect each principle to specific targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and thus undertake a joint monitoring and reporting.

We must talk about land tenure and its responsible governance

On several occasions, participants wondered whether one can talk about responsible investment, family farming, protection of biodiversity and genetic resources without talking about land tenure. Responsible investment refers to hunger and malnutrition, to economics, to the environment, to culture, all of which are fundamental elements of tenure. As a result, participants were particularly interested in principle 5 of CFS-RAI which directly refers to the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security. They felt a need to be better equipped to understand and analyse tenure as one of the pillars for investing in a responsible manner.

The next steps

The participants shared their concrete commitments for the coming months, which include tackling very diverse topics such as corruption, school feeding, and fair trade. Among them, the need to improve access to information for populations living in rural areas, especially in the most vulnerable territories, was highlighted, particularly in relation to existing laws and market opportunities. It is therefore key to invest in education, training and communication. In addition, participants suggested to replicate these trainings on responsible investment so that they could benefit others. For example, in November this year, a specific training will take place in Guatemala for its parliamentarians and respective advisors.

Responsible investment in agriculture and food systems concerns all actors, and although all have their respective roles and responsibilities, working in synergies can increase mutual benefits. In this respect, the Parliamentarians are willing to work with other key actors at the national level, such as youth fronts, universities, development agencies, the Right to Food Observatory in Latin America and the Caribbean (ODA-ALC). Moreover, creating and strengthening strategic alliances between parliamentarians from different countries, as well as in international spaces, is key. The First “World Parliamentary Summit against Malnutrition”, to be held in Spain in October 2018 is therefore a unique opportunity for the FPH to demonstrate its commitment to the new 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

For more information:

The Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems: www.fao.org/3/a-au866e.pdf

Overview of the FAO Umbrella Programme “Supporting Responsible Investments in Agriculture and Food Systems”: www.fao.org/3/a-i6820e.pdf

E-learning course on responsible investment in agriculture and food systems: www.fao.org/elearning/#/elc/en/courses/RAI

The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the context of national food security: www.fao.org/docrep/016/i2801e/i2801e.pdf

The Parliamentary front Against Hunger of Latin America and the Caribbean http://parlamentarioscontraelhambre.org/en/about-us/

News article on FAO RLC webpage: www.fao.org/americas/noticias/ver/en/c/1145322/

FAO’s Corporate Strategy on Capacity Development: www.fao.org/3/a-k8908e.pdf

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/


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