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At the IDB, we believe that together we can go farther. Our partnership network is making positive differences in Latin America and the Caribbean every day, and this blog is our channel for telling that story. Stay tuned for literature on partnership perspectives, stories from the field, changing trends, outlooks for development and the region, information on ways and opportunities to partner, and more. Thanks for stopping by.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Inter-American Development Bank, its Management, its Board of Executive Directors or its member Governments.

Team Work Makes the Dream Work

By and - Sep 9 2014

team work blog smallThe dream? Food security. The team? The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Global Harvest Initiative (GHI).Food insecurity is a looming development problem, one challenging to overcome together, but impossible to overcome alone.  In the next two decades, climate change, population growth, and other factors threaten to make an already hungry planet hungrier still. Looking to Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), for instance, an expected population growth of 35% between 2007 and 2050 will require a food production increase of 80 percent in the same period. And across the planet overall, agricultural output to meet food, fuel, fiber and feed will likely have to double from current production levels on as little as 12 percent more arable land, and in the face of climate change side effects, natural resource base degradation, and growing competition for land and water. Meeting this demand is possible, but doing so requires a team of coordinated and strategic organizations to blaze the policy trail, draw in private investment, and do what it must to make sure this hungry world becomes a well fed one instead.

Enter the GHI-IDB partnership, a now formalized collaboration born of the report “The Next Global Breadbasket: How Latin America Can Feed the World.”  A private-sector policy voice for productivity growth throughout the agricultural value chain to meet the demands of a growing world, GHI’s global agricultural perspective well complements the IDB’s regional knowledge, expertise, and the $2.9 billion agricultural loan portfolio it’s developed since 2007.  United by the belief that an enabling policy environment will enhance agricultural productivity, conserve environmental resources, and support farmers and producers along the agricultural value chain, the partners have joined forces to identity and develop solutions that can help fill the food gap to feed the LAC region and the world.

The good news? That Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is well positioned to take on this role. As per GHI’s signature Global Agricultural Productivity (GAP) Report, East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa’s current Total Factor Productivity (TFP) growth rates are expected to meet 79 percent and 25 percent of total demand respectively. In contrast, maintaining LAC’s current TFP growth rate can exceed regional food demand by 2030, meeting 166% of total demand. These projections mean the region is capable of vastly increasing its contributions to global agricultural markets and its share of food and agriculture exports. In simpler terms, these projections mean that LAC could well step up as the next global breadbasket, and play a crucial role in feeding the world.

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On this blog, we talk often of the daunting challenge food insecurity presents. A less hungry world often seems like a dream, yes, but with solid partnerships in place it becomes an achievable one. We look forward to what we are confident will be a fruitful and impactful collaboration with GHI, and the well fed planet that will come with it.


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