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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.

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Want to Feed Africa? Invest in Latin America.

By - Mar 5 2015

Ours is a hungry planet. Food insecurity is a real and rampant issue.  In only 36 years food production will need to increase 100% to feed an anticipated 2 billion additional mouths on the planet.   Though it is essential that sustainable production increase everywhere to meet this demand, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), blessed with ample arable land and fresh water, must play a central role for seven reasons:

  1. LAC is the largest net food exporting region on the planet.
  2. LAC has a third of the world’s fresh water resources.
  3. LAC holds 28% of the world’s medium to high potential farmland.
  4. Thirty-six% of LAC’s land is within six hours travel time to a market.
  5. In just sixteen years, Latin America is projected to meet 166% of its food demand, while East Asia and Africa may meet only 79% and 25% respectively.
  6. Small farmers account for 80% of all farms in the LAC region and 64% of agricultural employment.  Supporting family agriculture helps address local and national food security.
  7. The region has only met a fraction of its potential to produce sustainably-sourced food.

So why is this relevant? Because next week the AgroLAC 2025 platform will kick off at its Inaugural Partner & Project Conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Building off the dialogue sparked by our dynamic food security report, this new multi-donor thematic funding platform was created by us at the Inter-American Development Bank to support sustainable agricultural practices. To do so, AgroLAC 2025 seeks to increase access to national and international markets, strengthen farmer associations, promote public/private sector solutions, facilitate access to financial services, and expand adoption of climate change resilient crops and practices.

The next 10 to 20 years offer a critical window of opportunity to advance new forms of productive and environmentally sustainable agriculture in the region. Taking action now will make the difference between a hungry or well-fed planet. AgroLAC 2025 is already doing so, working actively to tap into LAC’s massive agricultural potential to feed the world. We are up, running, and looking for partners. Will you join us?

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