The report “Outlook for Agriculture and Rural Development in the Americas 2017-2018,” which details the prospects for agriculture, was presented to the Ministers of Agriculture of the hemisphere in Costa Rica.
San Jose, October 27th 2017 (IICA). The primary changes experienced by the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region over the past two years with respect to agriculture and the rural milieu, as well as the outlook for 2018, are the main topics addressed by the newest edition of the book entitled “Outlook for Agriculture and Rural Development in the Americas: A perspective on Latin America and the Caribbean 2017-2018,” launched this Wednesday in Costa Rica.
Prepared by specialists of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the document provides recommendations to guide decision-makers in the development of policies and instruments aimed at taking advantage of opportunities and overcoming the challenges facing the region’s agriculture.
The report was presented to the Ministers of Agriculture of the 34 member countries of IICA and their respective delegations during the Nineteenth Regular Meeting of the Inter-American Board of Agriculture (IABA), held in San Jose, Costa Rica this week.
The analyses contained in the report indicate that the main challenges facing agriculture and rural life in LAC in the upcoming years are improving agricultural productivity in a sustainable way and ensuring that economic benefits are distributed in an inclusive manner among rural dwellers.
“If we want to put an end to hunger, food insecurity and unsustainable practices, it is critical for LAC countries to redouble their efforts to increase productivity and reduce inequality within agrifood chains. To this end, they must significantly increase investments in innovation, productive infrastructure and trade facilitation, as well as broaden access to production assets and services, especially by the most vulnerable producers, while also fostering linkages to value-added markets,” stated Miguel García-Winder, IICA Representative in the United States and Coordinator of the Center of Strategic Analysis for Agriculture (CAESPA).
García-Winder was one of the institutional coordinators of the document, along with Adrián Rodríguez, Head of the Agricultural Development Unit of ECLAC and Luiz Beduschi, Policy Officer for the FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean.
According to the report, 2016 was characterized by a slow and uneven global economic recovery with signs of a possible economic upturn in 2017.
During the same period, however, poverty and income inequality continuously decreased, possibly as a result of the application of social policies. During this period the countries approved the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, which provides a new framework for developing policies that foster economic growth, environmental protection and social inclusion.
The document, which consists of nine chapters, provides an overview of the main trends and prospects for the macroeconomic and sectoral contexts, crops, livestock, fisheries, forests and rural well-being, as well as public policies on agriculture and the institutional framework for agriculture in the Americas.
This edition also includes a special chapter on Agrifood Systems and the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, which provides a framework for drafting comprehensive policies aimed at strengthening the competitiveness, inclusion and sustainability of agrifood systems.
The website http://agrirural.org/en was also be launched together with the report. The website provides users with access to resources generated by the three institutions over the past 10 years, during which they have worked together to prepare the “Outlook for Agriculture and Rural Development” reports.
In addition to providing dynamic and interactive access to all of the biannual reports published to date, the website enables users to search for, view and download data used to prepare the document. It also features technical newsletters, infographics, audio and video interviews, key messages and images that present the conclusions of the report in a simple and interactive manner.
In 2017, LAC improved its positioning in international agricultural markets, despite a general decrease in exports; however, this decrease was lower than that of the main competing countries.
Mexico and Central American countries exhibited the best performance with respect to trade in agricultural goods, given their commercial proximity to the United States, whose economy recovered significantly in 2016.
In contrast, crop exports from the Southern region diminished, and this decrease represented 93% of the total decrease observed in the Region.
Overall, LAC is expected to rapidly increase production and exports for most of its agricultural and livestock products over the next few years, although prospects vary depending on the product.
For more detailed information on different products, you may follow this link.
Miguel García, IICA Representative in the United States
Web page: http://agrirural.org/en