The Outlook for Agriculture and Rural Development in the Americas 2013: A Perspective on Latin America and the Caribbean
Ever since the increase in food prices in 2007-2008 raised the alarm about the sustainability of global food security, agriculture has been a major focus of public attention. The development of the agricultural sector during the last five years has been marked by the volatility of international prices of major commodities, caused by the uneven performance of the global economy and increased climate variability. The situation in 2012 was no exception, as the effects of natural phenomena such as droughts in North America were combined with the euro crisis and a slowdown in Asian countries.
At the G20 Leaders’ Summit, held in Mexico in June 2012, several international development agencies suggested that the issue of food and nutritional security should remain high on the agenda of the G20 over the coming years. At the Rio+20 Conference held this year, it was agreed that to eradicate hunger and poverty, as well as to achieve sustainable development, food security and the good management of natural resources must go hand in hand.
This report provides information and analysis, both of the current situation and context of the agri-food sector and the outlook for 2013. This is a joint effort developed for a fourth consecutive year by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).
This year the special chapter is dedicated to the issue of land tenure in Latin America and the Caribbean. The chapter analyses recent trends in land policies, processes of structural change and challenges such as securitization, which remains precarious in many countries of the region.
The report recognizes that the global situation in recent years has complicated the process of policy formulation and decision-making, both for public officials and private entities. But it also provides an opportunity for the development of more sophisticated, comprehensive and long-term public policies, dealing with issues that transcend the purely agricultural. The current context is favourable for recovering the role of the state in the provision of public goods for agriculture, promoting the participation of stakeholders in the process of policy creation, and to encouraging greater public-private cooperation, especially in order to increase investment in research, development and innovation.
ECLAC, FAO and IICA reaffirm our commitment to the sustainable development of agriculture and rural areas of the region. We also continue to put our knowledge and experience at the service of countries to formulate policies that allow governments, and the region’s most vulnerable populations, to cope with adversities caused by an environment of uncertainty.