Enjoy Travel Group
Cubasol
Agexport
Intecap
Banco GyT
MAD-HAV Enjoy Travel Group
Irtra
Barceló Solymar

FAO: ‘Latin America Produces 13% Of All the World’s Food’

Date:

Share:

HardRock
Enjoy Travel Group
Cervecería Centroamericana S.A.
Irtra
INOR
Instituto Hondureño de Turismo
Los Portales
Nestle
Herbalife
Irtra
Grupo Hotelero Islazul
Servicios Médicos Cubanos
Centro Nacional de Cirugía de Mínimo Acceso de Cuba
BAM

In order to solve some of the challenges that Latin America and the Caribbean still faces in terms of agri-food trade, FAO, together with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Inter-American Institute for Agricultural Cooperation (IICA), will be holding the first Regional Network of Experts on Agri-Food Trade on 3 and 4 May.

The idea of this meeting is to discuss ideas and exchange experiences on an issue as important for the region as agri-food trade.

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) today has enormous potential to increase its intraregional trade, since it produces more food than it requires to meet the food needs of all its inhabitants, however it faces great agri-food challenges, Pablo Rabczuk, Agrifood Systems and Trade Officer, and International Trade Coordinator of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, highlighted in an interview.  (FAO).

“Latin America and the Caribbean plays an important role in achieving food security in the region and globally. It is a major player in the production of agricultural and fishery products and is currently responsible for 13% of global agri-food production, as well as 17% of the total value of world exports. That means that we have as a region a very important commitment regarding food exports and trade,” Rabczuk explained.

The expert added that currently 41.6% of what is produced in the region is exported, having an annual agri-food surplus of more than $174 billion.

Although Latin America is a region that has a high agri-food surplus (it exports more to the world than it imports), there is great concern and that is that almost 9% of the population suffers from undernourishment (it cannot acquire enough food to meet the minimum daily dietary energy needs), so we must look at what is failing.

“If we analyze this situation by subregions, we see that it is quite dissimilar between them, with a net food importing region such as the Caribbean, in a mixed scenario such as Central America, where there are spaces for intraregional agri-food trade to grow for the benefit of food security,” explained the FAO representative.

According to Rabczuk, LAC has sufficient availability to supply itself and the world, but the vast majority of countries in the region are exposed to problems of production, marketing and price increases, as they are net importers of wheat, corn and vegetable oils. Without considering that almost 85% of the fertilizers used are imported.

“We have developed this space on May 3 and 4 inviting experts who come from the academic, private sector, and subregional organizations of which Panama is part, such as the Central American Economic Integration System and the Secretariat of Agriculture of Sica, so that together we can develop lines of work and research so that this region continues with that agro-export vocation and continues to generate sources of employment in times of recovery. post-covid economy,” he emphasized.

Regarding Panama, the expert said that the main agricultural products exported are pineapple, banana, melon, watermelon, cassava, coffee and cocoa, among others. The main export destinations are the United States and the European Union. While the main imported agricultural products are corn, wheat, rice, powdered milk and meat, among others.

“While Panama has a negative trade balance (it imports more than it exports), it is not necessarily negative, but a reflection of the type of economy highly concentrated in services and logistics. So, the isthmus is making efforts to strengthen family farming and be able to increase national production to meet national demand and ensure food security,” said the FAO official.

At the same time, he pointed out that Panama has high quality export products with a lot of potential for expansion, such as pineapple, coffee, cocoa, bananas, fish and crustaceans, among others.

“From FAO we consider that it is key in times of crisis such as the one experienced in the pandemic, and then, the war between Russia and Ukraine, that governments react strategically and keep trade flows open, without putting barriers or trying to close them because in the medium and long term they complicate the country’s economy,”  Said.

He added that consumers, governments and exporters must have access to transparent and real information in order to make informed decisions. “Transparency in price information in the markets is very important.”

Hunger in Latin America

According to FAO data, Latin America and the Caribbean reached its highest prevalence since 2006, with 8.6% of people suffering from hunger in 2021, corresponding to 56.5 million people. The figure grew by 13.2 million since before the outbreak of the pandemic in 2019.

Rabczuk also highlighted that the number of people experiencing severe food insecurity in Latin America and the Caribbean increased from 9.9% of the population in 2019 to 14.2% in 2021.

In addition, Latin America and the Caribbean has the highest cost of a healthy diet compared to other regions, and the prevalence of overweight and obesity are above the world average.

“In Latin America it is also more expensive to eat healthy and at the same time we have a very worrying obesity crisis due to the high health risks and therefore it becomes a burden on the health system of the States,” he said.

The FAO Food Price Index, measured in real terms, rose 64 points between May 2020 and March 2022, reaching its all-time high of 156.3 points in March 2022.

It then retreated, reaching levels similar to those observed between November 2021 and February 2022, prior to the start of the war, but continuing with a level higher than the highs of past decades.

In health crises such as the one experienced in the pandemic, the expert applauded social projects such as “Study without hunger” and “Plan Beehive”, since with them the food problem could be solved for many communities, especially the most vulnerable in the country.

Source: La Estrella de Panamá.

Agexport
Cubasol
Irtra
Barceló Solymar
Banco GyT
Intecap
Enjoy Travel Group
MAD-HAV Enjoy Travel Group
Intecap
Blue Diamond Resorts
Havanatur
Irtra
Tigo
Barcelo Guatemala City
Revista Colombiana de Turismo Passport
Hotel Barcelo Solymar
AirEuropa
Cubacel
Henkel Latinoamerica
Hotel Holiday Inn Guatemala
Maggi - GLUTEN-FREE

Subscribe to our magazine

━ more like this

A New Luxury Hotel Just Opened on An Idyllic Beach in Cancun, Mexico — And We Were the First to Stay

Waldorf Astoria Cancun opened to the public on Nov. 1, the brand's first new build in Mexico, with two waterfront pools and a fantastic...

The sunset faded to twilight

I began walking, therefore, in a big curve, seeking some point of vantage and continually looking at the sand.

COVID-19 Cases Worsen in Latin America, No End in Sight – Health Agency

Cases of COVID-19 may be declining in North America but in most of Latin America and the Caribbean the end to the coronavirus pandemic...

US Lawmakers Join Requests to Extend TPS To Central Americans

The chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Robert Menendez, along with other legislators gathered outside the Capitol this Thursday to express his...

11 Carnivore Diet Benefits: Why You Need to Try It

“You can’t do the carnivore diet, you’ll get scurvy!”  I’ve heard this way too many times. People are terrified of adopting the carnivore diet because...
Hotel Holiday Inn Guatemala
Tigo
Irtra
Hotel Barcelo Solymar
Cubacel
AirEuropa
Revista Colombiana de Turismo Passport
Barcelo Guatemala City
Henkel Latinoamerica
Havanatur
Maggi - GLUTEN-FREE
Blue Diamond Resorts

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Banco GyT
BAM
Intecap
Barceló Solymar