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Latin America and the Caribbean: The Next Global Breadbasket?

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - April 23, 2014

Above: a farm in the Caribbean

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Is the Latin American and Caribbean region the next “global breadbasket?”

That’s the finding of a new report by the Inter-American Development Bank and the Global Harvest Initiative, which found that the region could help feed a global population of nine billion by 2050.

With population growth and dramatic diet changes set to place “great stress” on agriculture across the globe, the Latin American and Caribbean region will have a role to play in addressing this challenge, according to the report.

“Latin America has immense potential to help meet our planet’s growing demand for food, feed, fiber and fuel in a sustainable, productive way,” said Dr Margaret Zeigler, executive director of the Global Harvest Initiative.

Today, the LAC region contributes about 11 percent of the value of current world food production, and has about 24 percent of the world’s arable land.

“Already the largest net food exporting region in the world, LAC has achieved only a fraction of its potential to expand agricultural production for regional consumption and global export,” said Ginya Truitt Nakata, operations senior specialist at the Inter-American Development Bank. “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.”

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