Leaders from agribusiness and the environmental movement convened to launch a new public-private funding platform to boost sustainable agricultural development in Latin American and Caribbean region and advance the region’s role as a global breadbasket.
Established by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy and with initial support from The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW), a global science and technology company, the AgroLAC 2025 platform is a response to the widely-held view that Latin America has the water, the land and the necessary innovation to vastly expand its farm output sustainably and without requiring any new net habitat loss. The initiative’s goal will be to establish the region as a key part of the solution to food security concerns in light of a global population that is expected to grow from seven billion to nearly 10 billion people by mid-century.
Since 2008, IDB has provided more than $20 million in grant funding for food security.
During the launch event at the U.S. headquarters of the World Economic Forum in New York, Dow was announced as the first private sector partner to take a leadership role in AgroLAC 2025, joining the IDB and The Nature Conservancy. The fund aims to raise up to $50 million to support efforts to improve the productivity of Latin American farmers, enable them to reduce their environmental impact and connect them with rising demand for agricultural products across the globe.
“Sustainable agricultural development is very important to Colombia’s future, and making our agriculture more productive will be a vital part of our efforts to address the poverty that is concentrated in our rural areas and with that, to further our peace process,” said Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who attended the event. “Our participation in AgroLAC 2025 will help us realize our enormous potential to produce more food while protecting our natural resources for future generations.”
The Special Representative for Global Food Security ofthe U.S. State Department, Nancy Stetson participated in the event as well as a broad range of business, environmental and agricultural development organizations.
“Latin America’s farmers and ranchers have already proved beyond any doubt their ability to export, but we are currently harnessing only a fraction of the potential we have to produce food sustainably,” said IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno. “We intend for AgroLAC 2025 to be the game-changer that will propel Latin America into global leadership as a food producer and as a solution to food insecurity around the world.”
AgroLAC 2025 will leverage the funds from donors and partners from the public and private sector to advance new farming technologies and better agri-environmental management. The initiative will also support expanding both trade and farmers’ access to new markets through supply chain integration, particularly for smallholders.
“Realizing the enormous agricultural potential of the Latin American and Caribbean region is absolutely essential to addressing the challenge of feeding nearly 10 billion people at mid-century, and it is going to require that we make targeted investments to improve innovation and get new technologies into the hands of Latin American farmers,” said Dow’s Latin America President, Pedro Suarez. “The AgroLAC 2025 funding platform is going to be a critical part of ensuring that Latin America is able to seize this opportunity, and that’s why Dow is supporting this excellent initiative.”
“AgroLAC 2025 is a groundbreaking example of smart collaboration between the public and private sectors. It's exciting to see farmers, ranchers, agribusiness and environmental groups come together to help Latin America reach its full potential as a leader in sustainable agriculture,” said Joe Keenan, Executive Vice President of The Nature Conservancy for Latin America.
The region’s potential to further its capabilities as a global agricultural powerhouse were highlighted in last year’s The Next Global Breadbasket: How Latin America and the Caribbean Can Feed the World, spearheaded by the IDB, the Global Harvest Initiative and more than 30 private sector companies and organizations.
The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source oflong-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean.The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.
- Isabel Alvarez-Rodriguez