Agriculture and Food Security

Our main goal is to accelerate growth of agricultural output in Latin America and the Caribbean while promoting  efficient and sustainable management of natural resources. Through sustained growth in the sector, the Bank is helping to enhance food security, increased incomes for the rural population and reduce poverty.

To maintain or increase agricultural growth and to face the challenges of feeding an increasing population and adapting to the impacts of climate change, the IDB helps farmers increase their productivity with greater access to markets, better agricultural services and increased investments.

Modernization of Services

Modernization of Agricultural Services

The financing of public services and agricultural goods can greatly contribute to improving productivity, environmental sustainability and socioeconomic equity in the agricultural sector.

Investment in research, farming extension and animal and plant health services help increase competitiveness in the agro-industrial chains. These services support food production, exports and family agriculture; promote regional development; and increase the income of small and medium farmers. They are fundamental to helping mitigate the effects of climate change and promoting food security.

The IDB acts in the following areas:

Research, extension and modernization services

The Bank supports projects to strengthen the capacity of public institutions in research and farming extension; promoting research and the adoption of new technologies in the private sector; strengthening human resources training; promoting collaboration between research and farming extension institutions in the region and the modernization of the entities that provide services to farmers in general.

The Bank has supported projects such as the Technology Innovation and New Management Tools for Agricultural Research (Agrofuturo) with EMBRAPA in Brazil, the Program for Modernization of Agricultural Services (PROMSA) in Ecuador; and Agricultural Services Modernization Project (PROMOSA) in Panama.

Land titling and registration

With better rights to property, farmers can get greater access to credit, have incentives to invest in their business and, therefore, increase production of food and other raw materials.

The IDB has financed land titling and property registration programs in several countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, helping pay, for example, for the modernization of institutions and cadastral registration.

The Bank has supported programs in Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Ecuador, Panama, Belize, The Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Guatemala. In Peru, almost 2 million farms have benefitted from the Bank’s support to two phases of the country’s registration and land titling program.

Agricultural Health and Food Safety

The services are crucial to prevent major losses in food production due to pests and diseases, and maintain a safe food supply for human consumption. The IDB helps countries pay for the laboratories and equipment, training, supplies for the campaigns to control pests and diseases.

The Bank has funded the development program of the Agricultural Health Service in Peru in three stages beginning in 1997. More recently, it has supported animal and plant health programs in Bolivia (2008), the Bahamas (2009) and Argentina (2008).

Market Access

Improving Market Access for Farmers

Another key element for stimulating food production is to integrate farmers into value chains, giving them business management tools and access to dynamic markets.

The IDB finances business plans and actions to strengthen producer organizations and increase access to information and training in business management. The IDB also supports technology adoption, compliance with quality requirements and safety, and public-private partnerships to finance priority investments in the development of value chains. It also funds market intelligence and tools to support the development of agri-food exports.

The Bank has been supporting projects to improve market access for farmers in countries including: Argentina, through PROSAP (2004), Bolivia (2009), Colombia (2005), Guyana (2007), Haiti (2006), Jamaica (2010), Peru (2004 and 2009), and Paraguay (2006).

Infrastructure Investment

Investments in rural infrastructure contribute to increased productivity and regional food production in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Bank has primarily financed the construction and rehabilitation of irrigation, drainage and flood control systems. In the context of productive development projects, the IDB has also supported regional or national infrastructure: rural roads, rural electrification and rural water (for livestock development.)

The Bank has financed such projects in the northern provinces of Argentina, through PROSAP (2004) with investments in irrigation, rural roads and electrification, and investment in water management (2006). In Bolivia, the IDB has supported a national irrigation program with a focus on river basins (2008). The bank has also financed irrigation programs in Brazil’s Tocantins state (2010), Guatemala (2006), Guyana (2004), Haiti (2005 and 2007), and Jamaica (2004).

Support Payments

Cash transfers to rural producers can help secure a certain level of income for farmers. In addition, these programs can be used as a policy to increase productivity by conditioning cash transfers on the adoption of technologies or improving the administration of rural farms.

The Bank has supported these projects by providing loans for governments to finance these programs. The IDB has supported Mexico’s PROCAMPO and the Dominican Republic’s PATCA.

In PROCAMPO, the government makes income transfers to a particular group of farmers. In the case of PATCA, the transfers are subject to the adoption of a predetermined set of agricultural technologies by beneficiaries