28 March – 1 April 2022 event in Quito, Ecuador will feature ministers from 33 countries
March 25, 2022 – Bridgetown, Barbados – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
Nations (FAO) will hold its 37th Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean in
Quito, Ecuador from March 28 to April 1, 2022 with the presence of the President of the host
country, Guillermo Lasso and FAO Director-General QU Dongyu.
It is anticipated that delegates including Ministers of Agriculture, Chief Agricultural Officers and
Permanent Secretaries from 33 countries of the region, together with international experts,
representatives from the private sector, civil society, the United Nations system and the
academic world will participate in the Regional Conference, which establishes FAO’s regional
priorities for the next two years. All of the CARICOM member states will be represented along
with officials of the CARICOM and the OECS Secretariats.
The Regional Conference will specifically focus on moving towards more efficient, inclusive,
resilient and sustainable agrifood systems for better production, better nutrition, a better
environment and a better life, leaving no one behind – the new FAO Strategic Framework 2022-
2031, unanimously approved by FAO Member countries. It is now necessary for this global
framework to be translated effectively to regional, sub-regional and national contexts.
The Caribbean is committed to confronting and overcoming the most complex humanitarian,
economic and social crisis in recent decades, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the agri-
food sector is key to move beyond the crisis. The ongoing Ukraine-Russia crisis further
exacerbates the challenges to food security in our region.
The Regional Conference is an incredibly important opportunity for countries of the Caribbean
to seek to optimize support from FAO as they strive to transform their agri-food systems. The
conference has been designed to enable dynamic exchange of ideas and experiences among
ministers and other senior officials with responsibility for food and agriculture. The discussions
will focus on innovations that have been applied in some countries that could spark new
thinking about solutions to food systems challenges in other countries. A meeting of the
CARICOM member states and the Community of Andean Nations has also been organized to
further explore opportunities for collaboration.
Renata Clarke, Sub-regional Coordinator at FAO who will also be attending the conference,
stressed that the conference is not only timely, but will provide a much needed platform to
discuss and agree on innovative solutions to transform agrifood systems. She stated, “The
conference is taking place at a time when the world is going through a crisis of historic
proportions, with increased pressure being placed on the region’s agri-food systems and the
impacts of the climate crisis leading to daunting challenges such as long spells of drought, water
scarcity and rising temperatures. Therefore, the outcomes of this conference will have
significant impact on the people of the Caribbean”.
Clarke also highlighted that technology must be included in any robust plans to transform
agrifood systems, and that governments, farmers and the private sector and other stakeholders
must be open to recognizing opportunities to innovate and improve performance of the sector
while minimizing the environmental footprint. She noted that FAO’s programme in the
Caribbean has incorporated a number of innovations such as the local production of novel
animal feeds, new water treatment technologies, enhancing performance of protected
structures, and digitalization of agriculture.
The Regional Conference is held every two years and brings together the governments of the 33
Member States of FAO in Latin America and the Caribbean to establish the regional priorities of
the organization for the next biennium.
All sessions of the Conference will be broadcast live here.