Foresight in Agriculture

Research and consultations on future challenges and opportunities for Latin America and the Caribbean

Synthesis of key outcomes from foresight initiatives for LAC

Second Meeting on Foresight in Agriculture
2-3 October 2012
CIAT Headquarters, Cali, Colombia

Full document:

Presentation on key discussion items



First Meeting on Foresight in Agriculture
30 March 2012
Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Washington, D.C.


Recent years have seen important changes in the trends and factors affecting the agricultural sector and food security around the world, especially in developing countries. The degree of uncertainty in agricultural forecasts and scenarios has increased significantly. International organizations are giving increased attention to topics related to agriculture and food security, such as price volatility, climate change, land and water availability, biodiversity, bioenergy, and poverty, and they offer differing views as to what may happen and what policies and approaches to follow in the medium term.

In this changing context, it is important to define scenarios for the future development of agriculture and the food industry in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The task requires a systematic approach to the analysis of what we know (or what we believe we know) based on current forecasts, projections, and scenario-building. It is also important to determine areas of uncertain outcomes and unexpected external shocks and to define appropriate strategies for dealing with these.

The foresight exercise documented here is a crucial part of the process needed to define future strategies, policies, and investments in LAC, including the consideration of ways to deploy resources for agricultural research and development in the region.


  • Analyze potential scenarios and relevant trends for the region and the world to provide guidance for agricultural technology and policy research, and for innovation and knowledge transfer in the region.
  • Establish a network for policy makers, the private sector, researchers, and other stakeholders to contribute to this prospective exercise.
  • Develop a framework for future foresight exercises.



Information resources



  1. Presentation of current research on foresight exercises related to macroeconomics, demography, technology, and agriculture.
  2. Discussion of projection and foresight methodologies for agricultural and agroindustrial production, marketing, and consumption.
  3. Based on the first and second outcomes, a framework to guide technology research activities in LAC and to create an agenda for future work on these issues.