According to the 2016 Global Food Policy Report published by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the Latin America and Caribbean Region as a whole shows a general overall improvement, although food security conditions are troubling, especially in Central America and the Caribbean concerning overnutrition and related diseases that coexist with malnutrition present in some countries.
Latin America and the Caribbean is also the main net exporter of agricultural and food products, thus making the region a stronghold in two aspects of global food security: food availability and stability.
Keeping the double role as key supplier for global food security and environmental public goods in the long run requires an important investment in agricultural research and development, infrastructure, and governance of natural resources. Not making these investments could have large-scale implications for the world.
Facing this crossroads and having the fortune of being located in one of the most diverse regions in the world at an ecological and agricultural level, CIAT seeks to ensure that the whole planet benefits from the agricultural innovations developed in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as from the region’s overall potential.
This is how the Center develops and boosts its scientific work, strengthening even more its presence and close collaboration with partners in Colombia, its host country, Nicaragua, and Peru. In these three countries, CIAT focuses on its main objectives: promote agricultural productivity and increase nutritional quality of basic crops, and make smallholder farming more competitive and market oriented by improving value chains and being environmentally and sustainably adapted to climate.
This is possible through research for development, the creation of new public and private alliances, innovation with impact, learning through partnerships, and a strategic vision to increase the impact of research for development.
This is the way that CIAT focuses its efforts in regional ventures such as the joint initiative with the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) by working toward land restoration, sustainable livestock systems, and cocoa production, the latter being of special interest for Central America, Colombia, and Ecuador. At the same time, in partnership with the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), CIAT seeks to replicate throughout the region the good results achieved in Colombia on sustainable agriculture adapted to climate. And, CIAT does not forget its close collaboration with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in developing activities such as support during the implementation of the Fund´s strategy in different countries and topics.