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Climate-Smart Agriculture

Piloting innovations in the agriculture value chain that improve productivity and reduce climate impact


Agriculture plays a key role in achieving food security, reducing poverty and promoting development worldwide. However, in order to respond to rapid population growth and meet the growing food demand of an expanding middle class, global agricultural output needs to almost double by 2050. At the same time, climate change is posing an increasing threat: for each degree Celsius the global temperature rises, the potential grain crop yield loss is about 5 percent. Already, since 1980, global wheat and maize production is 3-5 percent lower than if warming trends had not occurred.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, agriculture faces significant challenges, including both low productivity and climate change impacts. For example, changes in temperature and rainfall triggered a recent coffee leaf rust outbreak in Central America that halved coffee production and generated an estimated US$ 500 million in losses for the 2012-2013 crop year. Moreover, greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture in the region, including crops and livestock, have doubled in the last fifty years, growing from 388 to over 900 million tons of CO2 equivalent.

In view of the importance of agriculture and the related challenges ahead, the MIF is focusing on Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA), which involves the efficient use of resources focused on protecting the environment, implementing best available practices and technologies, and adopting a value chain approach that increases market access and improves resilience along the value chain.

Why it matters

Latin America and the Caribbean is very well equipped to enhance agricultural production. The region has one third of global fresh water resources and 28% of the world’s potentially suitable land for agricultural expansion. We believe the region has the potential to become a global powerhouse in producing food and other agricultural products and services, and that Climate-Smart Agriculture holds great promise for achieving food security, improving livelihoods, and promoting social and economic development in the region.


Our goal is to promote Climate-Smart Agriculture in Latin America and the Caribbean. In order to achieve this we support innovations that explore new approaches, apply new technologies, or develop new markets. We seek to enhance agricultural production, strengthen elements in the agricultural value chain such as natural resource management, logistics, new products—from new crops to biofuels. We focus on three key aspects:

  • Improving Productivity: Promoting technologies, processes, and practices that boost productivity and better integrate producers into value chains, allowing them to both seize market opportunities and enhance the sustainability of our natural, economic, and social resources.
  • Mitigation: Supporting land management and other agricultural technologies and practices that reduce, avoid, or capture GHG emissions.
  • Climate Change Adaptation: Helping understand the negative impacts of climate change and taking actions to prevent or minimize the damage caused.


Our regional programs go into depth to test models that support private sector development.