Food security is consistently seen as one of the key global challenges for the coming decades. Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), currently representing 13% of total food trade, could contribute to solving this challenge given its comparative advantage in terms of water and land availability. Agricultural exports and increasing global food demand represent a big opportunity for LAC countries. In the last decades, governments have designed programmes aimed at increasing agricultural productivity in countries like Ecuador and Peru. However, there is some evidence of this agricultural expansion already causing some environmental problems and impacts on sectors competing for the same resources. Getting the Water-Energy-Food-Environment (WEFE) nexus right is crucial for LAC countries to ensure the sustainable development of agriculture and the economy without compromising natural resources availability for present and future generations. NEXT-AG’s aim is to provide policymakers in those countries with the needed evidence base that allows them to develop new coordinated policies and programmes for increasing resilience and promoting sustainable economic growth in the context of increasing national and global food demand. The core part of the project is the modelling of the different components of the WEFE nexus, done in collaboration with stakeholders, and their integration, which results will form the needed evidence base to inform future agricultural policies.
This research project started in May 2018 and will run for 3 years.