among priority areas to be discussed at 38th FAO Regional Conference of Latin America and the Caribbean set to be held in Guyana FOLLOWING a three-day mission this week by a planning team from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), it is clear that preparations for the highly anticipated 38th Session of the FAO Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean (LARC 38) are well underway. This is the first time Guyana will be hosting this high-level ministerial conference and the fifth time that it was held in an English Speaking Caribbean territory. At the last conference, in March 2022, in Ecuador, Guyana received unanimous endorsement from all 33 FAO Member States in Latin America and the Caribbean, to host the 2024 Conference. The visiting FAO team met with Guyana’s national planning committee, led by Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, to discuss preparations for the upcoming conference which is scheduled for March 18-24, 2024. This conference is the most important governing forum for FAO’s member states in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Member States identify and determine key priority areas of work that will drive the organisation’s work in the region, until 2031. High on the agenda will be agriculture innovation, investment, tackling food crises, and transforming food production systems to make them more sustainable in the context of climate change and other development imperatives. Team leader, Dr Eve Crowley, Deputy Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean, said: “We are very pleased with the level of leadership that the government of Guyana has shown in offering to host this conference and in demonstrating leadership relating to agriculture and food security, not just in the Caribbean but in Latin America and the World. We are optimistic that we are going to make progress on the four betters of FAO – better nutrition, better production, better environment, and better life, and all that is required for food system transformation.” Dr. Renata Clarke, Sub-Regional Coordinator for the Caribbean, emphasised the pivotal opportunity for the Caribbean to assert influence on FAO’s programme of work, elevating agriculture as a top priority for the region. “We are very happy with the arrangements and the progress that has been made by the government to host the conference. There is superb attention to detail and the arrangements are advanced to ensure a successful and well organised conference,” Dr. Gillian Smith, FAO Representative in Guyana added. The event will be hosted at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre and is expected to be formally launched In January 2024.