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Latin American Sustainable Agriculture Initiative

Along with this year’s speaker series, we will be showing films about Latin American Sustainable Agriculture.

December 4th, 3pm MLC 207- Raising Resistance, a story of struggle between giant agribusiness and small, local farmers and their battle against Paraguayan pesticide poisoning.

Promoting agricultural systems that meet our current needs while ensuring the wellbeing of future generations


The history of Latin America and the Caribbean is deeply intertwined with agriculture. Latin America is the origin of a variety of crops that have become the cornerstone of food systems and cultures throughout the world –from the ubiquitous maize or corn in the U.S. food industry, to potatoes in Ireland and the U.K., cacao in Belgian chocolates, and the everyday consumption of cassava/yucca among African farmers, just to name a few examples.

The production of sugar, coffee, corn, fruits, vegetables, and cereals has shaped the history of Latin American countries and societies. Today, Latin America plays a pivotal role in the global food system while facing the challenge of achieving a sustainable agriculture.

How can Latin American agriculture provide food that is nutritionally adequate, safe, and healthy? Can Latin America support agriculture that is environmentally sustainable, ensuring the development of local communities, the respect for human rights, and the commitment to democratic principles? How can the region promote food systems that protect and preserve biodiversity and ecosystems, but also peoples and cultures? In what ways can Latin American agriculture respect both the natural environment and the wellbeing of human beings? How can Latin American agriculture use the region’s natural resources without jeopardizing future generations?

The Latin American Sustainable Agriculture Initiative is a forum to debate these questions through outreach, instruction, and research. Since 1998, LACSI has facilitated collaborative student exchanges with EARTH University (Escuela de Agricultura de la Región Tropical Húmeda in Guasimo, Costa Rica), providing Latin American undergraduate students with high quality agricultural research internships in the United States. The Latin American Sustainable Agriculture Initiative builds on this previous work and seeks to spark dialogues and contribute to efforts at the University System of Georgia, in the state of Georgia, and in the Southeast region to build a more sustainable agricultural system.

In 2015, we initiated a dialogue on Latin American sustainable agriculture with a film series. We will continue our commitment to sustainable agriculture through the organization of a speaker series and by promoting the adoption of sustainable agriculture topics in undergraduate and graduate courses. The LASA initiative will also provide a vehicle through which UGA faculty, students, and staff with Latin American agricultural expertise can collaborate to seek grants from the public and private sectors that focus on research, education, and outreach.

What we could implement with support:

  •  UGA-Latin American Agricultural Student Internship Program

Recognizing the success of the UGA-EARTH University program, LACSI would like to expand its agricultural internship program, doubling the number of student interns to 4 per year.  The program would bring students from respected agricultural colleges located throughout Latin America, providing them with the opportunity to participate in cutting edge UGA agricultural research while developing practical skills in the latest plant sciences technologies.

 Collaborate With Us:

Initiative Coordinator:

Pablo Lapegna
Email: plapegna@uga.edu
Phone: 706-542-3196

Wayne Parrott
Email: wparrott@uga.edu
Phone: 706-542-0928

logo_ugaThe content and opinions expressed on the LACSI Web site do not necessarily reflect the views of nor are they are endorsed by the University of Georgia or The University System of Georgia.