Developing countries need to spend some US$1.7tn on the expansion and improvement of irrigation over the next 44 years, according to a report by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Latin America will account for around 15% of global investment needs in crop production, according to the report, titled "State of the World's Land and Water Resources for Food and Agriculture."
The amount of land equipped for irrigation in Latin America and the Caribbean should increase from the current 18Mha to 24Mha in 2050.
Globally, public investment of US$7.76bn in irrigation development will be needed to achieve the UN's millennium development goal to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger by 2015, the report said.
The report also focuses on the degradation of global water resources due to increased agricultural production, with major land and water systems at risk including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean islands.
The Gulf of Mexico can expect increased incidences of flooding and the loss of agricultural land and groundwater, while the Caribbean will suffer a total loss of freshwater aquifers, as well as more frequent flooding.
For a summary of the report, go to this link