New technologies are being incorporated into agricultural production in Latin America and the Caribbean with increasing intensity.
Natural resources play a major role in Latin American economies. Their contribution to development has been underestimated historically because they are usually associated with low technological intensity, among other factors. However, this perception has gradually been changing in recent years due to transformations in global demand, technologies, and regulations, all of which are driving factors behind an increased need to innovate in the natural resource sector and greater opportunities to do so. The major changes that the agricultural sector and other related activities have experienced in Argentina and Brazil are an interesting example of this. The sector has grown significantly in recent years, leading to rising levels of innovation, bringing progress, and transforming key activities in the sector such as seed development. Despite the dominance of a small handful of multinational companies that supply standardized solutions that are incorporated into the seeds themselves (such as herbicide resistance), some domestic firms have also benefited significantly from this expansion. However, to continue taking advantage of these opportunities, we need to develop institutions and policies that focus on these new natural resource-related opportunities, along with the challenges they also entail.