This paper describes various experiences and approaches related to the creation of agrifood chains and suggests the need to develop a new institutional framework and forms of technical cooperation to strengthen the agricultural and rural sector. It is hoped that agrifood chains will serve as mechanisms for dialogue and as management tools to promote competitiveness and support decision-making, in line with the demands of IICA’s Member States. With this in mind, this document defines the nature of the agrifood chains and describes the characteristics conferred by their economic and social actors, through the participation of all the links. It also describes the consensus-building bodies, specifically the “chain committees,” as well as the functions and features of the “chain secretariat,” which are essential to the success of the committees and the operation of the chains. This paper also considers the need to redefine the functions of the ministries of agriculture, so that these institutions serve as agents that connect the public - private sectors and civil society through agrifood chains, as an appropriate space for finding common ground and permanent solutions for the agricultural and rural sector.