General Studies IIImportant International InstitutionsInternational OrganizationsINTERNATIONAL RELATION

Food and Agriculture Organization

About Food and Agriculture Organization:

  • The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger and improve nutrition and food security.
  • Its motto is  “let there be bread”.
  • It was founded in October 1945.
  • The FAO is composed of 197 member states.
  •  It is headquartered in Rome, Italy, and maintains regional and field offices around the world, operating in over 130 countries.
  • It helps governments and development agencies coordinate their activities to improve and develop agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and land and water resources.
  • It also conducts research, provides technical assistance to projects, operates educational and training programs, and collects data on agricultural output, production, and development.
  • The FAO is governed by a biennial conference representing each member country and the European Union, which elects a 49-member executive council.
  • FAO have pledged themselves to three main aims:
    • to raise the levels of nutrition and the standards of living of their peoples;
    • to improve the production and distribution of all food and agricultural products;
    • to improve the condition of the rural population.

The FAO is composed of seven departments:

  1. The Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department promotes agriculture to eradicate human poverty while also protecting the environment and ensuring safe food practices and standards.
  2. The Climate, Biodiversity, Land and Water Department promotes sustainable management practices for land, soils, energy, water, biodiversity, and genetic resources.
  3. The Corporate Services Department supports the entire FAO organization.
  4. The Economic and Social Development Department promotes economic development through internal production and trade.
  5. The Fisheries and Aquaculture Department promotes the management of aquaculture and fishing.
  6. The Forestry Department promotes the management of resources through forestry.
  7. The Technical Cooperation and Programme Management Department supports member countries in their programs and responds to food- and agriculture-related threats and crises

Role and Functions of Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO)

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a global organization and its functions can be listed as follows:

  • Helping Governments and Development Agencies coordinate their activities which are targeted to develop and improve agriculture, fisheries, forestry and other water and land resources. 
  • Conducting research and providing technical assistance to various projects related to improving agricultural output and development.
  • Conducting training and educational programs and also collecting and analyzing agricultural data to improve yield and production.
  • The FAO also brings out a number of publications/reports, some of which are, the State of the World, the Global Report on Food Crises, the State of Food and Agriculture, the State of the World’s Forests, etc. Check out other reports published by international organisations here.

Other functions include dealing with matters related to Food and Agriculture around the world. It also executes current and prospective activities of the Organisation including its Programme of Work and Budget, administrative matters and financial management of the Organisation and constitutional matters.

Objectives of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

  • Help eliminate hunger, food insecurity, and malnutrition
  • Make agriculture, forestry, and fisheries more productive and sustainable
  • Reduce rural poverty
  • Enable inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems
  • Increase the resilience of livelihoods to threats and crises

FAO and India

The Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations has enjoyed a valuable partnership with India since it began operations in 1945. It continues to play a major role in India’s progress in the areas of crops, livestock, fisheries, food security, and the management of natural resources. FAO began its operations in India in 1948. It has an office in New Delhi. The nodal ministry for FAO in India is the Ministry of Agriculture.

  • The main objective of the Indian Government is to double the income of farmers by increasing efficiency and ensuring equity in a sustainable manner.
  • The NITI Aayog is the country’s premier policy-making institution that is expected to bolster the economic growth of the country. Its various policies and agendas represent the encircling framework for the Agricultural Sector.

Source: FAO

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