Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy. FAO is also a source of knowledge and information, and helps developing countries and countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices, ensuring good nutrition and food security for all.

FAO was established in 1945, in Quebec City of Canada. Its headquarters is now located in Rome, Italy. An intergovernmental organization, FAO has 191 Member Nations, two associate members and one member organization, the European Union. FAO is composed of seven departments: Agriculture and Consumer Protection; Economic and Social Development; Fisheries and Aquaculture; Forestry; Corporate Services, Human Resources and Finance; Natural Resources Management and Environment; and Technical Cooperation.

Achieving food security for all is at the heart of FAO�s efforts�to make sure people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. FAO�s mandate is to raise levels of nutrition, improve agricultural productivity, better the lives of rural populations and contribute to the growth of the world economy.

In 2010-11, FAO implemented programmes and projects with a total value of US$1,707 million. About five per cent are funded by assessed contributions through the FAO Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) and the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS). e remaining 95 per cent are funded from voluntary contributions, through the Government Cooperative Programme (25 per cent), Unilateral Trust Fund (UTF) (six per cent), other forms of Trust Funds (64 per cent), that include UN Joint Programmes.

FAO in India

FAO plays a catalytic role in India in five thematic areas: technical assistance and capacity building; piloting innovative approaches in critical areas; multilateral collaborations on trans-boundary problems; harnessing Indian expertise for other developing countries; and, as a policy advocate and a neutral adviser and broker. Cross-cutting issues such as Gender and Climate Change are also addressed.

Based on these strengths and appreciating the needs of India, cooperation and partnership between FAO and the Government of India is focused on three major components:

Component 1

Facilitating multi-lateral cooperation to reduce the risk to food security and economic growth through greater participation by India in multi-lateral technical programmes. FAO supports India in accessing global public goods related to crucial areas such as trans-boundary crop, livestock and fish diseases and pests, fishery management, food safety and climate change. Moreover, FAO assists India, when necessary, to contribute to the development of these global public goods. Advocacy for food and nutrition security and the role of FAO as a neutral adviser on contentious issues also forms part of this component. FAO also supports other countries to access centres of excellence within India.

Component 2

Supporting Government of India to strengthen the implementation of national missions and specific programmes aimed at reducing poverty and achieving food and nutrition security. FAO provides high quality technical assistance and capacity building from national and international sources to transfer best practices, to learn from success stories from other countries and to build the capacity of government to design and deliver programmes.

Component 3

Piloting innovative approaches with government, NGO and private sector partners in agricultural and rural development. Successes in ground water and irrigation management are being expanded to include the development of value chains involving small-scale farmers and fishers and other areas where new approaches are identified.

Written by princy

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