Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) - UPSC Notes

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. This article talks about FAO and its importance for the IAS Exam.

International organizations and groupings are an important part of the International Relations section of the General Studies paper-2 in the UPSC Syllabus. International relations is a very dynamic part and is crucial for multiple papers in Prelims and Mains. Students preparing for UPSC 2022 and other Government Exams must be aware of this topic. 

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) – Latest Updates-

  1. 10th February 2021 – Building on the success of the International Year of Pulses in 2016 led by FAO, the United Nations General Assembly designated 10 February as World Pulses Day recognizing their potential to further achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with particular relevance to Sustainable Development Goals 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 12, 13 and 15. Go through the important days and dates on the given link.
  2. On October 16th, 2020, Food & Agriculture Organization celebrated its 75th Anniversary. To mark this occasion, India released a commemorative coin of INR 75 denomination. The newly released coin also marks the long-standing relation of India with FAO.
  3.  On June 21, 2021, during the 42nd FAO Conference, Members of the Organisazation endorsed the new Strategic Framework that will drive the Organization’s efforts to transform agri-food systems and address hunger, poverty, and inequality over the next decade.
Visiting the Current Affairs page will help candidates immensely in cracking the IAS Exam.

Strengthen your preparation for the upcoming exam by checking the following links:

Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)

The FAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations.

  • Established in 1945, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has its headquarters in Rome, Italy. 
  • It was founded with a goal to provide food security for everyone and assure that people will have access to high-quality food in sufficient quantities to achieve a healthy lifestyle.
  • Every year, the FAO publishes a number of major ‘State of the World’ reports related to food, agriculture, forestry, fisheries and natural resources. 

UPSC Prelims Facts for FAO

FAO Members

The FAO has 197 member countries, which includes the European Union as well. It conducts biennial conferences. The FAO Council is the executive arm of the governing body. The members elect the Council which is composed of 49 members.

FAO Council

The FAO Council was established in 1947 at the FAO Conference that replaced the original “Executive Committee of FAO”. This was in accordance with the recommendation of the Preparatory Commission of FAO on World Food Proposals.

Note: The Council, within the limits of the powers, acts as the Conference’s executive organ between sessions.

Role and Functions of Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO)

Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is a global organisation 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.

To know more about Important Headquarters of International Organizations, check the linked article.

FAO’s Role in Agriculture Innovation

  1. FAO focuses on a system-wide approach. It assists member countries in unlocking the potential of innovation to drive socio-economic growth, ensure food and nutrition security, alleviate poverty and improve resilience to climate change, thereby helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Know more about Sustainable Development Goals on the linked page.
  2. FAO and its partners are working in nine pilot countries in Africa, Asia and Central America to bring international, national and local partners together to construct and implement capacity development plans for agricultural innovation.
  3. FAO is supporting governments to develop strategies that foster sustainable agricultural mechanization and works with small-scale enterprises, cooperatives and local organizations to ensure smallholder farmers have access to mechanized services.
  4. FAO harnesses the power of digital technologies to pilot, accelerate and scale innovative ideas with high potential for impact in food and agriculture, transforming digital solutions and services into global public goods.
  5. It explores and adopts the existing and frontier technologies, design and scale new services, tools and approaches to empower rural households and inspire youth entrepreneurship in food and agriculture.

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.

Priority Areas

Sustainable and improved agricultural productivity and increased farm incomes Stronger food and nutrition security systems
Effective natural resource management, community development and assistance in transboundary cooperation to the global public good Enhanced social inclusion, improved skills and employment opportunity in the agriculture sector

The FAO Council also approved India’s membership to the Executive Board of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) for 2020 and 2021.

FAO UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

FAQ about Food And Agriculture Organisation Fao


How many countries are members of FAO?

FAO is an intergovernmental organisation. It has 194 member nations, two associate members and one member organization( the European Union).

How is FAO funded?

FAO is financed by its member countries

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