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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 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. We help developing countries and countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition for all. Since our founding in 1945, we have focused special attention on developing rural areas, home to 70 percent of the world’s poor and hungry people.

Food and Agriculture Organization


Putting information within reach. FAO serves as a knowledge network. We use the expertise of our staff – agronomists, foresters, fisheries and livestock specialists, nutritionists, social scientists, economists, statisticians and other professionals – to collect, analyse and disseminate data that aid development. A million times a month, someone visits the FAO Internet site to consult a technical document or read about our work with farmers. We also publish hundreds of newsletters, reports and books, distribute several magazines, create numerous CD-ROMS and host dozens of electronic fora.

Sharing policy expertise. Food and Agriculture Organization lends its years of experience to member countries in devising agricultural policy, supporting planning, drafting effective legislation and creating national strategies to achieve rural development and hunger alleviation goals.

Providing a meeting place for nations. On any given day, dozens of policy-makers and experts from around the globe convene at headquarters or in our field offices to forge agreements on major food and agriculture issues. As a neutral forum, FAO provides the setting where rich and poor nations can come together to build common understanding.

Bringing knowledge to the field. Our breadth of knowledge is put to the test in thousands of field projects throughout the world. FAO mobilizes and manages millions of dollars provided by industrialized countries, development banks and other sources to make sure the projects achieve their goals. FAO provides the technical know-how and in a few cases is a limited source of funds. In crisis situations, we work side-by-side with the World Food Programme and other humanitarian agencies to protect rural livelihoods and help people rebuild their lives.


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has a long history of collaboration with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) at the local, regional and global levels. As part of its partnership strategy, FAO works closely with federations and associations of farmers, fisher folk, herders, pastoralists, women, youth and indigenous peoples, and NGOs to help ensure that the aspirations of the poor, marginalized and the hungry are voiced.


The private sector is an important ally for FAO in the fight against hunger. A thriving private sector is key to economic growth and sustainable development of agriculture, food, fisheries and forestry sectors. Moreover, much of the financing needed to attain the MDGs will have to come from private resources and investment.   FAO works with a wide range of international and national private sector partners from various parts of the agriculture and food chain. It actively promotes national policies that foster private investment and private sector growth. FAO assists Member States, especially developing countries, to strengthen the local private sector and particularly agro-industry, business and farmers’ associations.



  • Animal Production and Health Division
  • Nutrition and Consumer Protection Division
  • Plant Production and Protection Division
  • Rural Infrastructure and Agro-Industries Division
  • Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture


  • Agricultural Development Economics Division
  • Statistics Division Trade and Markets Division
  • Gender, Equity and Rural Employment Division


  • Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy and Economics Division
  • Fisheries and Aquaculture Resources Use and Conservation Division


  • Forest Economics, Policy and Products Division
  • Forest Assessment, Management and Conservation Division


  • Climate, Energy and Tenure Division Land and Water Division


  • Policy and Programme Development Support Division
  • Emergency Operations and Rehabilitation Division
  • Investment Centre Division

Food and agriculture organization in India

Food and Agriculture Organization

India has come a long way since 1945 when it became one of the founding members of Food and Agriculture Organization as a low-income food-deficient country. Today the country is not only self-sufficient in rice and wheat, it also exports a range of food products. Moreover, at any given time India has up to 60 million tons of food grain buffer stocks. In this journey of success, FAO has been a staunch partner since 1948, when Food and Agriculture Organization operations in India first began.

For a country as large as India it is inevitable that FAO’s investments in dollar terms cannot match up to the size of Government’s investments in agricultural development. Yet, in terms of technical inputs, FAO has made a significant contribution. In the words of M.S Swaminathan, “world renowned agricultural scientist, FAO has played a catalytic role in India’s progress in the areas of crop and animal production and food security.” With its global experience, FAO has provided key policy and technical inputs in a range of areas involving the food and farm sectors.

From 50 million tons in 1950, India’s food grain production rose more than five times, to over 257 million tons in 2014-15. Oilseeds production is expected to reach 40 MT this year. India is the world’s largest milk producer, producing over 130 million tons annually. The dairy sector is also one of the largest employers of rural people, especially women. With an annual production of over 10 million tons, India ranks second in global fish production and aquaculture, next only to China. There remains a huge potential in marine, inland and brackish water segments. Development of water resources for irrigation has underpinned crop production. However, water scarcity and falling water tables have been a key concern in recent years. Fortunately, the importance of judicious use of water is being increasingly recognised.

Over the years, the work of Food and Agriculture Organization in India has gone well beyond the realm of food production, covering issues like access to food and nutrition, livelihoods, rural development and sustainable agriculture. With the looming impact of climate change and outbreaks of new strains of pests the work of FAO has become even more complex, making it an important knowledge partner to assist the country with informed decision-making. At the same time, India also adds great value to FAO work, providing technical expertise to other countries, also acting as an important source of development lessons.

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