Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

  • Context: Indian Prime Minister recently released a commemorative coin of Rs 75 denomination to mark the 75th anniversary of the Food and Agriculture Organisation [FAO] of the United Nations.


Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

  • FAO is the oldest permanent specialized agency of the United Nations, established in October 1945 with the objective of eliminating hunger and improving nutrition and standards of living by increasing agricultural productivity.
  • It also helps countries draw up policy and change legislation to support sustainable agriculture.
  • Based on a shared vision of promoting world food security for all, the UN’s Rome-based Agencies – Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and World Food Programme (WFP) – work together, both at global and country level, to maximize results and support countries in fighting hunger, malnutrition and poverty in a sustainable way.
  • From these three only the WFP has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (in 2020).
  • WFP focuses on emergency assistance as well as rehabilitation and development aid. Two-thirds of its work is in conflict-affected countries, where people are three times more likely to be undernourished than elsewhere.
  • It works closely with the other two Rome-based UN agencies: the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which helps countries draw up policy and change legislation to support sustainable agriculture, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), which finances projects in poor rural areas.
  • The organization, which has more than 180 members, is governed by the biennial FAO conference, in which each member country, as well as the European Union, is represented.
  • The conference elects a 49-member Council, which serves as its executive organ.
  • The aim of the Food and Agriculture Organization, as defined in its Constitution, is to:
  1. Raise levels of nutrition and standards of living;
  2. Secure improvements in food production and distribution;
  3. Better the conditions of rural people and;
  4. Contribute toward an expanding world economy and ensure freedom from hunger.

FAO Awards (all awarded biennially)

  • B.R Sen Award: Recognising the outstanding performance of field officers during country assignment.
  • A. H. Boerma Award: For journalists who have successfully steered public attention towards food security topics.
  • Edouard Saouma Award: For institutions that have created true impact in the efficient execution of FAO Project.
  • Jacques Diouf Award: Best Contribution to Global Food Security.
  • B.R Sen, A. H. Boerma, Edouard Saouma and Jacques Diouf were former Director Generals of FAO.
  • Margarita Lizárraga Medal Award: It is awarded biennially to a person or organization that has served with distinction in the application of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.
  • SDG2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.

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