The Food and Agricultural Organization is commonly referred to as the FAO. The most fundamental goal of the FAO is to ensure that every body has regular access to quality food that is sufficient for active lives. The FAO calls this ‘food security’. The mandate of the FAO states that they will achieve food security in four ways:
- By raising the levels of nutrition
- By improving productivity in agriculture and the agriculture industry
- By making life better for people living in rural locations
- By contributing to the growth of the world’s economy
The FAO functions superbly as a source of knowledge about everything to do with food. The staff of the FAO have a huge expertise in fields such as economists, nutritionists, statisticians, foresters, livestock and fishery specialists, social scientists, agronomists and more. The FAO website receives a phenomenal one million visits each month from people wanting to improve their knowledge about the FAO’s work with farmers and other associated industries.
Another way in which the FAO is highly effective is with their policy sharing expertise. This can be done by devising agricultural policies, planning and drafting legislation as well as creating national strategies. The goal here is to alleviate hunger in rural areas.
The FAO provides, on a daily basis, a place where policy makers and experts can get together to make important decisions and put together agreements about agriculture and food issues. This is either at the FAO headquarters or at one of their field offices. By providing a neutral ground it means that rich and poor nations can meet together and reach a common understanding.
The FAO has thousands of field projects in action all the time, which is where all the knowledge is put to the test. Industrialized countries provide millions of dollars which the FAO manages with the use of development banks and some other sources to help achieve the goals of the organization. Where funds are low, the technical expertise is pushed to the maximum to provide the best solutions.
In times of crisis the FAO works very closely with many humanitarian agencies, including the World Food Programme to protect those who live in rural areas and help them rebuild their lives.
The FAO headquarters are in Rome, Italy. In addition to this there are regional offices in:
- Accra, Ghana, Africa
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Budapest, Hungary
- Santiago, Chile
- Cairo, Egypt
In addition to this there are sub regional offices which work closely with the regional offices. There are also Country Offices who assist governments to develop projects, programmes and policies, with the aim of conquering the problems causes by malnutrition and hunger.
FAO Liaison offices are intended to maintain relations between FAO members and intergovernmental, non-governmental and international organizations or associations. They monitor progress of projects associated with hunger, malnutrition and agriculture at their locations. As well as monitoring progress liaison offices can represent the FAO at meetings that involve matters which are in the FAO mandate. Liaison offices are located here:
- Washington, USA
- Tokyo, Japan
- Brussels, Belgium
- New York, USA
- Berne, Switzerland
The motto and the words on the logo of the FAO are ‘Fiat Panis’ this is the Latin for ‘Let there be bread’.