The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is a specialised agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. It acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy irrespective of developed and developing nation. Its Latin motto, fiat panis, translates as "let there be bread".
Member Nations of FAO
It has 194 Member Nations, two associate members and one member organization, the European Union. Its employees come from various cultural backgrounds and are experts in the multiple fields of activity FAO engages in. FAO’s staff capacity allows it to support improved governance inter alia, generate, develop and adapt existing tools and guidelines and provide targeted governance support as a resource to country and regional level FAO offices. Headquartered in Rome, Italy, FAO is present in over 130 countries.
Functions of FAO
The function of FAO is moving around the following six activities:
• Putting information within reach and supporting the transition to sustainable agriculture. It serves as a knowledge network which means it has a staff of expertise of different domain- foresters, fisheries and livestock specialists, nutritionists, social scientists, economists, statisticians and other professionals - to collect, analyse and disseminate data that aid development.
• Strengthening political will and sharing policy expertise. It acts as a articulator, arbitrator and facilitator in devising agricultural policy, supporting planning, drafting effective legislation and creating national strategies to achieve rural development and hunger alleviation goals to member countries.
• Bolstering public-private collaboration to improve smallholder agriculture. It provides good platform where rich and poor nations can come together to build common understanding. As a neutral forum, it also engage the food industry and non-profits in providing support and services to farmers and facilitate greater public and private investments in strengthening the food sector.
• Bringing knowledge to the field. It provides peripheral vision to the test in thousands of field projects throughout the world.
• Supporting countries prevent and mitigate risks. FAO develops mechanisms to monitor and warn about multi-hazard risks and threats to agriculture, food and nutrition.