Agriculture and Food

Two people working in a farm patch.

FAO’s Junior Farmer Field and Life Schools (JFFLS) programme provides agricultural and entrepreneurial training for young people in rural areas. These JFFLS programmes have been implemented in many countries around the world, focusing on providing vulnerable youth, especially in crisis and post-conflict contexts, with practical and commercial farming skills. Emmanuel was invited to take part in the training by an FAO Youth Coordinator. He was part of the first group of young people in CAR to go through the training, which took place in Boali, 95 kilometres away from Bangui.

FAO Director-General QU Dongyu and IAEA Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi on separate screens.

For more than 57 years, the partnership between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and IAEA has contributed to addressing global challenges, including food insecurity, climate change, animal/zoonotic diseases and, most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. The IAEA and FAO signed a revised arrangement, which upgrades their partnership and expands the horizons of their work.

woman farmer tending to her livestock

In the area of Bamyan in central Afghanistan, whilst men do most of the farming, it is the women who take care of livestock. It tends to be a solitary activity, however, and women working together as a community, is uncommon in Afghanistan. The Household Food and Livelihood Security project funded by the Swiss Development Cooperation, aims to change this, bringing women together, boosting their knowledge and raising incomes not just for their own households, but for their whole community. The women livestock keepers participate and form bonds in group meetings, where they can exchange their views, share experiences and learn new techniques as well as keep in contact with their relatives or loved ones.

African woman in a corn field holding corns in her hands.

Donors are responding favourably to IFAD’s call to significantly increase contributions to deliver an overall programme of work of at least US$11 billion from 2022 to 2024.

A smiling man holds up chilli peppers amid the plants.

El Salvador: Growing ‘green gold’ in Central America’s Dry Corridor

We see them at the grocery store, the farmer’s market and as side orders served with our favourite dish. In many countries, they are part of the cultural heritage and are consumed on a regular or even daily basis.

man standing in field

We have tripled food production in the last 40 years. But we know unless we change the way we produce food, we will not only lose those gains, we will pay a terrible price. Covid-19 has made it devastatingly clear that our health and the planet’s health are indivisible; that unless we halt biodiversity loss and repair our relationship with the natural world, more diseases will jump species. It is estimated that three out of every four new or emerging infectious diseases in people in the past 10 years are zoonotic. IFAD is working to help get policy and investment behind more productive, profitable, and sustainable land-use around the world, and directly supporting smallholder farmers to make the shift.

Two small planes fly close to the ground.

A locust fighting force assembled by countries in East Africa to combat an invasion of the crop-devouring pest is at risk of seeing its activities grind to a halt as funding to sustain its operations dries up, FAO warned. Without additional financing for fuel, airtime, and pilot hours, the 28 anti-locust aircraft which are now patrolling the skies to spot and spray locust swarms could cease operations in March. FAO informed humanitarian partners that some $38.8 million are still needed to help East Africa and Yemen get through the last mile of their desert locust marathon.

A view from above of a cutting board and a pair of hands cutting peppers with a knife surrounded by other vegetables.

FAO drew from experiences from around the world and consulted with local cooks, chefs and families to put together some fascinating and useful cookbooks. They’re designed to not only celebrate local cuisines, but to recognise the nutritious value of traditional meals eaten around the globe. Poor diets and disease are some of the top causes of undernutrition, so promoting sustainable, healthy recipes is key to helping households make informed food choices. If you’re interested in trying some new, nutritious dishes, here are five FAO cookbooks that are bound to inspire you.

woman farmer in field

In this episode, we say goodbye to a year that’s been full of uncertainty and change, but also adaptation, innovation and improvement.

a woman sitting among bags of potatoes

Our current food systems are not sustainable. Hunger has been on the rise for several years, with an estimated 690 million people worldwide going hungry in 2019 – and with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, up to 132 million more people are expected to join this number soon. Meanwhile, our food production practices – particularly the expansion of large-scale industrial agriculture – come with an unacceptably high environmental cost, threatening the food security of future generations.  IFAD believes small-scale farmers can offer solutions to these problems. 

Girl with a big watermelon in her hands.

The UN Food Systems Summit is a turning point in the world's journey to achieving the SDGs by 2030. Over the next year, the Summit aims to set a course to radically change the way we produce, process, and consume food. It will be a people's summit—giving a voice to citizens, bringing us closer to realizing an equitable and healthy future. Everything and everyone must change – that means understanding the tradeoffs, but also recognizing that all can benefit.  Rebuilding food systems enables us to answer the Secretary-General's call to "build back better" and to leave no one behind.

Woman fills transportation bins with tomatoes.

The newly launched International Year of Fruits and Vegetables 2021 (IYFV) appeals to improve healthy and sustainable food production through innovation and technology and to reduce food loss and waste. Proclaimed at the 74th session the UN General Assembly, IYFV 2021 is dedicated to raising awareness about the important role of fruits and vegetables in human nutrition, food security and health. FAO, the lead agency for celebrating the year in collaboration with other organizations, launched the year with a campaign that includes a promo video and background paper.

Sri Lankan tea farmer

Crop Certification: Going green unlocks global markets for farmers

Farmers harvest lavender

Distilling herbs with zero waste in eastern Serbia