Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, FAO was established in 1945. It is headquartered in Rome and has a system of regional and local offices worldwide. The FAO is one of the largest specialized agencies within the UN system.


The FAO is the leading agency for agriculture, forestry, fisheries and rural development. The aim is to

  • eliminate hunger and malnutrition
  • improve agricultural productivity and the conditions of rural populations
  • coordinate the efforts of governments and technical agencies thus contributing to an expanding world economy.

The FAO's functions also include

  • collecting and disseminating information
  • research
  • educational programmes
  • promotion of the conservation of natural resources and sustainable development, technical assistance, and emergency relief.


The Director-General, elected for a six year term (eligible for reappointment), is head of the FAO.

The FAO is governed by the biennial FAO Conference of Member States. The Conference determines the policy of the organization, approves the budget and makes recommendations.

The Council, elected by the Conference, acts as an interim body.

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Last modified: 2024-02-15