Skip to Content

Food and Agriculture Organization

« Back to Glossary Index

**History and Establishment:**
– Idea of international organization for food and agriculture by David Lubin
– Creation of International Institute of Agriculture (IIA) in 1905
– Establishment of FAO in 1945 in Quebec City
– FAO’s focus on high-yield grain, rural employment, and agricultural exports

**Structure and Finance:**
– FAO headquarters moved to Rome, Italy in 1951
– FAO directed by Conference of Member Nations
– FAO composed of eight departments
– Significant restructuring in 1994 for decentralization and cost reduction
– Savings of about US$50 million per year realized

**Budget and Funding:**
– FAO Regular Programme budget funded by members
– Total FAO Budget for 2018–2019 is US$1,005.6 million
– Budget covers core technical work, cooperation, policy advocacy, and governance
– Voluntary contributions support mechanical and emergency assistance

**Activities and Programs:**
– FAO leads international efforts to defeat hunger and improve food security
– Provides technical assistance, research, and educational programs
– Operates in over 130 countries
– Governing bodies include biennial conference and executive council
– Established UN World Food Programme to address hunger

**Achievements and Initiatives:**
– FAO issued collector art medals through FAO Money and Medals Programme
– First World Food Summit in 1974 to address hunger and malnutrition
– Proclamation of the right to be free from hunger and malnutrition
– Strategic plan established in 1996 to eliminate hunger into the 21st century
– Publishes major State of the World reports annually

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger and improve nutrition and food security. Its Latin motto, fiat panis, translates to "let there be bread". It was founded on 16 October 1945.

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Formation16 October 1945; 78 years ago (1945-10-16)
Founded atQuebec City, Canada
TypeUnited Nations specialized agency
Legal statusActive
HeadquartersRome, Italy
Qu Dongyu
Parent organization
United Nations Economic and Social Council Edit this at Wikidata
icon Politics portal
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Food Price Index 1961–2021. Years 2014–2016 is 100.
  Food Price Index

The FAO comprises 195 members, including 194 countries and the European Union. Its headquarters is in Rome, Italy, and it maintains regional and field offices worldwide, operating in over 130 countries. It helps governments and development agencies coordinate their activities to improve and develop agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and land and water resources. It also conducts research, provides technical assistance to projects, operates educational and training programs, and collects agricultural output, production, and development data.

The FAO is governed by a biennial conference representing each member country and the European Union, which elects a 49-member executive council. The Director-General, as of 2019 Qu Dongyu of China, serves as the chief administrative officer. Various committees govern matters such as finance, programs, agriculture, and fisheries.

100 lire (FAO's celebration.)
Obverse: Young woman with braid facing left. Surrounded by Repubblica Italiana [Italian Republic]. Reverse: Cow nursing calf, face value & date. FAO at bottom and Nutrire il Mondo [Feed the world] at top.
Coined minted by Italy in 1970s to celebrate and promote Food and Agriculture Organization.

« Back to Glossary Index