FAO's activities comprise four main
Putting information within reach. FAO serves as a knowledge network. We use the expertise of our staff - agronomists, foresters, fisheries and livestock specialists, nutritionists, social scientists, economists, statisticians and other professionals - to collect, analyse and disseminate data that aid development. A
million times a month, someone visits the FAO Internet site to consult a technical document or read about our work with farmers. We also publish hundreds of newsletters, reports and books, distribute
several magazines, create numerous CD-ROMS and host dozens of electronic fora.
Sharing policy expertise. FAO lends its years of experience to member countries in devising agricultural policy, supporting planning, drafting effective legislation and creating national strategies to achieve rural development and hunger alleviation goals.
Providing a meeting place for nations. On any given day, dozens of policy-makers and experts from around the globe convene at headquarters or in our field offices to forge agreements on major
food and agriculture issues. As a neutral forum, FAO provides the setting where rich and poor nations can come together to build common understanding.
Bringing knowledge to the field. Our breadth of knowledge is put to the test in thousands of field projects throughout the world. FAO mobilizes and manages millions of dollars provided by industrialized
countries, development banks and other sources to make sure the projects achieve their goals. FAO provides the technical know-how and in a few cases is a limited source of funds. In crisis situations, we work
side-by-side with the World Food Programme and other humanitarian agencies to protect rural livelihoods and help people rebuild their lives.
History of FAO
FAO was founded in 1943 by Forty-four governments, meeting in Hot Springs, Virginia, the United States, commit themselves to founding a permanent organization for food and agriculture.
In 1945 the First session of FAO Conference held at Quebec City, Canada, establishes FAO as a specialized United Nations agency.
In 1951 FAO headquarters moved to Rome, Italy, from Washington, DC, the United States.
In 1960, Freedom from Hunger campaign launched to mobilize non-governmental support.
In 1974 UN World Food Conference in Rome recommends the adoption of an International Undertaking on World Food Security.
In 1978 The Eighth World Forestry Congress, held in Jakarta, Indonesia, with the theme "Forests for people", has a profound impact on attitudes towards forestry development and FAO's work in this sector.
In 198, The first World Food Day observed on 16 October by more than 150 countries.
In 1986, AGROSTAT (now FAOSTAT), the world's most comprehensive source of agricultural information and statistics, becomes operational.
In 1994 FAO launches the Special Programme for Food Security
(SPFS), targeting low-income food-deficit countries (LIFDCs).
In 1996 FAO hosts 186 Heads of State or Government and other high officials at World Food Summit in November to discuss and combat world hunger.
In 1997, FAO launches campaign against hunger initiative TeleFood. TeleFood '97 reaches a global audience of 500 million.
In 2001, FAO Conference adopts the legally binding International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, which supports the work of breeders and farmers everywhere.
In 2004, FAO announces the entering into force of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, an essential
legally binding agreement that encourages sustainable agriculture through the equitable sharing of genetic material and its benefits among plant breeders, farmers and public and private research institutions.
In 2005, the 60th anniversary of FAO’s founding celebrated in a solemn ceremony attended by Heads of State and Government, Ministers and other dignitaries from all regions of the world. Director-General Jacques Diouf re-elected for a third six-year term.
In 2006, FAO unveils its high-tech Crisis Management Centre to fight bird flu and other animal health or food safety emergencies.
In 2008, FAO holds a high-level conference on 3–5 June on the impact of climate change and the biofuel boom on food security and food prices. Attended by 43 heads of state and 100 government ministers,
the conference adopted a resolution to increase assistance and investment in developing world agriculture.