What is the FAO?

We explain what FAO is, what its objectives are and when it was founded. In addition, its eight departments and criticisms of the organization.

  1. What is the FAO?

The acronym  FAO  corresponds to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, from its acronym in English:  Food  and  Agriculture Organization.

Logically, it is a body belonging to the UN specialized in international food production activities , with the primary mission of ending hunger on the planet. His motto is  Fiat  panis , that is to say: “Make your bread” in Latin.

FAO acts internationally as a neutral forum in which to discuss and negotiate issues related to the generation, marketing and distribution of food in the world, and also provides counseling and support services to developing countries , providing them with the necessary information and technology to modernize agriculture and its forestry and fishing activities, in favor of better nutrition for its citizens.

This body was founded on October 16, 1945  (consecrated as World Food Day since 1981), returning to previous ideas regarding the world organization of food production.

In fact, already in 1905 an international conference had been held in Rome, Italy, which led to the creation of the International Institute of Agriculture, an institution that lasted until World War II . Their tasks were transferred in 1948 to the newly created FAO.

FAO is made up of eight departments:

  • Administration and finance.
  • Agriculture and consumer protection.
  • Economic and social development
  • Fishing and aquaculture.
  • Forest.
  • Knowledge, Research and Extension.
  • Natural Resources Management and Technical Cooperation.

The headquarters of this agency is located in Rome, at the headquarters of the former Department of Eastern Italian Africa, but FAO  has regional agencies in Ghana, Chile, Thailand, Egypt and Hungary . By 2013, FAO covered some 197 countries: 194 as Member States, 1 Member Organization (the European Union) and 2 Associate Members (Faroe Islands and Tokelau).

This organization is part of the United Nations Development Group, created in 1997, and since 2008 undertook a series of reforms to restructure and modernize in the face of the challenges of the new millennium: the so-called global food crisis.

However, this body has been highly criticized in recent decades , due to its inability to meet its own goals set for the end of the 20th century, as well as the bureaucratization of processes that should precisely expedite the fight against hunger and inequality. food

Numerous world voices have spoken out against FAO accusing it of being a waste of money and a very minor actor in the face of the enormous problems of the post-industrial capitalist world.

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