Food and Agriculture Organization

Food and Agriculture Organization
Emblem of the United Nations.svg
FAO logo.svg
FAO emblem with its Latin motto, Fiat panis ("Let there be bread")
AbbreviationFAO, ONUAA
Formation16 October 1945, in
Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
TypeSpecialized agency
Legal statusActive
HeadquartersFAO Headquarters, Rome, Italy
José Graziano da Silva (current)
Parent organization

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO; French: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'alimentation et l'agriculture, Italian: Organizzazione delle Nazioni Unite per l'Alimentazione e l'Agricoltura) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate arguments and debate policy.

FAO is also a source of knowledge and information, and helps developing countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices, ensuring good nutrition and food security for all. Its Latin motto, fiat panis, translates as "let there be bread". As of August 2018, The FAO has 197 member states, including the European Union (a "member organization"), Niue and The Cook Islands (States in free-association with New Zealand), and the Faroe Islands and Tokelau, which are associate members.[1]

100 lire (FAO's celebration.)
Obverse: Young woman with braid facing left. Surrounded by Repubblica Italiana [Republic of Italy].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.


The idea of an international organization for food and agriculture emerged in the late 19th and early 20th century advanced primarily by the US agriculturalist and activist David Lubin. In May–June 1905, an international conference was held in Rome, Italy, which led to the creation of the International Institute of Agriculture by the King of Italy Victor Emmanuel III.[2]

Later in 1943, the United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt called a United Nations Conference on Food and Agriculture. Representatives from forty-four governments gathered at The Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Virginia, US, from 18 May to 3 June. They committed themselves to founding a permanent organization for food and agriculture, which happened in Quebec City, Canada, on 16 October 1945 with the conclusion of the Constitution of the Food and Agriculture Organization.[3] The First Session of the FAO Conference was held in the Château Frontenac in Quebec City from 16 October to 1 November 1945.

World War II effectively ended the International Agricultural Institute, though it was only officially dissolved by resolution of its Permanent Committee on 27 February 1948. Its functions were then transferred to the recently established FAO.[4]

From the late 1940s on, FAO attempted to make its mark within the emerging UN system, focusing mostly on supporting agricultural and nutrition research and providing technical assistance to member countries to boost production in agriculture, fishery, and forestry.[5]

During the 1950s and 1960s, FAO partnered with many different international organizations in development projects.

Other Languages
bosanski: FAO
euskara: FAO
فارسی: فائو
føroyskt: FAO
Basa Jawa: FAO
қазақша: ФАО
Napulitano: FAO
norsk nynorsk: FAO
ភាសាខ្មែរ: FAO
Piemontèis: FAO
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Organizacija za prehranu i poljoprivredu