Joint FAO/IAEA Centre of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture

Nuclear technologies provide competitive and often unique solutions to help fight hunger, reduce malnutrition, improve environmental sustainability, and ensure food safety and authenticity. FAO and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) work in strategic partnership to assist Members in using these technologies safely and appropriately. In 2021 the long-standing collaboration was strengthened through the upgrading of the Joint Division to the Joint FAO/IAEA Centre.

The Joint FAO/IAEA Centre and its Agriculture and Biotechnology Laboratory coordinates and supports applied research through more than 25 coordinated research projects annually where over 400 international and national research institutions and experimental stations cooperate. It also supports more than 200 national and regional technical cooperation projects every year to transfer these technologies to Members. Unique FAO/IAEA Laboratories perform applied and adaptive research and development in order to provide standards, protocols, guidelines, training and specialized services.

Our Vision

Identifying where appropriate nuclear techniques can enhance, improve or increase agricultural production, protect natural resources, promote One Health and facilitate agricultural trade, the Joint Centre works towards a world where peaceful use of nuclear and related technologies contribute to global food security and sustainable agricultural development.

Areas of Work

Nuclear and related technologies in:

Offices of the Joint FAO/IAEA Centre

The Joint FAO/IAEA Centre, based in Vienna, Austria, operates with a team of more than 120 scientists, technical experts and support personnel.

Office of the Director

Advances and supports the safe and appropriate use by Members of nuclear and related technologies in food and agriculture, aiming to contribute to global food security and sustainable agricultural development worldwide. 

Contact: Liang Qu, Director

Food and Environmental Protection

Works to improve food safety and quality, enhance food monitoring for contaminants, trace food origin, verify composition and promote commercial use of food irradiation. Helps strengthen preparedness for radiological emergencies affecting food and agriculture.

Contact: Zhihua Ye

Plant Breeding and Genetics

Assists Members in the design and implementation of plant breeding programmes using radiation-induced mutation, to enhance food security and sustainable crop production systems worldwide.

Contact: Sobhana Sivasankar

Animal Production and Health

Develops and applies nuclear and nuclear-derived techniques for feed optimization; animal genetic evaluation and integration to breeding; enhancement of animal reproduction; and diagnoses and control of transboundary animal and zoonotic diseases.

Contact: Gerrit Viljoen

Insect Pest Control

Assists Members in implementing environmentally-friendly and sustainable control of major insect pests of crops, veterinary and human importance, to enhance food security and international trade.

Contact: Rui Cardoso Pereira

Soil and Water Management and Crop Nutrition

Works to improve resource use efficiency by crops and in cropping-livestock systems, and to protect soil and water resources for sustainable and climate-smart agriculture. Strengthens preparedness for nuclear or radiological emergencies affecting food and agriculture.

Contact: Lee Kheng Heng