Article I of the constitution of FAO mandates it to collect, analyse, interpret and disseminate information relating to nutrition, food and agriculture. The term "agriculture" and its derivatives include fisheries, marine products, forestry and primary forestry products, besides cultivation of crops and farming of animals. The Global Strategy to Improve Agricultural and Rural Statistics, defines the scope and coverage of agricultural statistics to also cover economic, social and environmental dimensions of human activities in these domains.
To move ahead on its vision for “A world free from hunger and malnutrition” and to fulfil its mandate, FAO provides data support to the international community on food security and nutrition. FAO Statistics Division leads development of methodologies and standards to promote international comparisons of data, and holds periodic meetings and workshops to advocate these methodologies, good practices and standards as part of its capacity development programme.
FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (FAO RAP) provides direct support to countries’ specific needs through its Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP). TCP projects in statistics are mostly related to conduct of Agricultural Censuses; Establishment of crop monitoring and early warning systems; Crop yield estimation surveys, and measurement of Food and Nutritional Security. FAO RAP also provides its expert technical services through Trust Fund projects sponsored by resource partners in specific areas of interest.
In order to reinforce its efforts, FAO RAP strives to build partnerships and cooperation with international organizations, governments, universities, research institutions, NGOs and other civil society organizations.
FAO RAP hosts the secretariat of the Asia and Pacific Commission on Agricultural Statistics (APCAS), which is a statutory body of FAO. The Commission is responsible for giving overall direction to FAO’s work programme and it holds its biennial session to review the status of agricultural statistics in the member countries and make recommendations for improvements in agricultural statistics and lays down priorities for FAO's work. Current membership of APCAS is 25 countries.