As FAO’s main technical advisory committee on agriculture, COAG is responsible for:
- Reviewing major agricultural and nutritional problems and proposing concerted action by FAO’s Member Nations;
- Advising the FAO Council and the Director General on activities relating to agriculture, livestock, food, nutrition and natural resource management, with particular emphasis on all the social, technical, economic, institutional and structural aspects relating to agricultural and rural development in general;
- Reviewing specific matters relating to agriculture, food and nutrition referred to the Committee.
COAG also provides advice and recommendations to the FAO Conference on global agricultural policy and regulatory matters, and to the FAO Council on matters relating to the organization’s priorities, programmes and budgets. Its Secretariat is located in the Office of the Assistant Director-General in the Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department. Operating in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish, the membership of COAG is open to all FAO members. It also welcomes applications for participation as observers from civil society and other organizations.
Published by the Committee on Agriculture, the booklet Driving FAO’s agricultural agenda charts COAG’s influence and accomplishments since its inception in 1971. The overview contains examples of how COAG guided FAO to give more emphasis to among other things: food standards, the seed sector and sustainable agriculture including livestock. Also covered are COAG’s impact on the Organization’s strategic direction.