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FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

Our team

Agribusiness and agrifood chain development

FAO contributes to the development of agribusiness and agro-industries through improved efficiency and inclusiveness of agri-food chains and establishment of appropriate support services and enabling environments for value chains development. It also advises on policies and strategies to improve agribusiness competitiveness, and helps countries strengthen their agricultural support systems, supply chain management and coordination. This work also helps empower farmers and rural entrepreneurs to improve their position in markets and value chains

Robert van Otterdijk
Agro industry officer
Budapest, Hungary
Tel: +36-18141269

Agricultural trade and commodity policies

The regional office provides information and analysis on trade agreements, including WTO, and market integration in the region. It works to improve regional and national capacities to use the evidence generated, facilitates public dialogue on agri-trade policy issues, and supports the design and implementation of appropriate agricultural policies at country level. This work is central to FAO’s Regional Initiative on Agri-Food Trade and Regional Integration.

Cheng Fang
Commodity and trade economist
Budapest, Hungary
Tel: +36 1 4612 034

Agricultural policy

The aim is to provide evidence-based analysis of agricultural policy issues for member countries and international and donor organizations in the region. Analyses are intended to assist governments in meeting their food security and poverty reduction commitments under Millennium Development Goal 1. Publications in the REU Policy Studies on Rural Transition series cover such topics as land reform and farm restructuring, livestock development, agriculture in the new EU member states after accession, crop diversification and farm debt.

Ariella Glinni
Senior agricultural policy officer
Budapest, Hungary
Tel: +36 1 4612021

Sumiter Broca
Senior policy officer
Ankara, Turkey

Agricultural innovation systems, e-agriculture, experience capitalization

FAO helps member countries develop their capacity for innovation. It assists them with policies, frameworks and models for sustainable, safe use of new technological and social innovations, including for biotechnology and biosafety. It enables countries to co-create and share knowledge among all actors– through networks and communities, while focusing on linking agricultural research, education and extension. 

E-agriculture is the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), including digital technologies, in the rural domain – improving access to information so that people whose livelihoods depend on agriculture can make the best possible decisions and use resources sustainably. 

Through experience capitalizationpractices can be tailored, improved, adopted, and scaled up by others, leading to a greater organizational visibility and impact.

Sophie Treinen
Information and knowledge management officer
Budapest, Hungary
Tel.: : + 36 1 814 12 66

Animal Health and Production

FAO helps farmers, government officials and scientists identify solutions to the most pressing problems facing livestock in the region. Development programs are restructuring, modernizing or revitalizing the livestock sector with more sustainable production systems and better veterinary health services. Diagnosing and containing transboundary animal diseases continues to be a top priority, as they can threaten production, food safety and human health.

Eran Raizman
Senior animal health and production officer
Budapest, Hungary
Tel: +36 1 4612 025

Climate Change and Natural Resource Management

The long-term viability of the region’s land, water, soil, and biodiversity requires sustainable use of natural resources. FAO urges farmers and policymakers to practice climate-smart agriculture, a blueprint of environmentally-friendly practices and policies that sustainably increase agricultural productivity while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As climate change increasingly threatens agriculture, disaster risk reduction plans help farms adapt and improve their resilience to environmental shocks.

Fisheries and aquaculture

Production of fish and seafood provides the most vulnerable small-scale coastal and riparian communities with livelihoods and food security. Fish is the most highly traded food commodity and international value chains have increased in complexity, resulting in both challenges and opportunities. Through policy guidance and technical assistance, FAO assists governments and other actors with sustainable management of aquatic resources, adoption of international standards for improved fish quality, and development of adaptation strategies for climate change.

Victoria Chomo
Senior fisheries and aquaculture officer
Budapest, Hungary
Tel: +36 1 373 3017

Food Safety and Consumer Protection

Guaranteeing food safety from farm to table is a complex and multi-dimensional effort. The regional office guides member countries as they build quality insurance programs, train food inspectors and strengthen laboratory analysis services. But consumer protection at FAO goes even further than food safety; it strives for a food value chain that promotes good nutrition and sustainable diets.

Mary Kenny 
Food safety and consumer protection officer
Budapest, Hungary
Tel: +36 1 8141 251

Forestry

Forests are one of Europe and Central Asia’s most vast natural resources, and the region’s ability to capitalize on this valuable resource in a sustainable way is vital. FAO partners with member countries on a range of ventures in this sector, from developing national forest management plans to establishing forestry research labs to studying the potential for local wood-based bioenergy industries.

Peter Pechacek
Forestry officer
Ankara, Turkey
Tel.  +90 312 307 9533

Gender

Women are the invisible pillars of rural societies. Their contribution to agriculture and  food security is indispensable, yet their work is often undervalued. Many forms of gender-based inequalities are difficult to track, for example, rural women’s work in family farms as unpaid family workers; and/or rural women’s access to and ability to exercise control over the productive resources and assets such as land, credits, training, agricultural inputs, etc. Guided by FAO’s Policy on Gender Equality and Regional gender equality strategy for Europe and Central Asia 2016 – 2017 (also available in Russian), the regional office supports the empowerment of rural women, by expanding their economic opportunities through increased access to land, technology, and markets.

Dono Abdurazakova
Senior gender and social protection advisor
Budapest, Hungary
Tel: +36 1 4612 025

Land and Water Management

Land degradation and pressure on renewable water resources are among the greatest threats to food security and livelihood improvement in Central Asia. FAO is providing technical assistance and enhancing institutional capacities for sustainable land management to combat land degradation, drought preparedness and management, modernization of irrigation systems, improvement of water use efficiency and crop water productivity. It is also committed to strengthening policy dialogue on the management of transboundary water resources, such as the Aral Sea Basin.

Sara Marjani Zadeh
Water quality officer
Ankara, Turkey
Tel: +90 312 307 95 00 

Land Tenure and Rural Development

Rural populations need secure access to land and natural resources in order to relieve poverty and promote economic development. FAO supports governments as they reform public administration procedures, streamline land tenure policies and implement land consolidation plans for a more competitive agricultural sector. Initiatives promoting local, traditional agricultural products and agro-tourism further underpin sustainable rural development.

Morten Hartvigsen
Land tenure officer
Budapest, Hungary
Tel: +36 1 4612 250

Plant Production and Protection

Safeguarding and intensifying crop production is the cornerstone of FAO’s technical assistance in this field. For a strong and healthy harvest, the regional office helps farmers incorporate innovative techniques, such as conservation agriculture and integrated pest management, into traditional farming practices. Other priorities include preventing and responding to transboundary pest outbreak, as well as mitigating the damage caused by outdated pesticides. 

Tania Santivanez 
Agricultural officer
Budapest, Hungary
Tel: +36 1 8141 240

Piotr Wlodarczyk
Agricultural officer
Budapest, Hungary

Statistics

Crafting smart policies and innovative solutions for the region’s agricultural challenges depends on a strong foundation of agricultural data and statistics. FAO takes agricultural censuses and collects data ranging from production levels to food consumption and expenditures. Sharing regional and country-level statistics helps leaders make informed decisions and has even led member countries to begin developing their own statistical monitoring tools and systems.

Giorgi Kvinikadze
Regional statistician
Budapest, Hungary
Tel: +36 1 4612 029