Special Programme for Food Security

The Programme
Food is a basic right
Agriculture's role
Ethiopian farmers pleased but cautious
Top seeds beat Zambia's drought

New green revolution
Related documents
Technical papers of the World Food Summit
Low-income food-deficit countries (LIFDCs)
Focus Archive

(FAO Focus published Sept. 1996.
For updated information on SPFS,
click here).

FAO's Special Programme for Food Security aims to reduce hunger rapidly and sustainably by increasing production and availability of food where it is most needed.

The Special Programme has been designed to have an impact. The Programme:

  • targets the low-income food-deficit countries (LIFDCs) that are home to the vast majority of the world's 800 million chronically undernourished people
  • focuses on areas with high agricultural potential where gains could be realistically expected
  • concentrates on staple foods that represent the foundation for food security and an adequate diet
  • employs proven technologies such as improved crop varieties and low-cost irrigation and drainage systems
  • promotes participatory approaches to avoid the exclusion of any social group or the creation of inequalities
  • provides an opportunity for increased South-South cooperation
  • links FAO's field activities around the programme and the key objective of food security.

Two years after the Special Programme was launched, the first encouraging results are starting to come in.

Some 15 countries have signed up to participate. All are formulating their own national food security strategies within the framework provided by the special programme. In many -- including Ethiopia, Nepal and Zambia -- first season crops have been harvested from the demonstration plots planted as part of the pilot phase of the Special Programme. Significant yield increases offer grounds for hope, further trials and developing new policies during the Programme's expansion phase.