FAO’s mandate is to “raise levels of nutrition, improve agricultural productivity, better the lives of rural populations and contribute to the growth of the world economy”. By seeking to improve nutrition through nutrition-sensitive agriculture and food-based approaches, FAO’s role in nutrition is unique.
FAO supports governments in their pursuit of an efficient development strategy that incorporates a comprehensive food and nutrition policy with explicit nutrition objectives and indicators. We must make nutrition a national priority and raise nutrition higher up development policy agendas.
Good nutrition is crucial to reach the health, education, social and economic goals of the MDGs, including helping people living with HIV/AIDS.
FAO promotes the expression “food and nutrition security” which embeds nutrition into food security thereby ensuring nutrition is not forgotten. This expression reminds us that raising levels of nutrition is the ultimate goal and ensures our focus is on farmers (people) rather than on just farms (production) or on pharmacies (supplements). It is clear that unless nutrition security is improved, ending hunger will not be automatically achieved.
FAO’s strategy for improving nutrition levels is food and agriculture-based. The aim is to create the conditions for nutrition-sensitive and diversified food production which, sustained by improved food preservation and preparation methods and extensive nutrition education and consumer awareness programmes, results in the consumption of an adequate and healthy diet.