Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly does the Investment Centre do?

Put very basically, the Investment Centre helps countries determine how to invest in agriculture and rural development to reduce rural poverty (upstream); and it formulates, designs, implements, supervises and evaluates specific agriculture and rural development projects (downstream). The Investment Centre employs the knowledge and expertise of FAO staff from across the Organization.

Can the Investment Centre find money for my project? 

Unfortunately, it cannot. The mandate of the Investment Centre is not to find funding. The Investment Centre only begins work on a project once funding has been found by the project promoter - normally a government - from a funding source such as an international development bank or a bilateral donor. Once this agreement is reached, the Investment Centre can be approached to work on the detailed design of the project.

Who pays for the Investment Centre?

FAO pays approximately 40 percent to finance its activities, the remainder comes from the cooperating institution financing the project which the Investment Centre has been engaged to work on.

Is the Investment Centre simply working for the lenders?

No. Each investment project is a cooperative enterprise involving the Investment Centre, national governments, the lending institution and the beneficiaries. The Investment Centre brings an independent voice to the table and acts as an 'honest broker' between all sides. The Investment Centre only accepts assignments that match FAO's development philosophy and this also guides the approach to the project design.

How does the Investment Centre work with other FAO departments?

FAO's technical departments work in every aspect of agriculture and rural development. The Investment Centre uses this in-house expertise to design solutions, whether in sectoral studies or in projects, channelling this expert knowledge into practical applications. It combines the expertise of FAO staff with the Investment Centre's skills in designing projects and in working with international financing institutions.