Private Sector

FAO considers the private sector to be a key ally in the fight against hunger. Eradicating hunger is about joining forces to scale up successful programmes and linking actions for better results.


FAO considers the Private Sector to be a key ally in the fight against hunger. In recent decades, the governance of food and agriculture has been increasingly transformed on a global level by new technological, knowledge-based, financial and managerial resources and innovation. The private sector has been instrumental in driving these transformations. Effective engagement with the private sector can help the fight against hunger and malnutrition by enhancing FAO’s work in agriculture, fishery, forestry, natural resource management, and the food value chain from farmer to consumer.

How does FAO define the “private sector”?

The private sector includes enterprises, companies or businesses, regardless of size, ownership and structure. It covers all sectors of the food, agriculture, forestry and fisheries systems from production to consumption, including associated services: financing, investment, insurance, marketing and trade. FAO considers the private sector as encompassing a broad array of entities that range from farmer organizations, cooperatives and SMEs to the largest international corporations. This also includes private financial institutions; industry and trade associations; and consortia that represent private sector interests. Academia, research institutions and philanthropic foundations are not included in this definition.

Benefits of Partnering with FAO

By strengthening partnerships with the private sector, FAO aims to:

  1. Increase responsible and productive investments in agriculture, enhance efficiency in the supply chain, and make advancements in data and science;
  2. Increase entrepreneurship and extension services (particularly technology transfer) at country level, resulting in job creation and strengthened local agribusiness;
  3. Improve the management and dissemination of knowledge, including lesson learned, topical information and expertise;
  4. Encourage the implementation of sustainable business practices embodied in corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes.

For private sector entities, partnerships with FAO could generate:

  1. Increased voice in the international sphere and enhanced dialogue with governments, creating the opportunity to contribute to international policy development, standard setting processes for food and agriculture, and national planning frameworks;
  2. Improved alignment of national requirements with international standards, which may enhance the ease of doing business;
  3. Participation in processes to establish codes of conduct for responsible business practices, creating an environment that is more conducive to responsible and productive investments;
  4. Creation of level-playing fields that serve to enable fairer competition and a more stable business environment.