With the SDGs intrinsic to FAO’s overall theory of change, the Organization is vitally invested in advancing them. Consequently, the Strategic Framework adopted in July 2021 seeks to support the 2030 Agenda through the transformation to more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems. This approach has been synthesized as better production; better nutrition; a better environment; and a better life, leaving no one behind.
More than a concept, the four betters are an organizing principle for FAO’s work on SDG 1 (No Poverty), SDG 2 (Zero Hunger) and SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities), as well as for furthering the broader 2030 Agenda. Actions to achieve SDG 2 and realize sustainable agrifood systems will accelerate progress across most other Goals and targets. Key SDGs and their indicators – including all indicators for which FAO is a custodian or contributing agency – act as instructions to sharpen the focus; track progress; and formulate aspirations for medium- or long-term outcome and impact.
The four betters do not posit individual or alternative pathways to the 2030 Agenda. Instead, they reflect and build on the interconnected economic, social and environmental dimensions of agrifood systems. These interlinkages tend to manifest themselves in three main areas: agricultural productivity, environmental impact and social sustainability (with the proviso that productivity is mainly linked to economic sustainability). FAO’s agrifood systems approach thus casts agriculture, beyond its production and macroeconomic functions, as the means to realize food security and resilient livelihoods, promote innovation, and catalyse investment and partnerships.
This publication aims to illustrate FAO’s work under the four betters to support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.