FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

A supporting pillar for reducing food and nutritional insecurity is fostering the agricultural and rural sector's contribution to growth and equity. As small and marginal producers and landless farm workers have only labour as their main productive asset, promoting rural labour absorption presents a sustainable pathway to increasing agricultural productivity, improving economic access to food and reducing vulnerability.

Fostering agricultural production and rural development


  • Increase output and productivity of agriculture, focusing on major food crops such as rice, wheat and maize as well as livestock;
  • Support the development of agriculture, agri-business and agro-industries particularly for small farmers and entrepreneurs, enabling them to respond to market opportunities, build resilience and attract investment;
  • Raise rural living standards through increased investment in infrastructure, human resources and services for employment and income generation; and
  • Improve market access for small-scale producers and promote inclusive growth.

Agriculture can contribute significantly to economic growth in normal times and serves as an employer of last resort in times of crisis. Stagnation of crop productivity, as reflected in yield plateaus in some parts of the region, is a critical constraint to meeting rapidly rising demand.

A key element of the strategy is therefore to focus on avenues for boosting productivity in major cereal crops. Livestock and fisheries hold great potential, but sustainability is key to continuing success in all subsectors.

The key objectives of this priority area are to increase agricultural output and productivity, raise rural living standards, improve market access and support agribusiness.

The primary tools will be the increased use of new technologies, technical support to members and subregions, support to agribusiness and capacity building.

Expected results include enhanced policy prescriptions, strengthened research facilities, boosted institutional capacity and promotion of knowledge exchange.