About the FAO rooftop farm

The state of the art rooftop farm on the terrace at FAO Headquarters in Rome is the first of its kind to ever be installed on a United Nations building in Italy.

Building synergies with the Food Gardens Initiative at UN Headquarters, the FAO rooftop farm aims to promote FAO’s leading role in food and agriculture, highlighting the role of innovative and sustainable technology, as well as the work of the Mountain Partnership on agrobiodiversity, agroecology, sustainable food systems and family farming.

Made up of moveable triangle-shaped modules, the rooftop farm is dynamic and can be reconfigured into different shapes. Each module is equipped with sensors that detect vegetation productivity and stresses – such as atmospheric pollution, water and climatic conditions – in real time. The modules are irrigated through an innovative water- and energy-efficient system. Data will be monitored and analysed by the Department of Environmental Biology of at Sapienza University of Rome.

The project serves to explore the possibility of using similar rooftop gardens in regions where urban agriculture is key to alleviating food shortages, as well as in regions where agricultural land is becoming increasingly limited, or in densely populated areas; as well as in regions where urban agriculture has the potential to reduce pressure on the environment and bring additional benefits to society in terms of stress reduction and social cohesion.

A great biological diversity of plant species – including crops at risk of extinction, neglected species and mountain varieties that have received the Mountain Partnership Product label – will be cultivated on the farm.

The rooftop farm will be open for guided visits when COVID-19 restrictions cease. FAO will donate the food produced on the rooftop farm to local associations.

Find out what is growing in the garden this season

About the Mountain Partnership Products initiative 

The Mountain Partnership Products initiative protects the rich mountain agrobiodiversity and the traditional, highly nutritional and high-quality foods that are at risk of being abandoned. The initiative sustainably transforms food systems by enhancing opportunities for increased and more reliable incomes for otherwise structurally impoverished and vulnerable mountain populations, allowing consumers to be more informed about their purchases by communicating the nutritional and environmental value of mountain products to them through a narrative label. It also provides a low-cost certification system for small-scale mountain producers to certify their organic and agroecological production via Participatory Guarantee Systems.   

Learn more about the Mountain Partnership Products initiative

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