Plant Production and Protection

Areas of work

Knowledge Platform

Agroecology is a holistic and integrated approach that simultaneously applies ecological and social concepts and principles to the design and management of sustainable agriculture and food systems. It seeks to optimize the interactions between plants, animals, humans and the environment while also addressing the need for socially equitable food systems within which people can exercise choice over what they eat and how and where it is produced.

Global Programme
Global Programme on Sustainable Dryland Agriculture

Drylands are home to an estimated 2 billion people, about 90 percent of them in developing countries. Drylands are also home to a great variety of indigenous livestock breeds and plant species that are essential for food security and livelihoods. Drylands represent 43.2 percent of total global area in 2020, and are predicted to be 44.2 percent in 2050.

Knowledge Platform
Conservation Agriculture

Conservation Agriculture is a farming system that promotes minimum soil disturbance (i.e. no tillage), maintenance of a permanent soil cover, and diversification of plant species. It enhances biodiversity and natural biological processes above and below the ground surface, which contribute to increased water and nutrient use efficiency and to improved and sustained crop production.

Knowledge Platform
Locust Management

FAO closely monitors the global Desert Locust situation 24/7 and provides forecasts, early warning and alerts on the timing, scale and location of invasions and breeding through its global Desert Locust Information Service (DLIS). All locust-affected countries transmit locust data to FAO who in turn analyse this information in conjunction with weather and habitat data and satellite imagery in order to assess the current locust situation, provide forecasts up to six weeks in advance and issue warnings on an ad-hoc basis.

Knowledge Platform

Seeds are the primary basis for human sustenance. They are the repository of the genetic potential of crop species and their varieties resulting from the continuous improvement and selection over time. Crop improvement and the delivery of high quality seeds and planting materials of selected varieties to growers is necessary for ensuring improved crop production and meeting growing environmental challenges. Food security therefore is dependent on the seed security of farming communities.

Knowledge Platform
Farmer Field Schools

A Farmer Field School brings together a group of farmers, livestock herders or fisherfolk, to learn on how to shift towards more sustainable production practices, by better understanding complex agro-ecosystems and by enhancing ecosystem services. A FFS group meets regularly during a production cycle, setting up experimentation and engaging in hands-on learning to improve skills and knowledge that will help adapt practices to their specific context. 

Knowledge Platform
Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization

Mechanization covers all levels of farming and processing technologies, from simple and basic hand tools to more sophisticated and motorized equipment. It eases and reduces hard labour, relieves labour shortages, improves productivity and timeliness of agricultural operations, improves the efficient use of resources, enhances market access and contributes to mitigating climate related hazards. 

Knowledge Platform
Pest and Pesticide Management

Pesticides are any substance or mixture of substances made up of chemical or biological ingredients and intended to repel, destroy or control pests, or to regulate plant growth. Pests are a major cause of crop yield losses. FAO estimates that plant pests and diseases account for the reduction of between 20 and 40 percent of global crop yields per year. Crop losses contribute to food insecurity, which continues to grow with increasing population numbers in the face of climate challenges.

Knowledge Platform
Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture

Urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) can be defined as practices that yield food and other outputs through agricultural production and related processes, taking place on land and other spaces within cities and surrounding regions. It involves urban and peri-urban actors, communities, methods, places, policies, institutions, systems, ecologies and economies, largely using and regenerating local resources to meet changing needs of local populations while serving multiple goals and functions.

Global Programme
City Region Food Systems Programme

Adopting a City Region Food Systems (CRFS) approach offers concrete policy and programme opportunities where urban developmental issues can be addressed and rural and urban communities can be directly linked. Improved city region food systems improve economic, social and environmental conditions in both urban and nearby rural areas. 

Latest news from Plant Production and Protection
Advancing agroecology through collaboration with parliamentarian networks

In a long-running collaboration between the Assemblée Parlementaire de la Francophonie (APF), a network of  francophone parliaments , and FAO,...

FAO formally launches Green Cities Initiative in Cameroon

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations today held an official launch here of its

China launches OCOP initiative to promote sustainable tea industry

The OCOP is a flagship initiative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), that helps countries promote their special...

FAO guide to new International Day of Potato sets scene for first-ever observance on May 30

As the world prepares to celebrate the first-ever International Day of Potato next month, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations...

IYM Closing Event: Inspiring and interactive discussions at the Speakers' corner

In a vibrant culmination of the International Year of Millets, experts, policymakers, farmers, and enthusiasts from around the world gathered in...

FAO launches new global project to scale-up One Country One Priority Product Initiative

Key stakeholders, including government officials, non-governmental organizations and civil society representatives, project task force members, leading...

International Year of Millets ends with pledge to build on its success

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) marked the official closure of the International Year of Millets 2023 with a ceremony...

Crop improvement holds promise to boost millets production in adverse growing conditions

Advances in plant breeding technologies and value chains have enormous potential to boost sustainable millet production and consumer demand but must...

FAO and chef Fatmata Binta announce new project to empower women fonio producers in Ghana

The project is designed to provide specialized training to approximately 100 women involved in fonio cultivation, enhancing their skills and boosting...

Desert Locust: Managing the Pest and Protecting People and the Environment

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has called for ‘’robust coordination’’ between countries and regions in efforts to prevent...

Learning to detect, manage, and prevent FAW in Solomon Islands and neighbouring Pacific Island countries

The workshop, with training sessions covering prevention, preparedness and sustainable management of FAW, was held from 11 to 15 December 2023 in...

Beekeeping Project Sparks Joy Across Tanzania

During a handover event in Tanzania, from the Capacity Building Related to Multilateral Environmental Agreements in African, Caribbean and Pacific...

FAO supports Zimbabwe to stop the loss of agricultural biodiversity through sound management of pesticides

Over the last three years, under the ACP-MEAS 3 project, a European Union-funded initiative that seeks to strengthen environmental governance and...

Farmer Field Schools take on El Niño induced drought in Zimbabwe

The ACP-MEAs 3 project brings hope to the farmers in Zimbabwe, who are facing the challenges of climate change head-on and are determined to adapt...

Financing urban and city region food system actions: Fourth webinar of the CRFS Knowledge Exchange Series

Urban and city region food systems (CRFS) are critical to sustain their fast-growing populations, yet securing funding to support and improve themrepresents...

Announcing the theme of the first International Day of Potato

The potato, an important crop that is consumed by over one billion people around the world, will be celebrated on 30 May 2024, the first-ever International...

Empowering female farmers in crop production systems

FAO recognizes women’s need to access agricultural mechanization in plant production to conduct their farming practices profitably and efficiently....

Leveraging Science and Innovation for OCOP implementation in Asia and the Pacific – APRC37

Science and innovative technologies can speed up efficient, resilient, sustainable and inclusive development of value chains of geographically-specific...