Policy Support and Governance Gateway
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Sustainable Food and Agriculture

Agriculture production systems are facing unprecedented challenges from an increasing demand for food for a growing population, high competition over dwindling natural resources, loss of biodiversity, emerging pests and diseases, compounded by the adverse effects of climate change.

Driving the transition to sustainable food and agriculture systems.

FAO’s policy work in sustainable food and agriculture (SFA) supports Member Countries, leveraging the Organisation’s knowledge and experience to drive positive change across the three dimensions of sustainability: social, economic and environmental.

In facilitating the transition towards SFA, FAO develops gender-responsive and nutrition-sensitive policies, investment plans, programmes and governance mechanisms for sustainable agriculture, forestry and fisheries. The Organization assists producers in adopting innovative practices and technologies to increase productivity sustainably, while considering trade-offs and synergies. Moreover, FAO works through a wide variety of multi-stakeholder dialogues, alliances and partnerships and strengthens policy implementation, including through international and regional instruments relevant to sustainable agriculture, forestry and fisheries.

Key policy messages

·        Countries should adopt Sustainable Food and Agriculture (SFA) approaches that promote resource efficiency, conserve natural resources and biodiversity and foster resilient livelihoods as an indispensable step towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 2.

·        Governments and regional entities should strengthen or establish evidence-based policies, investment plans, programmes and governance mechanisms for promoting productive and sustainable agriculture in a cross-sectoral, integrated and participatory manner, while reversing resource degradation, protecting biodiversity, building resilience to shocks and addressing the challenge of climate change.

·        Increase regional and national institutional capacities and partnerships for scaling up sustainable agriculture under climate change, strengthening smallholders’ capacities and providing support to assess and adopt appropriate practices and technologies, foster innovation and evaluate and monitor impacts.

·        Promote the key principles of SFA, through raising awareness, promoting dialogues and building multi-stakeholder platforms at regional and country levels.

·        Mobilize domestic and international finance to facilitate the transition to sustainable agriculture, targeting public funds to provide public goods such as knowledge and infrastructure, and to unlock the potential of the private sector through de-risking and technical cooperation.


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