Decent Rural Employment

Elements of an FAO Rural Employment Strategy - Productive, Fair and Just Employment for Rural Development and Food Security


Rural employment was presented as an information document at the 21st session of the Committee on Agriculture 2009 (COAG), held at FAO’s headquarters in Rome from the 22nd to the 25th of April.

The document, titled “Elements of an FAO Rural Employment Strategy - Productive, Fair and Just Employment for Rural Development and Food Security” presents a proposal for achieving an integrated focus on rural employment throughout FAO’s work programme.

COAG confirmed rural employment as a key component of the organization’s work on rural development. Rural employment is critical to rural livelihoods, to enhancing food security, and to eradicating hunger in the world. A number of FAO’s activities and programmes contribute directly or indirectly to enhancing work opportunities, income and productivity and to improving rural livelihoods.

FAO’s main emphasis in the first phase (2009-2011) will be on maximising the decent work benefits of key regular programme areas within the organization’s comparative advantage, including: a) supporting employment generation and enterprise development by strengthening policies to address agricultural labour allocation, productivity and remuneration; b) contributing to social protection by mainstreaming occupational safety and health throughout FAO’s codes and standards and extension programmes; c) supporting adherence to core labour standards; and d) enhancing social dialogue by strengthening producers’ organizations, cooperatives and rural workers’ organizations.

FAO’s rural employment strategy responds to the Chief Executive Board’s call for greater policy coherence and convergence on decent work across the UN System, following also the indications emerged from the 97th session of the International Labour Conference 2008 for a more effective collaboration between FAO and ILO. The two organizations are expected to play a crucial and complementary role in enhancing decent and productive rural employment in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, livestock, agro-processing and rural marketing enterprises and industries. In addition, partnerships with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and other institutions with expertise and mandates that complement FAO’s will continue to be strengthened.

COAG’s agenda and the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish versions of the documents are available at: