Science, Technology and Innovation

Science, technology and innovation are key components of FAO’s work that are becoming increasingly important.

The Chief Scientist is the driver to leverage STI in FAO and enables the Organization to strengthen its position as a source of reliable scientific information and a neutral platform at the heart of important debates.  

The Chief Scientist delivers strategic guidance, coherence and alignment on STI, and ensures that the the necessary alliances and partnerships are made and maintained to further the Organization’s aims using STI. 

FAO developed its first-ever Science and Innovation Strategy in 2022. It is a tool to support the delivery of the FAO Strategic Framework 2022–31 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Action Plan 2022-2025 for the implementation of the Science and Innovation Strategy provides a common framework for FAO action at the country, sub-regional, regional and global levels.

In focus
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Science and Innovation for Climate Action - SIF 2023 curtain raiser

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Interview with Ismahane Elouafi: Rethinking food systems

Interviews and Discussions With Fascinating People Who are Creating A Better Tomorrow For All Of Us - Host - Ira S. Pastor


The State of Food and Agriculture 2023 looks into the true cost of food for sustainable agrifood systems. The report introduces the concept of hidden environmental, health and social costs and benefits of agrifood systems and proposes an approach – true cost accounting (TCA) – to assess them.


The Chief Scientist and STI 

The importance of STI for FAO

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The importance of Science, Technology and Innovation for FAO

The interconnectedness of challenges facing our agrifood systems calls for innovative systemic changes. Harnessing science, technology and innovation (STI) is thus key for leveraging emerging opportunities for reaching a world free from poverty, hunger and malnutrition. 

FAO Chief Scientist

The  FAO Strategic Framework 2022-31 puts at its centre the vision of Leaving No One Behind through MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life for all.

Technology and innovation are two of the four accelerators in the FAO Strategic Framework, together with data and complements (governance, human capital, and institutions). The Chief Scientist is integral to ensuring that this vision is realized through harnessing STI to provide solutions that address all the dimensions of sustainability to promote a world free from poverty, hunger and malnutrition, in accordance with the 2030 Agenda.

In 2022, after an extensive, inclusive and transparent consultation process, FAO’s first-ever Science and Innovation Strategy was endorsed by Council at its 170th session. The Strategy is a key tool to support the delivery of the FAO Strategic Framework 2022–2031 and hence the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In 2023,  The Action Plan 2022-2025 for the implementation of the FAO Science and Innovation Strategy has been developed. The Action Plan provides a common framework for FAO action at the country, sub-regional, regional and global levels. It  is a living document, and will be updated, as needed, to reflect new needs, opportunities and challenges. 

The Chief Scientist will assess the needs of small-scale producers and evaluate the impacts of technologies and innovations, including the potential benefits, risks, trade-offs and unintended consequences, as well as the barriers to adoption and diffusion, to ensure that the Programme Priority Areas can better leverage the two accelerators.