Agrifood systems face complex and unprecedented challenges related to climate change, biodiversity loss, migration, conflict, economic instabilities, and COVID-19. Inequality of income is growing, and many rural inhabitants live in poverty or extreme poverty.
The world is not on track to achieve zero hunger by 2030. FAO believes that Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) can accelerate the transformation of agrifood systems so that they become MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable, agrifood systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind.
FAO Director-General addresses panel on harnessing science and technology at Global Food Security Summit in London
The FAO Science and Innovation Strategy Action Plan (2022-25) provides a common framework for FAO action at the country, sub-regional, regional and...
30/11/2023 - 12/12/2023
Dubai | 30 November - 12 December 2023
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...
FAO’s role in science, technology and innovationFAO contributes to strengthening the link between science, research and development and does contribute to science (for example, through its work on data) and develops innovations (for example, institutional innovations such as Codex Alimentarius, social innovations such as Farmer Field Schools and technological innovations such as the geospatial platform of the Hand-in-Hand Initiative).
FAO translates the science and innovation that is developed by other actors into practical tools and policy guidance for development. FAO provides support to countries on innovative practices, approaches, methodologies and tools. It also supports science-driven innovative processes, platforms, and multi-stakeholder mechanisms.
Due to its unique position as a specialized agency of the UN and facilitator of intergovernmental processes, FAO is well-positioned to connect technical, development and financial partners, policymakers, producers, scientists and innovators, in all sectors of agrifood systems through a shared global agenda. FAO’s Governing and Statutory Bodies provide an interface for science and policy. FAO is uniquely placed to convene all agrifood systems actors to discuss and debate contentious scientific issues, including prevailing power asymmetries and socioeconomic inequalities. FAO is also uniquely placed to support its Members in strengthening national policy frameworks for enhanced science and innovation, identifying research priorities at regional and global levels and communicating them to the major research institutions.
Science, technology and innovation and the SDGs
Science, technology and innovation are at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and appear in numerous Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets.
Several agrifood systems-related SDG targets address technology (SDG2a, SDG 6a and SDG14a for agriculture and rural infrastructure, water use, and marine technology respectively). Other SDGs include targets on technology related to energy, women’s empowerment, infrastructure and industrialization, and means of implementation (including partnerships).
Innovation is included in relation to economic productivity, decent job creation, industrial development and capacities of developing countries.
Science (with technology and innovation) is recognized as a key means of implementation of SDGs. The 2030 Agenda's Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM) and its UN Interagency Task Team on Science, Technology and Innovation (IATT), in which FAO is an active member, provides a multistakeholder cooperation mechanism to promote coordination within the UN system.