Food and Agriculture Organisation FAO

FAO Private Sector DevelopmentAchieving food security for all is at the heart of the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s efforts – to make sure people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives.  Its mandate is to improve nutrition, increase agricultural productivity, raise the standard of living in rural populations and contribute to global economic growth.

Private sector development (PSD) policy and strategy

FAO seeks to intervene to help address the many challenges, across the value chain that small producers, and even small economies face. Food and agricultural systems need to improve their inclusiveness by linking smallholder producers (farmers, foresters and fisher folk and their organizations) with agribusiness enterprises and supply chains for their effective and sustainable participation in rapidly changing global, regional and national markets. This implies that FAO needs to work with countries and decision-makers that face these new challenges by  providing them with the tools they need such as analytical information as well as in information gathering; in developing sound policies; in developing capacity at the institutional and individual levels; and in helping to fight food losses and waste.

Cooperation with the private sector

FAO also needs to partner with the private sector which plays a fundamental role in helping to shape the international marketplace. Despite growing recognition by agri-food and forestry companies that mainstreaming of responsible practices is a competitiveness factor, few companies have succeeded in identifying and scaling inclusive and efficient business models. Global companies need to mainstream principles of corporate social responsibility practices and mechanisms to ensure accountability. FAO is thus working to facilitate dialogue between governments and the private sector, developing and encouraging the use of voluntary standards, facilitating private investment in good value chains that will include smallholders and others that have been largely excluded. Further, FAO is working to engage effectively with the United Nations, G8 and other global initiatives to strengthen dialogue and collaborative action with the private sector, particularly multinational corporations, on inclusive technology adoption and fair markets.

Transparency, effectiveness and results in PSD

The FAO Office of Evaluation (OED) was established as a separate organizational entity in January 2010 – an outcome of the Immediate Plan of Action for FAO Renewal approved by the FAO Conference in November 2008. However, an evaluation function has existed in FAO since 1968. OED reports jointly to both the Director-General and to the Council, the latter through the Programme Committee. Evaluation functions as part of the overall oversight regime in FAO, along with external audit, internal audit, inspection and investigation. The Office assures the effective operation of the evaluation system in the Organization. It also plays an active role in UN System inter-agency discussions for strengthening and harmonizing evaluation approaches and criteria. All FAO evaluations, management responses and follow-up reports are available to the public.