Shyam Khadka, FAO Representative in India, in a brief interaction with SMART AGRIPOST, says FAO India enunciates its priorities as per the requirement of the Government of India and aspires to contribute for sustainable development of agriculture sector.
Q. What are your priorities in India for 2017?
Ans: FAO’s programme in India is primarily guided by Government of India (GoI) priorities and FAO’s corporate priorities that play an important role in supporting India to (i) reduce rural poverty (ii) promote inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems (iii) eradicate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition (iv) provide goods and services from agriculture, forestry, and fisheries in a sustainable manner (v) increase resilience and (vi) provision of global goods. In doing so, FAO will also address cross-cutting issues such as gender and climate change.
These priorities are further consolidated by the five priorities of the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (RAP) which are (i) strengthen food and nutritional security, (ii) foster agricultural production and rural development, (iii) enhance equitable, productive and sustainable natural resource management and utilization, (iv) improve capacity to respond to food and agricultural threats and emergencies and (v) coping with the impact of climate change on food and agriculture.
Building upon the priorities set by GoI and FAO’s global and regional offices, and drawing upon the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals, FAO India has enunciated its priorities in India through the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF 2013-2017).
The three main priority areas of FAO are:
(i) Sustainable development of agriculture, focusing primarily on managing natural resources that are under threat, by applying approaches and tools that have been pioneered by FAO in India to restore degraded lands and match water demands to supplies by bringing in proven approaches and technologies such as the one on participatory ground water management, and piloting tailor-made strategies with farming communities so that they can adapt to climate change.
(ii) Help ensure food and nutrition security, by primarily focusing on providing critical inputs for improving nutritional status through appropriate analytical work, strategy formulation, and nutrition education and assisting in diversifying livelihood sources in rain-fed areas, and thereby assisting small farmers build resilience through better management of risks.
(iii) Assist in trans-boundary cooperation and enhancing India’s contribution to global public good, drawing upon FAO’s mandate and emerging priorities of GoI with respect to its role in the international arena, will focus on collaborating on trans-boundary issues, and facilitating India’s cooperation with other developing countries to learn from India’s varied experiences and benefit from its expertise in the areas of agriculture and rural development.
Q. What is FAO’s long term vision?
Ans:The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is a specialized UN agency with three main goals. These are: i). eradication of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition; ii). elimination of poverty and the driving forward of economic and social progress for all; and, iii). the sustainable management and utilization of natural resources, including land, water, air, climate and genetic resources for the benefit of present and future generations.