The common aim of FAO is to raise the profile of the problems of hunger and food insecurity, and to try and ensure that trade contributes to the eradication of food insecurity and poverty. This requires, inter alia, ensuring that trade rules are supportive of development strategies and goals, and that developing countries participate effectively in a growing global trade.
In terms of global advocacy, the services provided by FAO broadly relate to: (i) MDGs; (ii) Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP); and (iii) mainstreaming trade-related issues.
Mainstreaming appropriate trade policies in national development plans.
It is widely recognized that agricultural trade has considerable potential to contribute to reducing food insecurity, as well as to development in general. The challenge is not only to raise awareness of this potential and then mobilize the necessary resources for the development of agricultural trade, but also to ensure that appropriate agricultural trade policies and supportive measures are mainstreamed in national policy and strategy papers, such as PRSPs. In particular, this service contributes to the first MDG (reduce by half the proportion of poor and hungry people in the world by 2015), and also to the eighth (develop a global partnership for development), by further developing an open trading and financial system that is rule-based, predictable and non-discriminatory, and includes a commitment to good governance, development and poverty reduction—nationally and internationally.
FAO’s general objective is to enable governments and civil society in developing countries and countries with economies in transition to acquire the necessary information, knowledge, and expertise for mainstreaming appropriate trade policies in national development plans and policies, and to ensure that adequate resources are invested.
As far as information on and analysis of the role of agricultural trade in reducing hunger is concerned, all FAO member nations are potential beneficiaries. Assistance on mainstreaming appropriate trade policies can be utilized by all developing countries and countries with economies in transition; specific beneficiaries include agriculture and trade policy-makers, policy analysts, trade negotiators, producers’ associations, and industry and trade associations.
The service is provided through global and regional studies, analysis, expert consultations and workshops. Targeted sectors include agriculture, fisheries and forestry. The service facilitates coordination with the capacity building activities of other agencies, such as the WTO, the World Bank, UNCTAD and UNIDO.