Technical assistance from FAO helps LDCs to overcome emergencies and to meet short-term, pressing needs, and to build a modern food and agricultural system by exploiting more fully their human and natural resource potentials.
The assistance is guided by three global goals:
1. Access of all people at all times to sufficient, nutritionally adequate and safe food, with the aim of ensuring that the number of undernourished people is reduced by half by no later than 2015;
2. The continued contribution of sustainable agriculture and rural development, including fisheries and forestry, to economic and social progress and the well-being of all;
3. The conservation, improvement and sustainable utilization of natural resources, including land, water, forest, fisheries and genetic resources for food and agriculture.
The assistance includes normative as well operational field activities with a direct impact on supply-side capacities. This paper focuses on operational field activities in LDCs and provides an illustrative list of ongoing FAO field projects in these countries.
FAO provides technical cooperation and emergency assistance, funded from its regular programme and extra-budgetary resources, to least developed and other developing countries at their request, and in partnership with bilateral donors, multilateral institutions, other organizations of the United Nations system, as well as with the private sector and civil society.
In the crops sector, FAO has different projects in the LDCs. For example, in Nepal helped strengthen the country’s capacity for introducing and testing improved vegetable varieties, stimulated private sector involvement in production of improved seeds, and contributed to an 85 percent increase in domestic vegetable production. Forestry projects have assisted in rehabilitation of tree cover in Mauritania, capacity-building in forestry research in Bhutan, and creation of a forestry crime monitoring programme in Cambodia. Livestock projects have increased veterinary vaccine production in Ethiopia, and helped Angola detect and control transboundary livestock diseases. Fisheries projects are developing in the LAO People’s Democratic Republic, a provincial aquaculture programme, designed to be replicated in other areas, and provide advice to Cape Verde on new policies for its fisheries sector. Other Field Programme activities include expansion of the national food information system in Eritrea, assistance tofruit and vegetable marketing in Nepal, strengthening of the agricultural extension system in Bangladesh, and support to national food quality control in Lesotho, Bhutan and Cambodia.