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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

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"Conserving biodiversity for food and agriculture and promoting its use in support of global food security and sustainable development, for present and future generations"

 

About FAO

Achieving food security for all is at the heart of FAO's efforts – to make sure people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. 

Our three main goals are: the eradication of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition; the elimination of poverty and the driving forward of economic and social progress for all; and, the sustainable management and utilization of natural resources, including land, water, air, climate and genetic resources for the benefit of present and future generations.

As the leading international body for food and agriculture, FAO is involved at every level of agricultural development - from demonstrating to subsistence farmers new techniques for cultivating food crops, to advising governments on how to achieve more stable and equitable international trade in agricultural commodities.

FAO has four main tasks:

  • It carries out a major programme of technical advice and assistance for the agricultural community on behalf of governments and development funding agencies
  • It collects, analyses and disseminates information
  • It advises governments on policy and planning
  • It provides opportunities for governments to meet and discuss food and agricultural problems

Founded in 1945, FAO is the largest of the UN specialized agencies. It concentrates on finding ways to eliminate the hunger and poverty affecting millions of people in developing countries. FAO provides direct technical assistance through its Field Programmes. This assistance is usually directed at specific problems, and can lead to large-scale capital investment in agriculture - essential for development. The Organization's Regular Programme allows it to act as a clearinghouse for information, to advise governments on policy and planning and to service meetings of governments and experts on food and agricultural issues. 

The priorities and direction of FAO's efforts to eliminate hunger and poverty are the product of more than 55 years of thought and experience within and outside the Organization. The connection between hunger and poverty is recognised in the goal of world food security - a situation in which all people have at all times both physical and economic access to the food they need.

Finding answers to the problems of the smallest and poorest farmers is stressed through policies and programmes that promote integrated rural development - through the cultivation of goods and fodder crops, animal husbandry, small-scale fisheries and forest industries, either individually or together - for greater food production and economic self-reliance.

 

Procurement:

The main goal of FAO procurement is to efficiently support FAO’s mandate of achieving a food-secure world by raising levels of nutrition, improving agricultural productivity, bettering the lives of rural populations and contributing to the growth of the world economy. As such, the primary focus of FAO procurement is in the areas of agricultural, forestry and fishery products and machinery, as well as services related to technical studies, construction and disseminating information.

FAO procurement is generally undertaken on the basis of competition and is based on the fundamental principles of Best Value for Money, fairness, transparency, economy and effectiveness. Additional objectives of FAO procurement are to:

  • Promote the standardization and use of Framework Agreements, when appropriate, to maximize efficient use of resources;
  • Give due consideration to the importance of attaining an equitable international distribution of procurement sources while encouraging developing and emerging economies and supporting capacity building in beneficiary countries, particularly in emergency and post-emergency rehabilitative situations;
  • Favour cooperation with other entities of the United Nations system; and
  • Promote a competitive market by favouring procurement from the private sector over procurement from government entities, government controlled enterprises or Vendors receiving government subsidies, except when the latter is the only viable option or would result in substantial benefit to the Organization or to the beneficiaries of its technical cooperation activities.

The Procurement Service (CSAP) located at FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy is responsible for all FAO procurement activities. CSAP falls under the general responsibility of the Director of Administrative Services Division (Corporate Services Department) and the direct supervision of the Chief of CSAP.

FAO locations outside of Headquarters including Regional, Sub-Regional and Liaison offices and FAO Representations (Non-HQ Locations) also exercise authority to procure goods, works and services within specified limits which are USD 100,000 for FAO Liaison Offices and Representation Offices, USD 150,000 for Sub-Regional Offices and USD 200,000 for Regional Offices. Procurement actions in excess of the authority delegated to Non-HQ Locations are handled by CSAP.

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