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More than two thirds of the 1.4 billion people who live in extreme poverty reside in rural areas of developing countries poverty (IFAD, 2011). The rural poor depend on agriculture and land-based productive resources, including forestry and fisheries, for their livelihoods. The creation of productive, decent and equitable employment is key to enabling them to escape from poverty and providing the means to produce or purchase adequate and nutritious food.

The two United Nations agencies responsible for agriculture and labour issues, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), are fully committed to:

  • combating hunger and poverty by promoting rural and agricultural development strategies that are socially, environmentally and economically sustainable, gender sensitive and equitable
  • achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
  • achieving other internationally agreed development goals, in particular decent work, promoting employment, fundamental rights and principles at work, gender equality, social protection and social dialogue.