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Food, Agriculture & Decent Work

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.

Latest News
Learn more about FAO’s contribution to the eradication of child labour

FAO has continued to scale-up its efforts to address child labour in agriculture, including fisheries, forestry and livestock, during the period 2012-2014. Contributions from FAO at major conferences and strengthened inter-agency cooperation at global, regional and national level are raising the profile of an integrated approach to child labour in agriculture. FAO is providing policy and technical support in a number of countries such as Cambodia, LAO PDR, Malawi, Mali, Niger and Tanzania. To achieve positive change in policies and practice, FAO is also enhancing knowledge and building capacity. Overall, FAO is integrating child labour concerns across its work [...]

Ghana: promoting decent work opportunities along the cassava value chain

On 28-29 November 2013, FAO hosted a sensitization workshop on decent rural employment issues in the cassava value chain in Ghana’s West Gonja District. Representatives of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and Northern Regional Coordinating Council, as well as local cassava producers, processors and traders were brought together in Tamale to learn about, discuss and deliberate over the working conditions in the local cassava value chain. The workshop was held as part of FAO’s Programmatic Regional Initiative (SO3PRI), which is implementing FAO’s integrated approach to rural poverty reduction in Northern Ghana. Through this integrated approach, FAO is providing comprehensive [...]

Sweden provides funding to joint ILO-FAO programme for young rural entrepreneurs in Zambia

A new UN Joint Programme that aims to boost national food security in Zambia by encouraging young women and men to develop sustainable rural enterprises has received contributions of USD 7 million from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). The initiative will also contribute to Zambia’s implementation of the Comprehensive Accelerated Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) launched by the African Union, and linked to the Rural Futures Initiative championed by the AU-New Economic Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) planning agency. While Zambia has made significant progress in recent years to develop its economy, rural poverty continues to affect young people, [...]

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