Developing green and sustainable value chains for special agricultural products can support small farmers and push the transformation of current agri-food systems.
Photo: ©FAO/Luis Tato

Global Action on Green Development of Special Agricultural Products launched

An initiative has been started to promote sustainable food value-chains through green development of special agricultural products with unique qualities and special characteristics.

The Global Action on Green Development of Special Agricultural Products: One Country One Priority Product (OCOP) was launched by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in September 2021. It was developed in line with the new FAO Strategic Framework 2022-31 and has been designed as a five-year programme (2021-25). 

The Action aims to develop green and sustainable value chains for special agricultural products, support small and family farmers reap the full benefits of a global market and ultimately help the transformation of current agri-food systems and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Special Agricultural Products (SAPs) are those with unique qualities and special characteristics associated with geographical locations and cultural heritages. They can significantly contribute to ensuring food security and healthy diets, supporting farmers’ livelihoods and economic growth while protecting the environment and biodiversity. 

SAPs include all kinds of agricultural products, recognised (or having the potential to be recognised) as symbolic national or local agricultural products, but have not fully benefited from agricultural and rural development programmes to the extent of commonly grown staple crops (e.g. rice, wheat, maize, soybean and potato). SAPs also have a huge potential to be integrated into local, regional, and global markets and trade. 

“The transformation of agri-food systems starts by identifying one product or a specific crop,” said FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu at the launch event. “This one product then becomes an entry-point for new, concrete actions to achieve tangible results for better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life for all, leaving no one behind.”

Central to the Global Action is the promotion of SAPs through innovation and green development, as well as facilitating development for smallholders and family farming production models, which can significantly contribute to achieving the 2030 Agenda – in particular SDGs 1 (No poverty) and 2 (No hunger). 

The initiative aims to optimise production systems and minimise loss of crop yields and biodiversity. It further seeks to minimise food loss, waste and misuse of agricultural chemicals, and to maximise integrated agricultural profits. Combined, the objective of these elements is to enable the transition to more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems. 

(FAO/ile)

Read more at FAO website

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