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April 14, 2024
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India to benefit from FAO-led Global Environment Facility approved Food Systems Integrated Program | FAO in India | Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has approved 48 FAO-led projects worth about $2.9 billion –$294 million in project financing and $2.6 billion in co-financing– that will play a pivotal role in fostering a sustainable agrifood systems transformation to end hunger and conserve the environment. India is a recipient country under the GEF-supported Food Systems Integrated Program (FSIP), one of the three FAO-led global and regional programs focused on food systems, oceans and ecosystem restoration.

FSIP co-led with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), will direct $252 million in project financing and $2.2 billion in co-financing to 32 countries. The FSIP focuses on transforming global agrifood systems from farm to table so that they are sustainable,  nature-positive, resilient, inclusive and pollution-free. The program will deliver global benefits for biodiversity, addressing land degradation and climate change, along with improved food security, nutrition, incomes, livelihood sustainability and resilience.

In India, the project will focus on aquaculture in the State of Andhra Pradesh. India is at the forefront of transforming its fisheries sector through a ‘Blue Revolution’. The Government of India is committed to increasing fish production and productivity, improving quality and resource use efficiency, and reducing waste. Andhra Pradesh is India’s largest aquaculture State contributing 37% of India’s entire aquaculture output. This is a scale that is both nationally and globally important. The project will be for five years, and will adopt a food systems approach to increase the sustainability of aquaculture production by strengthening the efficient, rational and equitable use of land and water resources for food production, thereby improving environmental conditions, livelihoods, employment and entrepreneurship and food security through the production of affordable fish.

Besides India, FAO will implement projects in another 21 countries (Angola, Argentina, Benin, Bhutan, Chile, China, Ecuador, Eswatini, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Türkiye) to support National Food Systems Transformation Pathways or other government-led frameworks and meet environmental commitments, such as the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and the Paris Agreement.
The program focuses specifically on eight agrifood value chains and sectors: maize, rice, wheat, cocoa, palm oil, soy, livestock and aquaculture. The initiative is also expected to restore more than 870,000 hectares of degraded croplands, forests, natural grasslands, and wetlands, as well as improve management practices of almost 14 million hectares of land.  These measures will help mitigate more than 174 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and eliminate 220 metric tons of highly hazardous pesticides. 

The second program focuses on Clean and Healthy Ocean Integrated Program and will direct $100 million in project financing to 14 countries, leveraging $748 million in co-financing, to reduce land-based ocean pollution in nine Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs), including the Bay of Bengal, South China Sea, Caribbean, Red Sea, Black Sea, Humboldt Current, Agulhas Current, and the North Brazil Shelf.

The program addresses marine hypoxic zones – also known as “dead zones” – by curbing land-based sources of pollution from agriculture (overuse of fertilizer, livestock pollution) and industrial and municipal sources (untreated wastewater) through policy and regulatory measures and infrastructure investments combined with the sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystem-based solutions. 

Similarly, the Central Asia Water and Land Nexus Program, newly approved by the GEF Council and led by FAO, will direct $26 million (leveraging $335.5 million in co-financing) to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan to restore ecosystems of the Amu Darya and Syr Darya basins and enhance water security, increase resilience and improve rural livelihoods. 

In addition, FAO will support countries through individual projects that focus on biodiversity conservation, land degradation, climate change adaptation, and management of shared water systems.  


As a partner agency for the Global Environment Facility (GEF), FAO supports countries worldwide in addressing the complex challenges at the nexus between the agrifood systems and the environment. FAO’s global GEF portfolio currently exceeds USD 1.4 billion, assisting more than 120 countries in projects that respond to local priorities, deliver global environmental benefits, and advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

You can find out more about FAO’s partnership with GEF here.

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