After decades supporting food and agricultural commodity systems through country-level projects, UNDP is now launching a new Food and Agricultural Commodity Systems (FACS) Strategy to bring everything together, focus its vision and enhance its support to transform FACS. This strategy targets the deep crisis the world finds itself in with an integrated approach to the issues and lays a foundation for transforming global food systems for a sustainable future.

Current production practices and consumption patterns in Food and Agricultural Commodity Systems (FACS) are on an unsustainable trajectory with multiple impacts on human development, the environment, and the economy. To the rapid loss of biodiversity, conflicts over land and natural resources, reduced capacity and resilience to climate and other shocks, persistent poverty, food insecurity, and related people displacement and migration, and malnutrition, we must add the COVID-19 pandemic and its global effects.

With all of these in mind, 2020 is the ideal year to take a step forward on plans to create a new paradigm of agricultural production, based on resilient; equitable; healthy; inclusive; environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable systems -which will respond to the needs of increasing global food production without undermining the capacity of the world’s lands and seas to meet the food needs of future generations. This calls for a model based on agroecological systems which work simultaneously on achieving economic, environmental, social, and health outcomes, with smallholders as a key part of the solution in their role as the engine of economic development.

UNDP's Vision for FACS 2030 is to lead through partnerships, a positive transformation of food and agricultural commodity systems, in order to contribute not only to the recovery from the current COVID-19 global crisis by creating sustainable and resilient livelihoods for many along the FACS supply chains, but also to prevent further zoonotic diseases from emerging in the future.

"UNDP already has a current $1.2B portfolio supporting FACS across the globe, most of which has originated from a climate adaptation, ecosystems and biodiversity, forests, and/or water angle, to name a few. The new FACS practice will support the implementation of the strategy through coordination and integration across teams, practices and portfolios to maximize impact, share lessons, crowd in funding and finance and scale up both reach, and impact, on the ground" says Pradeep Kurukulasuriya, Director of Nature, Climate and Energy & Executive Coordinator of Environmental Finance BPPS/GPN at UNDP.

Andrew Bovarnick will be lead this practice. A recognized figure in the organization with his more than 20 years at UNDP, first as a global technical advisor and lead natural resource economist, and the last 10 years heading up UNDP's Green Commodities Programme (GCP), he led the formulation of the FACS strategy, with the input of colleagues across different practices.

Covering more than 100 countries, and supporting close to 500 landscapes, the FACS portfolio includes initiatives that focus on increasing the resilience of agricultural systems and food security for more than 3.7 million people in more than 1,000 smallholder farming communities across 40 countries, mainly in Least Developed Countries (LDCs). During the last decade UNDP has joined forces with over 40 international organizations and NGOs to tackle challenges at the roots of unsustainable food and agricultural commodity systems.

The world is calling out for a vision of commodity systems that are resilient; equitable; inclusive; environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable. UNDP is ready to answer that call.

Download the UNDP Food and Agricultural Commodity Systems (FACS) Strategy here.


A UNDP FACS Sustainability Journey: The Twelve Transformative Pathways to the Three Key Results. Image: UNDP/Carlotta Cataldi