UNDP brings everything together in 100+ countries for Food and Agricultural Commodity Systems 

FACS are fundamental to the sustainable development of the 170 countries UNDP supports. FACS are often the largest contributor to their economies; food and nutrition is fundamental for citizen health; and FACS have a key role to play in achieving the SDGs. Yet, FACS are in crisis and need to be radically transformed to become sustainable. The production practices and consumption patterns in global Food and Agricultural Commodity Systems (FACS) are on an unsustainable trajectory with multiple impacts on human development, the environment and economies.To ecosystem degradation, 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 including overweight and obesity, we must add the COVID-19 pandemic and its global effects.

We must transform to a new paradigm of agricultural production based on diversified, resilient agroecological systems which work simultaneously on achieving economic, environmental, social, and health outcomes; with smallholders central to the transformation as the engine of economic development. Working on FACS will contribute not only to recovery from the COVID19 crisis, by creating sustainable and resilient livelihoods for many along FAC supply chains, but also by reducing deforestation preventing further zoonoses in the future.

UNDP has for the first time consolidated its FACS support and vision into one innovative strategy. This Strategy targets the deep crisis the world finds itself with an integrated approach to the issues and lays a foundation for reshaping global food systems for a sustainable future. With a current portfolio of projects representing over USD 1.2 billion in grants, UNDP works on FACS in more than 100 countries and close to 500 landscapes. UNDP´s vision for FACS is, through multi-stakeholder collaboration, to transform food and commodity systems into resilient; equitable; inclusive; environmentally, socially and economically sustainable systems. This will be achieved by UNDP building on its trusted relationship with governments to:

• Be the SDG integrator using multi-stakeholder collaboration for systemic change.

• Bring technical expertise in 170 countries to unlock synergies and build capacity for integrated work.

• Build partnerships based on comparative advantage with FAO, IFAD, WHO, UNEP and others.

• Facilitate learning and curating collective knowledge for action.

• Work across multiple geographical scales, top-down and bottom-up.

• Unlock and catalyze private and public – bilateral and multilateral - financing.


3 Key Results from 5 Intervention Areas


To achieve the FACS vision, UNDP’s strategy is focused 3 interlinked key expected results.

1. Upscaling sustainable production landscapes and jurisdictions

2. Transforming food and agricultural commodity supply chains to become sustainable

3. Empowering all members of vulnerable households and smallholder producers to become more resilient, attain food security and pursue sustainable livelihoods

The key results have a multiplier effect: as more food and agricultural commodity supply chains become sustainable, more production landscapes and jurisdictions have a route to sustainability, and more producers have the opportunity for a sustainable livelihood. UNDP offers support across 5 systemic intervention areas are being devised to drive the achievement of the 3 key results. Working with the expertise and funding of partners, UNDP will develop the detailed structure, strategy and activities in these 5 intervention areas. At country level:

1. Reforming policy, legislative and regulatory frameworks for sustainable and resilient food and agricultural commodity systems and strengthening their enforcement.

2. Strengthening national and subnational capacities and systems to foster sustainable food and agricultural commodity systems.

3. Improving market and financial incentives for producers to shift to more sustainable practices.

4. Promoting sustainable and resilient livelihoods for all members of vulnerable rural households and small producers.

At global level:

5. Increasing global and country level impact through global advocacy, capacity building and partnerships.

UNDP will mainstream the concepts of leaving no one behind, gender equality and women’s empowerment, transparency and governance, and resilience in all interventions. Twelve Transformative Pathways– ranging over energy, water, food waste, biodiversity and more – link Intervention Areas and Key Results.

The strategy is shown unfolding - 5 Intervention Areas achieving 12 Transformative Pathways on the way to 3 Key Expected Results – in the below visualization.



If you want to know more, download the UNDP Food and Agricultural Commodity Systems (FACS) Strategy here.

Do you prefer an easier-to-digest summary? Read the UNDP FACS Strategy Summary here.

For further information:


Andrew Bovarnick, Global Head, Food and Agricultural Commodity Systems