The Joint FAO/IAEA Programme assists Member Countries of FAO and IAEA to use nuclear techniques and related biotechnologies for developing improved strategies for sustainable food security.
It does this by:

Co-ordinating and supporting research

Approximately 600 research institutions and experimental stations in Member Countries co-operate in 40 Co-ordinated Research Projects. Each project attempts to solve practical problems of economic significance for developing countries and involves collaboration among 10-20 institutions including those belonging to the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Institutions in developing countries are normally given Research Contracts with nominal financial support, whereas those in more developed countries participate through Research Agreements with financial support only for attendance at Research Co-ordination Meetings. These projects normally last for five years and the results are published.

Providing technical and advisory services

The Joint FAO/IAEA Programme is currently responsible for providing scientific and technical support for over 200 national and regional Technical Co-operation Projects, as well as for Inter-regional and Regional Training Courses channelled to recipient countries for the purpose of providing equipment, expert advice and training.

These projects are financed by IAEA's Technical Co-operation Fund and FAO's Technical Co-operation Programme and through trust funds provided by donor countries and international funding agencies.

Providing laboratory support and training

The FAO/IAEA Agriculture and Biotechnology Laboratories, situated at Seibersdorf, 35 km south of Vienna, play a key role in the implementation of the Joint FAO/IAEA Programme.
The laboratory specializes in research, development and transfer of nuclear methods in soil science, plant breeding, animal production and health, entomology and food contaminants control. The laboratory provides a broad range of specialized services and training of scientists through individual fellowships and inter-regional and group training courses in various disciplines. It also provides guidance on the introduction of analytical quality control and assurance into counterpart laboratories, and training in the maintenance of laboratory equipment and instruments.

Collecting, analysing and disseminating information

In addition to encouraging the direct transfer of skills and technology, the Joint FAO/IAEA Programme provides a variety of Information Services. These include conferences, symposia, seminars and advisory group panels, and the publication of technical and public information documents that arise from these meetings as well as from Co-ordinated Research Projects and Technical Co-operation Projects.
The Programme also maintains contact with Member Countries through the publications, such as newsletters, periodic reviews, and computer databases.