FAO: Food and Agriculture Organization

The United Nations and International Documents Collection of Bobst Library has been an FAO depository library since 1965. This research guide contains citations to reference sources that will help you when searching for FAO documents, publications and data. It can also be used to find information on food and agriculture published by other intergovernmental organizations and sources.

Most FAO material is not yet cataloged in BobCat. Please use the card catalog across from the 6th floor reference desk to obtain FAO call numbers for books published before 2000. For periodicals, please inquire at the reference desk or the UN & International Documents Collection office. These materials are located in aisles 31-32 of the UN & International Documents Collection.


»  Talbot, Ross B. Historical Dictionary of the International Food Agencies: FAO, WFP, WFC, IFAD. Metuchen, N.J. : Scarecrow Press, 1994.
BREF6 IntlRef HD9000.1 .T34 1994 Non-circulating
This dictionary also includes a brief history of all four organizations, a bibliography and some organizational charts and tables with budgetary information for FAO, WFP and IFAD.

» Williams, Robert Virgil. The Information Systems of International Inter-Governmental Organizations : a Reference Guide. Stamford, Conn.: Ablex, 1998.
BREF6 Desk JZ4850 .W55 1998 Non-circulating (Request at 6th floor reference desk)
7-page FAO section Includes brief background, citations to bibliographies, listing of periodicals, statistical resources, "information systems" and indexes


Multilingual agricultural thesaurus, useful when conducting searches on FAO databases.

FAO Terminology
Multilingual database for searching terminology.



FAOBIB: FAO Catalogue on-line
FAOBIB is a multilingual catalog of documents and publications produced by FAO since 1945, books added to the library collections since 1976, and serials held in the FAO library. It contains an agricultural thesaurus called AGROVOC which, when combined with the advanced search option, allows for more precise results. FAOBIB also maintains links to full text material when available. Users may export citations in word processing format.

FAO Publications Catalogue on-line
Webpage includes Interactive Catalogue that groups publications by their subject category and also allows searching by title, ISBN and year. It is geared towards those wishing to purchase publications and therefore includes a list of sales agents, pricing information and summary of publications listed, although it still provides full text links when available. Includes FAO depository library listing.

Catalog for UN documents covering 1944 to the present. Includes some fulltext coverage.


Catalog of the UN Library which covers 1979 to the present and some older material as well as some fulltext of documents.

Other catalogs
Use the catalogs listed here to find the holdings of libraries outside Bobst for which you may request an interlibrary loan.

Indexes and Abstracts

AGRICOLA: Agricultural OnLine Access
AGRICOLA catalogs and indexes material related to agriculture and related disciplines. It is composed of two sections: the NAL Catalog contains citations for publications and audiovisual material while "Journal Articles" indexes articles, book chapters and reports.

International Development Abstracts
Bobst REF6 Index HC59.7.I56 Non-circulating
Bimonthly publication that indexes and provides abstracts for articles and reports on agriculture, natural resources, environment, health and food. Contents page arranged by subject, with more specific access via subject, regional, author, and journal indexes. Each year, the last issue contains cumulative contents page and indexes.

Index to International Statistics: IIS
Bobst REF6 Index Z7552 .I532 Non-circulating
Indexes international statistics from various intergovernmental agencies by subject, name, geographic area, category (age, commodity, country, company/enterprise, industry and sex), title, publication number and issuing source. IIS numbers provided correspond to IIS microfiche, available in the west wing of the 6th floor reference center at Bobst.

Statistical Universe - Lexis Nexis
Contains statistical data and reports covering 1973/1984 to the present. Select "Search Abstracts" on the left side hand side of the screen and then limit by International and Intergovernmental sources (IIS) to find only international information.

Electronic Databases

Commodities and Trade - FAO Economic and Social Department
Provides access to fulltext of reports and essays on various commodities.

FAO Corporate Document Repository
Houses full text of FAO documents and publications, as well as selected non-FAO publications. The repository is mostly in HTML format but does contain some PDF formats.

FAO Country Profiles and Mapping Information System
Information portal that categorizes data by country. Contains press releases, interactive maps and graphics.Special country profiles on water and food security and small island devloping states (SIDS).

WAICENT Information Finder
This portal allows simple, advanced and free text searching for documents, press releases, webpages, photos and videos. Also allows for browsing by topic. Also allows searching the catlog of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Provides access to full text.


Multilingual database with over 3 million time-series records covering international statistics related to various aspects of food and agriculture. Coverage varies, but in some cases, goes back to 1961. 5,000 record limit for non-subscribers.

Commodity Review and Outlook
UN & International Documents Collection, Aisle 31
Past issues contain reviews of developments in agricultural commodity markets, a description of current situation and short term outlook. Beginning with 2003/2004 issue, the Commodity and Review Outlook provides in-depth analysis (reports including numeric data, charts, graphs and tables) of major issues in the world agricultural commodity market. For situation and outlook data, see FAO's Commodities and Trade website.

FAO Fertilizer Yearbook
UN & International Documents Collection, Aisle 31
Multilingual yearbook compiles statistical data relating to chemical fertilizer products (basic products expressed in terms of nutrients) for countries and territories of the world. The yearbook includes production, trade, consumption and price data for ten-year period.

FAO Trade Yearbook
Bobst REF6 IntlDocs HD1421 .P76
Multilingual yearbook contains statistical data on basic food and agricultural products for all countries and territories of the world. Includes commodity trade tables (imports and exports, quantity and value for latest three-year period.

FAO Yearbook: Production
Bobst REF6 IntlDocs HD1421 .P76
Multilingual yearbook contains statistical data on basic agricultural products for all countries and territories of the world; includes data series on area, yield and production of crops; on livestock numbers and products; and on population, land use, irrigation and farm machinery for the latest three-year period. Also includes total and per capita index numbers that highlight trends in food and agricultural production worldwide for latest ten-year period.

State of Food and Agriculture
UN & International Documents Collection, Aisle 32
Consists of three parts which contain a world, regional reviews, and section on topics of longer-term interest (see end of book for listing of topics highlighted by year). Contains tables, charts and maps.

State of the World's Forests
UN & International Documents Collection, Aisle 32
Biennial publication that reports on policy and developments in the forest sector. Part I contains an overview of developments and current issues and Part II consists of chapters focusing on specific current issues. All chapters include bibliographies. Contains charts and maps. Concludes with tables of basic demographic and forestry data and status of ratification of related conventions by country.

Yearbook of Fishery Statistics
UN & International Documents Collection, Aisle 33
Contains statistical data on production, imports and exports of fishery commodities by countries, territory and region; relative importance and total value of trade in fishery products. Appendixes include average apparent consumption, by country, of fishery products in general, estimated value by groups of species; and trade flow by region. Includes list of exchange rates.


Food, Nutrition, and Agriculture

Other Resources

FAO David Lubin Memorial Library
Library website contains various resources mentioned in this guide, but also useful are the "WWW Sites" page which lists a subject-specific directory of websites and the "Library Journals" page which provides citations for all journals and full text when available. Both pages are accessible on the "Virtual Library" link.

This searchable database lists only the document symbols (UN classification system) for UN publications of a recurrent nature. Use these document symbols to look up items in the UN & International Documents Collection, aisles 1 through 13.

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