SEOUL, March 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's government said Tuesday the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) decided to open an office in the country in May.
Agriculture Minister Lee Gae-ho met Jose Graziano da Silva, the head of FAO, during his three-day visit to Italy and signed the agreement to open the South Korean office, official sources here said.
Preparations, including the hiring of staff, will start this month, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said.
The United Nations body will join other international organizations to set up operations in Asia's fourth-largest economy. Others, such as the World Bank and the U.N. Industrial Development Organization, already have a presence here.
"We will make thorough preparations so that the South Korean office can exert its professionalism and leadership in the area of the global food security," a source from the ministry said.
The office will center on rolling out joint projects on coping with poverty and food security issues, along with sharing agricultural know-how with developing countries, the ministry said.
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