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Agricultural development planning

415. In making the above requests, the Conference called the attention of the Council, the Program Committee and the Director-General, to the following points, upon which many delegations had expressed views and, in some cases, concern:

(a) Any reorientation of activities should be so carried out that it does not result in any weakening of the Regular Program and particularly of the technical work of the Organization. The Conference was glad to receive the assurance of the Director-General that the proposed reorientation would not in any way weaken the technical work, but was intended to streamline the activities of FAO in such a way that the results of the detailed work carried out at the technical level would be more effectively channelled into the policy-making and planning levels.

(b) A sound technical program is essential as a basis for carrying out and strengthening the technical assistance activities for the benefit of the developing countries.

(c) Agricultural development planning must be regarded as an integral part of over-all economic development planning, and this point must be kept in mind in the rendering of technical assistance in this field.

(d) For agricultural development planning to be most effective, it must give full and balanced attention to both the economic and the technical aspects. Any organizational arrangements for the handling of such work within FAO should take this into account.

(e) In the rendering of assistance to governments on agricultural development planning, as well as in other fields, emphasis should be given to the development of national manpower and machinery to carry on the task effectively at the national level. The training of counterparts in the techniques of evaluating natural resources and laying down long-term guidelines, and in agricultural economic planning in general, should form an essential part of FAO's assistance to developing countries.

(f) It should be recognized that the laying of a sound basis for FAO's work of assisting governments, as requested in their utilization of external aid in the field of agriculture and in agricultural development in general, is a large and long-term task. The rate at which expansion of work in this field will be possible will be determined by two main factors: the obtaining of personnel of sufficient caliber to do the work effectively, and the extent of the external financial assistance available.

416. The Conference expressed full appreciation of the Director-General's initiative in putting forward his proposals regarding the need for some reorientation of FAO's activities under the Regular Program in order to give the most effective support to the field programs. It recognized that those proposals were directly relevant to the work of the eight-country committee appointed by ECOSOC and asked the Director-General, in presenting his views to that committee, to take full account of the discussions of the Conference on this subject and, in particular, of the fact that the proposals would be subject to a detailed examination by the Program Committee and the Council.

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