V. PART I. Major trends and policy questions in food and agriculture
A. World situation and outlook
A. World situation and outlook
Salient Features of the World Food and Agricultural Situation
Salient Features of the World Food and Agricultural Situation
a) Salient Features
b) Conference Discussion
c) Contents and Structure of "The State of Food and Agriculture"
a) Salient Features
32. The Conference noted the salient features of the world food and agricultural situation in 1970 and 1971, as reported in The State of Food and Agriculture 1971, and the up-dating information supplied by the Secretariat:
(a) World agricultural production, which in 1970 had risen by 2 percent, was likely to have increased in 1971 by between 4 and 5 percent.
(b) Production in the developing countries had continued to increase throughout the period, though unevenly as between regions and countries. It had, moreover, slowed down somewhat in 1971 compared with 1970, when it had risen by 3 percent. This reflected a smaller increase in Latin America and even certain setbacks in some countries in the Far East. The Near East and Africa, on the other hand, fared better than in 1970, though drought in some parts of both regions had caused serious food shortages.
(c) The progress in food and agricultural production in recent years had been faster in the Far East than in other developing regions, owing largely to the introduction of more advanced cereal production techniques in a number of countries. The Far East, in fact, was the only developing region which had shown a substantial increase in per caput production levels since 1967; in all other developing regions, the per caput production had either remained unchanged or fallen.
(d) The acceleration of cereal production in several countries of the Far East, and in a few developing countries elsewhere, had brought them undoubted benefits. But the basis of this improvement remained narrow, both geographically and in terms of commodities.
(e) In the developed countries, production had on the whole remained stable between 1968 and 1970, largely because of efforts in a number of countries to restrict output in response to the renewed accumulation of surplus stocks. These efforts had subsequently been relaxed, in some countries, following the easing of the stock situation in 1970. This, together with generally favourable weather, had led to a steep increase, by some 7-8 percent, in the agricultural production of the developed market economy countries in 1971. These developments showed the ability of the developed countries to make fairly flexible adjustments in their production in response to changes in the demand/supply situation, but were also evidence of the strength of the various factors in the developed countries, such as advanced technology, legislative actions and policy, supply management, and affluence, which in combination tended to push production up. While the continued rapid technological progress in their agriculture was a positive feature from the global point of view, it tended to restrict the opportunities for other countries particularly in developing regions, to expand their production of certain commodities for export.
(f) The value of agriculturalexports had risen unusually steeply in 1970, and, although those from developed countries had risen most, a number of developing countries too, especially in Latin America and Africa, had made substantial gains. The increase had, however, been due mainly to short term factors which by 1971 had largely spent themselves. A return to a slower rate of growth was therefore likely to have taken place in the current year. Even in 1970, moreover, the international prices of manufactured goods had risen faster than those of primary agricultural products exported by developing countries.
(g) The interacting changes in production and trade in 1970 and 1971 further stressed the importance of agricultural adjustments being made within an agreed international framework with a view to better ascertaining the direction in which adjustments were likely to be needed, increasing stability of agricultural prices and production, and providing opportunities for development of production patterns reflecting comparative advantages. The short and medium-term prospects for dynamic adjustments were, however, reduced by the unpromising outlook for concessional development aid, despite the increased commitments of a number of smaller donor countries; by the recent convulsions in the international monetary economy, and the related United States temporary import surcharge; by the possible deflationary effect on other industrial countries of the trade adjustments the United States was seeking; and by the prospective enlargement of the European Economic Community.
b) Conference Discussion
33. The Conference was in broad agreement with the assessment of the situation. In particular, many delegates drew attention to the fact that, while some progress had been made in a number of countries with the introduction of a more advanced cereal production technology, the per caput level of output in developing regions had generally risen too slowly, if at all. Much greater efforts than hitherto were therefore necessary, by both the developing countries themselves, and the developed countries, as well as the international community, if agricultural production growth was to be accelerated to the growth rate of a minimum of 4 percent a year envisaged under the Second UN Development Decade. Priority areas singled out included provision of inputs, investment in irrigation and other land improvement, increased credit to farmers, improved and expanded education, and research. With regard to research the Conference noted the recent initiatives by FAO together with UNDP and IBRD, to sponsor international research efforts, and the bilateral support to research by some countries. Attention was also drawn to the important role of population policies in efforts to solve the food problem of developing countries.
34. Several delegates stressed that the basic development goal was not merely to increase production, but also to advance the social welfare of the population, and better guarantee social justice and human dignity. Some delegates pointed out that, unless carefully implemented, plans for technological improvement in agriculture could (for instance through inappropriate mechanization of operations) result in increased unemployment and further maldistribution of incomes and wealth.
35. Many delegates thought it unlikely that the developing countries would be able to make the required effort in this area, and more generally to reach the objectives spelled out in the strategy for the Second Development Decade, unless more development assistance were provided for the purpose by the developed nations. In this connexion, attention was drawn to the loan conditions of some international financing institutions, which made their lending activities less suitable for agricultural development. A few delegates stressed in particular the need to provide aid in the form of agricultural requisites.
36. Attention was drawn by some delegates to the fact that natural calamities remained an ever present threat and an obstacle to economic growth. One delegate proposed that FAO should examine the possibility of establishing an emergency fund, or a system of agricultural insurance on an international basis.
37. In taking note of the reduction and even disappearance of surplus stocks of some agricultural products-though not rice-in the developed countries, a number of delegations pointed out the paradox whereby many developed countries had to cut down their output, while the majority of developing nations had difficulty in sufficiently accelerating their agricultural production. While stressing the importance of food aid, some delegates also mentioned the importance of using it in a way that did not hurt the growth of agricultural production in the recipient countries. One delegate drew attention to the positive step represented by the Council resolution on usual marketing requirements and hoped it would find support among Member Nations. Delegations from some developed countries said that, partly as a result of spontaneous economic and social changes, partly in response to policy measures taken by their governments, the volume of their agricultural production had ceased or was about to cease growing. Some delegations also stressed the problems their governments faced in trying to stabilize production, because of the heavy costs involved and the complicated social and economic considerations which had to be taken into account. One delegation referred to the readjustment measures introduced recently by his country, in consequence of the marked deterioration of the market situation of some of the country's principal export commodities.
38. As regards developments in trade, a number of delegations stated that the recent developments made clear that the basic trends and tendencies in world agricultural trade had not changed. This was particularly true as regards the tendency for the prices of agricultural products to deteriorate relative to those of manufactured goods, including agricultural machinery, fertilizers, pesticides and other manufactured inputs. Intensified efforts to solve the trade problems were therefore necessary. In this connexion, some delegates expressed a view that the commodity-by-co city approach to trade problems was likely to remain the most effective. Other delegates drew attention to the potential benefits which developing countries would derive from intensified trade among themselves, particularly within regional integration schemes. Some delegates pointed out that meat production was a promising potential export industry in many developing countries, but its progress was hampered by slow progress in the eradication of animal diseases, by import restrictions on grounds of meat hygiene, and by lack of international action to promote meat-production and exports from developing countries. The potential contribution of forest products exports was also stressed. Delegations from some land-locked countries drew attention to the special problems created by their geographical position, as regards both exports and imports, including those of agricultural requisites.
39. There was a general feeling that the closely linked problems of production and trade could be best solved in an international framework under which countries were better able to take account of the repercussions of their production decisions on each other, to plan their production and trade policies within a longer time perspective, and share the burden of adjustment more equitably. Support was expressed for the Director-General's proposal to make International Agricultural Adjustment a major theme of the Seventeenth Session of the Conference, to be held in 1973. Some delegations drew attention to the forthcoming Third UNCTAD Conference in 1972, and to the need for FAO to prepare carefully for it so as to he able to contribute to its success.
40. In a reference to the recent new elements of uncertainty in international trade, the view was expressed that developing countries should be more closely involved in the negotiations which were being carried out with a view to overhauling the international monetary system. Some delegated from both developed and developing countries voiced their concern about the potentially harmful impact on their trade of the enlargement of the European Economic Community (EEC). Delegates from present and prospective member countries of the EEC demonstrated that EEC was a dynamic trading area whose agricultural imports from outside countries had increased rapidly and expressed their conviction that this increase would continue. Other delegates claimed, however, that EEC imports from developing countries had not increased as much as those from developed countries and therefore there was need to facilitate larger imports from these countries. Attention was drawn to the negotiations now in course with the Latin American governments on relations with EEC.
c) Contents and Structure of "The State of Food and Agriculture"
41. The Conference noted that since 1969 The State of Food and Agriculture had been prepared in two versions, a preliminary one which reached governments relatively early in the year, and a final one which was more up-to-date on developments in the current year and contained more definite information on the preceding year for reference purposes. It was agreed that these arrantements functioned well and should be continued. The Conference also noted with satisfaction the improvements in the quality of the report in recent years, as regards the timeliness and width of its coverage, and the analytical contents. In particular, the Conference welcomed the inclusion for the first time in the final version of the The State of Food and Agriculture 1971 of preliminary indicators of the level of agricultural production in the current year in each of the regions and the world as a whole.
42. Suggestions were made for increased emphasis on a number of aspects, including domestic agricultural policies, in particular structural policies; levels of consumption in individual countries; levels of and changes in farm incomes; rural employment and unemployment; relations between product and input prices, and national and international prices; terms of trade, both internationally and between the agricultural and other sectors; share of agriculture in GDP and population; and agricultural production inputs, including sail improvement. It was also suggested that, in order to throw light on the sources of supply, analyses should be prepared showing levels of per caput consumption in different countries and regions, together with information on production and trade, including trade within regions and bating areas. It was felt that the coverage of China should be expanded and improved in the future. As regards the structure of the report, some delegates suggested that it might be useful to start the report with a section dealing with the various factors which condition the progress of production, rather than with a report on changes in production itself. Some delegates also suggested that more emphasis should be given to international trade, including data on its volume, and to the relationships between changes in production and trade.
43. It was recognized that, in order to improve the report without making it too long, the various suggestions would have to be scrutinized carefully so as not to overburden the secretariat and in order to keep the report from growing too long. The secretariat note that, while it was anxious to improve and expand the report further, it would be able to introduce new material only gradually. At the same time, it also informed the Conference that several measures were already being taken in such a direction, particularly in view of the need to prepare for the review and appraisal of progress during the Second Development Decade.
a) Salient Features in International Commodity Situation
b) FAA's Role in International Commodity Problems
a) Salient Features in International Commodity Situation
44. The Conference noted the salient features of the international commodity situation during the biennium 1970-71, in the light of the Report of the Forty-Sixth Session of the Committee on Commodity Problems. In 1970, world agricultural trade had increased by $4 000 million in value in respect to the previous year, i.e. by about 13 percent. This growth compared with an increase of 3 percent per annum in the previous decade. The increase was attributable to a very unusual combination of factors and was largely concentrated in temperate zone commodities. The data available for the year 1971 indicated that the rate of progress witnessed in 1970 would not be maintained in 1971. Moreover, the expansion of agricultural trade in 1970 had benefited the developed more than the developing countries, and the latter saw their share in total trade continue to diminish. The outlook for 1972 was also clouded by further uncertainties deriving from the current monetary crisis and the instability of the major world currencies, while, in the longer term agricultural trade could, in the view of many delegates, be affected adversely by the continuation or accentuation of existing difficulties and by the enlargement of regional integration arrangements in developed countries.
45. The Conference also noted the main findings of recently published commodity projections over the period 1970-1980. These projections suggested that world agricultural trade was not likely to grow very rapidly if the difficulties facing agriculture continued to be aggravated by current protectionist policies and if no action was taken to reverse current trends. In the absence of these measures, the increase in foreign exchange earnings accruing to the developing countries from agricultural exports would at best be modest. This, in turn, could adversely affect their plans for accelerated growth. For most commodities, the longer term outlook pointed to excess productive capacity in relation to market demand, However, the food situation in developing countries should improve by 1980, but the rate of improvement would be low, and in many developing countries the average levels of calorie intake would still remain below recommended nutritional standards.
46. The Conference noted that, the annual increase in agricultural production in the developing countries that can be derived from these commodity projections fell short of the objective of a minimum 4 percent growth envisaged in the strategy for the decade. Even with this lower rate of growth, there was a possibility that surpluses would develop and agricultural trade would fail to reach the objectives of the decade with respect to the growth of export earnings. This finding of the projection study in the view of many delegates underlined the need for agricultural adjustment measures in order to attain the objectives of the Second Development Decade. Some delegates also drew attention to the additional problems of growing debt burden, high interest rates and a possible contraction in the flow of aid to developing countries.
47. The Conference agreed that agricultural commodity trade was of crucial importance for the economic development of the developing countries, since many of them would continue to be dependent on these exports for the greater part of their export earnings. Growth in exports continued to be limited by existing policies and by tariff and non-tariff barriers, subsidization of competing exports from developed countries and competition from synthetics and substitutes. These factors contributed also to fluctuating and, for some commodities, declining prices, while the terms of trade for exports of agricultural commodities deteriorated because of rising prices of imported manufactured products.
b) FAA's Role in International Commodity Problems
48. The Conference agreed that FAO had an important role to play in the identification of international commodity trade problems and in the consideration of possible measures for dealing with these problems. It also generally agreed that, while more general measures should be explored, the main approach to commodity problems in FAO should continue to be on a commodity by commodity basis. Some delegates pointed out that the future work by FAO on world agricultural adjustment would supply an adequate framework for this action commodity by commodity because of the relations between production and consumption and trade. Other delegates pointed out that regional and sub-regional frames were also desirable in some cases.
49. The Conference agreed that for several commodities problems remained serious and that it was necessary for FAO to intensify its efforts in assisting to solve them and to contribute to the success of the strategy for the Second Development Decade. The main machinery available to the Organization for performing this role was the Committee on Commodity Problems (CCP). The Conference agreed that this Committee was a valuable forum for the consideration of commodity problems. The Conference felt, however, that the Committee should become more action oriented and should within its competence examine the possibilities of suggesting concrete measures and solutions that should emerge from the reviews and studies, while making the best use of FAO resources by concentrating on products presenting severe problems for the countries affected.
50. The Conference decided that the CCP should carry out a study-in-depth of its subsidiary bodies in order to abolish those bodies whose existence was no longer justifies and, if requested by governments, to create new organs which should be more effective in terms of policy recommendations, or to organize ad hoc consultations where the need for standing machinery was considered unnecessary. This analysis should take place in the light of the criteria which the CCP had adopted for the establishment, supervision and duration of its subsidiary bodies. The frequency of the session of the groups should depend on the problems involved and the possibilities of obtaining practical solutions.
51. The Committee on Commodity Problems should give priority to activities that would assist in the development of commodity arrangements or the improvement of existing ones. The Conference stressed that in this task the Committee should also seek more systematic coordination and cooperation with other bodies such as those of UNCTAD and GATT.
52. The Conference noted the satisfactory development of cooperation between the FAO secretariat and those of other bodies interested in commodity questions. It considered that this cooperation should be developed further. Some delegates, however, pointed out that there was also a need for coordination within national delegations attending meetings of different bodies dealing with commodity questions, with a view to ensuring the best utilization of existing machinery and avoiding overlapping and duplication of work. The Conference noted that there was a complementarily between the competence of FAO in international commodity matters and that of other bodies and that progress towards the achievement of practical results would be facilitated if the specialized competence of each organization could be brought to bear in the search for specific solutions.
53. The Conference noted the progress made within UNCTAD towards the adoption of a Generalized System of Preferences in favour of imports from the developing countries. However, some major developed countries had not yet implemented this arrangement and the Scheme was generally directed towards the granting of preferences on manufactured products while most processed and unprocessed agricultural commodities were not included in preferential schemes so far announced by governments.
54. The Conference recognized the importance of trade in agricultural products for the success of the social and economic objectives of the Second Development Decade. It recorded its appreciation of the efforts made by the CCP and its subsidiary bodies in tackling some of the commodity problems facing developing countries. It recognized the importance of the production and trade problems faced by developing countries in the field of agriculture. At the same time, the Conference reaffirmed its support for General Assembly Resolution 2626 (XXV), setting out the strategy for the Second Development Decade and circulated as document C 71/16, and the policy measures therein relating to these matters. The Conference, having in mind the general objectives and the programme of work of FAO, expressed its confidence that the Third UNCTAD to be held in Santiago early in 1972 would address itself to these subjects, especially those mentioned in paragraphs 21 to 38 of the Strategy attached to the above Resolution affecting the exports of developing countries, including the consideration of expanding the Generalized System of Preferences.
55. The Conference discussed the world situation and outlook of world fisheries, including their present status and the main problems and prospects affecting their future.
56. While expressing appreciation of the content and presentation of the document before it, the Conference felt that the policy discussion on the subject would have gained if it had had before it the relevant sections of the reports of the sessions of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) held in the inter-Conference period.
57. The Conference noted with satisfaction that FAO was directing its efforts at the development of world fisheries, with particular attention to the needs of developing countries. It also expressed satisfaction at the way in which COFI was playing an important role in ensuring that FAO was the leading intergovernmental body in encouraging the rational harvesting of food from the oceans and inland waters, in accordance with the views set forth by the Conference at its Thirteenth Session (November December 1965). It noted in particular that the Committee had made it possible to formulate policies and programmes that met the requirements of both developing and developed countries, had provided a global forum for the review of world fishery problems and had recommended appropriate action, which in many cases had been followed up by governments and intergovernmental bodies.
58. Noting that the world fish catch had reached a new peak of 69.3 million metric tons in 1970, the Conference recognized that certain disturbing features of fishery exploitation and utilization had nevertheless remained in evidence. These related to the comparatively small share of many developing countries in world fisheries, the effect of long-range fishing operations of certain countries with developed fisheries, and the generally increasing need for resource management, particularly of stocks exploited by a number of nations.
59. The Conference emphasized that, with its integrated Department of Fisheries, FAO was the appropriate and leading agency executing an extensive field programme in the fisheries sector, reflecting the varying needs of Member Nations and mobilizing technical assistance funds from a number of sources. The importance of UNDP funds was noted, but it was recognized that bilateral assistance programmes had a vital complementary role and could in many cases effectively be channelled through FAO or be applied within the framework of regional programmes so as to increase the impact of external assistance. It was noted that a number of governments were already channelling bilateral assistance in fisheries through FAO and that this trend deserved to be encouraged.
60. The Conference agreed that the particular needs of fishery development on an international level, stemming from the international nature of the resources, interests of developing and developed countries and the requirements for resources management, were aptly served by programmes such as the International Indian Ocean Fishery Survey and Development Programme adopted by the Indian Ocean Fishery Commission (IOFC) and being implemented with the support of the UNDP. The Conference noted that programmes based on the same principles were being developed for the Eastern Central Atlantic and for the South China Sea, that developing countries in these regions were being kept fully informed and are participating in their formulation; it urged that timely and adequate support be made available by multilateral agencies and by governments of developed countries directly. The Conference was of the opinion that these programmes should clearly identify the problems and prospects applicable to individual countries concerned and should follow an integrated approach covering all aspects of fishery development. It considered, moreover, that, if developing countries in the areas concerned were to benefit fully from these programmes, there should be a corresponding development of their technological capabilities. The programmes should, therefore, give adequate emphasis to training and dissemination of expertise..
61. The establishment of the Committee for Inland Fisheries of Africa by the FAO Council at its Fifty-Sixth Session was noted with satisfaction. The Conference urged all African Member Nations to join the Committee so that its activities could effectively commence in 1972 to meet their needs. The Conference agreed on the desirability of the Committee playing a central and coordinating role with regard to the development and management of the fisheries of each international inland water body.
62. The Conference emphasized that problems of development and management could not be separated in promoting the rational growth of international fisheries. It endorsed the views expressed by COFI at its Sixth Session, regarding the role that FAO could appropriately and competently assume in the statistical and scientific assessment of the state of the stocks, and the technical assistance it could provide at the national and regional level in assessing the need for regulatory measures and the forms these might take. It agreed that regional arrangements, both within and without the framework of FAO, represented the most viable solution for the rational utilization of fishery resources at the present time and expressed the opinion that their strengthening for greater effectiveness should, therefore, be of high priority.
63. The Conference further endorsed the views of COFI that that body could play a valuable role in keeping under review the status of utilization of fishery resources throughout the world, identifying areas where management action was needed, assessing the effectiveness of regulatory bodies and promoting action where required. With this in mind, the Conference recommended that the Committee review its ability to discharge all the responsibilities it was likely to be called upon to discharge, including those that might arise from the forthcoming or proposed United Nations Conferences on the Human Environment and on the Law of the Sea.
64. The Conference noted with satisfaction the coming into effect of the International Convention for the South East Atlantic Fisheries, urged signatories of the Convention who had not ratified or accepted it to do so as soon as possible and recommended the activation of the Commission at an early date.
65. Noting the work initiated by a number of FAO regional fishery bodies for the furtherance of resource management, the Conference expressed its appreciation of the work of the Indian Ocean Fishery Commission and the Indo-Pacific Fisheries Council to promote the management of tuna stocks in their respective areas, urged that it be continued and expressed the hope that non-member nations would have an opportunity to contribute to this work on the basis of their fishing experience in the area.
66. The Conference expressed satisfaction at the prompt and comprehensive response of FAO to the concern of African nations at the intensive exploitation of fishery resources in waters off their continent. These nations felt that they did not benefit sufficiently either as fishermen or as consumers of fish. The Consultation with the African States on the Conservation of Fishery Resources and on the Control of Fishing in Africa had assisted these countries substantially, not only in determining the present state of the fisheries and its characteristics but also in shaping their own policies with regard to it. The Conference noted with interest the views of CECAF and the Consultation that the developed countries, particularly those fishing in the area, had a responsibility to assist and cooperate in the development of all sectors of the African fishing economy.
67. The Conference noted that exploitation into offshore waters sometimes resulted in depleting fish stocks in coastal waters which were the mainstay of artisanal fisheries. It recognized that the large number of artisanal fishermen in most parts of the world deserved special help and their needs for a sustainable fishery should be given particular attention.
68. The Conference noted that some 40 percent of the world fish catch was presently used for the manufacture of fishmeal for animal feeding and that in some cases the proportion so utilized was as high as 95 percent. While recognizing that certain species could, at the present time, not be utilized for direct human consumption, and that use for fishmeal led to protein consumption by hymens at a later stage in the food chain, the Conference agreed that two aspects deserved attention; firstly, preference should be given as far as practicable, to utilization of fish for direct consumption by man, and fisheries for fishmeal should not be carried on at the cost of human consumption; secondly research should be pressed forward to develop processing techniques in order to upgrade the use of catches now used for fishmeal. The Conference stressed that such research was costly and therefore most appropriately undertaken by national governments as well as by research institutions and commercial interests mainly in developed countries. In this regard, it noted with satisfaction FAA's collaboration in this field with the International Association of Fish Meal Manufacturers.
69. The Conference emphasized the importance of aquaculture as a potential source of an increased fish supply for human food. It noted that techniques for the cultivation of a number of species, particularly in estuarine and inland waters, had been developed and could be applied to produce food fish of high market value.
70. The Conference also noted the existence of certain fish stocks which were so far underutilized, 85 well as certain species not utilized for reasons of technological deficiencies in harvesting and processing such as the Antartic krill. It urged FAO to take the lead in promoting resource surveys and research to assist member nations in exploiting them.
71. The Conference expressed its deep concern regarding the dangers of marine pollution and its effects on living resources and on fishing. It valued the activities of FAO in this field, such as the Technical Conference on Marine Pollution and its Effects on Living Resources and on Fishing, (December 1970); its collaboration with WHO in the joint Codex Alimentarius Committee on Fish and Fish Products, to consider Marine Contaminants; its sponsorship, with other United Nations agencies, of the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Pollution (GESAMP); its collaboration with other agencies in the preparations for the forthcoming United Nations Conference on the Human Environment; and its collaboration with and support to the Inter-governmental Oceanographic Commission which provided useful joint machinery for considering the scientific aspects of marine pollution and of other subjects of relevance to fisheries. The Conference recommended that FAO continue to play a leading role in all international discussions and action concerned with marine pollution and its control for the protection of living resources of the oceans and inland waters. It urged that FAO collaborate closely with the Intergovernmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO) but stressed that, whereas IMCO was more concerned with the means of pollution, particularly by sea-going vessels, and with ways to control it, FAO was clearly responsible for work on its effects on the living resources of the seas and inland waters.
72. The Conference welcomed the mandate of FAO and its Committee on Fisheries to assist in the preparations for the UN Conference on the Law of the Sea, tentatively scheduled to be held in 1973, in accordance with the Resolution 2570 C of the United Nations General Assembly. It urged that every effort be made to provide the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of the Sea-Bed and the Ocean Floor beyond the Limits of National Jurisdiction, with information of a scientific and technical nature relating to fisheries in response to requests by that Committee. It noted the appreciation of the Sea-Bed Committee at the prompt preparation by FAO of information submitted at its Second Session in July-August 1971. The Conference noted that further material was being prepared as time and resources permitted, with the assistance of national experts and institutions and would be submitted as appropriate to governments before being finalized and to the Committee on Fisheries. It requested the Secretariat to circulate this documentation to Member Nations so as to assist them in briefing their delegations to future sessions of the Sea-Bed Committee and urged Member Nations to ensure that fishery experts were included in these delegations.
73. The Conference emphasized the paramount importance of fishery education and training in all sectors and at all levels. It noted with concern the alarming waste of fishery products caused by the lack of facilities for, or inadequate methods of preservation, storage, transport or distribution. It emphasized the useful functions that FAO could fulfil in all fields of research by acting as a clearing house for technical information, promoting specialized training and the application of science and technology to all aspects of fish stock evaluation, improvement and protection of the aquatic environment, production, processing and marketing and by providing assistance to introduce appropriate methods and equipment.
B. Perspective study of world agricultural development (PSWAD) and international strategy for the second development decade
Perspective Study of World Agricultural Development (PSWAD)
74. The Conference discussed the above item in the light of the aspirations of the Second Development Decade, of Resolution 1/69 of the Fifteenth Session of the Conference and of the Director-General's proposal that agricultural adjustment should be a major theme of the 1973 session.
75. The Conference accepted that the objectives and strategy of the Second Development Decade, as adopted by the General Assembly in UN Resolution 2626 (XXV), provided the common and appropriate broad framework for national policies and for relevant FAO activities. The specific Second Development Decade targets for agriculture were an average growth rate of not less than four percent a year in the agricultural production of developing countries as well as improvements in such areas as international trade, employment and nutrition. The Conference agreed that there were reasonable prospects of achieving these goals, provided at least three prerequisites were met, namely (a) acceptance by the developing countries that the prime responsibility lay with them; (b) provision of adequate aid from developed countries, and (c) creation of conditions which allowed developing countries to increase their exports dynamically. The Conference also stressed the great importance of the application of science and technology to agriculture in developing countries.