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Programme 2.2.1 - Nutrition

Programme Outcome

Regular Programme   US$ `000  
  Appropriation 18 328  
  Expenditure 18 589  
  Over/(Under) Spending, US$ `000 261  
  Over/(Under) Spending, % 1%  
Field Programme   US$ `000  
  Extra-Budgetary TF and UNDP Delivery 5 629  
  Extra-Budgetary Emergency Project Delivery    
  TCP and SPFS Delivery 3 467  
  Total Field Programme Delivery 9 096  
  Ratio of Field to Regular Programme 0.5  
  Technical Support Services, Prof. Staff Cost 967  
  Technical Support Services, % of delivery 11%  
Programme Outputs
  Approved in PWB Cancelled/Postponed Unplanned Delivered Total Delivered Delivered Unmodified Modified Percent Delivered
Methodologies and Guidelines 15 (6) 1 10 5 5 67%
Information Systems 9 (2)   7 7   78%
Meetings 15   3 18 16 2 120%
Publications 20 (8) 12 24 20 4 120%
Direct Services to Countries 16 (4) 1 13 10 3 81%
Training 17 (7) 1 11 5 6 65%
Total 92 (27) 18 83 63 20 90%


140. The Programme focused on the follow-up to the International Conference on Nutrition (ICN) and implementation of national plans of action and on further strengthening of Codex and national food control work related to international food trade and implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO)/Uruguay Round agreements.

141. Nutrition Planning, Assessment and Evaluation. Methodological guidelines were prepared for global monitoring and subsequently adapted for appropriate integration into FIVIMS. A databank based on available data on individual country nutritional status was developed and used for re-designing Nutrition Country Profiles. Support was provided for the development of a number of regional and country-specific food composition tables and databases and for related in-service training. Support was also provided to the First World Congress on Calcium and Vitamin D in Human Life, and the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on Carbohydrates in Human Nutrition was organized. A number of case-studies and draft guidelines were developed aiming at: reliable strategies and methodologies in the formulation of nutrition programmes and projects, better targeting of nutrition interventions, and incorporating nutrition considerations into agricultural research programmes. RLC organized a round-table on food and nutrition surveillance systems in Latin America and the Caribbean.

142. Nutrition Programmes. Several publications covering implementation of the ICN recommendations were finalized and others initiated. A textbook Human Nutrition in the Developing World and a resource book for teachers of agriculture Agriculture, Food and Nutrition for Africa were produced. Policy and programme implementation guidelines and training materials for national nutrition initiatives were completed aiming at preventing micronutrient deficiencies, strengthening community nutrition programmes, addressing nutrition problems in urban environments and strengthening nutrition education programmes. The nutrition education materials Get the Best from Your Food have remained very popular and the number of national language versions continued to expand. A substantive report on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Nutrition in Children was undertaken. Five issues of the magazine Food, Nutrition and Agriculture were produced in three languages and three of these were also published electronically. A regularly up-dated, trilingual Web-site for nutrition was also established.

143. Food Control and Consumer Protection. Scientific advice was provided to countries and to the Codex Alimentarius Commission on several emerging food quality and safety issues including the estimation of dietary intake of food contaminants, food fortification, guidelines on the use of risk analysis in food control, risk management of food safety, animal feeding and food safety, and biotechnology and food safety. This effort included Expert Consultations, held jointly with WHO. Scientific evaluations of the risks associated with the use of food additives and the presence of chemical and microbiological contaminants in foods continued to be carried out through JECFA. Liaison was maintained with WTO on matters related to the application of the Agreements on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures and on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and three regional workshops were held, jointly with WTO, to promote understanding and application of these Agreements. Assistance was provided to several developing countries and countries with economies in transition on national food control systems and services. Support was provided to training of food control and food industry personnel in the application of food quality assurance systems, such as the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system. Studies on street food situations were carried out in several countries and a training-of-trainers manual prepared for use in West African countries.

144. Nutrition Policy at Country Level. Direct support to countries was provided through national and intercountry programme development/training workshops, in the areas of: community nutrition programmes, prevention of micronutrient deficiencies through food-based approaches and emergency relief and rehabilitation. Food-based dietary guidelines were developed and support provided to nutrition education programmes. Special attention was given to: participatory, community-based nutrition programmes; sustainable food-based actions at the home and community levels for general nutrition improvement and the prevention of micronutrient deficiencies; the use of food-based dietary guidelines; and nutrition education for the public.

Sustainable improvement of household food security and nutrition in Zambia: A participatory approach to project development and implementation

A community-based, multi-sector nutrition project in the Luapula Valley of Zambia, funded by the Belgian Survival Fund, is showing the benefits of food-based approaches to overcoming nutrient deficiencies and of meaningful community participation in the planning and implementation of technical cooperation programmes. The project aims to improve nutritional status and ensure year-round adequate diets by: 1) increasing the local production, storage, processing, preservation and preparation of specific oil crops, staple foods, fruits and vegetables; 2) empowering communities and individuals to identify, plan, fund, implement and monitor activities and micro-projects aimed at improving nutrition; 3) strengthening capacities of extension workers and local NGOs to support community-based activities and address gender-related issues; and 4) improving nutrition, health and sanitation practices among community members.

145. Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme (Codex Alimentarius). The Codex Alimentarius Commission adopted a series of standards and codes of practice on food quality and food hygiene based on scientific risk assessment principles. Revision and simplification of older Codex standards continued and new approaches were taken to establish maximum residue limits for pesticides that were no longer approved. More economical publications arrangements allowed resources to be transferred to direct assistance to developing countries through TCDC to support the establishment and administration of national Codex Contact Points and Committees and to sponsor two independent expert consultations on critical food standards issues. Provisional agendas and working papers for Codex meetings were made available over the Internet.

146. The heavy load of Codex Committee sessions held in the course of the biennium led to delays in the publication of some texts adopted by the Commission.

Programme 2.2.2 - Food and Agricultural Information

Programme Outcome

Regular Programme   US$ `000  
  Appropriation 35 028  
  Expenditure 34 872  
  Over/(Under) Spending, US$ `000 (156)  
  Over/(Under) Spending, % (0%)  
Field Programme   US$ `000  
  Extra-Budgetary TF and UNDP Delivery 16 468  
  Extra-Budgetary Emergency Project Delivery 53  
  TCP and SPFS Delivery 4 264  
  Total Field Programme Delivery 20 785  
  Ratio of Field to Regular Programme 0.6  
  Technical Support Services, Prof. Staff Cost 1 061  
  Technical Support Services, % of delivery 5%  
Programme Outputs
  Approved in PWB Cancelled/Postponed Unplanned Delivered Total Delivered


Percent Delivered
Unmodified Modified
Methodologies and Guidelines 11 (4)   7 6 1 64%
Information Systems 31 (3)   28 25 3 90%
Meetings 6 (3)   3 3   50%
Publications 31 (6) 2 27 22 5 87%
Direct Services to Countries 13 (2)   11 9 2 85%
Training 11 (3)   8 5 3 73%
Total 103 (21) 2 84 70 14 82%


147. The Programme focuses on collecting and disseminating food and agricultural information, particularly through WAICENT, with priority being given to reviews of the world food and agricultural situation and outlook, analysis of the commodity trade situation, assistance in strengthening food information and early warning systems and operation of the AGRIS/CARIS systems.

148. Statistical Processing and Analysis. Work continued on the improvement, maintenance and development of statistical databases and the production of standard statistical series pertaining to agricultural production, trade, food supply, population, labour force, food consumption, land use, agricultural inputs, macro-economic aggregates and agricultural prices. Updated supply utilization accounts and food balance sheets were constructed for all countries, providing the basis for the assessment of patterns and trends of food supplies and estimation of the number of undernourished people. In addition, indicators were prepared pertaining to the food and agricultural sector. The Sixth World Food Survey was issued, substantiating food insecurity in developing countries and playing an important role in the deliberations of the WFS.

149. Due to resource constraints, work on the revision of the estimates and projections of the agricultural population and labour force, the development of environment indicators, preparation of a workbook on compilation of economic accounts and some training sessions were postponed.

150. Statistical Development. The Programme for the World Census of Agriculture 2000 was launched and assistance provided to National Demonstration Centres in two regions and a number of countries in planning and conducting national agricultural censuses. Two supplements on aquaculture and employment were published. Methodological work focused on the use of multiple-frame sampling methods for agricultural surveys and publication of case studies. In collaboration with the Regional and Sub-regional Offices, assistance was provided on the identification, formulation and technical backstopping of field projects for development of agricultural statistics.

151. WAICENT. Taking advantage of advances of information technology, new tools for information processing were implemented with access through the Internet/WWW becoming fully functional. Data dissemination of several yearbooks for stand-alone computers (FAOSTAT-PC) continued. Access of the statistical databases over the Internet and the production of FAOSTAT on CD-ROM had a major impact on dissemination and utilization of FAO statistical data. Through development of FAOSTAT and other statistical databases access was provided to over 1 million time-series records covering more than 210 countries and territories.

152. FAOINFO textual systems were expanded with integrated document management techniques and procedures to support document creation, storage and dissemination for the different document types produced by FAO. User manuals and guidelines and training courses were prepared to support access to this information. To overcome the difficulties many developing countries face in accessing the Internet, regular publication/replication of the FAOINFO site on CD-ROM was initiated.

153. Commodity Situation and Outlook. Enhanced market transparency and support to the information needs of countries were achieved through continued monitoring of world commodity and trade developments for over 80 commodities. Market intelligence systems were established for some less well documented and non-traditional products of priority to interested countries, including tropical fruits. Dissemination of commodity market information was improved through adoption of electronic networking and intersessional information notes. Regular current situation reports were provided on sisal and rice. Major inputs were also made in support of the producer/consumer consultations, the GIEWS and the CFS.

154. Two issues of the Commodity Market Review (CMR) were published. The CMR continued to be the main publication of FAO on short-term commodity outlook covering a wide range of agricultural commodities of import and export interest to developing countries. The CMR also reported on the results of FAO's assessments of Uruguay Round related issues including, inter alia projections on specific commodities, export prospects for non-traditional agricultural commodities, changes in tariff escalation, instability in agricultural commodity markets and progress in the implementation of the Agreement on Agriculture.

155. FAO's work on medium-term commodity projections continued with emphasis on some methodological improvements and preparation of the background data for carrying out a full set of projections to 2005. In response to the priorities expressed in the CFS, the CCP and other fora, priority was given to technical assistance activities on follow up to the Uruguay Round.

156. Food Information and Early Warning Systems. GIEWS worked directly with 117 countries and over 60 NGOs. A total of 58 Crop and Food Supply Assessment Missions were fielded at the request of Member Nations, often being carried out jointly with WFP. GIEWS continued to make use of the most advanced technologies to assist in the assessment of crop and food supply/demand situation. The coverage of countries in the GIEWS Computerized Workstation, developed with financial support from the European Union, was extended to other continents in addition to Africa and new databases were added. Electronic dissemination of GIEWS reports and alerts continued to expand. GIEWS participated actively in the development of FIVIMS and held two workshops on vulnerability mapping. Monitoring of the food situation in the states of the former USSR and former Yugoslavia was intensified. Collaboration with the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (formerly DHA) increased and FAO participated in all UN Appeal Preparation Missions covering crop assessment and food needs.

157. AGRIS, CARIS and Field Documentation Activities. The AGRIS system was re-designed and migrated from the mainframe environment to a client-server environment. Maintenance of methodology tools in AGRIS and CARIS continued by updating the Multilingual Thesaurus of Agricultural Technology (AGROVOC) with the addition of new terms and revision of existing terms and involved the subject experts from key national centres. Training of staff at the national level was provided to 15 countries and a workshop using the Internet provided training to an additional 16 countries. Communication with the AGRIS/CARIS centres and countries improved with the systematic use of electronic mail and by posting information on the FAO Web-site.

158. Publication of the full AGRIS and CARIS database and subject subsets on CD-ROM has continued through an agreement with a major CD-ROM database publisher or with the implementation of in-house developed tools and procedures. Technical backstopping was provided to 13 projects with documentation components. However, budgetary constraints resulted in the cancellation of a number of training missions and work on the UAT (Unified Agricultural Thesaurus) was postponed due to the unavailability of extra-budgetary funds.

Programme 2.2.3 - Agriculture and Economic Development Analysis

Programme Outcome

Regular Programme   US$ `000  
  Appropriation 6 807  
  Expenditure 5 257  
  Over/(Under) Spending, US$ `000 (1 550)  
  Over/(Under) Spending, % (23%)  
Field Programme   US$ `000  
  Extra-Budgetary TF and UNDP Delivery 1 477  
  Extra-Budgetary Emergency Project Delivery    
  TCP and SPFS Delivery 2 092  
  Total Field Programme Delivery 3 569  
  Ratio of Field to Regular Programme 0.7  
  Technical Support Services, Prof. Staff Cost 50  
  Technical Support Services, % of delivery 1%  
Programme Outputs
  Approved in PWB Cancelled/Postponed Unplanned Delivered Total Delivered


Percent Delivered
Unmodified Modified
Methodologies and Guidelines 9 (5)   4 2 2 44%
Information Systems 1     1 1   100%
Meetings 8 (2) 1 7 6 1 88%
Publications 9 (4) 3 8 7 1 89%
Direct Services to Countries 4 (1) 1 4 4   100%
Total 31 (12) 5 24 20 4 77%


159. The Programme supported monitoring of the global food and agriculture situation, providing analyses of selected issues of prime relevance to world food security, and contributed to the technical background documentation for the WFS.

160. Comparative Agricultural Development. The State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA) continued to provide a global analysis of current events, trends and emerging issues affecting agricultural and rural development and food security at the global and regional levels. As a follow-up to the Summit, the 1997 SOFA inaugurated a review of recent developments in world food security, a feature to be pursued regularly with improved format and contents.

161. Contributions to the WFS entailed the supervision and reviewing of all 15 Technical Background Documents, and direct production of four of them: Success Stories in Food Security; the Socio-economic and Political Environment of Food Security; Food Assistance and Food Security; and the WFS Technical Atlas. The programme supported WFS-related discussions in FAO Regional Conferences and the five Technical Panel Discussions during the Summit. In follow-up to the Summit, 20 briefs were provided on national strategies for agriculture and food security to the horizon 2010.

162. Four comparative development studies were published and a new series Agriculture Policies and Economic Development was established. Support was provided to the Network on Agricultural Policies in Central and Eastern Europe.

163. Agriculture in Economic Development. A symposium on Economics of the valuation and conservation of plant genetics in agriculture was held in collaboration with the University of Tor Vergata, Rome. Publications included Guidelines for Integrating SARD (Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development) in Agriculture Policies, and the book Halting Resource Degradation co-published with Oxford University Press. The Proceedings of the FAO/UNECE Symposium on the Role of agriculture in the transition towards a market economy were co-published with UNECE (UN Economic Commission for Europe).

164. Multi-country comparative studies were initiated on Agriculture in the transition process and on Off-farm income and farm-off-farm linkages. Case studies were undertaken by national researchers according to a common methodology in 3 countries of Central and Eastern Europe, 4 countries in Latin America and 4 countries in Africa. Studies were undertaken on the economics for optimal control of the desert locust, the economic analysis of investment in conservation of genetic resources and non-market valuation techniques.

165. Collaboration continued with REU to support countries in transition of Central and Eastern Europe in the fields of agricultural policy and economic analysis, to service the European Commission on Agriculture and its subsidiary bodies and to organize workshops and consultations for senior Government officials, leading to recommendations for a common policy approach and implementation.

166. Agriculture Projects Analysis. Support was provided to FAO's in-house Emergency Coordination Group. Work on emergency preparedness and response included production of a technical manual and the publication of a brochure on FAO's Emergency Activities.

167. Some staff vacancies and the high priority given to the preparations for the WFS resulted in postponing preparation of external meetings and some normative papers on project analysis methodology and negatively affected technical support to policy projects except for food security information systems, where delivery was carried out as planned.

Programme 2.2.4 - Food and Agricultural Policy

Programme Outcome

Regular Programme   US$ `000  
  Appropriation 16 717  
  Expenditure 18 907  
  Over/(Under) Spending, US$ `000 2 190  
  Over/(Under) Spending, % 13%  
Field Programme   US$ `000  
  Extra-Budgetary TF and UNDP Delivery 3 408  
  Extra-Budgetary Emergency Project Delivery    
  TCP and SPFS Delivery 6 957  
  Total Field Programme Delivery 10 365  
  Ratio of Field to Regular Programme 0.5  
  Technical Support Services, Prof. Staff Cost 729  
  Technical Support Services, % of delivery 7%  
Programme Outputs
  Approved in PWB Cancelled/Postponed Unplanned Delivered Total Delivered


Percent Delivered
Unmodified Modified
Methodologies and Guidelines 5 (2)   3 1 2 60%
Information Systems 7 (2)   5 5   71%
Meetings 19 (1) 1 19 19   100%
Publications 15 (4) 5 16 12 4 107%
Direct Services to Countries 13 (2)   11 11   85%
Total 59 (11) 6 54 48 6 92%


168. The main objectives of the Programme were to carry out forward looking assessments of key issues in world food and agriculture and improve knowledge in areas related to food security and sustainability. This Programme included resources related to the WFS.

169. Global Perspective Studies. Maintenance and updating of the data and modelling system underlying Agriculture: Towards 2010 (AT2010) continued in preparation for its revision to 2015 with an extension to 2030. In cooperation with Programme 2.1.1, work was initiated on a revision and extension of the Agro-Ecological Zone evaluations. Two background papers were prepared for the WFS.

170. Commodity Policies and Trade. Commodity consultations among producing and consuming countries were increasingly focused on priority issues following the reform of the Intergovernmental Groups (IGGs) approved by the Committee on Commodity Problems (CCP), which resulted in less frequent and shorter sessions and reduced documentation with substantial savings. Under the IGG auspices, greater emphasis was placed on the analysis of linkages between environmental issues and trade of agricultural commodities, biotechnological developments and trade of some basic foodstuffs. In support of these activities, intersessional market reports were prepared on bananas, citrus, jute and tea. An electronic network on dairy products was developed and individual reports published on cereal policies, meat, white maize, millet and sorghum.

171. Commodity market development measures under the auspices of the IGGs having International Commodity Body (ICB) status with the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) were pursued, leading to the mobilization of over US$ 50 million in support of priority projects (see box). Particular attention was given to market problems of selected commodities in international fora, such as the International Consultation on Tropical Fruits which was the first intergovernmental meeting for this commodity grouping and which analyzed market constraints and issues and defined a strategy for country cooperation. Support was also provided to the Asia-Pacific Sugar Conference as part of ongoing activities, in cooperation with the International Sugar Organization, to improve the analysis of longer term market prospects and issues in the world sugar economy. Major contributions were made to a global cassava development strategy under the aegis of IFAD.

Common Fund for Commodities

During the biennium, 21 projects sponsored by FAO have been endorsed by the Executive Board of the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) with a total budget of US$ 52 million. Five projects cover oilseeds and oils and hard fibres, four fisheries, two livestock products and one each grains, bananas, tea, citrus and rice. They focus on applied research, productivity enhancement, vertical diversification and market promotion. In accordance with one of the Fund's priority criteria for project acceptance, they predominantly benefit least developed countries. In addition, a number of new projects with a value of US$ 45 million were at an advanced stage of preparation.
Out of the ten Intergovernmental Groups (IGGs) and one Sub-group reporting to the Committee on Commodity Problems, nine have been designated International Commodity Bodies (ICBs) by the CFC, together with the Sub-committee on Fish Trade which reports to the Committee on Fisheries. Since the CFC has designated to date 23 ICBs (including four covering metals), FAO services half of the ICBs dealing with agricultural commodities.

172. Technical assistance provided to countries in relation to the Agreement on Agriculture of the Uruguay Round included assessing export prospects of fast growing agricultural products, identification of export opportunities for developing countries as a result of changes in the tariff structure of major developed country markets and an examination of reductions in tariffs and diversification of agricultural exports. Work was also undertaken on analysis of factors affecting world price instability and assessing the impact of world price shocks on the food import bills of the least-developed and net food-importing developing countries related to the Marrakech Ministerial Decision.

173. Trade-related technical assistance provided at regional and country levels, included reviewing the current food and agricultural policies of developing countries and examining their compatibility with those agreed under the WTO and assisting in the incorporation of trade policy concerns in the formulation of domestic agricultural policy. National capabilities in trade policy analysis were strengthened through training farmers' organizations in WTO-related matters. Regional implications of the changing external trade environment, including questions of regional integration and preferential schemes were examined. Regional workshops on a variety of Uruguay Round-related subjects, some of a policy nature and some product-specific, were conducted for all regions, in collaboration with the World Bank, WTO, UNCTAD and regional organizations.

174. Work with other international organizations involved substantive consultations on normative issues with the WTO, UNCTAD, OECD and the World Bank and their participation in regional and country related activities. A contribution was made to the review process of the Food Aid Convention under the International Grains Council (IGC) and, at the request of the IGC, proposals were made for strengthening the Convention. Strong and constructive collaboration was maintained with NGOs concerned with trade issues which gave them a better understanding of the multilateral trading system and helped them articulate their proposals for further reform in agriculture.

175. World Food Security. The main activities were the preparation and holding of the WFS, in November 1996, preceded by the meetings of the Committee on World Food Security and its Inter-sessional Working Group which produced its negotiated outcome, the Rome Declaration on World Food Security and the World Food Summit Plan of Action. In addition, a document on Food Security and Food Assistance was prepared as a contribution to the 15-volume set of World Food Summit Technical Background Documents. The resources allocated for the Summit under this programme (US$ 2.1 million) provided a catalyst that generated public and private donations, in cash or in kind, of approximately US$ 14 million to support the event. This was a remarkable return on investment, considering the impact and resonance obtained by the Summit. Work was initiated on reporting arrangements and formats to be used to monitor Summit follow-up. Guidelines for the Establishment of National Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping Systems (FIVIMS), were considered by an Inter-agency Working Group and as a result work on FIVIMS was initiated.

176. Methodological and technical support was provided to the SPFS and to field projects focusing on the establishment and strengthening of food security information systems. Strategies were formulated to address problems of access to food and chronic undernutrition amongst vulnerable groups and on the provision of appropriate relief and recovery assistance in the event of an emergency. Assistance was provided to national or regional projects in over 40 countries of Africa, Central America and ASEAN, together with decentralized staff in the Regional and Sub-regional Offices.

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