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Programme Outcome

Regular Programme   US$ `000  
  Appropriation 20 054  
  Expenditure 19 087  
  Over/(Under) Spending, US$ `000 ( 967)  
  Over/(Under) Spending, % (5%)  
Field Programme   US$ `000  
  Extra-Budgetary TF and UNDP Delivery 12 241  
  Extra-Budgetary Emergency Project Delivery 0  
  TCP and SPFS Delivery 3 098  
  Total Field Programme Delivery 15 339  
  Ratio of Field to Regular Programme 0.8  
  Technical Support Services, Prof. Staff Cost 1 441  
  Technical Support Services, % of delivery 9%  
Programme Outputs
    Total Delivered  
  Methodologies and Guidelines 15  
  Information Systems 20  
  Meetings 17  
  Publications 38  
  Direct Services to Countries 133  
  Training 13  
  Total 236  


264. The Major Programme aims at providing, upon request, advice and assistance to countries on national development policies, programmes and strategies. It contributes to national capacity-building for policy analysis, formulation, planning and implementation.

Programme 3.1.1 - General Coordination and Support

265. Coordination of Policy Assistance. The programme, carried out by the Policy Assistance Division (TCA), continued to support the Policy Assistance Branches and Units in the Regional and Sub-regional Offices. A system to monitor and track country requests for policy assistance was developed to assure effective follow-up and facilitate reporting. Several methodological guidelines on policy analysis and programming of technical cooperation activities were formulated. Support to countries included preparation of agricultural policy studies and participation in consultative group meetings. In addition, a framework for national agricultural development strategies was developed and applied in the preparation of strategy papers as part of the Organization's efforts to assist countries in the implementation of the World Food Summit Plan of Action (see box).

Draft Strategies for National Agricultural Development - Horizon 2010

To assist countries in the implementation of the Commitments adopted at the WFS, strategies for national agricultural development were prepared for 150 countries on the basis of official Government documents, including the WFS national position papers. These strategies identify the major actions each country would need to implement up to the year 2010 in order to foster agricultural development, with special emphasis on enhancing food security. The documents also analyse the current levels of food demand, nutritional needs and food supplies of the country; address the issue of food insecurity and poverty; examine the extent to which the Governments' policies are conducive to improving food security; review the sector performance; spell out the major strategic options open to the country to improve food security; and provide estimates of the resources required. These frameworks were also used in consultations with donors and financial institutions and as an input to the thematic groups established at country level under the ACC network on rural development and food security.

266. Food and Agriculture Policy Training. Training continued to be provided to countries in the field of policy analysis, sector analysis and strategy formulation, investment project analysis and decentralized development. Seventy-four courses were organized at country level including: training in decentralization development leading to the formulation of provincial development programmes and investment projects in China; macro-economic policies and agriculture in Latin America; credit policies in the Near East and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries; and liberalization policies and food security in Africa.

267. Training manuals were prepared on the Implications of Economic Policies on Food Security and on the Implications of the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture for Developing Countries. The latter manual, which was developed in cooperation with Programme 2.2.4 and GTZ, addressed how policy reforms, undertaken for macro-economic objectives, affect the availability and access to food at the individual and household levels. It offered a number of analytical tools and reviews of domestic and international policy interventions to improve food security. Training materials were also prepared on environmental and sustainability issues in agriculture policy and planning and on planning tools, as well as exercises and case studies for investment projects analysis, which were tested and disseminated during regional workshops for trainers in the Near East and in Asia.

Programme 3.1.2 - Policy Assistance to Various Regions

268. This Programme covers the policy assistance provided by the Regional and Sub-regional Offices. It included sector/sub-sector reviews and analysis of selected policy issues in 19 countries. Issues addressed included: food grain policy in China and Syria; assessment of parastatal reform policies on agricultural development and food security in east and southern African countries; water policy and management in the Near East region; linkages between modern agro-industries and small-scale agriculture in Latin American countries; and agriculture and food integration in Europe.

269. Policy assistance and advice continued to be provided to the countries participating in the SPFS in identification of the constraints that prevent farmers from adopting improved technologies and management practices, and in formulating proposals to remove the constraints on a sustainable basis.

270. Support was also provided to countries affected by disasters, which caused dramatic impacts on local populations and productive capacity, to plan their rehabilitation and sustainable recovery. In this regard, assistance in the formulation of post-emergency rehabilitation plans and agricultural development strategies was also provided, as appropriate.

Programme 3.1.3 - Legal Assistance to Member Nations

271. The Programme, which is delivered by the Legal Office (LEG), provides extensive advice and support to member countries on legislation for agriculture and rural development. The availability of Government Cooperative Programme funding for four projects contributed to a high level of activity. Advisory assistance was provided on issues of participation in natural resource management and included advice on participatory forestry and wildlife management planning in Benin, legislation for village wildlife committees in Mauritania and several forestry projects with community forestry elements. Assistance was also provided to countries on legislation related to food, plant protection, fisheries, water and land tenure. Computerization of the legislative database was completed providing Internet access to: abstracts of 11 000 legal texts, FAO's Basic Texts, the treaties for which FAO is depository and the Coastal State Requirements for Foreign Fishing. A quantification of several areas of legal assistance is provided in Table 3.1-1.

Table 3.1-1: Legal Assistance to Countries (Selected Indicators)

  1994-95 1996-97
Field missions by staff and consultants (person months) 149 45
Project delivery (US$ `000):    
- Projects operated by LEG 1 058 2 300
- Projects with LEG as lead technical unit 946 1 900
- Abstracts of legislation (number prepared) 2 300 6 500
- Comparative law publications (pages) 1 060 1 500

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