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Appendix D - Contribution of the 19th FAO regional conference for Africa to the draft world food summit documents

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. 20 April 1996


Contribution of the 19th FAO regional conference for Africa to the draft world food summit documents
Annex II - Extract from Document ARC/96/4 "World food summit: Food security situation and issues in the Africa region"
III. Actions to address regional food security
Nineteenth FAO regional conference for Africa - Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 16-20 April 1996 - Food for all campaign

Contribution of the 19th FAO regional conference for Africa to the draft world food summit documents

1. Member countries of the Africa Region reiterated their unanimous support for the World Food Summit and the importance of ensuring a broad-based preparatory process at the national, regional and international levels. A number of ministers reported on their preparations, and drew on the conclusions of their national position papers to contribute to the regional debate.

2. Appreciation was expressed for the quality of the documents submitted in relation to the draft World Food Summit Policy Statement and Plan of Action (ARC/96/3, ARC/96/4 and ARC/96/4 Sup.1) and of the additional contributions provided by participants, which greatly enriched the debate and constituted a clear recognition by governments, other intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations of the importance of the World Food Summit for Africa.

3. The Regional Conference heard a presentation of the draft African Common Position on Food Security and Agricultural Development by the OAU Secretariat. The Regional Conference also heard a presentation of the recommendations of the FAO/NGO Consultation, which had taken place immediately prior to the Regional Conference. The Regional Conference welcomed these documents as valuable contributions to its own discussions and to the preparations for the World Food Summit, and noted that they would be considered, in further stages of the preparatory process.

4. In considering the draft of the Policy Statement and Plan of Action, contained in ARC/96/3, the Regional Conference endorsed the comments prepared by the members of the African Group in Rome (Annex I).

5. Particular stress was placed on the need to ensure the appropriate "political" tone in the Policy Statement, and to reaffirm the fundamental and inalienable right of access to food. It was emphasized that the commitment to ensuring the conditions necessary to the effective realization of this right required recognition of the ethical and moral imperative of meeting basic human needs.

6. With regard specifically to the Plan of Action, the Regional Conference emphasized the importance of building on the results of previous summits and conferences, and the relevance of the conclusions and commitments of the 1992 FAO/WHO International Conference on Nutrition, particularly with respect to the role of access to food, to health services and education and training in improving nutrition.

7. Considering the food security situation and issues in the Africa Region, the Regional Conference generally agreed with the analysis and conclusions contained in ARC/96/4. It stressed, however, that much more attention needed to be paid to the burden of Africa's external debt, to the deteriorating terms of trade experienced by so many countries of the region, to the major difficulties occasioned by the implementation of structural adjustment programmes, and to the impact of migration and refugee flows within and outside the region. While solutions to these problems also called for international solidarity, the Regional Conference affirmed the need to strengthen inter-country, sub-regional and regional cooperation, and to rely increasingly on the potential of the region's internal market.

8. The Regional Conference stressed that the contribution to the Summit preparatory process should recognize the urgency of action in the seven major areas identified in Part III of AKC/96/4 (Annex II). To sharpen the focus and supplement the text in those seven major areas, the Conference considered that particular priority should be given to the following:

9. Enabling political and economic environment for food security (paras. 52-55)

- ensuring policy frameworks and broad-based conducive to achieving food for all;

- according greater priority to agriculture and rural development in national programmes and budgets and mobilizing the necessary domestic investment, both public and private;

- the imperative need to involve civil society and small-scale producers' organizations in all efforts to improve food security;

- continuing the search for practical and effective solutions to the debt problem such as converting the debt into a fund to support the financing of agricultural development and food security programmes;

- recognizing the impact on African agriculture of market liberalization, globalization of economies and structural adjustment policies, and minimizing their negative effects, with a view to securing remunerative prices for primary agricultural commodities;

- securing the necessary external resources to support reforms;

10. Improving food access for vulnerable groups (paras. 56 to 58)

- the importance of ensuring access by the poorest, notably women and youth, to land and productive resources, and/or income-generating activities;

- the need for priority attention to targeted measures aimed at ensuring household food security and better nutrition, especially for women and children;

11. Ensuring adequate and timely food aid and emergency assistance (paras. 59-61)

- the desirability of relying as much as possible on triangular food aid operations to stimulate food production regionally, and/or on monetization of food aid;

12. Enhancing domestic food supply capacity (paras. 62-65)

- the overriding importance of mobilizing domestic capacity to increase food production sustainability, and in particular of improving water management and control, and ensuring transfer of appropriate and affordable technology;

- the need to reconcile measures to increase production and productivity with those aimed at protecting and conserving land and water resources;

- promoting research and extension capabilities, development of and greater reliance on indigenous sources of food, paying adequate attention to storage and processing;

- giving greater attention to aquaculture and fisheries, agro-forestry, livestock development, substitution of drug crops, programmes of integrated pest management (IPM) and integrated plant nutrition systems (IPNS);

- addressing the problem of major livestock diseases particularly those of a trans-boundary nature, which curtail the development of sustainable mixed farming;

13. Enhancing export earning capacity to meet import needs (paras. 66-68)

- the need to take advantage of the special measures foreseen in the Uruguay Round agreement to assist the least developed and net food-importing developing countries, as well as measures concerning minimum access to the markets of importing countries;

- strengthening of sub-regional and regional trade in agricultural and other products, and of national systems of food processing and food quality control;

14. Accelerating agricultural and rural development (paras. 69-72)

- according the requisite priority to improvement of land tenure systems;

- improving infrastructure to open up isolated rural areas;

- improving access to credit and mobilizing rural savings, including through private associations and rural financial institutions;

- facilitating access by rural families to income-generating activities to supplement the revenue they earn from agriculture;

15. Enhancing human development and social participation (paras. 73-80)

- the urgency of implementing agreements reached in Rome, Cairo, Vienna, Copenhagen and Beijing to address the related problems of malnutrition, population growth, poverty, unemployment, social disintegration as well as human rights in general and the need to achieve democracy for all and the full and equal participation of women;

- the special importance of programmes of education and training for both food producers and consumers, as well as of primary education particularly for girls;

16. Finally, the Regional Conference stressed the importance of clearly indicating responsibilities for implementing the plan of action, and time frames to facilitate monitoring of the follow-up. In particular, it endorsed the proposal to set up National Food for All Campaign Committees to achieve food security and ensure at national level the implementation of the Plan of Action (Annex II). It reiterated in this connection the need to fully mobilize the efforts and resources of all actors, including governments, international organizations and financing institutions, the private sector, the civil society, women and youth, for concerted action to address the problems and realize the potential of Africa to ensure food security for its peoples.

17. In conclusion, the Regional Conference decided to transmit the present report and appendixes to the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) as the position of the Africa region for the elaboration of the documents to be submitted to the World Food Summit. It stressed that further refinements would be provided through the participation of the region's member countries in the work of the CFS, which was entrusted with the task of synthesizing contributions from all regions, as well as from a broad spectrum of governmental and non-governmental organizations.

18. Pursuant to OAU Resolution CM Res.1643 (LXIII) on the World Food Summit, the Common Position of the African Ministers of Agriculture as reflected in the report of the 19TH FAO Regional Conference will be forwarded by the Director-General of FAO to the Secretary-General of OAU for submission to the Sixty-fourth Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers and the Thirty-second Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity.

Annex II - Extract from Document ARC/96/4 "World food summit: Food security situation and issues in the Africa region"


Document ARC/96/4-sup. 1 "Food for all campaign" presented to the nineteenth FAO regional conference for Africa

Annex I to Appendix D - World food summit

Draft Political Declaration and Plan of Action FAO Regional Conference for Africa. The contribution of the African Group in Rome


Comments and proposals for amendments


Political Declaration

The draft political declaration still contains too much technical descriptions to be suppressed and enriched by concepts showing an active and accurate political willingness

The new version of the Political Declaration is better than the previous one but:


- lacks political willingness

- the fundamental inalienable human food right should be reaffirmed as well as the commitment of every country including the LDP to ensure conditions for the effective achievement of this right

General Comments

- the need to target areas suffering much more from hunger and malnutrition: defining causes and set up "an hunger map" in order to better apprehend the phenomenon and to face it.

- to bring a solemn support to the special initiative-launched by UNO together with the World Bank in favour of Africa

- to continue to support FAO special programmes

- the importance of the management of the natural resources, their conservation, for a sustainable development particularly Fishery

- to turn into a good account the Agreements of Uruguay Round towards lower income and food deficit Countries.

- the liberalization of the international trade (lifting of tariffs and non-tariffs barriers, access to LDC agricultural market products.)

- mass participation (particularly women and youth) at every stage of the development including training, health, and the transfer of technology

- the importance to commit solemnly to strengthen the international, regional, and sub-regional cooperation and the international solidarity including Bretton Woods Institutions and the Rome-Based Institutions, the leader of which is FAO- identify obstacles to the realization of food security in the LDP particularly:

- poverty, the suppression of which in addition to the humanitarian duty it implies, will give the opportunity of an economic development for all countries.

- unfavourable global economic environment.

- lack of research and transfer of technologies and poor level of national and international agricultural investments

Political Declaration

Avoiding the temptation to rewrite the draft declaration, it would be however important to make sure:

- to adopt wise approaches when defining the concept of food security not to fall into insurmountable difficulties

- to reconsider the experiences acquired from previous Summits and Conferences particularly those of New York (on Child), Copenhagen (Social), Rio (Environment and Development), Beijing (Women), Cairo (Population).

- to deal with the Convention on decertification particularly the ratification of its funds in view of its implementation


- settlement of the overall LPD debt problem


- Uruguay round: compensatory measures; assistance to low income and food deficit countries; transfer of technology

- to declare the forthcoming decade, "International Decade" with "Food and Health for all"

- mobilization of appropriate financial resources in the scope of the existing mechanisms including the reconversion of a portion of the LDC external debt for the effective implementation of the commitments and the actions scheduled to take place, their follow-up and their execution

- to deal with the food commodities processing and storage in the LDC, and the transfer of technologies

- to improve the production, yield, and effective sharing out of all agricultural, forest and fishery products

- the preliminary condition for a sustainable and harmonious development is and remains peace, and political stability to reaffirm the support for FAO principles and objectives, the political support to the Organization and other Institutions such as IFAD and WFP

- the Commitment of all the Organizations in the United Nations System, Bretton Woods Institutions and other international, sub-regional, regional, national, financial organizations, private sector, civilian society, NGOs and the European Union to bring the necessary support for the achievement of global food security.

para. 2

- keep only the last sentence " we confirm... deserving"

para. 3

- change the first sentence as follows: nowadays 20 % of the World Population are affected by hunger and the LDC are much more affected than all

para. 4

- after the second sentence, replace full stop by a coma and add " what is technically possible " - replace the last sentence by phrases pull out from UNCED.

para. 6

- change the last sentence which should read as follows: "We give a strong priority to the development of rural areas and we recognize the various functions in agriculture".

- in the last sentence after "rural zones" add " with the growth of food production", instead of "migration" put " rural exodus"

para. 7

- cancel in the second sentence, permanent after dialogue

para. 8

- in the last line, put "rural development and diversified food production "

para. 9

- after "policy", add "programme"; on the last line but one after "system" insert "of production"

para. 10

- on the third line, the appropriate adjective coming after policies lines up English on French; and cancel " and our consumptions"

para. 12

- If we admit that the Summit is not a conference of contributions announcement, it is however essential that the signatories of the declaration commit themselves to mobilize necessary resources for the implementation of acquired actions for the realization of food security, overcome hunger and poverty; introduce a paragraph translating this and recalling for the commitments undertaken in this view in Rio, Quebec, Copenhagen, Cairo and Beijing

- in the second line, replace "multinational" with "international"

i) first line, after "based", put "especially" (based especially...)

ii) should be read as follows: "we cooperate and strengthen our assistance and solidarity in the achievement of the objectives contained in this Declaration, as well as the implementation and the follow-up of the Plan of Action of World Food Summit"

Plan of Action and General Comments

More concrete proposals will come up with the African Regional Conference particularly for the identification and the quantification of the objectives and actions

The Plan should be:




- more concrete;

- more accurate in defining and quantifying objectives and in determining the deadlines of realizations;

- be subject to periodical evaluation concerning the concrete action to be decided which should be operational;

- clarify the responsibility in the implementation of decided actions underlying especially, beside the role of the government and civilian society, the role of the International Institutions particularly FAO, IFAD, WFP, WHO, UNICEF, WTO, UNCED

- deal with the issue on financing the action, and objectives of the Summit;

- reconsider big issues on the suppression of poverty, external debt, drought and decertification (implementation of the related United Nations Convention, the agreement of the Uruguay Round, therefore the growth, diversification, storage, and processing of the agricultural products;

- strengthen the international cooperation

III. Actions to address regional food security

Draft contribution of the Africa Regional Conference to the Plan of Action of the World Food Summit

47. Africa, which accounts for more than half of the total number of Low-Income Food-Deficit countries (LIFDCs) is the one region where the food security situation has deteriorated, rather than improved, over the past decades. Apart from the growing numbers of chronically food insecure people, which would likely account for about one-third of the population of the region by 2010, the number of refugees and displaced persons, as a result of both man-made and natural factors, is growing. Immediate emergency needs are absorbing a considerable amount of national and international resources at the expense of longer-term development.

48. In order to reduce the extent of undernutrition in Africa much below what is currently forecast for the year 2010, a major effort must be made to increase overall food supplies as well as access to food through increased incomes and food assistance. To this effect strong action is needed to improve the general macroeconomic, institutional and infrastructural environment, with an emphasis on food and agricultural development, so as to raise levels of food production significantly above rates of population growth. The achievement of such higher levels of production growth will require significant gains in labour and land productivity, given the physical and environmental constraints to area expansion and the high rates of population growth and urbanization. Efforts will also be needed to enhance fisheries resource management and production, given the significant contribution of fish to food security in the region. At the same time, urgent measures will be needed to build the infrastructure and marketing systems that would enable a regular flow of affordable food to urban and rural populations.

49. To achieve food security for the continent, however, increases in food production must necessarily be complemented by efforts to ensure adequate levels of food supply. This implies, on the one hand, determined efforts to enhance the export-earning capacity of the countries of the region to allow for the financing of commercial food imports and, on the other, a readiness by the international community to provide sufficient levels of food aid. Access to food must be improved through overall economic development with a particular emphasis on rural development, but food access to poor and vulnerable groups must also be secured through special programmes.

50. It is estimated that, for a growth in primary agricultural production of 2.9 percent annually during the period to the year 2010, as currently forecast by FAO, an investment of approximately U5510 billion (1993 dollars) annually will be required. With this rate of growth only seven countries would have over 2,700 calories per capita by 2010, all of which have already reached this target or nearly so. In order to raise average calorie intakes to 2,700 in the remaining 35 countries, and taking account of an accompanying increase in imports, their production growth rate would have to accelerate from 3.0 percent, as currently forecast, to 4.5 per cent yearly (and from 2.9 to 4-5 percent for the region as a whole). This would imply annual investment requirements doubling, from U5510 to U5520 billion, in the region. While such growth rates would engender immense difficulties, they give a measure of the efforts that would be needed to achieve a significant betterment of food security in Africa.

51. Within the framework of the global Plan of Action of the World Food Summit, the priority region-specific actions to achieve accelerated progress towards food security in Africa are as follows:

Enabling political and economic environment for food security

Basis for action

52. The region has been plagued by political tensions, wars, civil unrest and refugee problems that have been major factors of food insecurity. Achieving food security objectives will crucially depend on the ability of African leaders to bring an end to or at least significantly reduce, such problems as well as ensuring stable and participatory political institutions. In situations of violent conflict, safe passage and the refusal to use food as a political weapon are conditions of the right to food for the threatened populations.

53. Market-oriented systems of macroeconomic management have been widely adopted throughout the region, largely within the context of stabilization and structural adjustment programmes introduced with the assistance of international lending institutions. However, the degree of progress in implementing reforms has been uneven. Many countries have encountered major difficulties in reducing state intervention and liberalizing markets, and the initial process of reform has had negative repercussions particularly on poor food producers and consumers, without, in many cases, adequate safety nets. Furthermore, the record of macroeconomic achievements has been often disappointing.



a) Ensure peace, stability and social participation to achieve food security in the region;

b) Improve the economic environment for food security through macro-economic stability and increased reliance on markets and private agents, as preconditions for efficient resource reallocation in favour of agriculture and accelerated and self-sustaining growth and rural development;

c) Pursue and intensify human-centered economic and sectoral reform that seeks stabilization and growth along with social and environmental objectives.

Actions to be taken


a) Ensure the participation of all segments of society in civil life through participatory and stable political institutions;

b) Mobilize national, regional and international initiatives to prevent conflicts and to resolve emergency crises;

c) Accompany market-oriented economic reforms with social safety nets to ensure access to food and, more generally, protect the most negatively affected groups;

d) Identify and eliminate policies that discriminate against the agricultural and food sector;

e) Further reduce distortive public intervention in marketing and prices;

f) Provide market incentives for private sector investment and productive activities in agriculture;

g) Assign public resources in appropriate proportion to ensure the needed priority for adequate infrastructure and support services to agricultural and rural development;

h) Secure external resources for supporting reforms.

Improving food access to poor and vulnerable groups

Basis for action

56. There is a major scope for interventions assuring access to food for poor and vulnerable groups both in urban and rural areas. Many national food systems in Africa do not at present ensure adequate protection for the poorest and most vulnerable groups particularly in the countryside, but tend to favour the rich and the urban population. In addition, policies of generalized, non-targeted implicit or explicit food subsidies in favour of urban areas tend to be expensive. Indeed, experience has shown that the effectiveness of generalized food subsidies in ensuring an adequate diet for those in need is questionable (everybody benefits from such subsidies, they are distributionally regressive, they become expensive to maintain and, depending on the level of the subsidy, they may be a distorting factor in the economy). Cost-effective income transfer schemes are needed so that the limited resources that are made available reach those in need.


57. Ensure access to adequate food also for the poorest and most vulnerable groups, both in rural and urban areas at a sustainable cost to society.

Actions to be taken


a) Identify vulnerable and food insecure groups in both rural and urban areas (such as smallholder farmers, nomadic pastoralists, households short of labour, households headed by women, the elderly and the disabled) and target direct food security intervention at these groups;

b) Implement measures to increase production and the self-reliance of vulnerable groups;

c) Implement employment and food-for-work schemes using the experience of similar schemes elsewhere within and outside the region.

Ensuring adequate and timely food aid and emergency assistance

Basis for action

59. Even with the favourable scenarios for economic and agricultural development and expansion of domestic food production, export earnings and incomes, in the short to medium term food aid will remain indispensable for food security on the African continent, both to counter emergency situations and the effect of seasonality on food supply and to ensure adequate supplies overall in domestic markets. In spite of this, in recent years, food aid deliveries by developed countries have been contracting.


a) Maintain adequate quantitative levels of food aid interventions to counter emergency situations and the effects of seasonality and to ensure sufficient levels of food supply to meet the needs of poor and vulnerable groups;

b) Minimize the negative impact of food aid intervention on incentives to domestic producers.

Actions to be taken


a) Guarantee and provide sufficient quantities of food aid to meet the needs of importing countries both for emergency assistance and to ensure adequate levels of supply on domestic markets, particularly in favour of vulnerable groups;

b) Promote triangular food aid operation, as appropriate, thereby contributing towards stimulating food production nationally and on the continent;

c) Improve the design of food aid programmes in support of food security objectives;

d) Devise national and international programmes for emergency preparedness and relief-to-development strategies at the national, regional and international levels:

e) Strengthen early warning systems at the national and regional levels.

Enhancing domestic food supply capacity

Basis for action

62. Of all developing regions, Africa suffers from food insecurity most extensively and 42 countries in the region belong to the LIFDCs' group. One root cause for this is the low productivity in food and agricultural production, but at the same time most countries have the physical potential for raising their food production significantly. Given the difficulty of reliably financing external sources of food, an urgent need exists to mobilize the domestic capacity to increase food supply quickly, especially in areas with high potential in terms of productivity, sustainable resources and marketing, to meet the requirements of rising populations in urban and food deficit areas.



a) To increase rapidly food supplies by at least 90 percent by the year 2010 for the region as a whole, with priority given to staple foods, particularly from areas that have good potential with favourable agro-ecological conditions and with favourable infrastructure for distribution and marketing;

b) To launch, by the year 2000 in all 42 LIFDCs of the region, strategically-conceived programmes for the above purposes so as to develop and expand the centers of reliable domestic food supply;

c) To enhance sustainable management of natural resources in food and agricultural production through adoption of fanning systems and production practices adapted to high potential and other areas.

Actions to be taken

At the national level


a) Formulate and implement strategies and programmes for rapidly increasing food and agricultural production in selected areas with high potential for cost-effective productivity improvements in a sustainable way, especially through an appropriate combination of specialization and diversification in food production; by the year 2010 high potential rainfed areas should be expanded by some 20-30 percent and those under irrigation by at least 20 percent, with the emphasis on low-cost, small-scale, farmer-managed water-control systems; reclaim progressively areas suitable for agricultural production, especially in 5.6 million km2 of the moist savanna, by control and eradication of diseases, such as river blindness, trypanosomiasis and malaria; improve fertility of suitable tropical soils through large-scale rock phosphate and/or lime application;

b) Increase the yield levels of food crop production, especially for staple crops and where high potential resources can be sustainably mobilized, through the adoption of more productive technologies adapted to improved farming systems. In particular, raise cereal yields by 50 percent or more; expand the availability to farmers of quality seeds and planting materials, particularly cereals, roots and tubers, plantain and pulses. By the year 2010, improved quality seed should supply at least 15 percent of farmers' requirements (presently about 5 percent); enhance and preserve soil fertility and plant nutrition, including the promotion of integrated plant nutrition technologies;

c) Upgrade the effectiveness of water management. In particular, enhance the efficiency of existing water control systems by 20 percent, through their modernization and rehabilitation, control of salinity and waterlogging and improved on-farm water management by farmers;

d) Develop and introduce farming systems and technologies adapted to sustainable production in rainfed areas, including better water control, water conservation and soil moisture management by farmers; use more drought and disease resistant varieties of food crops to ensure a stable increase in production and to reduce instability;

e) Develop and disseminate management practices for the protection and conservation of land and water resources, including appropriate cropping systems and integration of forestry and trees against desertification;

f) Increase the productivity of livestock-based food (by at least 3-4 percent per year for meat and by 3 percent or more for milk) through better integration of livestock and crop production, veterinary care, breeds improvement and improved animal nutrition through more sustainable and effective management systems for grazing land, including the production of higher-quality fodders;

g) Reduce food losses in the entire chain of production, marketing and processing, including post-harvest operation, through more effective and sustainable practices, beginning with IPM at the production level and throughout all levels;

h) Strengthen adaptive agricultural research and extension and dissemination services to provide appropriate technologies for the variety of production systems, especially to enhance production stability under rainfed, low-input systems; strengthen production support services and rural finance mechanisms at the field level;

i) Expand substantially fish production and supply to meet the increase in demand, which is expected to nearly double to 8 million tons by 2010, especially from aquaculture and inland fisheries. Improve the resource management of marine fisheries;

j) Strengthen government capacity for planning, implementation, coordination and monitoring of policies and programmes for rapid and sustainable expansion in food production and supply.

At sub-regional and regional levels


a) Expand and intensify, in collaboration with the Consultive Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) centres located in the region cooperation in the exchange of appropriate technologies and approaches to food and agricultural production;

b) Strengthen collaboration through joint programmes addressed to specific actions such as trans-boundary plant pests and animal diseases and early warning systems;

c) Expand cooperation in the joint management of shared resources, especially shared water resources in common river basins and lakes, and in fishery resources;

d) Improve and ensure maintenance of trans-border transportation infrastructure; collaborate in the development of communication and logistic infrastructure.

Enhancing export earning capacity to meet import needs

Basis for action

66. The need to revitalize the export sector, along with efforts to diversify its base, is particularly compelling since the region's five financial requirements for meeting import needs for subsistence and development are rapidly growing; the outlook for international-financial assistance and food aid is less than promising, indicating growing pressure for locally-based import capacity in the years ahead; market prospects are somewhat better for several major commodities exported by the region than during the disastrous past decade. At the same time, the liberalization of international markets resulting from the conclusion of the Uruguay Round may provide new opportunities for agricultural exporters. The policy emphasis on agricultural exports, however, should not be detrimental, but complementary, to the food crop development effort.

67. There is also the need to restore efficiency, dynamism and competitiveness to traditional export sectors, while also diversifying the export base, as a means of raising incomes particularly in rural areas, and of meeting growing import bills.

Actions to be taken


a) Pursue opportunities for enhancing regional trade, including: search for areas of complementarity and harmonization of support, taxation and marketing policies; cooperation in removing trade barriers across regional borders; development of collective strategies for global trade negotiations to ensure fair access to world markets and recognition of the need for special treatment to the poor, agricultural trade-dependent countries of the region;

b) Provide infrastructural and services support for the increased efficiency, reduced costs and enhanced competitiveness" of agricultural export crop production and marketing;

c) Promote export diversification by incorporating both non-traditional high-value products and value-added products through agro-processing;

d) Take advantage of the new opportunities that may arise from the liberalization of international markets following the Uruguay Round;

e) Explore the development of exports to emerging markets where economies are rapidly expanding and/or per caput consumption of products exported by the region is low;

f) Develop market outlook and information systems that provide accurate signals to farmers and exporters;

g) Remove infrastructural, institutional and information obstacles to the transmission of changes in world commodity prices to producers of export crops;

h) Introduce market-oriented mechanisms of price and revenue stabilization including forward and future contracts, option contracts and swaps;

i) Establish national food control programmes to ensure the quality and safety of food sold in the region both for domestic consumption and for export.

Accelerating agricultural and rural development

Basis for action

69. Given the extensive nature of food insecurity and the severe resource constraints in many areas, it is necessary to complement actions aimed directly at increasing food production with efforts at more broad-based sustainable and participatory rural development. Whereas in high-potential areas rural development will have a strong agricultural production-oriented focus, in low-potential and marginal areas there is a need for economic diversification and for an emphasis on preservation of fragile resource bases.



a) To expand the effective participation of farmers and producers in the agricultural and rural development process;

b) To improve self-reliant food security throughout rural areas incomes;

c) To promote and facilitate broad-based and more self-reliant rural development, including improvements in infrastructure, better marketing arrangements, access to improved technologies and supporting services and inputs, and more secure land tenure arrangements.

Actions to be taken

At the national level


a) Promote and implement agricultural and rural development schemes targeted at increasing on-farm and off-farm employment, and infrastructure for improved services and marketing;

b) Devise financial and participatory mechanisms for maintenance and repair of existing rural physical infrastructure;

c) Improve the land tenure and other property security of farmers and producers, especially that of poor farmers and women farmers, not only for social equity but also as incentives for better productivity and towards the sustainable management of natural resources;

d) Enhance self-reliant participation of farmers in the planning and implementation of development activities at the local community level by promoting participatory organization of farmers and producers, particularly smallholders and women farmers;

e) Monitor and review the environmental effects of agricultural and rural development, and incorporate lessons learnt in developing appropriate strategies and programmes.

At sub-regional and regional levels

72. Exchange and transfer lessons learnt on common problems in an effort to enhance agricultural and rural development among countries in the region.

Enhancing human development and social participation

Basis for action

73. The region is experiencing high rates of population growth which have led to growing need for agricultural production expansion, increasing stress on natural resources and greater demands for social services and human development resources. The region's levels of general education, access to information and health care have remained low. Inadequate structures for education and training hinder overall development and food security at all levels of activity, from basic farming to policy design and implementation. Large segments of the population have remained economically and culturally marginalized. Women, in particular, play a major role in agricultural production and household food security, but have inadequate access to work, training and production factors.



a) Reduce the profound problems of overall rural poverty, unemployment and social exclusion affecting the region, in accordance with the principles defined by the Copenhagen World Summit for Social Development, as basic prerequisites for achieving food security;

b) Integrate population concerns into development strategies so as to maintain rates of growth at levels compatible with possibilities for sustainably expanding production and ensuring the well-being of every person;

c) Strengthen human resources for development and food security by improving education and health standards, and ensure an adequate role and empowerment of women in decision-making and operational activities.

Actions to be taken

At the national level


a) Develop national population policies consistent with the recommendations of the Fourth World Conference on Population;

b) Reorient the allocation of resources for health, education and social services to redress the relative neglect of the rural areas;

c) Promote broad participation in the formulation and implementation of food-security-related programmes and actions, through decentralization, transparency and resources for strengthening the abilities of civil society as well as in the development of local community organizations and activities;

d) Strengthen policies and programmes to achieve the equal participation of women in all aspects of social life, particularly those contributing to the achievement of food security, and to this end improve their access to all resources required;

e) Reorient and design rural development policy and programmes to support women's health, education and financial needs as primary agricultural producers.

At the sub-regional and regional levels


a) Strengthen regional cooperation as a means of understanding the implications of trans-border migrations;

b) Create the conditions for a voluntary repatriation of refugees to their countries of origin and their reintegration into their societies and activities in conditions of safety and food access adequacy.

Responsibilities for implementing priority actions At the National Level

77. National governments have the primary responsibility for creating the conditions required for food security in their countries: first and foremost peace, and stable, participatory institutions, with the rapid abatement of situations of armed conflict and civil unrest that have been severe causes of food insecurity in most of the region. National governments are also responsible for creating an economic and social environment conducive to fast, sustainable and equitable growth, in which agricultural and rural development must play a central role. More specifically, national governments will achieve food security through strong policy commitment to the priority actions outlined above. This will require the provision of appropriate structures and mechanisms and the involvement, not only of all relevant public entities, but also of the private sector and of civil society in general.

78. National governments also have shared responsibilities with other countries within and outside the region, international and non-governmental organizations, in the pursuance of food security goals.

At the sub-regional and regional levels

78. The governments of the region should promote cooperation among themselves in:

a) Reinforcing regional cooperation mechanisms in agriculture and food policies for food security, including the strengthening of African intergovernmental organizations and research institutions;

b) Promoting the inter-exchange of technologies for food and agricultural production, especially those applicable to rapid development in high potential areas, including the establishment of technical cooperation networks;

c) Sharing experiences, technologies and resources for the development of sustainable systems of food and agricultural production in rainfed areas;

d) Instituting joint programmes to combat trans-boundary plant pests and animal diseases;

e) Extending the scope of national information and early warning systems into regional networks that provide crop and market outlook information;

f) Expanding cooperation in joint management of shared resources, particularly shared water resources and fisheries resources, inter alia through the strengthening of regional intergovernmental organizations;

g) Strengthening transborder transportation and other infrastructures.

At the international level

80. The international community and its institutions will provide support to national Governments and relevant institutions in:

a) Formulating and implementing macroeconomic and sectoral policies that improve the economic environment for food security;

b) Securing adequate financial support to food-deficit countries in the region that face serious difficulties in financing their food needs;

c) Planning, executing and reviewing programmes and projects for rapidly expanding food production and supply capacity in high-potential areas: accelerating rural development; and ensuring sustainable use of natural resources for food and agricultural production;

d) Strengthening early warning systems at both the regional and international levels;

e) Implementing the United Nations Convention on Desertification;

f) Guaranteeing and maintaining adequate levels and the timely delivery of food aid to counter emergency situations and to ensure adequate supplies at the national level and seek to improve the design of food aid programmes in support of food security;

g) Assist in devising, through appropriate cooperation with national governments, programmes for emergency preparedness and relief-to-development strategies;

h) Implement the Uruguay Round Decision on Measures Concerning the Possible Negative Effects of the Reform Programme on Least-Developed and Net Food-Importing Developing Countries.

Expected role of civil society

81. The policy emphasis on economic liberalization and a reduced role of the State in marketing and price formation implies a correspondingly greater role of the private sector in activities relating to food security including investment, agricultural production, marketing and trade as well as the provision of inputs. Then new emphasis on broad-based development implies greater involvement of previously marginalized segments of society, in particular women, smallholders and the poor.

82. In particular the private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and interest groups have important roles to play in:

a) Technology transfer, investment and skills development through commercial activities;

b) Promotion of, and compliance with, major international agreements such as the International Plant Protection Convention;

c) Sustainable resources management; in particular the private sector plays a key role in investing in irrigation development and water control;

d) Providing farmers with inputs, services and marketing;

e) Undertaking private investment and commercial activities for ensuring adequate and stable food supplies to urban areas;

f) Promoting and supporting programmes catering for the development of rainfed areas. Non-governmental organizations, in particular, have many advantages in working with local populations towards their participatory development for food security.

83. Society at large, including community institutions and local government and non-governmental organizations, has the responsibility for ensuring the involvement and empowerment of women in decision-making and operational activities of importance in achieving food security.

Nineteenth FAO regional conference for Africa - Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 16-20 April 1996 - Food for all campaign

1. In deciding to convene a World Food Summit at the level of Heads of State or Government in Rome from 13 to 17 November 1996, the FAO Conference in its Resolution Z/95, adopted on 31 October 1995, reaffirmed the "inalienable right to be free from hunger and malnutrition" as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration on the Eradication of Hunger and Malnutrition adopted by the World Food Conference in 1974. It also reaffirmed the need to achieve food security for all, as included in the Fiftieth Anniversary Declaration on Food and Agriculture. The Conference took into cognizance the fact that hunger and malnutrition could constitute a threat to the security of nations, regions and the global community. It also recognized that activities to ensure food security at all levels, in particular at the household level, should be carried out within the framework of sustainable development as defined in Agenda 21.

2. In deciding on the objectives of the Summit, the Conference stated inter alia that the World Food Summit would raise global awareness of the food security problem and promote the search for solutions, and would establish a policy framework and adopt a Plan of Action for implementation by governments, international institutions and all sectors of civil society to achieve sustained progress towards universal food security.

3. The Conference recognized the role of non-governmental organizations, the private sector, academic and research institutions, the media and other groups in international conferences and initiatives. In this connection, while inviting countries to participate actively in the preparations and follow-up activities, the Conference encouraged the participation of these sectors of society in the preparatory process, in the Summit itself as appropriate, and in follow-up actions.

4. In order to make the Summit and its outcome a success and to ensure that "Food for All" is an achievable campaign, it is essential that follow-up actions to the Summit are carried out in a concerted and coordinated manner at the country level with the participation not only of the government, but also of non-governmental organizations, the private sector, academic and research institutions, women, youth groups and civil society in general. Such participation by different segments of society could be promoted through a mechanism set up at the country level which would act as a mobilizing body in pursuing the goal of achieving food for all at national and international levels. This mechanism would function as a driving force of a "Food for All Campaign", which could be launched by the World Food Summit in order to sustain the momentum generated by it, support its work and ensure success of the follow-up activities.

5. The "Food for All Campaign" could strive to create a movement of informed public opinion about the key issues concerning food security and their solution; promote development and implementation of solutions to the food production and security constraints; and facilitate dialogue and collaboration among governments, the private sector, non-governmental organizations and the civil society at large. The Campaign could play a key role in facilitating the implementation of the follow-up actions to the World Food Summit. This national mechanism, which would be an important vehicle for the "Food for All Campaign", could be led by the non-governmental sector in order to encourage flexibility and innovation, as well as to supplement the governmental FAO national committees with which it will have to develop strong links.

6. The Regional Conferences could consider recommending that the "Food for All Campaign" be launched by the World Food Summit itself with an indication of the mandate and objectives. The structure to sustain it would have to be adapted to the specific situation of each country.

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