The conservation policies outlined in the next section of this report can be of extreme importance in relieving the immediate situation, but the longer-term problem of expanding to the fullest extent the production of food and of improving distribution of available supplies requires careful planning.
While many Governments have devised production targets which involve the maximum development of natural and other resources, the Council feels strongly that these programs need to be integrated into a world plan. With this object in view, it set up the Policy Committee on Production and Distribution.
In planning for production and distribution, account must be taken of the social, economic, and technological changes which have had and will continue to have profound effects upon the world pattern of production, trade, and consumption. Among those changes the following should be taken into consideration:
increased domestic utilization of food and food-stuffs in some exporting countries which are substantially reducing export availabilities;
the industrial development of other production areas which is resulting more and more in their exporting processed products instead of raw materials; and
higher levels of income and employment and various policy measures which have raised the consumption of protective foods by special population groups.
The above developments together with a large population increase make it impossible to aim at restoring the prewar pattern of production and trade. Production must become more intensive and, the Council believes, will make heavy new claims on the requisites of production to an extent not fully realized; new sources of supply must be found.
The work of the Policy Committee will start with the analyses of the production plans and programs of individual member nations. The preparation of these plans is the responsibility of Governments, although FAO should help with the technical aspects of this work when requested to do so.
The second step will include the preparation of regional analyses and summaries which will deal primarily with the more important foodstuffs, including fish, and with the means of production such as feeding supplies, fertilizers, and farm machinery. If possible, the analysis will also include forestry and forest products. The regional studies should relate to production, importand export expectancies, and domestic consumption or utilization. They would normally indicate certain kinds of action that might be undertaken by the Governments within the region, individually or through their regional organizations.
The third step in the procedure should be the synthesis of regional analyses into a world summary. This should include world commodity balance sheets indicating anticipated trends in production, trade and consumption, proposed exports and imports of the countries of each region, and the relationship between proposed global exports and imports. General change in price levels and price relationships should be given consideration in the analyses and it should also be possible to indicate some of the more important effects of trade in food, agricultural and forest products upon the overall balance-of-payments position.
The basis for all this work will be the annual reports which Member Governments have been requested to forward to the Director-General under Article XI of the Constitution. The Council attaches the highest importance to this basic material and urges Member Governments to send their 1948 reports before 1 July 1948. Should they fail to do so, it would be impossible to prepare adequately for the annual review which is to take place at the next regular session of the Conference.