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One of the factors which is seriously hampering the agricultural expansion so urgently needed is the dearth of production requisites. Outstanding among these are fertilizers and farm machinery.

At its First Session the Council particularly stressed the importance of nitrogen fertilizer and requested a report on the supply and demand position. The preliminary report prepared by the competent committee of IEFC confirms that a serious world shortage still exists. However, considerable efforts are being made by producing countries to increase the operating efficiency of present plants and to install new ones. The estimated production of 1948/49 for the countries which have reported is approximately 11 percent above that achieved by the same countries in 1947/48 and somewhat greater increases are anticipated in each of the succeeding years. At the same time, importing countries have increased their demand so that the deficit continues. The Council wishes to record its opinion that further increases in demand must be anticipated. High priorities should therefore be given in industrial planning to the development of nitrogen fertilizer production. Attention should also be given to the fact that requirements for phosphatic and potash fertilizers will be much greater than has been anticipated.

Regarding the supplies of farm machinery the situation is much the same. While information on the demand position is still limited, it is evident that there is a severe shortage of farm machinery and spare parts. Here again, producing countries are expanding production but it is likely that the total supply will remain far short of the demand.

The Council therefore requests the Director-General to develop suitable action for bridging the gap to the fullest possible extent. To this end, the Council suggests that, with the concurrence of the appropriate Member Governments, he consult with representatives of the industry with a view to exploring the situation with them and discussing ways and means whereby it should be improved.

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