Chapter 2: Technical and Economic Programmes

Major Programme 2.1: Agricultural Production and Support Systems

(all amounts in US$ 000)
  Programme 2004-05 Programme of Work ZRG Programme Change ZRG 2006-07 Programme of Work RG Programme Change RG 2006-07 Programme of Work
210 Intra-departmental Programme Entities for Agricultural Production and Support Systems 5,395 (10) 5,386 778 6,164
211 Natural Resources 17,392 (5) 17,387 706 18,093
212 Crops 27,745 221 27,966 2,485 30,451
213 Livestock 18,859 (97) 18,761 944 19,705
214 Agricultural Support Systems 15,905 (242) 15,663 400 16,063
215 Agricultural Applications of Isotopes and Biotechnology 5,682 0 5,682 438 6,120
219 Programme Management 11,949 0 11,949 0 11,949
Total 102,927 (132) 102,794 5,751 108,545
ZNG Impact     (6,926)    
Total     95,868    

Substantive thrusts under ZRG conditions

177.     During 2006-07, Major Programme 2.1 will give priority to supporting standard-setting processes and the development of appropriate policy and regulatory frameworks in areas such as plant and animal genetic resources, biotechnology, biosecurity, animal health and sustainable development and management of natural resources, in particular water. It will assist countries in acquiring new technologies and promote approaches that are compatible with social, environmental and health concerns, and which contribute to increased productivity of land, water and labour. It will pursue strong linkages between normative and field activities and emphasise policy assistance, technical advice and capacity building at country level, as well as market linkages in support of farmers and agro-processing enterprises during the transition to commercial agriculture.

Programme 2.1.0: Intra-departmental Programme Entities for Agricultural Production and Support Systems
178.     A major focus is on facilitating inter-disciplinary capacity building in sustainable and integrated approaches. Specific attention will be given to the assembly, assessment and sharing of lessons relating to the adoption of improved agronomic and management practices in changing farmer and market circumstances. Expected accomplishments during the biennium will include: dissemination of national policy experience and concrete examples of good agricultural practices that meet economic, social and environmental objectives and contribute to food safety and security in the context of a rapidly changing food economy and globalisation; information resources to support the development of these practices and conservation agriculture in integrated production systems, generation of principles and lessons learned, and enhanced capacity of partner institutions in selected locations.

179.     Limited support will be given to inputs into global perspective studies and to work on SARD; to publications and communications planning across the department; and to the agriculture home page of the FAO Web site (Agriculture 21) and other advocacy material. In late 2006, the eleventh regular session of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA) will review the status and needs of the various sectors of biodiversity as well as cross-sectoral matters, including biodiversity for food and agriculture other than plants and animals and the agro-ecosystem approach. It will adopt a medium-term programme of work, which will include preparations for the First International Technical Conference on Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture in 2007. The 20th session of COAG will be organised in 2007.

Programme 2.1.1: Natural Resources
180.     Under Programme 2.1.1, in line with the priorities expressed by governing bodies, activities in the areas of: Agricultural water use efficiency and conservation; Integrated land, water and plant nutrition policies, planning and management; and Land and water quality improvement are to continue with their current focus. Policy and institutional support for water management, including transboundary water resources and for land and water management in a watershed context, with focus on ecosystem services, are to be strengthened. In contrast, the implementation of lower priority outputs dealing with: moisture conservation techniques in rainfed areas; disaster mitigation through water logging and salinity control and rehabilitation; and related studies and inputs to major fora, will be delayed. Regional priorities, in particular those focusing on capacity building, as well as water management policy, water use efficiency improvement, water harvesting, land degradation and soil fertility, with special attention to institutional arrangements, are to be better integrated into the Programme. In Africa, both normative and field activities through TCP and SPFS will continue to support the formulation and implementation of projects in the context of the CAADP36 of NEPAD.37

Programme 2.1.2: Crops
181.     During 2006-07, Programme 2.1.2 will put more emphasis on horticulture for income generation and nutrition and on integrated crop production and conservation agriculture in response to growing demand from Members. The First Meeting of the governing body for the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (IT-PGRFA) will adopt its programme of work, following which the Secretariat of the Treaty will be supported by Programme 2.1.2, since it is close to the substantive activities of the Treaty. Accordingly, a priority area will be the implementation of the Global Plan of Action (GPA) and the IT-PGRFA, more particularly conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources through plant breeding, biotechnology, biosafety and sustainable management of agro-biodiversity. The Programme will enhance complementarity between the public and private sectors in national seed systems, improve and harmonise regulatory frameworks for PGRFA, seeds and variety release and contribute to disaster preparedness, seed relief and rehabilitation.

182.     Work on the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) will give high priority to the harmonisation of phytosanitary measures with the aim of reducing trade barriers while protecting national plant resources from pest damage. The plant pest component of the Emergency Prevention System for Transboundary Animal and Plant Pests and Diseases (EMPRES) is to concentrate mainly in the Western Region (West and Northwest Africa), emphasising preventive control of the Desert Locust through support for early warning, early reaction and applied research, especially on alternatives to conventional chemical pesticides and related human health and environmental issues.

183.     Expected accomplishments in 2006-2007 will include: i) enhanced countries’ capacities to use PGRFA by improving access and utilisation of plant genetic resources, seed-related technologies and policies in support of food security; ii) analysis of country surveys on sustainable use of genetic resources and projects to strengthen plant breeding and biotechnology in developing countries; iii) increased harmonisation of phytosanitary measures through the development of new and revised standards; iv) an active exchange system on phytosanitary information; v) technical assistance to strengthen national phytosanitary systems; vi) advice to countries on reducing risks from pesticides through Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and pesticide regulations to better meet growing obligations in domestic and international trade, health and environment, including the implementation of the Rotterdam Convention and disposal of obsolete pesticide stocks; vii) regular bulletins, updates and alerts on desert locust, and regional and subregional frameworks for locust management; viii) pilot community-based projects for introducing the joint FAO/WHO framework to promote fruit and vegetable production and consumption in developing countries and technical assistance on horticulture and other food crop improvement; ix) national integrated production systems, including the intensification of crop/livestock systems through farmers’ participatory Integrated Production and Pest Management (IPPM) approaches; and x) the 17th session of the International Rice Commission to be held in Peru in 2006.

Programme 2.1.3: Livestock
184.     Programme 2.1.3 clarifies (through analysis and information) and facilitates: i) the role of the livestock sector in improving food security and providing a pathway out of poverty; and ii) the potential of meeting rapidly increasing demands for livestock products through production, processing and trade, while mitigating negative impacts of production intensification on the poor, safeguarding the environment, and minimising the risks to public health.

185.     During 2006-07, the programme will strengthen national disease prevention and management systems and give priority to transboundary animal diseases, including avian influenza, under EMPRES and through the Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases operations. Furthermore, it will work to secure agreements among countries to cease rinderpest vaccination and join the process for the declaration of global freedom from the disease in 2010. Veterinary public health activities will be strengthened in conjunction with Codex and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) as well as the investigation of the environmental factors driving animal disease emergence and spread. The programme will continue to analyse access barriers to markets for smallholder livestock producers and design opportunities to overcome them, based on policy and institutional innovations and underpinned by the use of good agricultural practices. The first report on the World’s Animal Genetic Resources will be finalized and priority actions for the improved management and conservation of domestic animal genetic resources will be identified and addressed in an International Technical Conference on Animal Genetic Resources. The Programme will prepare detailed guidance on managing the livestock sector in emergency situations. Detailed policy guidance will be made available and testing started for the management of livestock wastes in high-intensity and high-density production systems. The Global Livestock Production and Health Atlas (GLiPHA) will be made available interactively in all its intended elements. The Programme will also address the impacts of livestock on the environment (disease dynamics and ecology, biodiversity and environmental health).

Programme 2.1.4: Agricultural Support Systems
186.     The Programme aims at improving capacity building and strengthening market linkages to support farmers and agro-processing enterprises in making the transition to commercial agriculture. It will enhance work on food distribution systems and rural-urban linkages, in response to the growing interest in support to medium-scale agro-industries and related commercial farming enterprises. Region-specific materials will be developed to build farmers' management and marketing skills. Emphasis will be given to information on promising farm income opportunities and on post-harvest technologies for high value, non-traditional products. Capacity building to support small farmers and agro-processing enterprises and rural finance will be another priority.

187.     In order to ensure coherence in work on policy and institutional support, Programme entity 214B1: Guidance on policies and institutions for sustainable agricultural services provision will be merged with 214B4: Policy and institutional support for fostering competitive agro-industries. At the sectoral level, policy and institutional constraints affecting competitiveness and the provision of agricultural services will be identified to feed into appropriate strategies. Policy guidance materials will be made available to improve access to marketing, rural finance and mechanisation services. Stress will be placed on strategies and approaches for improving product quality and safety, as well as increasing competitiveness and efficiency using modern market, industrial organisation and food chain concepts. Priority policy actions and technologies for improving quality and safety in food chains will be identified. Assessments will be made of effective approaches to food chain management and product innovation in order to increase trade competitiveness.

Programme 2.1.5: Agricultural Applications of Isotopes and Biotechnology
188.     Programme 2.1.5 assists Members to apply isotopes and biotechnology to intensify agricultural production systems while conserving natural resources and ensuring food quality and safety. In addressing crops, livestock and food safety, the Programme provides a mix of validated methodologies, information products and support for training and capacity building at national and regional levels.

189.     Detailed guidelines and protocols coupled with technical advice will strengthen national capacities for applying molecular, genomic and isotope abundance methods to select and introduce genes for key traits into crops and contribute to making cropping systems more productive and sustainable, particularly in marginal and stress-prone areas. Skills and knowledge will be imparted on using isotopic and soil water measuring devices to identify and apply practices that improve crop water productivity, enhance soil fertility and minimise land degradation. To reduce the risks to crop production and the environment posed by exotic or alien invasive insects, the programme will assist in the use of sterile insect technique (SIT) and other biological control methods by providing standard operation procedures for rearing and sterilisation of target species.

190.     The Programme will contribute to the process of declaration of global freedom from rinderpest and to the progressive control of other livestock diseases covered by EMPRES by providing sensitive early-detection methods and analysed quality-assured data from national serological and molecular surveys. It will strengthen the international regulatory framework by providing inputs to OIE on validation criteria for diagnostic assays and accreditation of veterinary laboratories. It will contribute through the Programme Against African Trypanosomiasis (PAAT) to the African Union’s Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Campaign (PATTEC) by providing Members with policy and technical advice on priority-setting for interventions that involve the SIT to create tsetse-free zones. Also, countries’ access to molecular tools for better characterising indigenous animal genetic resources and identifying DNA sequences that mark favourable traits will be improved by the provision of DNA markers and the development of internationally standardised sampling and analytical protocols.

191.     By providing curricula and training through distance learning and technical cooperation projects, the Programme will assist countries in harmonising national regulations based on the Codex General Standard for Irradiated Foods and the IPPC International Standard on Irradiation as a Phytosanitary Treatment. It will help them minimise the risks to food production and food security from a nuclear or radiological accident by finalising and testing a management plan for emergency preparedness. By developing guidelines, protocols and distance learning materials supported by training-the- trainer activities and by providing assistance in introducing laboratory quality management systems compliant with international standards, it will improve the quality of services provided by laboratory personnel involved in food control and regulation of pesticides and veterinary drugs, thereby promoting good agricultural practices from “farm to fork” and consumer and environmental protection.

Real Growth Scenario

192.     Under Programme 2.1.0, incremental resources would be used: i) to accelerate the assessment and sharing of lessons to support the development of sustainable production systems; and ii) to increase the number of locations where assistance would be provided for good agricultural practices initiatives. Real growth would also allow for a more substantial catalytic provision to support work under the Priority Areas for Inter-Disciplinary Actions (PAIAs) - 210S5.

193.     The RG resources under Programme 2.1.1 would be allocated to enhancing water use efficiency and conservation activities, in particular: support to on-farm water control techniques and integrated resources management; assistance to irrigation system modernisation, management and scheduling; and integrated planning and management of land, water and nutrient resources. They would allow to redress under-funding under ZRG for work related to moisture conservation techniques in rainfed areas; disaster mitigation through water logging and salinity control and rehabilitation; and contributions to studies and inputs to major fora.

194.     Under Programme 2.1.2, additional funds for the IPPC would be used for the acceleration of the harmonisation/standard setting programme and for technical assistance, in particular for participation in the standard setting procedure and application of quarantine systems at national level. IPPC would also benefit especially from strengthening its work with the Convention on Biological Diversity in the context of invasive alien species. EMPRES would seek to initiate work on other transboundary plant pests and diseases beside its current focus on Desert Locust with supplementary extra-budgetary resources.

195.     Due to the entry into force of the IT-PGRFA in June 2004, incremental resources would be used to enable FAO to build national, subregional and regional capacity for the activities that will be prioritised by the governing body of the Treaty. With regard to the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources, increased resources would enable FAO to reinforce assistance to countries in assessing and building capacity in national plant breeding and biotechnology programmes, and would strengthen support to implementing the Biosafety Protocol. It would be possible to promote, in response to increased requests by countries, the development of international agro-biodiversity normative indicators and regulations for access to seed. The Facilitating Mechanism would be developed further for the implementation of the Global Plan of Action for PGRFA.

196.     Additional support would be given to horticulture and integrated production and protection management (IPPM) in crop production and the development of diversified and sustainable production systems in different agro-ecologies.

197.     Incremental resources in Programme 2.1.3 would be used: i) to strengthen capabilities in environmental and disease risk assessment and management (e.g. for Highly Pathogen Avian Influenza, HPAI); ii) to accelerate the preparation of the Global Early Warning System for Transboundary Animal Diseases (GLEWS) agreed with OIE and WHO in the context of the Global Framework for the Progressive Control of Transboundary Animal Diseases (GF-TADs); iii) to enhance the design and negotiation of pro-poor livestock development policies in countries and regions; and iv) to add a regional Animal Production Officer post in RAF.

198.     RG resources in Programme 2.1.4 would be used: i) to accelerate policy and institutional support for private sector marketing, agribusiness development and agro-industry innovation in order to enhance growth and trade competitiveness; and ii) to increase outreach and the regional adaptation of capacity building materials for improving the technical and business skills of small farmers and agro-processing enterprises and their access to essential services and post-harvest technologies.

199.     Additional funds under Programme 2.1.5 would be used primarily: i) to reinforce international cooperation for further development and application of DNA markers to perform molecular characterisation of animal genetic resources, ii) to speed up the development of internationally standardised sampling and analytical protocols and provide nucleic acid sequence and annotation data for a database linked to Domestic Animal Diversity Information System (DAD-IS); and iii) to maximise the utility of local breeds by integrating molecular and phenotypic information through an international network and associated workshops. A further priority would be to strengthen work on veterinary public health, focusing on the development, validation and transfer of molecular tools for diagnosis, surveillance and epidemiology.

Zero Nominal Growth Impact

200.     Programme 2.1.0 would be affected in several ways: capacity building and dissemination of policy experience and examples of good agricultural practices would only be done in a limited number of countries. In conservation agriculture, emphasis would have to be placed on evaluating past and on-going country experience rather than promotion. Capacity building and sharing of experience in integrated production systems would be restricted to one or two of these systems. ZNG would imply a further reduction in the duration of COAG and in the number of agenda items, greatly impairing its advisory role. Contributions to global perspective studies and to SARD-related matters would have to be drastically curtailed, and consultative meetings with staff in regional offices would be reduced. The preparation and implementation of the multi-year programme of work of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture would be slowed down.

201.     Programme 2.1.1 would need to treat information systems and knowledge management as lower priority areas. Cutbacks would also seriously reduce land-related activities such as on land degradation and conservation, soil fertility and nutrient management, with consequential impact on assistance to countries in Africa and Latin America which have been badly affected by land degradation. FAO’s inputs to international fora on land and water issues would be weakened and the delivery of technical services to the field programme would inevitably diminish.

202.     Regarding Programme 2.1.2, support to the International Network of ex-situ collections of PGRFA would be eliminated, with consequent negative impact on enhancing productivity and crop production in countries. Participation of developing countries in IPPC standard setting would be reduced, as would IPPC outreach activities in relation to information systems and technical assistance. Reductions would need to be made in support to IPM, pesticide management, crop improvement and biotechnology as well as in crop production.

203.     For Programme 2.1.3, the intended enhancement of the interactive Global Livestock Production and Health Atlas (GLiPHA) would be delayed with respect to geographical coverage and to intended integration with other information systems. Several important outreach activities - in particular the creation of national and regional livestock policy negotiation platforms - would be reduced or delayed. Work on Veterinary Public Health that is not directly related to Codex and sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS) support would be reduced, such as the design of good practices for the reduction of food-borne diseases as well as new control measures for zoonoses control. Work on the role of livestock in poverty alleviation would be curtailed, except for that related to the mitigation of HIV/AIDS and emergency impacts on livestock and livestock-related livelihoods. Arthropod disease management, including support to the Programme Against Animal Trypanosomiasis (PAAT), would be reduced, as well as work on natural resources and policy-related aspects of the livestock-environment interactions. The statutory programme for animal genetic resources would be curtailed only in a minimal way so as not to endanger the commitments made. In EMPRES, work on early warning and disease control strategy design and implementation would need extra-budgetary funding in order to continue.

204.     Programme 2.1.4 would need to eliminate technical support and information systems relating to farm power and mechanisation. Capacity building for enhancing farmer-market linkages would be significantly reduced, including elimination of assistance for improving the business capacities of farmer organizations. Policy and institutional guidance relating to agribusiness, supply chain management and commercial farming would also be reduced. Support relating to farm management and agribusiness in Central and Eastern Europe would have to be provided only by headquarters staff and specialist capacity in agro-industries would be eliminated in Asia, although more general support for improving the efficiency and competitiveness of agrifood systems would be maintained.

205.     With reduced resources, Programme 2.1.5 would need to phase out outputs envisaged on the management of soil nutrients, animal nutrition and reproductive efficiency, as well as food irradiation, while delivery of those on the use of the Sterile Insect Technique against the Mediterranean fruit fly, on molecular characterisation of animal genetic resources and on veterinary public health would be severely curtailed.

36 Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme

37 New Partnership for Africa's Development