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Major Programme 2.2: Food and Agriculture Policy and Development

(all amounts in US$ 000)
  Programme 2004-05 Programme of Work ZRG 2006-07 Programme of Work ZNG 2006-07 Programme of Work RG 2006-07 Programme of Work Trust Fund
220 Intra-departmental Programme Entities for Food and Agriculture Policy and Development 6,603 8,354 6,812 8,854 6,037
221 Nutrition, Food Quality and Safety 20,626 20,481 19,156 21,789 15,808
222 Food and Agricultural Information 33,917 33,121 30,620 34,626 7,258
223 Food and Agricultural Monitoring, Assessments and Outlooks 15,119 14,553 14,341 14,853 5,230
224 Agriculture, Food Security and Trade Policy 13,024 11,939 10,818 13,153 17,827
229 Programme Management 11,258 11,449 11,099 11,449 0
Total 100,547 99,897 92,845 104,724 52,160
Programme Change from 2004-05 Programme of Work at MP level (650) (7,702) 4,177  
Percent Change (0.6%) (7.7%) 4.2%  


Substantive thrusts under ZRG conditions

321.     Major Programme 2.2 is heavily involved with global and regional priorities set by major international conferences or pronouncements, including the World Food Summit: five years later, WTO100 Ministerial Conferences, the Financing for Development Conference in Monterrey, the Fora of Food Safety Regulators, the Millennium Declaration and the World Summit on the Information Society. Follow-up includes analysing reasons for insufficient progress in combating hunger and malnutrition, and proposing and supporting actions that can be taken, nationally and internationally, to improve people’s access to, and consumption of, nutritionally adequate and varied diets while stressing the various contributions of agriculture and rural development to overall socio-economic development. Other thrusts include: ensuring greater participation of developing countries in the formulation of a rules-based food and agricultural trading system, improved quality and safety of food for consumers, assisting commodity-dependent economies with commodity development and diversification strategies, providing early warning of impending food crises, designing policy frameworks for increased household resilience to shocks (e.g. natural disasters, economic disruptions), natural resource management strategies for poverty alleviation, the implications of globalisation and urbanisation on the food economy, and addressing the information gap that separates the poor and hungry in rural areas from the world's information and knowledge resources, thus bridging the rural ‘digital divide’.

322.     The modernised FAOSTAT101, and its country version CountryStat, will come into operation with revised methodologies, domains, model parameters and dissemination tools. Similarly, improved access to FAO information resources under the framework of World Agricultural Information Centre (WAICENT) and coherence in agricultural information will be pursued. Continued work aimed at promoting access to, and consumption of nutritionally adequate and safe food, particularly through nutrition education and national development policies will also be among achievements of this major programme. Complementary activities on methodological and conceptual frameworks, coupled with empirical research through strengthened inter-institutional collaboration among varied stakeholders, will also support policy analysis and dialogue.

Programme 2.2.0: Intra-departmental Programme Entities for Food and Agriculture Policy and Development

323.     Ongoing major activities are the support to the development and strengthening of Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping Systems (FIVIMS) at regional and country levels, as well as Secretariat support to the related Inter-agency Working Group (IAWG). This will include studies to assist countries in arriving at a better understanding of key determinants of vulnerability to food insecurity. COAG102 reiterated at its May 2005 session the priority to be given to FIVIMS.

324.     Shifts of resources are made from other programmes to fund new entities, as included in the Medium Term Plan (MTP) 2006-11, covering the analysis of structural changes in international value chains for agricultural commodities. These new entities will trace the implications of these changes for developing countries dependent on international commodity trade, whether as commodity exporters or food importers. Special attention will be given to three key aspects: the scope for commodity-dependent exporters to diversify their production and exports, especially vertically into value-added products, and the strategies needed for success; the particular implications of structural changes in global food markets for low-income, food-deficit countries; and the implication on the dietary intakes in terms of amounts and variety of foods consumed among various socio-economic groups. The programme will also seek to identify upcoming problems associated with long-term developments in world food and nutrition due to changes in population composition and location.

325.     A new entity on Implementing Voluntary Guidelines on the Right to Adequate Food in the context of National Food Security is established for training and capacity-building, and the preparation and dissemination of information and communication materials. Such work was supported by COAG in April 2005 and by CFS103 in May 2005.

Programme 2.2.1: Nutrition, Food Quality and Safety

326.     By promoting access to and consumption of nutritionally adequate and safe food by all, Programme 2.2.1 makes a direct contribution to the achievement of several Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The programme supports important cross-cutting activities and its outputs are based on scientific principles and solid practical experience and lessons. Consistent with the guidance from COAG, the highest priority will be given to supporting the work of Codex Alimentarius and Codex-related activities. This includes: the provision of scientific advice on the safety assessment of food additives, contaminants and veterinary drug residues (through, in particular, JECFA104 meetings); the safety assessment of microbiological hazards in food and foods derived from modern biotechnology; advice on relevant issues referred to FAO and WHO105 by the Codex Alimentarius Commission; and capacity-building on food safety/control systems in countries.

327.     Work will also continue on human nutrient requirements and national capacity-building to support nutrition improvement activities. The programme will cover: food and nutrition assessments; nutrition-related policy and programme formulation; promoting healthy diets and nutrition education in schools and for the general public. It will support participatory community-based activities that focus on strengthening household food security and livelihoods, maternal and child nutrition/health, home and school gardens, coping with HIV/AIDS and other emergencies.

Programme 2.2.2: Food and Agricultural Information

328.     This programme will continue to be implemented by the Statistics Division (ESS) and the Library and Documentation Systems Division (GIL) which are responsible for the Organization’s principal corporate information systems under the WAICENT framework - FAOSTAT and the Corporate Document Repository respectively.

329.     It is expected that the modernised FAOSTAT will come into operation in the biennium, with revised methodologies, domains, model parameters and dissemination tools. It is also expected that CountryStat (the country version of FAOSTAT) will successfully pass the pilot phase and be ready for full operation. Complete alignment of FAO’s statistical classifications to the international norms is planned. A new quality assessment scheme will be part of the statistical system. The new FAOSTAT will enable a revised data compilation system with enhanced communication tools to be put into effect, including questionnaires, focal points, active follow-up and editing. The Programme for World Census of Agriculture 2010 will be fully operational in 2006 with a new approach to agricultural censuses. As recommended by COAG and CFS, due attention will be given to capacity-building for national agricultural statistical systems.

330.     Improved access to FAO information resources under the WAICENT framework will continue to be sought, with due emphasis on grater coherence in agricultural information and extension of the WAICENT corporate model components to national levels. Coherence will be achieved inter alia through electronic publishing guidelines based on best practices and international standards, improved resource descriptions through multilingual ontologies and metadata, establishment of semantic standards relevant to food security and rural development, standards for the multilingual digitisation of FAO information, and coordination through the applicable PAIA to maintain quality in corporate systems and content management tools.

331.     Within the framework of the programme for bridging the rural digital divide, information management expertise will be transferred to Members through the implementation of distance-learning modules (IMARK106), facilitation of access to information and knowledge networks (AGORA, AGLINET, AGRIS107), organisation of consultations and workshops on information management, and provision of advisory and technical services under the field programme. A technical Consultation on Agricultural Information Management (COAIM) will be held during the biennium. The physical renovation of the David Lubin Memorial Library, made possible thanks to substantial voluntary contributions from the Host County, will lead to state-of-the-art services and facilities, both as a physical and digital library centre for the Organization, including areas for user consultation, briefing and research and a digital resources laboratory. The full range of library and virtual library services will be consolidated and enhanced through consortia approaches (e.g. the UN Library Consortium), and powerful library tools will be implemented.

Programme 2.2.3: Food and Agricultural Monitoring, Assessments and Outlooks

332.     Emphasis will be given to analytically based commodity outlook work, development of primary databases (prices, quantities, policies, etc.), and provision of information and early warning on food security at global, regional, national and subnational (household) levels. In response to COAG, increased funding would be made to crop and food supply assessment missions. Thematic commodity studies will be undertaken to provide a comprehensive body of reference material on major traded commodities, and on issues identified as important, including food and trade strategies in the context of food security and overall development, international and national commodity risk management strategies and instruments for both exports and imports, and strategies for diversification and value addition in domestic and export markets. The development and applications of the model of world agricultural commodity markets will continue, and analyses of policy reforms will be undertaken. Preparatory work for a new long-term perspective study Agriculture Towards 2050 will be initiated, while publications on thematic topics of global significance will be issued. There will be reduced monitoring work on short-term market outlook. Resources were shifted to give more emphasis to work on analysis of transition in the food economy under Programme 2.2.0.

Programme 2.2.4: Agriculture, Food Security and Trade Policy

333.     This programme covers key aspects of commodity policy and development strategies, and their linkages to national and household food security. With respect to international agricultural trade policy, it includes analyses, technical assistance to countries and capacity-building to support effective participation in international trade negotiations and implementation of multilateral trade agreements. As recommended by CCP108 and COAG, priority will be given to the analysis of impact of agricultural trade policy reforms on food security. Analyses will be undertaken in connection with strategies to cope with increased vulnerability to commodity shocks at both macro and household levels and of the food security implications of import surges. With respect to commodity development, analyses will be undertaken and technical assistance provided to countries on policies and programmes for increasing export earnings and diversification.

334.     The other main thrust will be enhanced understanding of the impact of agricultural, rural development and environmental policies on poverty and food security through methodology development and empirical case studies. This will be accomplished by further analytical work and policy research on a number of relevant subjects, including: the role of non-farm activities in rural development and its linkages to agriculture; commercialisation of agriculture and its welfare impact on smallholders; the importance of migration in rural development and poverty alleviation; the potential for environmental service payments for poverty alleviation; and the impact of seed supply systems on the access to crop genetic resources, on farm diversity and household welfare. Furthermore, emphasis will be put on conducting analytical work and strengthening inter-institutional collaboration in a number of countries to facilitate the inclusion of food security concerns in Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) and integrating the voluntary guidelines on the right to food in policy advice.

Real Growth Scenario

335.     There would be increased work under Programme 2.2.0 to build national capacity in dietary surveys and nutrition assessments. Further work would be carried out on the application of vulnerability group profile methodologies and specific case studies collated and shared with partners. Work would also be carried out on methodological guidelines on the design of national FIVIMS that specifically address institutional issues.

336.     Under Programme 2.2.1, RG would strengthen the capacity of the Codex Secretariat for information dissemination and communication on standards development and the adopted texts, including advanced Internet documentation facilities, timely translation and publication as well as increased presence of Secretariat staff in international and regional fora. Three new posts would assist in the proposed work. Resources would also be used to meet the growing demand for capacity-building in Codex-related activities, including: 1) the establishment and strengthening of national codex committees and focal points to improve the participation of developing countries in international food standard setting; 2) more effective national regulatory systems for food control; and 3) tools for capacity-building in food safety. RG resources would also enhance scientific advice to Codex and countries on the safety assessment of foods derived from biotechnology, of microbiological hazards in food and of emerging food contaminants (two technical officer posts could be added, including for a specialist on genetically modified foods).

337.     Under Programme 2.2.2, the RG resources would be used to expand FAOSTAT to countries through CountryStat. A second area would be the development of new domains in the statistical database, namely agricultural resource, price and income statistics. A third area would be coordinating statistical activities in FAO to improve the consistency and the coverage of different databases, improve their quality and reduce the burden on countries from data compilation activities. As regards WAICENT and associated areas, RG resources would be applied to: enhancement of WAICENT access tools for Members, such as the WAICENT Information Finder; increased digital content to the Corporate Document Repository in support of the Virtual Library, affording Members access to more readily available multilingual information on agricultural and rural development; digital preservation of FAO’s information assets; focused information delivery services; electronic publishing guidelines to cover additional agricultural domains and for enhanced search functionality of the FAO Web site; more timely multilingual distance-learning modules on information management (IMARK); and additional regional workshops for transfer of WAICENT methodologies at the national level.

338.     Programme 2.2.3 would develop improved methodologies for crop and food supply assessments. Analyses would be undertaken and technical assistance provided to countries on strategies to address foreseen food shortages and emergencies. The impacts of food aid on commodity markets and affected households would be assessed.

339.     Incremental resources would be used under Programme 2.2.4 for: the methodology for measuring the economic cost of hunger and empirical studies in selected countries; more in-depth assessment of the role of non-farm income in development, rural poverty reduction and links to agriculture; and support to the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements, as well as meetings on methods for valuation of environmental externalities. Furthermore, it would be possible to more fully meet the increasing requests for information, timely analyses and capacity-building to deal with an increasingly complex international trade environment.

Zero Nominal Growth Impact

340.     Under Programme 2.2.0, achievement of FIVIMS objectives would be affected by, for example: reduced statistical data collection and analysis, as well as reduced technical assistance to countries for the production and use of food security-related statistical information; curtailment of support to inter-agency collaboration; and difficulties in the production and publication of SOFI109. Another area that would be affected is the FIVIMS work on nutritional assessment and consequent impact on the production of country nutrition profiles.

341.     While frequency of CFS sessions would not be modified, there would be a need to re-adjust the structure and duration of the meetings, in addition to reducing the amount of documentation. Additional reports to be examined by the Special Forum 2006, as well as participation from civil society would need to be covered by extra-budgetary funds. FAO’s contributions to the monitoring of MDGs would be significantly reduced.

342.     Several planned new entities would have to be eliminated or drastically reduced, i.e. those dealing with: Managing Nutrition in a Transforming Food Economy, Evolution of Commodity Value Chains and Impact on Markets, Trade and Food Security, and Demographic Change and Urbanisation: Impact on Consumption Patterns, thereby undermining FAO’s capacity to influence decision-making in the face of fast-changing external contexts.

343.     Under Programme 2.2.1, Codex and Codex-related activities would be relatively protected, while a regional training workshop on food safety risk management, one expert consultation on the risk assessment of microbiological hazards in food and one technical meeting on chemical hazards would be cancelled. For Codex, a ZNG budget would also mean the elimination of all six sessions of FAO/WHO Regional Coordinating Committees during the biennium. It would also imply reduction in work related to food composition and nutrition in emergencies, and impact on various publications, capacity-building and training activities. FAO’s contribution to joint normative work with other UN agencies on nutrient requirements would not be met. Scientific advice through two expert consultations on fats and oils and on carbohydrates in human nutrition, would need to be postponed or cancelled. Country-level work on household food security and nutrition would be negatively impacted by the reduction in the development of training guides, manuals and educational materials, and workshops in nutrition education, as well as manuals for need assessments and response in emergency situations.

344.     Under Programme 2.2.2, the more limited resources available would be used in the first instance to maintain the regular statistical compilation activities and dissemination of standard outputs, to avoid severe consequences in the long term. ZNG would entail cancellation of work on environmental statistics, as well as income and investment statistics. The same scenario would: limit capacity to monitor governments’ expenditures on agriculture; delay work on developing additional indicators for measurement of food security; delay compiling, publishing and dissemination of statistics; and reduce the number of new CountryStat countries. Regarding information systems, the high expectations from the modernised FAOSTAT would not be met. ZNG resources and potential loss of posts would negatively impact the further development of the WAICENT corporate framework and the programme to bridge the rural digital divide, addressing regional priorities. ZNG would necessitate reduction of indexing, cataloguing and other services. The more limited corporate resources for library subscriptions would have to be supplemented by users, based on demands.

345.     Under Programme 2.2.3, work on SOFA110 would rely on reduced inputs by external experts and stakeholders, while expenditures on promotion and dissemination of the publication would also be severely reduced. Analytical work on prospective changes in food consumption patterns would be curtailed, together with other analytical studies. This would clearly affect the underpinning of Global Food and Agricultural Perspective Studies. The GIEWS111-related missions and information development, and trade-related work would, however, be protected in line with the emphasis put on them at the recent meetings of the CCP and COAG.

346.     Under Programme 2.2.4, ZNG would lead to postponement of work on the methodology for measuring the economic cost of hunger. Similarly, reports in support of the implementation of environmental agreements as well as meetings on methods for valuation of environmental externalities would be postponed, in particular as relates to the UN Convention to Combat Drought and Desertification. In connection with activities on diversification and competitiveness of agricultural commodities, which involve mainly project preparation and supervision of CFC112 projects which are submitted by Members to the various IGGs113, fewer projects would be processed for submission to the CFC. Therefore, increased dependency on extra-budgetary funds would be necessary to maintain this activity. Fewer, and/or shorter documents and analyses would be prepared for the IGGs. Work on commodity and trade policy support to developing countries for trade negotiations and implementation would be protected to respond to the deliberations of CCP and COAG.

Extra-budgetary resources

347.     For Programme 2.2.0, FIVIMS is expected to benefit substantially from extra-budgetary support under the EC/FAO Food Security Programme (Phase II) and separately funded projects at country level, including the formulation of a business plan and an advocacy and communication strategy. Another area of likely donor support is the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for the Progressive Realisation of the Right to Adequate Food adopted by the Council in November 2004, blending normative activities and technical assistance. Extra-budgetary funds are also expected to support policy frameworks in several countries, aiming at: 1) introducing food security and rural development objectives into Poverty Reduction Strategies; and 2) facilitating access to dynamic markets by smallholder farmers to prevent marginalisation.

348.     Under Programme 2.2.1, such resources will support: 1) effective participation of developing countries in Codex work and in the implementation of Codex standards, guidelines and recommendations; 2) capacity-building of national food control systems and food safety initiatives, and regional conferences and global conferences; 3) expansion of community-centred approaches to improve household food security and nutrition within the context of sustainable livelihoods in several African countries; 4) strategies for meeting the nutritional, health and educational needs of HIV/AIDS orphans and other vulnerable children; 5) training-of-trainers in providing nutritional care and support; 6) school-based nutrition initiatives, including development of nutrition education curricula and materials, expansion of school gardens and establishing the FAO/WHO “Nutrition Friendly” programme; 7) "Feeding Minds, Fighting Hunger" and other public information and awareness-raising campaigns; 8) protecting and promoting good nutrition in emergencies; and 9) assessment of the double burden of malnutrition in developing countries in rapid economic transition and capacity-building to recognise and address the problem.

349.     Extra-budgetary resources for Programme 2.2.2, will be used inter alia for statistical capacity-building for regional economic groupings in Africa through an inter-regional project. Trust Fund projects will continue to assist countries in developing and strengthening national agricultural statistics systems and for the preparation and conduct of agricultural censuses, and building capacities in the management of agricultural information.

350.     Under Programme 2.2.3, extra-budgetary funds will allow to develop further GIEWS information technology applications, and the methodology of crop and food supply assessment missions. These funds will also be used to enhance monitoring work on agricultural policy indicators and commodity projections, analysis of food market behaviour in times of crisis and assessment of national and regional early warning systems.

351.     Under Programme 2.2.4, extra-budgetary resources will support normative work on agricultural trade and food security, analytical studies on the functioning of commodity markets and on environmental and social certification feeding into technical assistance to countries. They will also support capacity-building in trade-related issues and the formulation of commodity strategies. Emergency needs will be addressed through methodologies and tools for food security need assessments and attention to seed systems. Extra-budgetary funds will also support work on issues related to agricultural biodiversity and the potential of environmental service payments to promote poverty reduction goals.


100 World Trade Organization

101 Corporate Database for Substantive Statistical Data

102 Committee on Agriculture

103 Committee on World Food Security

104 Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives

105 World Health Organization

106 Information management resource kit

107 Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture (AGORA); Worldwide Network of Agricultural Libraries (AGLINET); International Information System for the Agricultural Sciences and Technology (AGRIS)

108 Committee on Commodity Problems

109 The State of Food Insecurity in the World

110 The State of Food and Agriculture

111 Global Information and Early Warning System on Food and Agriculture

112 Common Fund for Commodities

113 Intergovernmental Commodity Groups

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