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Food and agricultural production in developing countries, particularly in the least developed countries and developing countries in the other special categories where the development needs and problems are greatest should expand during the Third UN Development Decade at an average annual rate of at least 4 percent. This rate of growth is needed to meet the nutritional needs and increasing demand of their population, to create a basis for more rapid industrialization and diversification of their economic structures, to redress growing world production and enable developing countries to become more self— reliant in the production of basic foodstuffs. To this end, developing countries should continue to strengthen the formulation and implementation of food and agricultural development plans and food sector strategies within the framework of their national development priorities and programmes. Developed countries, while aiming in their agricultural policies at the most rational use of resources, should endeavour to take into account the special needs and interests of developing countries and the need to ensure world food security. Developed countries will make their best efforts to adjust those sectors of their agricultural and manufacturing economies which require protection against exports from developing countries, thus facilitating access to the markets of food and agricultural products. The developed countries should exert their best efforts to avoid adverse effects on the economies of the developing countries while formulating and implementing their domestic agricultural policies. All countries should aim to achieve a rational production pattern in the light of their needs and production possibilities.


The total flow of financial and other resources to the agriculture and food sector in developing countries should be greatly increased, especially for expansion and diversification of productions.1 Substantial increases in agricultural research, national, regional and international should be paralleled by special efforts to increase efficiency in the use of resources and to improve existing technologies. The international community should support measures to provide agricultural inputs, especially fertilizer, improved seeds and supplies of pesticides, and efforts to prevent post—harvest losses. Special attention should be given to development of agricultural extension at the level of the people concerned. The required action lies both with developed and with developing countries.


Developing countries should give priority in accordance with their national plans to the adaptation of institutional frameworks and farming structures which would allow wider and more equitable access by the vast majority of rural masses, including the landless peasants and small farmers, to:

–land, water and other natural resources;
–inputs, markets and services;
–new and improved technology;
–education, extension, research and training;
and to provide appropriate price policy and other incentives for expanded production and optimum use of inputs of available and suitable technology.


The delegation of the Argentine Republic expressed reservations regarding the text of this guideline because it included concepts that had elicited formal reservations by its country on the occasion of WCARRD.


National policies for agricultural and rural development should encourage full and effective participation of rural people in decision—making, implementation and evaluation of the process of agrarian reform and rural development through promotion of rural organizations, including rural workers’ associations and cooperatives, and through strengthening of local government. Especially in those countries where female status is not recognized as equal to that of men, full integration of women in rural development on an equal basis should be encouraged by:


–ensuring equality of legal status and greater access to rural services;
–promoting women’s organizations as a first step for the integration of women in overall rural organizations;
–promoting educational, training and employment opportunities.
Governments should consider priority action to mobilize the energies of youth for a variety of developmental activities.


The delegation of the Argentine Republic expressed reservations regarding the text of this guideline because it included concepts that had elicited formal reservations by its country on the occasion of WCARRD.


All countries should establish integrated food production and nutrition policies. Within the framework of national development strategies, countries should set operational goals for the improvement of food consumption patterns for all socio—economic groups and for the gradual elimination of malnutrition. Where feasible and appropriate, nutritional considerations should be incorporated into the design, planning, implementation and evaluation of development projects.


Developing countries should endeavour to implement special economic and social measures to achieve a fair and equitable distribution of income. Where appropriate, such measures may include food subsidies or income supplementation so as to expand food consumption of low—income consumers and to improve nutritional levels of under—nourished segments of the population, especially vulnerable groups. Better utilization of food will require greater efforts to reduce food losses at all levels and to improve storage, processing, transport, marketing and quality of food. Developing countries should promote greater national and collective self—reliance in food through increased production and consumption of locally and regionally available foods.


All countries, particularly developed countries, should display the necessary political will by refraining to the maximum extent possible from imposing any new tariff or non—tariff barriers to the imports of agricultural and agro—based products, particularly those from developing countries, and they should progressively improve access to international markets in order to underpin a dynamic upward trend in trade volumes in these products as well as greater product diversification. Importing countries should avoid arbitrary disruption of emerging trade opportunities and of existing trade. Exporting countries should restrain to the maximum extent possible the use of export subsidies and similar measures which might hamper trade, particularly of developing countries.


All countries should make the fullest possible efforts and adopt appropriate measures to ensure greater stability of world markets for agricultural products at prices remunerative to producers and fair to consumers, where appropriate through the use of international commodity agreements. In this respect, the international community should take measures to ensure importing countries, particularly low—income countries, access to supplies of food on reasonable terms, particularly in times of world food shortages.


The US delegation reserved on this guideline, noting that the new Administration had not yet formulated its commodity policy.


Developing countries should promote and expand trade in food and agricultural commodities as well as economic and technical cooperation amongst themselves in accordance with the relevant decisions taken by those countries in the Arusha Programme for Collective Self—Reliance and Framework for Negotiations, adopted by the Fourth Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 77 of February 1979, and at other international fora. The international community will provide appropriate support and assistance to the efforts of the developing countries.


US reservation: Nothing in the first sentence should be construed to imply the support of the US for all features of the Arusha Programme.


Urgent measures should be taken to establish effective world food security. All countries should participate in the achievement of world food security and to the extent of their abilities share in maintaining adequate world cereal stocks which on a global basis have been estimated at approximately 17 to 18 percent of annual world consumption. 2 Concerted efforts should be made to conclude a new international grains agreement aimed at contributing to the stabilization of markets and improved food security and at evolving an internationally coordinated system of nationally—held food reserves. As an interim measure, early steps should be taken by countries to implement on a voluntary basis the Plan of Action on World Food Security of the FAO. The International Monetary Fund should continue to provide, within the context of its financing facilities, additional balance of payments support for meetingrises in cereal import bills of member countries. The target of 500 000 tons of cereals for the International Emergency Food Reserve should be realized immediately. All countries, particularly those which are not yet contributing to it, should make or increase their contribution to the Reserve. The Reserve should be maintained at 500 000 tons. Early consideration should be given to proposals for strengthening the Reserve [including the possibility of making a legally binding convention, with provision for increasing the size of the Reserve so as to meet future emergency needs].3 Countries should avoid measures which could affect the capacity of developing countries to cover their essential needs for grains and lead to deterioration of human consumption in times of production shortfalls. General agreement to avoid such action in times of food crisis would be a powerful reinforcement of world food security. At times of acute and large—scale food shortages, countries should consider measures as outlined in the FAO Agenda for Consultation and Possible Action to deal with Acute and Large—Scale Food Shortages.


US reservation: While fully supporting food security as a major goal of the international community, the US delegation was of the opinion that a separate guideline on food security was inappropriate in the context of international agricultural adjustment. In addition, the US delegation questioned the appropriateness of including certain elements in the agreed text as relating to food financing and the IEFR as the expression of an international consensus. The US therefore reserved on the guideline as a whole.


Food aid is a transitional development tool. Current targets for food aid should be fully met by the entire international community. Every effort should be made both to enlist new contributors and to increase the commitments of existing ones. Given that the estimated future aid requirements in grain may substantially exceed the current 10 million ton target, consideration should be given to its upward revision, taking into account the estimated requirements of 17 to 18.5 million tons of cereals, which provide a useful indicator of the overall requirements of food aid by 1985. This estimate should be reviewed erfódically 4 . While considering annual requirements of food aid by 1985, estimates of 300 000 tons of dairy products and 350 000 tons of vegetable oil, which also provide useful indicators of annual requirements, should be taken into account. Countries supplying these products as aid should keep up their efforts and other countries in a position to do so should contribute or consider contributing towards meeting requirements. Food aid should be provided essentially on a grant basis to assist recipient countries in their effort to develop their agriculture and also in cases of emergencies and thus to help meet food needs of poor and vulnerable groups. Donor countries should consider channelling a higher proportien of food aid through the World Food Programme and other multilateral institutions. Forward planning should be improved and there should be better integration with financial aid and other forms of development assistance, and more triangular transactions.


In support of measures in the developing countries to increase substantially investment in agriculture, external assistance from both bilateral and multilateral sources of financing must be substantially increased so as to make possible early realization of the estimated annual requirements (in 1975 prices) of $8.3 billion with $6.5 billion on concessional terms, keeping in mind FAO’s Secretariat estimates that external assistance requirements will increase to between $ll—l2.5 billion (in 1975 prices) by 1990. More concessional assistance, both bilateral and multilateral, should be concentrated on low—income countries, and donors should commit adequate funds for local costs and should meet requests wherever possible for financial participation in recurrent costs of the implementation of development projects in the agricultural sector.

1 The need for such increased flows is illustrated by estimates in the FAO study Agriculture: Toward 2000 of the required growth per annum in major inputs in 90 developing countries excluding China for 1980—2000: total investment 4.4 percent; current inputs (including fertilizer) 5.8 percent; fertilizer 8.5 percent; irrigation 2.1 million hectares.

2. See the report on world food security of the Intergovernmental Group on Grains (FAO) (CCP: GR 75/9), issued in August 1975, and the report of the FAO Committee on World Food Security on its fifth session (CL 78/10).

3 This part of the guideline will need to be reconsidered by FAO Conference in the light of the review of the performance of the Reserve at future sessions of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes.

4 The FAO study Agriculture: Toward 2000 estimates food aid requirements for 90 developing countries excluding China to increase to between 15 to 26 million tons by 1990.

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