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II. WORLD FOOD AND AGRICULTURE SITUATION (continued)
II. SITUATION MONDIALE DE L'ALIMENTATION ET DE LAGRICULTURE (suite)
II. SITUACIÓN MUNDIAL DE LA AGRICULTURA Y LA ALIMENTACIÔN (continuación)

6. Report of the Committee on World Food Security (2nd Session, Rome, April 19 77) (continued)
6. Rapport du Comité de la sécurité alimentaire mondiale (Deuxième session, Rome, avril 1977) (suite)
6. Informe del Comité de Seguridad Alimentaria Mundial (Segundo periodo de sesiones, Roma, abril 1977) (continuación)

CHAIRMAN: We continue our deliberations on Agenda item 6. I still have two speakers on my list and I call first upon the representative of Mexico.

I. OROZCO (México): Mi delegación desea tomar la palabra para ratificar su apoyo a la labor del Comi-te de Seguridad Alimentaria y para apoyar sus conclusiones y recomendaciones que aparecen en el informe del mismo. Deseamos también manifestar nuestra solidaridad con aquellas delegaciones de Venezuela, Brasil, Colombia, Indonesia, India, Pakistan y otras que se han referido a todos aquellos puntos que son ampliación de las posiciones en el Grupo de los 77 y que nosotros también compartimos acerca del asunto que nos ocupa.

Deseamos enfatizar la labor que el Consejo está llamado a desarrollar acerca de este tema a través de una ratificación de esas conclusiones y a través de una reafirmación de su convencimiento del problema de la seguridad alimentaria mundial. Nosotros instaríamos al Consejo a que percibiera precisamente la importancia y la coyuntura actual de existencias de cereales para motivar el llegar a un acuerdo internacional de los mismos que permita mantener precios estables y propiciar también un estímulo a los productores.

Considerando que aparte de que apreciamos los esfuerzos que han hecho los mayores productores y exportadores de los cereales en el campo de las existencias de las reservas nacionales, consideramos que esa medida de los esfuerzos realizados debería también manifestarse en la voluntad política para llegar a ese acuerdo internacional regulado y convenido de cereales. Nosotros consideramos que el establecimiento de este acuerdo debería ser uno de los puntos de consideración prioritaria por parte del Comité de Seguridad Alimentaria Mundial y que el Consejo debería enfatizar este punto para que fuera analizado en su próximo período de sesiones.

Desde luego que apoyamos que el informe del Comité de Seguridad Alimentaria Mundial sea objeto de consideraciones y de recomendaciones por parte del Consejo Mundial de la Alimentación, pero desearíamos que este Consejo aprobara ya la medida de ese compromiso y que se manifestara en las nuevas directivas que dará el Comité de Seguridad Alimentaria Mundial sobre la materia.

Deseo nuevamente ratificar las posiciones del Grupo de los 77, tal como fueron manifestadas en el 2° período de sesiones del Comité de Seguridad Alimentaria y como las vemos reflejadas en los informes de este propio Comité.

Mme J. BENOIT (Communauté économique européenne.) • Monsieur le Président, ce n'est pas pour faire une déclaration que je me suis permis de vous demander la parole, mais c'est pour une remarque qui, par ailleurs, n'est pas simplement une remarque formelle.

J'aimerais rappeler, au nom de la Communauté économique européenne qui a participé activement aux travaux du Comité de la sécurité alimentaire et également à la réunion préparatoire de la troisième session du Conseil mondial de l'alimentation, que le chapitre 1 du document CL 71/10 ne peut faire partie intégrante du rapport de la deuxième session du Comité de la sécurité alimentaire, parce qu'il n'a pas été soumis à l'attention de ce comité, mais ajouté par la suite. On nous avait promis de faire droit à notre requête. Comme il semble que nous n'avons pas été clairement compris, je dois, dans ces conditions, rappeler que le résumé qui nous a été présenté dans un esprit de concision que je ne mets pas en doute, relève néanmoins à nos yeux de l'unique responsabilité du Secrétariat.

Je demande, Monsieur le Président, avec votre permission, que mon observation soit prise en consideration dans le rapport du Conseil.

D.J. WALTON (Officer-in-Charge, Economie and Social Policy Department): The Secretariat did not wish to intervene at the beginning of this debate on purely procedural matters but I would like to report to this Council that due to the timetable of the meetings of other bodies action has had to be taken already on two specific requests addressed to the Director-General by the Committee on World Food Security.

In paragraph 51 of its report the Committee quotes certain proposals relating to a new International Grains Agreement which were included in the statement of the Group of 77. In paragraph 52, the following paragraph of its report, the Committee agreed to request the Director-General to bring the above proposals to the attention of the Preparatory Group of the International Wheat Council as a statement of the views of the developing countries for appropriate consideration. The proposals in question were in fact brought immediately to the attention of the International Wheat Council so that they could be taken into account in the work of the Preparatory Group,

Secondly, in paragraph 61 of its report the Committee requested the Director-General to make available its report to the Third Session of the World Food Council. Here again the report was made available immediately to the Preparatory Meeting of the World Food Council which, as many delegations will know, met here from the 9th to the 14th May. The report was circulated to the Preparatory Meeting of the World Food Council and the main findings of the Committee were drawn to the attention of the Preparatory Meeting by the Secretary of the Committee on World Food Security. I may add that the Preparatory Meeting of the World Food Council has forwarded a draft resolution on food security for consideration by the Ministers when the World Food Council meets at ministerial level in Manila. The report of the Preparatory Meeting of the World Food Council is at the moment being processed but we hope to reproduce it as an information document for members of the FAO Council in the course of this session.

CHAIRMAN: With that statement we have come to the end of our discussion so far as Item 6 is concerned. I now give the Chair to Mr. Bula Hoyos, our Chairman.

G. Bula Hoyos, Independent Chairman of the Council, took the chair
G. Bula Hoyos, President indépendant du Conseil, assume la présidence
Ocupa la presidencia G. Bula Hoyos, Presidente Independiente del Consejo

III. ACTIVITIES OF FAO AND WFP
III. ACTIVITES DE LA FAO ET DU PAM
III. ACTIVIDADES DE LA FAO Y DEL PMA

11. Proposal for Strengthening FAO Activities Aimed at Reducing Harvest and Post-Harvest Losses
11. Proposition pour renforcer les activités de la FAO ayant pour objet de réduire les pertes avant et après la récolte
11. Propuesta de reforzar las actividades de la FAO dirigidas a reducir las pérdidas de cosechas y las que se sufren después de la recolección

EL PRESIDENTE: Gracias señor Vicepresidente por su eficaz cooperación. Siguiendo el Orden del Día vamos a empezar ahora el Tema 11: ''Propuesta de reforzar las actividades de la FAO dirigidas a reducir las pérdidas de cosechas y las que se sufren después de la recolección".

Hay dos documentos básicos, el CL 71/4, existe también un corrigendum en inglés de este documento, y el documento CL 71/9, que es el informe del Comité de Agricultura, cuyos párrafos 104 a 124, según aparece en el Orden del Día, se refiere a este Tema 11.

En primer lugar voy a conceder la palabra al señor Bommer', Subdirector General Jefe del Departamento de Agricultura.

D.F.R. BOMMER (Assistant Director-General, Agriculture Department): A strong and determined attack on avoidable losses in food production will be a major priority of FAO in the years to come. This new effort to assist member countries was recognized by the Seventieth Session of this Council which requested that this subject be considered in depth by the Committee on Agriculture at its session in April 1977.

The working paper submitted to the Council contains a brief assessment of the magnitude of losses and their causes at each stage of the post-harvest system and of the constraints which limit action at the present time. Most importantly, it presented the outline for a programme of action to reduce food losses in developing countries. A number of model projects were given as examples of components which could be fitted into national programmes for that purpose.

The Committee also considered a proposal for a $20 million fund to reduce food losses required to initiate without delay projects which will form part of an overall effort involving hundreds of í millions of dollars.

As Council members who participated in the COAG session are aware, the Committee on Agriculture gave its full support to the action programme proposed by the Director-General. The Committee recognized that while its major attention was on post-harvest losses proper, the term could be understood to cover all losses after the crop reaches maturity in the field, in other words, it includes losses occurring during harvest. The views of the Committee on Agriculture are contained in paragraphs 104 to 124 of its report, CL 71/9, and the purpose of my statement is to highlight the main recommendations.

The Committee first endorsed the emphasis on staple foods, that is, cereals, roots and tubers, to ensure the maximum return in terms of foodstuffs with the limited manpower and funds available. Second, recognized the need for more definite loss data and efforts to standardize the methodology and terminology on loss assessment. Third, endorsed the guidance presented for loss reduction activities by member countries, by FAO and by other agencies which emphasized the development of national country programmes for food loss reduction, and a commitment to reduce losses to establish an action plan and to provide resources to implement it.

Fourth, emphasized the need for overcoming the lack of trained manpower at all levels to conduct the action programmes involving to the maximum extent feasible national institutions in developing countries. Fifth, endorsed the proposed FAO action programme stressing that the model projects are indicative only to be combined and adjusted as necessary to meet local requirements and that efforts must be continued and expanded beyond the period of one and a half years to two years of the initial project, to achieve a lasting and significant impact. The Committee also considered a proposal by the Director-General for a $20 million fund to finance our assistance programme to reduce food losses.

Following its review of the mechanisms for the operation of the fund outlined in document COAG 77/6-Sup.1, the Committee expressed support for the proposal to establish a special fund for reduction of food losses. A draft resolution to this effect is contained in the report of the 39th session of the Finance Committee in document CL 71/4 as Appendix F. The Committee recognized that projects financed from the fund would form only an initial part of the total effort required to implement national programmes. It is our concern to begin the action programme as scon as possible wherever that is possible, and we feel that the special fund will enable the Organization to spearhead a general effort by all concerned with emphasis on action projects at the country level and coordination of international cooperation to make a great and concrete contribution to the solution of this important problem.

From the large number of very helpful comments made by COAG, reference should be made particularly to those supporting the criteria proposed for approval by the Director-General of projects to be financed from the fund and to those approving the mechanism proposed for implementing the action programme.

In conclusion, I wish to recall the plea by the Director-General in yesterday's opening statement for the need to go forward quickly and courageously with this imperative action campaign. It is a campaign to be carried out in each country with the cooperation and assistance of others where needed. Only with such individual and cooperative effort can success in this important area be achieved.

R.W. PHILLIPS (Chairman of the Programme Committee): The Programme Committee welcome the selection of the reduction of harvest and post-harvest food losses by the Director-General as a priority area. When it considered the matter it was of course already aware of the findings of the Committee on Agriculture to which Dr. Bommer has referred, so I think I need say only a very few things to supplement what he has already reported to you.

I would refer specifically to paragraphs 2.163 to 2.170 in the document CL 71/4. Beginning with paragraph 2.164 where you will find a reference to the target of a 50 per cent reduction in losses which the Committee considered was a very ambitious target but which, with adequate effort, was not impossible of achievement, at least. The Committee also noted that while priority in the action programme would be given to the least developed countries and the most seriously affected countries, there was also a case to be made for attention to the problems in other developing countries, particularly those with a high level of cereal production and of cereal exports, where a loss reduction programme could have a major impact on increasing food supplies.

In the following paragraph, 2.165, you will see a reference to the Committee's welcoming the emphasis in the proposal on the need for training at all levels, and in paragraph 2.166 a brief reference to the additional staff that is proposed in order to man this programme which, in the Committee's view, appeared to be a modest increase. I will not go into the details; you can read them there.

In paragraph 2.167 I would call your attention to the general list of functions of a central unit to coordinate this programme. I will not read those; you can easily glance through them for yourselves.

In the next paragraph. 2.168, you will see that the Committee noted that the proposed FAO fund was intended for initial, relatively short-term actions which could be a stimulus to further action and investment; in other words, priming the pump. Here I might just point out, for those who would like to be editorially correct, that in the last sentence a word got left out: where it reads "It would be complementary as a source of funding", the "of' got omitted in the typing. Also, the Committee noted that the activities - or at least some of the activities - being undertaken through the World Food Security Assistance Scheme were similar to those planned under this proposed food loss reduction scheme and that therefore close coordination would be necessary and, indeed, desirable between those two kinds of activities.

Finally, I would like just to highlight the last paragraph of this section of the Committee's report, paragraph 2.170, where the Committee records its feeling that the overriding emphasis should still be on increasing food production; and it further felt that the substantive programme activities of FAO should support national programmes for food loss reductions. It endorsed the Director-General's substantive proposals and, with regard to the proposal on funding, the Committee recognized that this was mainly a question of managing of finances and that it was therefore within the framework of the Finance Committee's activities, but it did express support for the general approach and felt that the reference to a fund with a capital 'F' should not lead to unnecessary controversy, since the concept and the method of operation would presumably not be substantially different from other activities, such as the Food Security Assistance Scheme, which are financed from various sources.

I think that is all I need say by way of comment on behalf of the Programme Committee.

M. BEL HADJ AMOR (Vice-President du Comité financier): Tout d'abord, je voudrais attirer l'attention des honorables délégués sur le fait que les paragraphes qui concernent spécialement la création du Fonds ne sont pas tout à fait ceux qui ont été mentionnés: c'est-à-dire 3.125 à 3.135. Je crois qu'il s'agit plus particulièrement de 3.131 à 3.135. Il ressort de ces paragraphes que le Comité financier a appuyé la proposition concernant la création du Fonds spécial pour réduire les pertes d'aliments et il a approuvé également le fait que ce Fonds soit alimenté par le montant de 10 millions de dollars prélevés sur ce qui restera au compte d'attente qui, normalement, aura un excédent à la fin du biennium 1976/77 de 15 millions de dollars.

Je ne voudrais pas entrer dans les détails concernant la question du compte d'attente, étant donné que l'on aura à examiner ce point à une date ultérieure. Il me semble que je n'ai pas d'autres commentaires à faire en ce qui concerne l'aspect financier de la création de ce Fonds, mais de toute façon, je suis prêt à répondre à toutes les questions.

EL PRESIDENTE: Gracias, Sr. Presidente del Comité de Finanzas. Comenzamos ahora el debate sobre este tema 11. Hay cuatro oradores inscritos en mi lista, el primero es Checoslovaquia.

S. STAMPACH (Tchécoslovaquie): Ma délégation souscrit aux propositions faites par les organes subsidiaires au Conseil dans les documents cités, dans le but de réduire essentiellement les pertes alimentaires après récolteetà tous les stades,en commençant par celles qui se manifestent au niveau de la production jusqu'à la consommation. Nous sommes entièrement d'accord avec l'affirmation que le niveau actuel des pertes représente une des plus importantes ressources potentielles, parfois sous-estimées, pour la solution du problème alimentaire mondial.

Nos expériences en Tchécoslovaquie démontrent que la réalisation des mesures appropriées doit nécessairement viser les domaines de la biologie et de la technique; les institutions tchécoslovaques se concentrent en tout premier lieu sur la protection des plantes et des animaux, étant donné que les phénomènes pathologiques sont ceux qui influencent de manière négative l'intensité de la production.

En Tchécoslovaquie, nous avons élaboré dans la pratique expérimentale un système de protection et organisé la formation d'un grand nombre d'experts qualifiés. Mon gouvernement se déclare prêt à intensifier l'aide et la transfert de son expérience aux pays en voie de développement et à collaborer avec d'autres pays intéressés. Au niveau technique, plusieurs mesures planifiées sont introduites dans mon pays, à savoir avant tout la réduction des pertes au cours de la récolte technologique, des pertes pendant la conservation, le transport et la transformation des produits agricoles.

Il faut cependant ajouter que la réalisation des mesures exige des investissements sensibles, mais notre expérience nous démontre qu'il s'agit d'investissements hautement effectifs, spécialement dans des pays tels que la Tchécoslovaquie dont la surface de terre arable par tête d'habitant est tellement réduite.

Par suite, nous sommes persuadés que les investissements introduits afin de réduire les pertes alimentaires au niveau international auront un résultat et un effet immédiats. C'est pourquoi ma délégation soutiendra au maximum les mesures prises dans le cadre de l'activité de l'OAA.

J.C. VIGNAUD (Argentina): Sr. Presidente, desearía dividir la intervención en dos aspectos: uno primero de orden formal y otro de orden sustancial referido concretamente a la propuesta que aquí se nos formula. El primer aspecto de orden formal se refiere a que este tema que figura como número 11 en esta agenda, que es uno de los temas principales que va a tratar el Consejo en este período de sesiones, no tiene documento, lo cual dificulta sensiblemente que las delegaciones hayan tenido la posibilidad de examinarlo a fondo. En efecto, los documentos que se citan en la agenda anotada son el reporte o informe del Comité de Agricultura, del Comité del Programa y del Comité de Finanzas, pero no se cita el documento básico que es donde esta propuesta está explicada, aunque esquemáticamente, con algún detalle y que es el documento que se presento al Comité de Agricultura bajo la sigla COAG 77/6. En consecuencia, dado que este tema no lo estamos examinando bajo el tema 10, que es el examen del informe del Comité de Agricultura, lo logico hubiera sido que este documento COAG 77/6 que se refiere específicamente a este tema, se hubiera presentado a la consideración del Consejo.

Y digo esto porque no es una mera observación formal, sino que el documento en tanto no se preparo para el Consejo tampoco estaba en el Document Desk, lo cual significo, al menos para las delegaciones de habla española, algunas dificultades para obtenerlo. Tengo la esperanza de que esto no se repita en el futuro.

Entrando ahora al tema sustantivo, quiero reiterar lo que mi delegación dijo ayer en el sentido de que comparte la opinion que ya se ha manifestado en que es conveniente otorgar prioridad a esta actividad que el Director General propone, y es lógico que mi país esté de acuerdo en que se otorgue prioridad a esta actividad porque nosotros mismos en Argentina experimentamos algunas pérdidas de cierta relevancia después de las cosechas.

No obstante, deseo recordar que las pérdidas no sólo se producen por deficiencias en el manejo de las cosechas, sino también por la utilización inadecuada de los medios de producción como consecuencia del uso indebido de tierras y aguas. Por ello aunque se decida dar prioridad a este proyecto entendemos que no debe descuidarse la atención que se presta a las actividades destinadas a aumentar la producción y la productividad de alimentos.

Creo también, y ahora refiriéndome al documento del Comité de Agricultura, no tengo otra alternativa pues es el documento básico de esta discusión, que convendría hacer algunos ajustes en la terminología para saber exactamente de qué estamos hablando; porque en ese documento se habla de reducción de pérdidas posteriores a la recolección, luego, en el título que figura abajo en romano II, párrafo 5, cuando se define lo que debe entenderse por pérdidas, se indica que se trata de las que se producen después de la recolección y la entrega al consumidor, mientras que en el párrafo 14 se habla de las pérdidas en la recolección en sí misma.

En consecuencia, sería conveniente precisar qué es lo qué realmente se propone; es decir, la actividad que aquí se propone seguramente, entiendo, va a abarcar las pérdidas de la recolección y posteriores a la recolección. Estoy seguro que es así porque he seguido estos debates, pero tengo el temor de que la gente que no ha tenido la oportunidad de participar en debates anteriores sobre este tema no pueda tener una idea clara al respecto, al menos del documento en español.

Como dijimos ayer, no es éste un tema nuevo, lo dijo el propio Director General, pero apunta a un fenómeno que reviste graves características en muchos países en desarrollo.

Las causas identificadas en el documento COAG que se ubican en las etapas de recolección, trilla, resecado, almacenamiento, elaboración, transporte, etc., en nuestra opinión deben ser referidas al contexto más amplio de las condiciones de infraestructura,capacitación técnica y recursos económicos que caracterizan la estructura productiva de los países en desarrollo. En este contexto la solución del problema de las pérdidas de cosecha tiene complejas y significativas implicaciones que deben ser tenidas en cuenta al confeccionar los programas para evitar que un enfoque excesivamente localizado pueda tornar estériles los esfuerzos y los recursos que se dediquen. En este sentido las necesidades de capacitación masiva del potencial humano, el establecimiento de un sistema eficaz de abastecimiento de plaguicidas y otros insumos y la introducción de una tecnología en gran escala de almacenamiento, elaboración y manipuleo que se han mencionado en el párrafo 22 del documento a que me referí exigen una infraestructura y una capacidad financiera de proporciones que no serán evidentemente cubiertas por el programa de asesoramiento, capacitación e investigación aplicada y transferencia de tecnología que sugiere el proyecto.

Por ello nuestra Delegación estima de fundamental importancia la coordinación de FAO con otros Organismos en esta materia, particularmente con el Banco Mundial y a través de los programas FAO/Gobiernos y el Fondo Fiduciario.

Asimismo es preciso tener en cuenta la conveniencia de dar una participación sustancial a las instituciones nacionales en este tipo de programas para asegurar su adecuación a los hábitos y técnicas locales y a la continuidad de los mismos. Ratificamos, además, las prioridades que ya ha aprobado el Comité de Agricultura para que los esfuerzos se concreten en una primera etapa en granos y tubérculos.

Apoyamos en general, como dije al principio, la filosofía de la propuesta en la medida en que ésta se traduzca en efectos concretos y no derive en una actividad de la que por ser demasiado amplia, ambiciosa o difusa consuma una parte importante de los recursos disponibles sin producir un mejoramiento real correlativo de las condiciones de producción agrícola en los Países miembros.

La posible creación de un fondo especial para financiar estas actividades ha sido un tema controvertido. En efecto, surge del informe del COAG, párrafo 114,que parte de sus miembros se reservó la posición, que otros opinaron que este programa debería estar incluido en el presupuesto del programa ordinario, que otros aún pensaron que sólo podría tomarse una decisión sobre el Fondo cuando se hubiera realizado un estudio de las actividades en curso vinculadas a este respecto.

Según nos indico el Doctor Phillips, que nos acompaña y que es el Presidente del Comité del Programa, el Comité del Programa estimo en principio que por sus implicaciones con el presupuesto más bien era un tema de competencia del Comité de Finanzas. El Doctor Hadjamor, que está con nosotros y que es el Presidente del Comité de Finanzas, nos acaba de decir, ya lo sabíamos al leer el informe, que Finanzas ha apoyado la constitución de este fondo, aunque no conocemos en detalles las modificaciones o argumentos que llevaron al Comité de Finanzas a tomar esta decisión. Es que, en realidad, son pocas las informaciones que el Consejo dispone en relación con este fondo, pues si bien alguna mención se ha hecho en el documento presentado al COAG que, como dije antes, no es documento del Consejo, este cuerpo, y nosotros mismos, sólo contamos con la mención que tanto el COAG como el Comité de Finanzas ha hecho en relación con la creación del Fondo, sin aclaraciones acerca de su naturaleza, constitución, funcionamiento, estructura administrativa para su funcionamiento y otros datos que, a juicio de mi delegación, son imprescindibles para que seriamente pueda tomarse una determinación.

Por ello, nuestra Delegación, por ahora, no está segura de la necesidad de crear un nuevo fondo, no sólo por estos motivos, es decir, por la falta de una información completa, sino también porque podría pensarse que la creación de un nuevo fondo podría automáticamente llevar al establecimiento de un nuevo mecanismo burocrático cuyo sostenimiento podría afectar a las disponibilidades financieras del propio Fondo. No sabemos qué porcentaje se va a gastar de la cantidad propuesta para este Fondo mantenga el mecanismo administrativo que lo haga funcionar; no sabemos bien cómo va a funcionar, cuantos profesionales lo integrarán, etc.

Por otra parte, tenemos el programa de cooperación técnica y nos preguntamos cual sería la diferencia entre el fondo que existe para este programa y el fondo que ahora se propone en cuanto a la asistencia que se preste a los países para evitar pérdida después de la cosecha. Nos surje la duda de si no sería mejor aprovechar ya la estructura del programa de cooperación técnica para evitar un fraccionamiento en las actividades y en las disponibilidades presupuestarias que en realidad se dirigen al mismo objetivo. Nos preguntamos si no sería mejor, quizá, que estas actividades contaran con una asignación normal dentro del programa ordinario.

Para finalizar, como dije antes, apoyamos la prioridad que se da a la acción propuesta, pues tiende a ayudar a los países a fin de que eviten pérdidas en las cosechas, pero por ahora tenemos reservas en cuanto a la constitución del Fondo. Por supuesto que esta reserva podrá salvarse en la medida en que tengamos mayor información, pues no tenemos la intención de asumir una actitud obstruccionista, sino más bien una actitud constructiva que permita a nuestra Delegación al menos poder tomar una decisión con un conocimiento pleno de lo que se está hablando.

DOÑA PAULINA de CASTRO MONSALVO (Colombia): La delegación de Colombia quiere ser muy breve. Apoyamos las propuestas del Director General, del Comité de Agricultura, del Comité de Finanzas, o sea que la delegación de Colombia apoya la creación de este fondo tal como lo ha propuesto el Director General.

RAMADHAR (India): My delegation would like to compliment the Director-General for having taken quick steps to bring forth his proposal for a US$ 20 million fund to finance the assistance programme to reduce pre-harvest, harvest, and post-harvest losses. The action initiated by the Seventieth Session of the FAO Council and further discussed by the Fourth Session of the Committee on Agriculture is in line with the Resolutions of the Seventh Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly setting a target of 50 percent reduction in these losses by 1985.

My delegation agrees with the general assessment that there are very few reliable overall losses estimates even for a single crop in a single system. In spite of the lack of precise data on this vital issue, there is no doubt that post-harvest losses are colossal particularly in the developing countries. We are therefore in broad agreement with the assessment with the FAO Secretariat that the reduction of post-harvest losses by half would mean the saving of over 40 million tons of cereals or roughly half the projected cereal deficit of the developing countries. This would represent a saving in foreign exchange of the order of approximately US$ 7.5 billion a year. This has been assessed on a very conservative loss estimate of 10 percent.

The initiative of FAO, therefore, in putting up a proposal to set up a US$ 20 million fund for this purpose is very timely, and my delegation would like to fully support it. We are aware that many of the developing countries, including our own, had been taking concrete measures to reduce the post-harvest losses, but there is an imperative need for coordination of all such activities. My delegation also would like to support the priorities indicated by the Fourth Session of the Committee on Agriculture.

I would, however, like to emphasize particularly the two components of the proposed programme, that is research and training, which are so vital for the successful implementation of the entire programme.

Research and development institutes should be strengthened and new ones set up both at regional and international levels with assistance from the proposed fund. Some of the national institutions in developing countries may be converted into regional research centres by suitable strengthening. Close relations should be established between institutions in developing countries to create a network of cooperation. The training may be dovetailed into these research institutions, as there has been an acute shortage of trained experts in this field. This would accelerate technology transfer between developing countries whose problems and needs for their solution have a lot of similarity.

While commending this scheme for adoption by the Council, I would like to briefly refer to the efforts that we in India have been making to tackle the problem of post-harvest losses. Our "Save Grain Campaign'' has been continuing for more than a decade and has been strengthened. The main components of this campaign include the demonstration of modern and scientific storage techniques to the farmers and traders, supply of improved storage bins to the farmers, training to farmers, traders and extension officials to carry the know how further and help the voluntary organizations in implementing large-scale programmes on modernization of storage in their respective zones of operations. Experience has shown that this campaign has yielded positive results. Our institutions have not only been assisting small- and medium-scale industries which conserve and process foods but have trained a fairly large number of technologists of other countries of Asia and Africa in cooperation with FAO.

I would like to emphasize at this point that prevention of post-harvest losses requires a system approach. These losses do not occur only during handling and storage but also during post-harvest milling as well as during the manufacture of products based on them and due to non-utilization of by-products. If real benefits of preventing post-harvest losses are to be derived, then appropriate technologies must be carefully assessed, selected and effectively utilized at each stage for this purpose. It is not sufficient to give attention to a few cereals. The losses in the case of oilseed processing in many cases are even greater. If improved post-harvest technologies such as solvent extraction can be used in many developing countries, the availability of edible fat, of which there is an acute shortage, can be increased by 15 to 20 percent. Oilseed meals are an important source of protein but very few of these are used for direct human consumption. They are fed to animals who supply only one-fifth as much food in return. This is a serious post-harvest loss.

In the case of grain legumes, where they are consumed after dehusking and splitting, the milling losses can be 10 to 15 percent. These are not only important foods quantitatively but are an important source of proteins for a large majority of the people.

In the case of perishable products such as fruits, vegetables and fish, the losses are even greater than stable foods. These foods are vital as the basic, supplies of vitamins, minerals and proteins, besides being an important source of income.

The prevention of food losses as emphasized in the FAO Conference Resolution 12/75 on Conservation and Processing of Food and Agricultural Products has adopted a comprehensive approach to the subject. As against this, my delegation finds that the report of the Committee on Agriculture has adopted only a rather fragmented approach. We strongly feel that this should be corrected and brought in line with the FAO Conference Resolution which further emphasizes the need for selection and utilization of appropriate technologies that would improve food supplies by preventing losses, improve employment potential and income level in rural areas and raise the share of developing countries in industrial production. This is vital to achieve self-reliance and fulfill the objective of processing raw materials in the producing countries, as emphasized in the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on an International Economic Order.

We cannot prevent losses at one level and continue to allow them to occur at another. Prevention of losses through use of appropriate technologies must become an integrated effort that would stop the socioeconomic stagnation in developing countries and accelerate a better quality of life.

C.R. FRANK (United States of America): My Government has been vitally concerned with the losses in quantity and quality of food which occur following harvest. While significant progress has been made to increase food production, losses which occur following harvest are increasing and have been estimated by some to be at a level which could feed up to 400 million people a year. This magnitude of important loss need not be tolerated. Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at the UN General Assembly's Seventh Special Session called upon the nations of the world to reduce post-harvest losses 50 percent by 1985. My Government continues to support this objective and views FAO efforts in this area as a positive start towards realizing this goal.

The United States has taken a number of steps toward understanding the magnitude and designing methodology to address the problem of post-harvest losses at home and in the developing world. At home we have planned to substantially increase our domestic research programme to aid in reducing the losses we suffer in the United States. To assist in developing plans to reduce losses in the developing countries we have also increased our international commitments. We have made a number of bilateral loans to countries to increase and improve their storage facilities. We have asked the U.S. National Academy of Science to do a major research project in the area of post-harvest losses.

The results of this study when completed, will be made available for use by FAO and all interested countries in developing post-harvest loss programmes.

Governments can often reduce losses substantially at nominal cost by transmitting their concern and their knowledge of conservation to those that till the fields and store the products of their labours for the use of their families and neighbours.

FAO's model programme, aimed at improving the capacities of countries to deal with the problem of post-harvest loss, appears soundly based and adequate to stimulate attention and action by member governments and we heartedly endorse it.

While supporting FAO's proposed programme the United States must oppose the use of surplus currencies in the Suspense Account to fund these activities. In supporting Resolution 16/75 which established the Suspense Account the United States was heavily influenced by the language of the Resolution which expressly prohibited the use of these currencies for anything other than offsetting exchange fluctuations. We still adhere to that principle and while we strongly support FAO's proposed post-harvest loss programme we must at this time and with equal vigour oppose the use of surplus currencies for these purposes.

The members of this Council I am sure, will on reflection recognize our stand for this principle, and join with us in devising an alternative funding mechanism for providing full support of the very important work to reduce post-harvest losses. We will cooperate in any way we can to try to achieve this objective.

In closing, we believe that FAO should take steps now to ensure positive and effective follow-up on post-harvest loss activities. In this regard we propose that FAO plan to convene in 1980 or 1981 a Consultation of Post-Harvest Experts to evaluate progress and to recommend any needed new directions for more effective operation of the loss reduction programme.

H. ABDALLAH (Egypt) (Interpretation from Arabic): We would like to express our appreciation to the Director-General for the initiative he has taken by proposing this important project for controlling post-harvest losses which affects not only developing nations but world food production.

We therefore wish to express our support of this proposal both in terms of substance and mode of financing of the proposed fund.

While on this subject we would like to point to the importance of minimizing losses during the existence of crops on the field as they are severely subjected to the attacks of birds, particularly sparrows. Here we invite FAO to take advantage of Chinese experience. It is also important to give due attention to the combating of rodents. It is indeed essential to combat crop losses in all thse forms and all stages of crop production. We feel that one way of doing this is by crop processing which in addition to reducing losses will increase the marketability of crops, as the delegate of India has said.

We should also like to point to the importance of crop storage, especially at the farm level. In this connexion we wish to emphasize the importance of training at all levels, and here full use should be made of the experience of developing nations due to similarity of conditions.

Finally, we would like to state that the operations of the proposed Fund should be within the framework of a general strategy to be developed by FAO for the control of crop losses.

CHIN FENG-CHU (China) (interpretation from Chinese): The Chinese delegation would like to take this opportunity to make a rew comments on the matter of "reducing post-Harvest loss''.

It is necessary and obligatory to prevent or reduce any loss of food and other agricultural produce before consumption. In the final analysis, it is the working farmers who take the greatest care of the fruits of their labour and try in every way possible to avoid or reduce the loss of harvested grain and other agricultural produce. In the vast third world countries, however, agricultural development has been slow and backward as a result of protracted imperialist and colonialist aggression and exploitation/Facilities for storing and processing grain are usually poor and inadequate. It is only'to be expected, under such conditions, that post-harvest loss is greater here than in some other countries. Thus, we regard it as essential to adopt ways and means to prevent the loss of grains incurred in each post-harvest stage.

By the same token, while making every effort to develop agricultural production and increase grain output, China attaches great importance to reducing avoidable post-harvest loss and waste of grain in storage, processing, transportation and distribution.

It is our opinion, therefore, that appropriate attention should be paid to the reduction of post-harvest loss, so that, given the present production level, more grain could be used for actual consumption by reducing waste. On the other hand, however, this is only one of the ways to increase the amount of grain for consumption. The main problem confronting the third world, so far as food is concerned, is the inadequacy of food production. The most fundamental way for developing countries to meet their food requirements is to remove all constraints on food production and ensure a speedy increase in food output. This organization as an international agency should concentrate its manpower and material and financial resources on work promoting increased food production, thus helping developing countries to achieve complete or basic self-sufficiency in food in the shortest time possible. As for those already self-sufficient in food, further efforts should be made to increase food output so that they could gradually increase their grain reserves. On the basis of increased production, attention should also be paid to the reduction of post-harvest loss and avoidance of waste.

All work aimed at reducing post-harvest loss, we hold, should take into account the characteristes pertaining to the rural areas in each developing country. In other words, all such work should be done in accordance with local conditions and in the light of the specific economic and social circumstances of the locality. Generally speaking, the working people of all countries have accumulated valuable experience in food storage, processing and transportation through long years of practice. It is important to sum up such practical experience, publicize and popularize it, and at the same time, give necessary advice and help. Such improved methods will appeal to the working farmers as both acceptable and within their reach. This will certainly give better results than merely copying the so-called sophisticated methods of certain countries, which are not really suited to the conditions prevailing in the developing countries.

Señora DOÑA MIRLA PANIZA DE BELLAVITA (Panamá): La delegación de Panamá ha estudiado con atención el documento CL 71/9 sobre el Cuarto período de sesiones del Comité de Agricultura y, en particular, los párrafos del 104 al 124 sobre las pérdidas posteriores a las cosechas.

El Gobierno de Panamá apoya la creación de un fondo de 20 millones de dólares para financiar un programa de asistencia que reduzca las pérdidas antes, durante y después de la cosecha.

Nuestro país, señor Presidente, el año pasado se vio afectado por una sequía que trajo como consecuencia la pérdida de un 50 por ciento de nuestra producción de arroz, y además tuvo grandes repercusiones en el sector agropecuario. En la actualidad el Gobierno nacional está empeñado en un plan nacional de riego y drenaje con el fin de aliviar la situación y beneficiar al pequeño agricultor. Hacemos, por tanto, hincapié en que la FAO debe llevar a cabo proyectos sencillos ¡y de aplicación directa.

Nuestra delegación apoya lo expresado en el párrafo 113 en lo que se refiere a la necesidad de una capacitación a todos los niveles en la tecnología y prácticas posteriores a la cosecha, así como también la conveniencia de utilizar y reforzar las Instituciones Nacionales existentes. El Gobierno de Panamá ve con gran satisfacción los cambios que se están llevando a cabo en las políticas de esta importante Organización.

Para terminar, felicitamos al Director General por esta iniciativa que contribuirá a resolver uno de los graves problemas que afectan a los países en desarrollo.

I.A. IMTIAZI (Pakistan): My delegation has read relevant portions of documents CL 71/4 and CL 71/9 with considerable interest. We feel that these two documents illuminate a problem area which has hitherto been obscured by the emphasis on higher production rather than on the conservation of what has been produced.

The last meeting of the Committee on Agriculture had considered the definition, the magnitude and the causes of harvest and post-harvest food losses. In spite of the lack of definitive food loss data in many countries, it is generally estimated that food-grain losses range from 10 to 20 percent of output. These are in addition to losses which occur relative to nutritional foods in non-grain forms such as roots, tubers, etc. The problem is thus enormous and complex.

Recognising the gravity, the enormity and the complexity of the problem, the Government of Pakistan has already commissioned a number of studies to identify appropriate strategy and to formulate a feasible action plan. My delegation, therefore, fully supports the action-oriented approach through national programmes to reduce food losses.

We believe FAO can play a useful and helpful role in the development and implementation of national programmes. Major inputs will be through investment in manpower, finances and physical resources.

My delegation is also of the view there is need for coordinating international, regional and inter-country activities which may be undertaken in this connexion. We propose this in order to make the best use of scarce expertise and to achieve the economies of scale and benefits of complementarity. We would suggest that such programmes be kept as simple as possible so that these remain economical and adjustable to local conditions. My delegation supports the criteria proposed for approval of projects by the Director-General as outlined in paragraph 119 of document CL 71/9. Also, as regards the financing of the scheme, my delegation fully and wholeheartedly supports the Director-General's proposal as outlined in paragraph 3.133 of document CL 71/4.

L.C.J. MARTIN (United Kingdom): My delegation and we in the United Kingdom attach considerable importance to the subject of harvest and post-harvest losses, and over a good number of years now through such institutions as the Tropical Products Institute and the Centre for Overseas Pest Research, the United Kingdom has tried to make a substantial practical contribution towards solving the problems that occur in this field.

However this afternoon I do not want to talk about the substance of the subject, and I do not want to take up the time of the Council talking about the subject itself because we fully endorse and support the programme which has been proposed by the Director-General. Therefore we have no problem about the programme. Our problem, as has been mentioned by earlier speakers, concerns the method of funding. I think we all still have a good deal of thinking to do on this financial aspect.

The representative of Argentina raised a number of problems in his intervention and I think he was right to make them although I would not agree with his tentative eventual conclusion that it would be better to handle the financing of work in connexion with post-harvest losses through the regular programme and budget. Many of our governments have difficulties with the ever-increasing regular budgets of the specialized agencies and if one wants to make a good and determined effort in relation to post-harvest losses and that were done through regular budgets the result might be regular budgets that we would feel obliged to vote against. My delegation would find that unfortunate because we do intend to support the level for the regular programme and budget which has been proposed by the Director-General. Moreover, if the right amount of work is to be done on post-harvest losses additional sources of funding will be necessary and that is why we agree with the proposal that there should be a special fund. I think that has a better chance of advancing our common cause than any suggestion that we should put it inside the regular programme.

But, like the representative of the United States, my delegation is rather worried about the proposal to use money from the suspense account to help the initial funding for post-harvest losses. It is a question of good financial practice. Just before lunch I took the trouble to re-read Resolution 35/75 of the last session of the General Conference,which even now is only somewhat less than two years away, and it was very clear that when the General Conference voted a resolution to establish a suspense account it had it in mind that at the end of this year any money that remained in that account should go into the Common Fund, the result being that Member States would in effect receive back their share of the money that was left because their assessed contribution would in proportion be that much less.

That is why I turn to the draft resolution in Appendix F of document CL 71/4. Before I go on, may I say that from here on I am speaking without instructions and cannot be held to account. I got this document only on arrival in Rome. Since the end of last Thursday and including today there is a public holiday in England because we are celebrating the jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. It is not possible for me to get in touch with ministers or my Civil Service colleagues to consult and get instructions. However, I have been looking at the resolution in Appendix F and it would seem to me that it would need some re-drafting before it could command even what we could call ''consensus'' support. Certainly as it is now drafted my delegation would be obliged to abstain and possibly vote against it. At the very least if a resolution of this kind were put to the General Conference with the suggestion that part of the suspense account should be used for the initial funding of the Fund for the reduction of post-harvest losses, there should be much fuller reference to Resolution 35/75 and I would think that there should be a recollection of the fact that the intention behind Resolution 35/75 was that any money remaining in the suspense account at the end of 1977 should go into the common fund.

If the general will of the Conference and the general wish of the Council to suggest to the Conference was that notwithstanding Resolution 35/75 some of the money should be used to start the fund for post-harvest losses, then it should be made abundantly clear that this was a very special circumstance which justified a one-time departure from accepted good financial practice.

I do not know how far that would help anybody when voting on a resolution of that kind and, as I say, I am not committing my government, but there is just some possibility of working on this resolution in a way which makes it clearer what we are all doing. I say this because although I do know that my government wishes to support the programme for post-harvest losses and presumably in some way wishes to help with the financing of the fund, I cannot say what we might contribute, but I would not want to go in for a complicated process by which we said to FAO ''please send us back a cheque for our share of the money remaining in the suspense account and when you send that back to us we will send you a cheque for the same amount as our contribution towards the Fund for post-harvest losses.'' It gets altogether too complicated. But I would at least ask that everybody should be completely clear as to what we are doing.

I said that I have no instructions and am speaking entirely out of my head - and probably through the back of it as well - but I do think that this resolution needs a good deal more working on and even that we should defer a resolution to the General Conference about the financial aspect of the Fund for post-harvest losses until the next meeting of the Council. It would be a great pity if the real difficulties which surround the financing aspects were allowed to get in the way of what is probably

a unanimous endorsement of the Director-General's programme and the actual things that we want to do.

M. A. CISSE (Niger): La delegation du Niger appuie le Directeur general pour sa proposition de création d'un fonds pour réduire les pertes avant et après les récoltes. Les pertes estimées à près de 20 pour cent sont énormes pour des productions qui sont déjà marginales dans nos pays en développement.

II faut signaler également que dans ces pays les moyens de stockage sont également inexistants. Ce Fonds permettra donc le financement d'actions avant la récolte:lutte contre les déprédateurs et, après la récolte,pour le financement d'infrastructure, de stockage selon ses disponibilités et surtout avec l'aide des pays développés ou d'autres donateurs.

Une tâche que l'on pourrait également réaliser par l'intermédiaire de ce Fonds est la formation de paysans dans la lutte contre les prédateurs et dans les techniques de conservation des produits des récoltes.

Quant à la relation avec le programme de coopération technique, nous pensons que la création de ce fonds permettra au Programme de coopération technique d'être plus efficace dans les autres domaines de développement rural, formation générale, projet d'irrigation, production d'engrais, enquêtes agricoles etc.

C'est par conséquent de vive voix que le Niger appuie la création de ce Fonds et souhaite la grande participation des donateurs à son fonctionnement.

G. SATARI (Indonesia): The problem of post-harvest food losses and consequently the programme for action including the resources needed have been exhaustively discussed in the Committee on Agriculture. The Programme and Finance Committees endorsed the proposal to reduce post-harvest food losses and the recommendation to establish a special fund for this purpose.

In the view of my delegation the most significant result of the Committee on Agriculture is their ability to agree on the principle of the programme for action which has been proposed by FAO. In the past it was always difficult to get agreement on action - it nearly always ended with the need for further identification of problems and further studies for action.

The programme of action concentrates on direct action national projects for storage construction at farm, village, and urban levels, for rodent and pest control, for simple drying and processing equipment and for in-service training at all levels. The programme is to be considered as an initial programme only in order to stimulate further assistance and investment. As has been proposed by the delegate of India, the programme should gradually also be complemented with integrated efforts such as training at all levels, especially at farm level, and with increased processing of agricultural food products as appropriate to prevent further losses. The Committee has also identified that lack of the necessary financial resources was a serious constraint in implementing loss reduction programmes.

In order to make the programme a success, we should simultaneously arrange our actions at the national and international level - in this case, FAO. Country programmes, including the necessary resources, need to be prepared and FAO is requested to assist the countries concerned. It is therefore important that FAO equips itself fully, technically and financially, for this purpose. In this connexion my delegation agrees with the proposed increases in the support to be provided under the Programme of Work and Budget, including the proposed central unit, to coordinate activity on reducing food losses with other related activities undertaken by FAO. If, however, the need arises for additional support from the Regular Programme, and we feel that it is needed, especially in the development and incrementation of national programmes, then this should be taken into account by FAO.

The strong and determined attack on avoidable losses of food production, particularly post-harvest losses, which is based on national programmes in cooperation with FAO, must therefore be covered by a fund. A programme of action without resources is meaningless. The proposed FAO special fund is intended for initial, relatively short-term actions which should be a stimulus to further action and investment.

It was proposed that the fund be initially funded through the transfer of up to $10 million from the 1976-77 suspense account and by contribution form Member Governments. We realise that according to Resolution 35/75, any amount drawn from the suspense account at the end of the biennium should be returned to the general fund and consequently reimbursed to member countries. We believe that it is appropriate, where justified, that instead of returning this fund it would be useful - and indeed there is a real need for it - if the major part of the suspense account were transferred to the special fund for reduction of food losses. It should not be forgotten that indirectly each member country, big or small, has contributed to the special fund through the suspense account.

My delegation, therefore, supports the proposal to establish a special fund for reduction of food losses and the proposed resolution by the Finance Committee.

G. WEILL (France): Nous avons devant nous une question fort importante dont les contours eux-mêmes ne sont pas définis tant est ample la tâche que nous avons à accomplir. Je n'en voudrai pour preuve que les différents intitulés des points dont nous discutons. Ce qui est à l'origine de cette discussion aujourd'hui, c'est le rapport de la soixante-dixième session du Conseil sous le titre ''Mesures prises pour réduire les pertes après récoltes''. Le point de l'ordre du jour tel que libellé nous parle de réduire les pertes avant et après la récolte et le texte du rapport du Conseil de la précédente session, paragraphe 20, sans prendre parti sur la position du Directeur général (il en prend note), a trait à l'étude d'un dispositif permettant de réduire les pertes avant, durant et après. C'est-à-dire que nous avons un problème complexe et il faudrait savoir exactement, étant donné son importance et son ampleur, où et comment nous voulons l'attaquer. Ceci est une première question.

Ceci étant, conformément à l'accord que lui a donné le Conseil à sa précédente session, le Directeur général a effectivement saisi le Comité de l'agriculture, le comité du Programme et le Comité fiancier, et, comme l'a très bien dit le délégué de l'Argentine, à défaut d'avoir d'autres documents, c'est sur ces trois documents que nous nous appuierons. Le Comité de l'agriculture a fait un excellent rapport (un rapport objectif me semble-t-il), où nous trouvons les diverses opinions qui ont été exprimées et en ce qui concerne ma délégation, nous notons un certain nombre de remarques qui, je crois, ont de l'importance. En particulier, je voudrais souligner, comme l'a fait le Comité de l'agriculture, au paragraphe 105 et au paragraphe 107 de son rapport, que beaucoup reste à faire pour mieux connaître la nature des problèmes que pose la lutte contre les pertes de récoltes. Au paragraphe 105, le Comité reconnaît la nécessité de procéder à des enquêtes sur les pertes avant de lancer des programmes de réduction. Au paragraphe 107, de même, il est souligné qu'il est nécessaire de poursuivre les travaux de recherche. Un autre aspect de ce rapport du Comité de l'agriculture nous semble fort important, nous le voyons au paragraphe 109 où l'on insiste sur le caractère global des différentes mesures à prendre pour lutter contre les pertes de récoltes avant, pendant et après; je crois que c'est véritablement là le problème.

Je n'insisterai pas, puisque nous n'avons pas le document qui a été diffusé pour le Comité de l'agriculture, sur le type même des opérations qu'il était envisagé d'effectuer mais je voudrais simplement dire, répétant en cela ce qu'a déclaré la délégation française au Comité de l'agriculture, que pour nous, il semble que la lutte contre les pertes implique beaucoup plus un travail de longue haleine et un travail de formation.

Ayant participé à la réunion du Comité de l'agriculture, notre délégation en conclusion a déclaré qu'elle n'était pas en mesure, pour réaliser les ambitions auxquelles nous souscrivons tous, de donner l'accord de la France à la création envisagée du Fonds. Je dois reconnaître que j'ai fait allusion à l'objectivité de ce rapport; le rapport du Comité de l'agriculture, au paragraphe 114 énonce en effet les différentes opinions qui sont exprimées en disant que,''dans sa majorité, le Comité appuie la proposition. Certains membres ont réservé leur position sur cette proposition jusqu'à la session du Conseil en juin. D'autres ont estimé que le Programme devrait être couvert par le budget du Programme ordinaire. Pour d'autres enfin, une décision au sujet du Fonds ne pourra être prise qu'après examen des efforts actuellement déployés dans ce domaine."

Dans ces conditions, vous ne serez pas surpris de la cohérence de la position de la délégation française et que je confirme que notre délégation n'est pas favorable,pour la réalisation de cet important travail de la FAO, à la constitution d'un Fonds particulier. Ce n'est pas que nous niions l'importance du problème. Je dirai que le problème de la lutte contre les pertes de récoltes est aussi vieux que l'agriculture et tous les agriculteurs du monde luttent avec les moyens à leur disposition contre les parasites et les maladies. Il n'y aurait pas d'agriculture s'il n'y avait pas de lutte contre les pertes. Ce qui est nouveau, c'est la prise de conscience du paradoxe qu'il y a à intensifier, notamment en faisant appel à la communauté internationale, les efforts pour l'accroissement de la production sans une action parallèle pour la réduction des pertes.

Je ne voudrais pas que l'on puisse traduire l'intervention de la délégation française comme l'expression d'une attitude négative à l'égard de ce problème. Je voudrais à l'occasion signaler que le rapport dont a eu à discuter le Comité de l'agriculture sur les pertes de récoltes, a été rédigé avec la collaboration d'un expert fourni gratuitement à l'Organisation par un institut de recherche agronomique français spécialisé qui est l'Institut de recherche agronomique tropicale. Voilà une preuve concrète de l'intérêt que nous portons à ces problèmes et probablement de la technicité reconnue à nos instituts.

Si nous ne sommes pas partisans du Fonds, par contre, nous sommes tout à fait en faveur de toutes mesures de regroupement des efforts et de coordination des différentes interventions qui visent à tirer un meilleur parti de toutes les activités qui peuvent concourir à la lutte contre les pertes; dans le rapport du Comité du programme nous trouvons un début de formulation qui nous paraît excellente de ce que pourraient être les activités de l'unité centrale de coordination dont la création est proposée. Nous sommes en faveur de la mise en place d'une unité de coordination. Le rapport du Comité du Programme, aux paragraphes 2.167, 2.168 et 2.169 parle des responsabilités de cette unité centrale de coordination et il me semble que le paragraphe 2.167 répond tout à fait à ce qu'on peut espérer d'une unité de ce type car nous lisons que cette unité centrale doit "coordonner le travail des unités techniques existantes et réunir des informations sur les activités que les pays, la FAO et d'autres organisations déploient en vue de réduire les pertes alimentaires, etc.''. "L'unité assurera la coordination étroite du travail dans ce domaine avec les activités connexes entreprises par la FAO, par exemple au titre du programme intégré de lutte contre les ravageurs, du programme d'assistance pour la sécurité alimentaire, etc.''. Nous souscrivons tout à fait à ce programme de l'unité centrale.

Le Comité du Programme, au paragraphe suivant 2.168, nous parle d'un aspect qui nous paraît fort important des activités qui sont envisagées. Il s'agit des activités financées par d'autres sources de financement, et,curieusement, bien que la question ait été évoquée antérieurement, on ne se réfère pas, à propos des activités envisagées, aux activités du Programme de coopération technique. Il nous semble que si des opérations d'urgence ou des opérations ponctuelles pouvaient s'avérer nécessaires, il pourrait sans doute être fait appel au Programme de coopération technique.

Enfin, pour terminer, et pour bien dire l'importance que nous attachons à cette unité centrale de coordination dont le Directeur général propose la création, je dirai que nous verrions bien cette unité centrale fonctionner comme fonctionne la structure de base qui existe actuellement pour le Programme international de développement laitier ou pour le Programme international de développement de la viande. Il s'agit d'une structure relativement légère, et c'est au travers de cette structure, ou en liaison avec elle, que devraient pouvoir être mobilisés les concours extérieurs qui pourraient également s'offrir à la FAO.

Ici, Monsieur le Président, si cela n'était pas suffisant, peut-être pourrait-on envisager de prévoir dans les nombreuses voies budgétaires de la FAO un fonds fiduciaire qui serait ouvert pour les contri-buteurs éventuels. J'ai parlé tout à l'heure de l'Institut français de la recherche agronomique tropicale. Il se peut que la collaboration avec l'Institut de la recherche agronomique tropicale puisse se faire par le moyen de ce fonds fiduciaire et au travers de cette unité centrale de coordination. Je vois que Monsieur le Directeur général sourit, j'espère que c'est de contentement.

G. de BARKER (Netherlands): It seems to be unavoidable that in meetings like this the main substance is about organizations, finance, administration, not about agriculture in the first place, although we are supposed to help agriculture to develop itself. I must say, therefore, that this subject of post-harvest losses appealed to me because it was, in a sea of floating subjects on administration, a piece of solid agricultural technology. Therefore, I read and I am going to participate in the debate with some interest although I must say that when I prepared my statement I also felt obliged to slip into matters of administration, of finance, of organization; you cannot help it here.

I would like to repeat what has been said before but I feel it is very fundamental, that the first duty we all have, whether we are developed countries, or less developed countries, developing, on the way to becoming halfway developed, whatever you have, the stimulation of production in our own country is a first responsibility for the government there, for the farmers there, for cooperatives, for everybody involved and when the harvest is done there in the fields and the farmer starts harvesting and the yield is in the barns the second very important thing comes, that is to keep the product from being wasted and that is really a very important matter because not having a product you could blame on so many things but when you have it in your own hands in your barn and then it gets lost it is really a waste and a pity. Therefore, I find this project very important. I must really commend the Director-General like many people did before me and behind him all the people in FAO and also the Committee on Agriculture and the Finance and Programme Committees who all supported it, that we are going to have an important and unanimously accepted programme in the future on post-harvest losses. I would say let us restrict it to harvest and post-harvest losses. There was some talk about pre-harvest but that is too much, we already have other programmes on pre-harvest losses. I would like to make a few remarks that we accept that when the programme is started it is going to be an important programme. In the first place I would to mention that this kind of programme, because there are not so many experts around the world in this field, neither in the developed countries are there so many experts, perhaps in trade there are, but we must try to use them as much as possible . and I feel a good starting point would be what has already been mentioned as a priority principle by the Director-General that we must use national institutions and by national institutions in this case I mean national institutions in the developed and developing countries who work together to try that a certain developed country joins efforts with a certain developing country and forms a sort of joint unit that over the years, whether the money is there from that fund or not, is willing to continue this kind of cooperation. I do not think it is enough to hire some experts to send them to a certain country to help them build up, you must really have a continuous effort, and therefore I feel this joint programme between the developed country and developing country institute would be a good thing.

A second point I would like to make is that it is important for FAO itself but also in the country where the programme is going to be that there are organizational measures taken to have a good coordination with the other relevant activities. It has already been mentioned here in the house, the Food Security Assistance Scheme, I hope some money will come from IFAD when IFAD is already started really for this purpose. So there must also be, I feel some coordination and I use that word because it is a word that is not always appreciated in the countries with other programmes bilaterally started because we can be sure that in almost all countries that have already done or have under way programmes in this field, and it would be a pity if we were to see another example of competing programmes. I feel that the country representative of FAO could do a good job in trying to bring together programmes there in the country concerned started on a bilateral base and on this multilateral base.

Another remark I must make is that I praise the Director-General very much that in this case he is willing to do the job at 5 percent overhead charge. I understand that rightly, do I not, because we have been talking about overhead charges in the past and we feel that this is a good start, to ask for extra money and do the job the 5 percent overhead charge and would perhaps encourage certain donor countries to use this multilateral channel because I have heard when you ask the question sometimes, "Why don't you channel your money instead of giving it bilaterally to a certain country, why don't you channel it through FAO?'', then you sometimes hear the answer, "Well, that costs another 14 percent.'' I do not think that is always fair because when you make your own provisions for executing a programme it also costs money, but that is another matter.

Now, about the financing, that is my third point; we very much appreciate the idea of a trust fund and I would like to ask where in these papers you speak about ''fund'', is that the same as a trust fund like we know it with the Associate Expert Trust Fund and with the Meat and Dairy Development Scheme and the Food Security Assistance Scheme? Is that the same? I mean, is it a kind of fund in which the donor countries and the recipient countries have a certain say, a certain influence, or is it just part of the overall cooperative of FAO where the countries just talk in the Council and in the Conference and get round in the sea of words like we are all doing now while with the trust fund we have the feeling that you have more intimate talks with the people who execute the programme. So I would like to hear what the position is, is this the kind of fund you have in mind, Mr. Director-General, and I will ask the question through the Chairman, that is comparable with the other trust funds here in FAO.

Now I must come to that difficult point of the $10 million fund that you want to use from the Suspense Account. I would like to make a comparison; we always think that ministers in a church are having principles and are preaching about dogmatic principles but I can tell you that our Minister of Finance, who is another kind of minister, has also principles and dogmatic principles and he is always preaching about it and he asked me to preach about it. I am not a very good minister so I will not try to give you a beautiful story but I will just say that we are in the same position as several other delegates that it seems that when money has been earmarked for a certain purpose and resolutions have been passed it is useless to talk to a Minister of Finance to use that for another purpose. I have also got the same message that it is not so much the money involved, it is the principle involved to use this money that has been earmarked for another purpose, so I hope that the ideas that were generated by our United Kingdom colleague --he said without being instructed, I am instructed so perhaps I can therefore easily join his words, that we hope that another kind of wording for this resolution can perhaps be found so that we can go around the dogmatic principle of our Minister of Finance and the money that has been collected can be used in a way that is not against that principle. We must mention the fact that if this solution is not found we must reserve our position on committing new money to it. That is what I am instructed to say here. We would feel very bad about it because we admire the programme, we admire the initiative. We hope to be able to participate, especially with these kinds of joint efforts with other institutes in developing countries but this problem of the Suspense Account, hopefully by all your very able financial wizards that you have in your house, I hope it can be solved.

H. MAURIA (Finland): First, I would like to point out that we welcome very warmly indeed the fact that the matter of reducing post-harvest losses has been taken up by FAO for implementation and financing. We do welcome it because during the course of years on several earlier occasions we have, together with the other Nordic countries, emphasized the importance of tackling this programme in the context of FAO.

We fully support the high priority given to this matter. Reduction of post-harvest losses must be looked upon, as said before, as an activity which should be observed and taken care of at the farmer's level during the whole cycle of food production from sowing through growing, harvest and storing and post-harvest handling, too. The field of action will involve a great number of countries and a variety of agricultural products produced under a wide range of differing conditions. This in our view implies the need for a long-range continuous programme of action on the part of FAO and also increasing involvement at the national policy-making and institutional levels.

As regards the action of FAO, it will clearly need substantial human and financial resources for a long period of time. It is fair to believe that FAO should be prepared for involvement for much longer than only over the next biennium.

In accordance with our positive standpoint regarding the implementation of this item, we are in principle ready to support financing of action in favour of reducing post-harvest losses from FAO's regular budget in the coming biennium. This would grant a firm base necessary for input of resources and for the foreseeable continuity of action.

In saying this, we are aware that other currents of financing of post-harvest loss activities have been proposed and even agreed upon in the recent session of the Finance Committee. We can see the idea of flexibility in the proposal made, but we feel some doubts regarding particularly the use of the suspense accounts for this purpose. In our view, the importance that should be placed on such an activity as the item of reducing post-harvest losses could easily be suitable for and should be subject to planning and financing through the normal Programme of Work and Budget.

May I add that although we now have been elaborating on the activities under this item and on the basis of financing through FAO, we would like to indicate that we are looking upon the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) as a very appropriate source of financing in the future for activities in favour of reducing post-harvest losses.

A.E. HANNAH (Canada): The Canadian delegation would like to emphasize again, as many others have, the importance of this subject of post-harvest losses, and we would suggest that it is a matter of concern to many countries --in fact, all countries that produce food, both developed and developing. Post-harvest loss, particularly in cereals, is an area of research that Canadians have emphasized in the past and will continue to do, but I would suggest that research in cereals alone is not enough and some of the principles of research should be applied to other commodities, but the research must be done in those areas and those commodities of need.

As Brazil pointed out, a balanced diet means different things to different people, and it must be recognized in terms of commodities, in terms of supply and in terms of the people that it is meant for. Therefore, what we are talking about in a programme of post-harvest loss and the protection of foodstuffs from such losses is the development of research and information which will cover many commodities and many forms of food.

I would also suggest that post-harvest loss for the development and improvement of food production in the world is a subject that falls well within the areas of responsibility and competence of FAO, and the Director-General, I would like to add, as many others have, is to be commended for placing a high priority on such programmes.

We also feel that it is necessary to evaluate the magnitude of the losses, and we must recognize that to obtain precise estimates of these losses is very difficult, especially in those countries where the food is not marketed through regular channels or is not exported through regular channels. Much of the food loss, in our view, comes just prior to consumption and much of it in local areas where there are no organized marketing systems. Therefore, the need for better information systems, for

better infrastructure and financing means to reduce these losses are the basic pillars of any post-harvest loss programme.

In this context, an effort should be made at the country level to determine the magnitude, the nature, the economic effects and the need for research on post-harvest losses. The proposed action programme, which appears to be a practical operational approach to preventing food loss problems, rightly stresses the use of local skills and materials in the construction of farm storage and village storage facilities. This is not a simple matter. It is one which must be researched and must be developed for the climate and the environment within which it must be developed.

In this context, I would like to mention among the efforts in this field a number of experiments have been initiated by Canada in support of the International Development Research Centre, and it has directed funds to projects such as these post-harvest losses and specifically to those areas of research needed in those countries where the food will be stored and used. Canada is well aware of its technological limitations in the field of tropical agriculture, and any of you that have visited our country knows we do not have a tropical climate, but we do have an understanding of some of the principles of research needed to develop protection against tropical post-harvest losses and therefore we feel we can make an adequate contribution and we do support very strongly the need for training at all levels in the countries where these programmes are being developed to develop qualified personnel not only to carry out the programmes but to continue and identify the programmes which will need research in the future. The prevention of post-harvest losses in food is a very complicated task and requires research on many species of insects, fungi, rodents as well as a combination of these. Therefore, it is not a simple matter of saying we will have money for post-harvest losses, it is a matter of saying how we are going to do these programmes, and it also means research into the physical structure to harvest and store the food.

Our delegation would again like to place emphasis on the need to help develop national policies and programmes aimed at major crop production and particularly to help the numerous small farm producers to develop a viable operation and to store that production adequately.

There are two additional points of concern which I would like to see in the research. The first relates to the method of crop and post-harvest supplies, the other to the whole cycle of food production and consumption. Remedies and solutions developed for post-harvest losses should be brought about in concert with the limitations of the environment and with the limitations of human health. I would trust that the members of this Council will agree with me in saying that reducing the level of food losses must be part of an integrated process commencing first of all at the planning phases and then finally to the marketing and consumption phases, because losses occur in all parts of this system. A weakness in any part of this system will of course weaken the total system and will induce food loss no matter where it occurs and would engage much of the effort which has been put into developing a more efficient and effective system in the world.

While recognizing FAO's overall responsibility in this field, I urge the Secretariat to take all the appropriate measures to coordinate as well as to cooperate with institutions, organizations and personnel involved in resarch and in the execution of projects on post-harvest losses. It is our understanding there are a number of projects being done in various ways. Canada is cooperating with the Office of FAO and with the Office of the Sahel Relief Organization 1975-76 and has presently three crop protection projects going in the Upper Volta, in Niger and in Mali. Canada will continue to support crop and post-harvest research and development for many areas in many kinds of food production.

However, with respect to the proposal for a special fund for the programme of post-harvest losses, Canada has been supporting such programmes on a bilateral and multilateral basis for a number of years. Therefore, we feel that more information is required before we can commit ourselves one way or the other on this fund. Much of the work that is being done now should be categorized, and we would like to know where it fits in with the present proposals or how these present proposals will be integrated with the work that is going on at present. We, as the Canadian delegation, very much like the proposal made by the United Kingdom, and we would support their comments that we are not at this point in time in a position to support the Resolution as stated here or to make any definite decision without further information. In our view, there is just not enough information available to make a decision. This was also emphasized by Argentina in his remarks earlier.

This is a general summary of what the Canadian delegation feels and we would therefore suggest that we would give high priority to this programme for post-harvest losses all through the food system, so that it will provide a more efficient and effective food production and food distribution system. However, we think there is more work to be done on how these programmes are carried out and how they will be financed.

A. TEJAN WADDA (Gambia): My delegation's main comment on this paper is entirely on the problems raised by the United Kingdom. We feel that the substance of this report with regard to post-harvest losses has been dealt with thoroughly by India. We could not agree more with his presentation. I think he has covered the ground admirably. The problems he has raised we fully associate with, and we hope that when we talk about post-harvest and utilizing the special fund to fight post-harvest losses this will not be limited to cereal crops only. Cash crops are very vulnerable, and there are also many other perishable agricultural products.

This is not just a programme which the Director-General has presented and is supported by the Committee, it is highly commended by all speakers. The problem as I have said - and I will echo the words of the delegate from the United Kingdom - is not the substance. The problem is how to finance the Fund to operate the Programme. It is quite clear to all delegations that FAO has spent a lot of money and time on investigation in agriculture and in production, but now we are faced with the problem of post-harvest.

Not much is being done on this. One has the right to question the wisdom of spending so much on investment and on production and then sitting down and seeing it wasted and lost. For this reason my delegation commends the Director-General for coming out in response to the World Food Conference Resolution and to the Resolution of the 7th Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly with a programme to fight post-harvest losses.

I will come back again to the problem. The problem is the form. In principle every delegation has accepted the programme. It would be contradictory to the Programme of Work that the Director-General has presented to this Council. Last year everybody commended the Director-General for reducing the budget and making savings by decentralization of the Organization. This saving led to the setting up of the TCP. I do not think the Director-General would now create a form that would add more to the regular budget.

He has a programme and as the delegate from the United Kingdom has said, the problem is how to finance this. The Director-General, I would say, is faced with the problem of either using the Regular Budget, which would mean eventually increasing it, or asking Conference for a Plenary Session so as to establish the form.

With due respect to the delegate from the United Kingdom, this would involve, as he rightly said, reforming the form as to the amount of money that is in the Suspense Account to member nations and asking them to pay it again and repay it for the Fund. It might be complicated but on the exchange of cheques someone is going to make a profit and to avoid that party making the profit the Director-General is saving member nations from the process if he were to adopt that.

The problem is this Suspense Account is savings that have been made due to the inflation. I will not look at the Director-General, and I am sure all the Members too do not look at him as the executive head of a business organization whereby any savings would be returned to the shareholders. I do not think any member government is looking for that. But there is a misconception of the Programme and the suggestion the Committee has put before us, no-one is saying the Council should overrule the Resolution passed by the Conference and to ask the Director-General to ignore that Resolution - if I understood the Council report, Council is asking, or the Committee is suggesting the Council, to recommend to the Conference that they review their Resolution as it is only Conference which can change a Conference Resolution with regard to spending. Council has not the power to change a resolution.

Therefore the suggestion of setting up the fund is no contradiction to what the Conference has already decided upon. I therefore feel that regarding the question raised by the delegate from Argentina saying the TCP is being utilized for this purpose when we set up the TCP it was quite clear it was going to be a fixed amount and that it would be limited to the Regular Budget. By adding any expenditure on the TCP, we would then be increasing it, and we would be using two types of funding for the TCP, which would be a dangerous step to start with.

The idea of joining the post-harvest to the TCP would be completely out of order, in the opinion of my delegation, and I hope that my explanation will satisfy the delegate from Argentina.

When one looks at the post-harvest fund which is being set up and one examines the problem of the amount of losses, in the region where I come from - the Sahel Region - one would feel the amount earmarked would be inadequate, but the amount of money being suggested is not coming from the Regular Budget and neither the Director-General nor the Committee are asking for the increase of the Regular Budget nor are they saying it is going to be recurrent; what is being suggested here is that the amount of money that is now being earmarked, which is anticipated from the savings out of these inflationary gains, be earmarked to finance the post-harvest instead of being refunded to member countries.

This is the suggestion, and here I cannot agree more with the delegate from the United Kingdom that the Resolution which is attached to this report needs to be redrafted to reflect back that what Council intends to do is not ignore it but try to call the Conference to amend the Resolution. If members understand it in this way, I pray any action we take here will not set back this noble effort of the Director-General in answer to a needy problem.

B. de AZEVEDO BRITO (Brazil): Again on this item the Group of 77 has already given its basic position in favour of the proposal to establish a trust fund of $20 million to finance programmes and activities to reduce harvest and post-harvest losses with an input of $10 million from the Suspense Account.

I would like, however, as the Brazilian delegate, to elaborate again on this proposal, since we believe that this is a very important area of activity for FAO. In fact, as previous speakers have indicated, action by FAO in trying to reduce harvest and post-harvest losses is a direct response to a call by the World Food Conference and by the 7th Special Session of the General Assembly. This is a point made clear by previous speakers.

In fact, we believe this is part of the response of FAO to bring about the new international economic order for agriculture in a practical and effective manner. The magnitude of the problem is made clear by one single sentence which we find in the COAG Committee Report of its Fourth Session. It says ''A 50 percent cut in post-harvest losses for cereals and coarse grains alone assuming a conservative ..." - I stress the word "conservative" - ''... estimate of a 10 per cent loss would mean savings of 40 million tons of cereals or half the projected imports of developing countries by 1985." That makes quite clear what we are trying to do in favour of the millions of people who live in the developing world and do not yet have adequate food and nutrition.

We believe the urgency of the matter is clear, and in that context I must say I would not be able to concur with the suggestion made - that in 1981 we convene a conference of experts. We do believe this is something for action now, and not a conference of experts in four years' time to see what we can do.

I would like to give some comments, brief ones, on the substance of the matter. First, where do the priorities lie? My delegation would concur with the comments made by the majority of delegations in the Committee on Agriculture that activities by FAO to reduce harvest and post-harvest losses should concentrate on staple foods, on tubers and roots, but not to the exclusion of other crops such as cash crops, perishable foods, oils and fats. There are a number of very important lines of production in developing countries which also deserve attention in the activities of FAO that tackle these specific problems.

Also speaking of priorities, we would agree with speakers who have indicated that there must first be an emphasis on research. I would agree with, I think it was my colleague from Canada who spoke about the importance of research on tropical questions and tropical products. The knowledge of the prevention of harvest losses for crops of temperate zones, is much more diffused. When we come to tropical products and equatorial products the situation is slightly different. We believe it is necessary and appropriate to have more emphasis on the support of research here.

On this point, I would also agree with our colleague from the People's Republic of China when he calls attention to the need for developing adequate technology and making use of the actual knowledge of the farmer in the field. We must take this point into account. We believe that in conducting these activities, emphasis on training is also important. In this area, we also often lack overall management capacity. To plan an overall operation to prevent harvest losses, the management aspect is in our view important.

Finally, some comments on who should be the beneficiaries of such activities of FAO. Of course, we realize that the food deficient countries have a priority, but this is an area in which every developing country needs assistance in the sense that each of us needs to take a step forward and reduce our losses to improve the availability of food and other crops.

On the conceptual approach to this problem, I should like to make another point in light of the Brazilian experience. We try to see this question in a rather comprehensive and integrated way. It is not only a question - and this is an important point to our way thinking - of better utilization of harvesting equipment, for instance. It is not only a question of an improvement in rodent and pest control. It is not only a question of improving storage facilities. We also have to see that there is economy in transportation. There are many ways in which transport can be made economic and.efficient: there is for instance the elimination of excess water in products, which can effect great savings in the cost of transportation; there is also better use of transport equipment, which is important for developing countries; better spacing and timing of transport operations, so that one does not have the whole transport operation at the peak of the harvest; and savings to avoid losses in the marketing process. I also fully agree with the delegate of India about the processing of the original product. Both in marketing and in processing considerable losses can be cut.

Finally, on what I would call an integrated approach to the problem, we cannot conceive of a policy of reducing harvest losses and post-harvest losses independently from our policies of credit for production. These policies must also be seen in the context of making the maximum use of what is going to be produced. I make these comments in order to emphasize the integrated approach which I am quite sure FAO will keep in developing activities in this field.

As to the actual proposals before us, my delegation fully supports a greater emphasis within the regular Budget for activities to reduce and prevent harvest and post-harvest losses. As I said before, we also fully support the proposal to establish a special fund for that purpose. We concur with the idea of having an initial $10 million input from the suspense account of the current biennium for that fund. A remark was made that we must respect good financial practices; but we must first examine what are really good financial practices. In our opinion - and it is an opinion which is consistently defined in different fora of the United Nations system - the actual test whether resources within a Regular Budget should be used or not, is the acknowledgement by the international community that action in this particular field is important. If it is important, then it should be financed at least in part of the basis of the regular Budget. I will give you an example, an example which we have repeated many times, namely the environment. When we established the environment fund developing countries also made it quite clear that activities would continue to be financed by the regular budget of each agency in the system and

this practice goes on. Here, as many delegates have said, we have a crucial activity, that of increasing the availability of food in the developing countries. What we do can have a very significant impact. If that is the case there is no reason, why resources within the regular Budget should not at least in part try to cover the needs of these specific activities.

Those are the comments I should like to make at this stage. I reserve my right, of course, to speak on details later on if the Council gets into a more detailed discussion.

E. HRAOUI (Liban) (interprétation de l'arabe): La délégation de mon pays, après avoir étudié le rapport du Comité de l'agriculture et du Comité du Programme, ainsi que celui du Comité des finances, appuie la proposition tendant à renforcer les activités de la FAO dans ce domaine et notamment dans les domaines visant à éviter les pertes pendant et après les récoltes. Ces pertes, à la suite des activités dans le domaine des récoltes, sont des pertes considérables et dans les pays en développement, elles varient entre 10 et 60 pour cent de la récolte entière. Nous pensons que la FAO a la responsabilité d'aider les pays en développement à trouver des méthodes et des moyens de spécialisation valables qui s'adaptent à l'augmentation de la production agricole et qui conviennent aux demandes des populations en matière de vivres et de produits agricoles. Cela signifie que la FAO doit absolument jouer un rôle essentiel dans le domaine de la formation des agriculteurs, spécialement en materie de techniques nouvelles, en matière de transfert des techniques, notamment dans le domaine de la commercialisation, depuis le début des opérations de la récolte jusqu'à la consommation, en passant par toutes les étapes possibles. C'est pour cette raison que nous appuyons la proposition du Directeur général visant à créer un fonds spécial pour le financement des opérations relatives à la réduction des pertes d'aliments et que l'on réserve 20 millions de dollars spécialement à ce fonds dont 10 millions de dollars vont être consolidés grâce aux économies réalisées dans le budget de l'Organisation. Nous ne pouvons pas imaginer que la FAO puisse être considérée comme une caisse d'épargne alors que la plupart des pays, et notamment les pays producteurs, ont un objectif essentiel qui consiste à faire en sorte que les récoltes dans le monde se fassent d'une façon satisfaisante et s'inquiètent également des quantités de la production agricole dans le monde. Nous pensons que l'Organisation doit participer à toutes ces activités. L'Organisation doit être un instrument de développement; elle doit consacrer toutes ses ressources et elle doit profiter de toutes ses possiblités pour remplir la mission pour laquelle elle a été créée, c'est-à-dire la réalisation du bien-être et la réalisation d'une production suffisante de produits alimentaires pour les populations du monde et elle doit contribuer également à l'établissement d'un nouvel ordre économique international basé sur la justice. La délégation de mon pays appuie ce qui a été dit par le Président du Groupe des 77 à ce propos et en fin de compte, nous espérons que le budget proposé pour ce fonds spécial, c'est-à-dire 20 millions de dollars, constitue un premier pas et qu'à l'avenir on puisse l'augmenter.

S. SHAMMOOT (Jordan) (interpretation from Arabie): The problem of food losses after harvest is of considerable interest to my country and I support what was said by the various delegates speaking before me who expressed the importance of this question and the importance of the need to make serious efforts to reduce these food losses in an effort to arrive at sufficient food and food of better quality throughout the world. This proposal is considered to be working in the field and is one to which we must give our utmost support. I would say that FAO should mobilize all its technical and material forces in order to implement this project and thus endorse what was said by the Director-General regarding the struggle against bureaucracy.

The implementation of this project obviously calls for financial backing and if we were satisfied just with supporting this project that would not enable FAO just by our support to carry this out. For this reason my delegation is of the view that it is necessary to reserve the total of $10 million which has been saved on the Organization's budget. That amount would be the foundation stone of this scheme. This does of course mean that there is a considerable responsibility on our countries. It is important of course that this should not have any important effect on the other activities of the organization, but this figure is a result of economies made which we did not expect to make. I do not think that there is a single country which would envisage asking for its share of this balance to be repaid. I am sure that all the countries here would agree on the essential nature of the activities of this Organization which are activities to do with development, and not banking activities.

F. GOMEZ IRURETA (España): En primer lugar, sigo pensando que la FAO debe continuar dando prioridad a la mejora de la productividad agrícola como lo viene haciendo hasta este momento.

Parece ser que flota en el ambiente un temor a la creación de un nuevo fondo porque la experiencia nos dice que cuando algo se crea nunca desaparece. Yo quisiera ser optimista en este sentido y si el Fondo es válido pues puede continuar, y si no es válido pues podría desaparecer.

Tengo un cierto temor a dispersar esfuerzos. Se ha hablado de antes de la cosecha, en la cosecha, después de la cosecha, todo tipo de cultivos, etc. Yo sería más prudente; dado que la financiación es escasa seleccionaría aquellos países que sufren estos deterioros, me he quedado sorprendido que estén situados entre un 10 y un 20 por ciento, lo desconocía, en cereales, y que más necesidades alimentarias tiene. Por otra parte, dejaría para un próximo futuro otros productos más perecederos que requieren una tecnología mucho más sofisticada que la conservación de cereales y directamente atacaría el problema del almacenamiento y distribución de los cereales, pérdidas que se pueden producir en estas fases, pero concretándome a los cereales.

En cuanto a los tubérculos son importantes, pero pienso también que como perecederos tienen sofistica-ción de conservación bastante alta: frío, ambiente climatizado, etc., y haría una prueba piloto con ciertos países para ver si se resolvía satisfactoriamente el problema de reducir las pérdidas en cereales. Es una cuestión de seleccionar, tanto en países como en el grupo de cereales y de que la FAO se encargase de ver los resultados prácticos que se obtienen de este programa a corto plazo mediante un seguimiento y evaluación adecuada, dado que hablo a corto plazo porque el tiempo no es precisamente un bien que pueda malgastarse en los momentos en que vivimos.

En cuanto a la creación del Fondo yo, desde luego, no espero, creo que represento el sentir de mi país, obtener dividendos de esta Organización, como creo que ha dicho algún distinguido Delegado últimamente, el de Jordania; si es un ahorro que ha realizado la Organización bien vale la pena emplearlo en este complemento del aumento de la producción mundial de alimentos, complemento que es reducir pérdidas, es de sentido común. Sin embargo, si hubiera que hacer aportaciones adicionales a este ahorro no tengo en este momento información suficiente sobre la cuota que me tocaría, o que tocaría a mi país y no tengo tampoco instrucciones para poder asumir esta responsabilidad.

EL PRESIDENTE: Señores, hemos sobrepasado ligeramente las 5.30 que es el horario preciso. Tengo todavía 11 oradores en mi lista. Esto significa claramente que no será posible terminar esta tarde el tema que estamos discutiendo. Por lo tanto voy en primer lugar a leer la lista de los oradores para mañana: Japón, Libia, la Rep. Fed. de Alemania, Filipinas, México, Sudan, Italia, Nueva Zelandia, Bangladesh, los distinguidos observadores de Guinea, Niger y Tailandia. Como ustedes verán se están agregando los otros oradores. El primer día, al iniciar nuestras, labores quedó pendiente del tema 2 el Comité de Redacción.

I - INTRODUCTORY - PROCEDURE OF THE SESSION (continued)
I - INTRODUCTION - QUESTIONS DE PROCEDURE (Suite)
I - INTRODUCCIÓN - CUESTIONES DE PROCEDIMIENTO (continuación)

2. Election of Two Vice-Chairmen, and Designation of Chairman and Members. of Drafting Committee (continued)
2. Election des deux Vice-Présidents, et nomination du Président et des membres du Comité de rédaction (suite)
2. Elección de dos Vicepresidentes y nombramiento del Presidente y los miembros del Comité de Redacción (continuación)

EL PRESIDENTE: Ahora, parece que han concluido las consultas y me permito proponer al Consejo los siguientes puestos para integrar el Comité de Redacción: Bangladesh, Brasil, Estados Unidos, Francia, Gabon, Nueva Zelandia y Pakistán. Como decidimos el lunes, este Comité será presidido por el distinguido señor delegado de Gambia.

I. OROZCO (México): Me parece que en la lista de miembros que compondría este Comité de Redacción se está omitiendo en forma evidente a delegaciones de habla hispana que forman este Consejo. Desearía entonces al hacerle esta indicación que al llevar a cabo las consultas adecuadas hubieran sido incluidos dos miembros de habla hispana, lo cual podríamos solucionar al final de esta sesión.

, J.C. VIGNAUD (Argentina): Observo con satisfacción que las personas que han efectuado las consultas para integrar el Comité de Redacción han tenido el buen tino de seleccionar de la delegación representada por eminentes delegados que estoy seguro que van a cumplir con el pesado trabajo que requiere el Comité de Redacción con gran eficiencia. Sin embargo, deseo adherirme a la observación que ha formulado el delegado de México en el sentido de que como delegación de un país de habla hispana que, conforme con el artículo 41 del Reglamento General, es uno de los tres idiomas de trabajo de la Organización, me cuesta mucho poder acordar con la constitución que usted nos ha propuesto, particularmente porque siendo Argentina coordinador del Grupo Latinoamericano, al menos desde la iniciación de este Consejo no ha sido consultada.

Yo mismo, he ido a hablar con el Sr. Tedesco, que creo que hizo las consultas, a efecto de preguntarle cómo se integraba la delegación. El me dio alguna información pero en su momento no fui consultado. Por tanto yo desearía que conste en el informe esta reserva en el sentido de que es de mala práctica quizás que en los comités de redacción no estén representados los países que hablan los tres idiomas, que, conforme con el Reglamento General, son los idiomas de trabajo de la Organización.

Quizá usted esté en condiciones de resolver esta dificultad porque entiendo que el Comité no se va a reunir inmediatamente; quizás haya un tiempo adicional para revisar esta decisión.

EL PRESIDENTE: Tengo dos oradores en mi lista y yo espero que no vamos a hacer un largo debate a estas alturas. Procuraré dar solución rapidamente a esta cuestión.

G. ESCARDO PEINADOR (España): Yo quisiera adherirme a lo que acaban de manifestar los delegados de México y la Argentina. Es que, aparte de las razones reglamentarias que acaba de decir la Argentina, encuentro que hay una razón además de tipo práctico. Usted sabe que cuando llegamos al final de la discusión del informe se pierde tanto tiempo por la mala redacción en algunas de las lenguas. Es lógico que si no hay un representante de lengua española se pierdan muchas horas en estar pidiendo aclaraciones en la lengua española.

Por lo tanto, no solamente me adhiero a elio, sino que me atreverla a proponer que se incluyese por lo menos en el Comité de Redacción al delegado mexicano que ha comenzado por hacer esa manifestación.

H. ABDALLAH (Egypt) (interpretation from Arabic): I would like at the outset to point out that the delegation of Egypt does not want to be a member of this Drafting Committee. If it were offered to do so, we would of course refuse it because we are not a big delegation. However, the delegate of Mexico did raise a very important point concerning languages and representation on the Committee according to the languages of the Organization. This is a very relevant point indeed, but we also have geographical representation, namely representatives of regions, as is the case in this Organization. I do not think the Near East is being represented here in this Committee, either linguistically or geographically. As we know, drafting committees as a rule take due account of participation of the different delegations in relation with specific items. For example, the fund for reducing food losses; there are different viewpoints in this Council. Some are in favour and others are against the fund for preventing losses.

I therefore think, this being the case, that we should have several viewpoints represented and we therefore need three types of representation: languages, geographical distribution and the interest of delegations in specific items. Thus, as you know, Mr. Chairman, we would have to look at the membership of this Committee again and take due account of geographical distribution as well as the membership of this Council and their views.

EL PRESIDENTE: Tengo todavía varios oradores en mi lista, pero ya los problemas que inicialmente se habían planteado han sido ahora presentados bajo otro aspecto: el de la representación geográfica. Les propongo antes de dar la palabra que aplacemos la definición de la composición del Comité de Redacción hasta el día de mañana para hacer nuevas consultas. Tengan en cuenta esta propuesta.

A. TEJAN WADDA (Gambia): I was just going to second the suggestion made by the delegate of Egypt, that the list be withdrawn and further consultations held, and a new list be presented tomorrow.

J. C. VIGNAUD (Argentina): El punto de orden, apoyando su moción es de cierre del debate y para darle a usted la posibilidad de hacer nueva consultas y no prolongar la sesión de esta tarde, volveríamos mañana sobre el tema.

B. de AZEVEDO BRITO (Brasil): Creo que mi colega y amigo de Argentina, no obstante su punto de orden, me permitirá que hable en este punto, y me parece muy importante que en el Grupo de Redacción haya personas que conozcan suficientemente bien las lenguas de la Organización y por esto propondría la inclusión de un representante de lengua árabe.

EL PRESIDENTE: Se aplaza la propuesta sobre composición del Comité de Redacción. Se levanta la sesión. Nos reuniremos de nuevo mañana a las 9.30 para seguir el orden previsto.

The meeting rose at 17.40 hours
La séance est levée à 17 h 40.
Se levanta la sesión a las 17.40 horas.



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