CHAIRMAN: We will now take the Report of the 5th Session of the Committee on Agriculture, COAG. This Report deals with the agricultural, social, economic departments and various things, nutrition and so on. It also deals with the Programme of Work and Budget Summary which was submitted by the Director-General to various committees of this Council and I would like to suggest to Council that we should not discuss those aspects of the COAG Report which deal with this Summary Programme of Work and Budget 1981. So that this particular part of their Report can be taken along with the substantive document which we shall start discussing from tomorrow afternoon. That aspect starts on page 8 of CL 75/9 of the English text so if Council will agree to this then when the Vice-Chairman of the Committee introduces he will not cover this particular aspect in any particular detail because we will come back to it. Can we adopt this procedure?
P. MASUD (Second Vice-Chairman, Committee on Agriculture): It is with great pleasure that I present to you the Report of the 5th Session of the Committee on Agriculture which was held in Rome from the 18th to the 27th April. The very large interest shown by member governments in this Committee is reflected in the fact that the Committee now has eighty-two members.
The Report is reproduced as document CL 75/9 which on pages v to viii provides a list of matters requiring the attention of this Council.
As you know the agenda of COAG consists of two major parts, the first concerned with the review of FAO's programme in the food and agriculture sector and the second with an in-depth review of a few selected development issues. Under the first group the Committee discussed three closely related items, the implementation of the Programme of Work of the coming biennium, the medium and long-term outlook for agriculture development and the substantive aspects of the Summary Programme of Work and Budget for 1980/81 relating to the areas falling within the competence of the Committee. The views of the Committee on these items and its recommendations are outlined in detail in the summary which is in front of you. You will note that the Committee stressed the continuing importance of the special action programmes such as the International Fertilizer Supply Scheme, the Seed Improvement and Development Scheme, the Dairy and Meat Schemes and the Scheme for Agricultural Credit Development. It also supported the proposed programme for the control of African trypanosomiasis and related rural development.
Regarding the special account for the action programme on food losses the Committee noted with special concern that funds available in the special account were insufficient to finance all the project requests received and urged that further contributions be made to the special account to meet the target set by the 19th Session of the FAO Conference and to ensure a continuing activity in this field.
The Committee also urged FAO to intensify its efforts in favour of rural development for which a major impetus can be expected from the forthcoming Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development.
The Committee gave major attention to the review of the appropriate sections of the Organization's Summary Programme of Work and Budget for 1980-81 covering the main activities and priorities of the Agriculture and Economic and Social Departments as well as regional offices and joint ventures.
The Committee commended the quality of the background paper and appreciated the greater depth and detail given for each programme in Major Programme 2.1 Agriculture and its usefulness in providing a perspective of the overall programme on agriculture.
In its general assessment the Committee stressed that the Programme's proposals'were fully in line with the strategies required by the world situation, FAO's role, the overall policy orientation of the Organization and the generally agreed priorities. It is for the Council to take into account the views graphs 65 to 93 of the Report. priorities established, as indicated in para-
In commenting on this part the Council may also wish to take into account the observations and recommendations of the Thirty-Sixth Session of the Programme Committee contained in paragraphs 2.17 to 2.73 of its report contained in document CL 75/4.
The Committee gave considerable attention to the item on nutrition in agricultural and rural development, which was placed on its agenda on the recommendation of the Seventy-Fourth Session of the Council. The discussion on this important item is reflected in paragraphs 94 to 113, and I wish to refer only to its main recommendations: (i) The approach outlined in the background document be supported; (ii) Member Nations should consider nutrition objectives in planning formulation and assessment of agricultural and rural development programmes and projects; (iii) Member Nations should participate in testing the proposed provisional guidelines for the introduction of nutritional considerations into agricultural and rural development programmes and projects; (iv) FAO should strengthen the coordinating mechanism within the Organization to enhance the effectiveness of institutional support to Member Nations; and (v) Food and nutrition be a standing item on the agenda of each COAG session.
In order to reflect the inclusion of nutrition among the areas to be covered by the Committee, COAG proposed amendments to Rule XXXII of the General Rules of the Organization and suggested that the Council might wish to refer to the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters the proposed amendments to this Rule. This item was also discussed by the Programme Committee at its Thirty-Sixth Session, which welcomed and fully supported the recommendation of the Committee on Agriculture that nutrition should become a standing item on the agenda of its Session and that Rule XXXII paragraph 6 of the General rules of the Organization be amended to include Nutrition in its Mandate.
The views of the Programme Committee are given in document CL 75/4 paragraphs 2.178 to 2.180. The Committee recognized that this, supplemented by the participation of FAO in the ACC sub-Committee on Nutrition and by expert consultations on particular nutrition issues, would provide FAO with the integrated mechanisms required to deal with nutrition.
The Committee on the basis of the excellent background papers had a very thorough and deep discussion on two selected development problems, the first relating to on-farm use of water and the second to agricultural mechanization and its effect on employment and income distribution. Regarding the first item, the Committee supported the priority given to rehabilitation and the improvement of irrigation schemes and for farm water management and approved the programme endorsed by FAO.
With regard to the recommendation, the Committee emphasized the need to give further attention to the small farmer and agreed with the presentation of model projects which provide examples of the way in which external assistance could contribute to the solution of problems relating to agricultural mechanization in developing countries.
The main issue under "Other Matters" concerned the revision of the International Plant Protection Convention. In order to ensure an adequate review the Committee set up an Ad Hoc Consultative Group to report to the Committee on proposed modifications of the revised text which had been submitted to the Nineteenth Session of the Conference in 1977 in order to ensure the widest possible acceptability of the Convention.
You will note that in paragraph 148 of its Report the Committee on Agriculture recommends that the Council submit to the Twentieth Session of the Conference the modified version of the revised text adopted by the Ad Hoc Consultative Group, which has been reproduced as Appendix F to document CL 75/9.
I also wish to refer to the Provisional Agenda for the next Session. The Committee considered a number of possible topics, listed in paragraph 150, but gave their support to the four items outlined in paragraph 151. As food and nutrition will be a standing item on the Committee's agenda in future sessions it will not be possible to select more than two or maybe three for the agenda of the Sixth Session and any comments by Council members on this subject would facilitate the final selection of the subjects.
As a last point I wish to mention that the Committee also reviewed its method of work in the light of the experience at its Fifth Session. It concluded that it was desirable, firstly, to maintain a balance between the general review of FAO's Programe of Work in the food and agricultural sector and in-depth discussion of selected items; secondly, to carry out in-depth discussion of selected items in areas falling within its terms of reference; thirdly, to improve further the layout and format of the documents relating to the implementation of the current programme of work, medium and long-term outlook and summary programme of work and budget, to facilitate the comparison of facts and figures.
I also wish to add that a number of Members suggested that the Committee should receive a progress report on follow-up to its recommendations made at the previous Session.
In conclusion I wish to say that I agree with the assessment made by the Director-General in his opening address to the Council, that the Fifth Session of the Committee on Agriculture was the most fruitful so far. Its review and recommendations should have a significant impact in shaping and carrying out the programme of work in the next biennium and beyond in the important sector of food, nutrition and agriculture.
I am sorry that this has been a somewhat lengthy introduction but the meeting went on for nearly two weeks, therefore I hope you will not mind. I hope that these brief remarks will assist the Council in discussing the items requiring its attention.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr. Masud, for that clear introduction of the Report of the Committee on Agriculture. We also have with us Dr. Bommer, Assistant Director-General of the Agriculture Department, and his colleagues, to reply to detailed questions, also Dr. Islam of the Economic and Social Policy Department. So we have all the experts here. The Report is now open for discussion.
V.S. BLANCO DELGADO (México) : Agradecemos a la Secretarla la presentación del documento CL 75/9. Lo hemos analizado debidamente dentro del contexto del marco programático de la FAO. Agradecemos asimismo la pronta presentación del''documento CL 75/4, que también sirve de base para las discusiones de este punto de la Agenda. Los grandes esfuerzos que en estos momentos se están llevando a cabo en los organismos internacionales, permiten apreciar la importante posición de la FAO como principal Agencia ejecutora y promotora de los programas agrícolas y de desarrollo rural en los paises en vías de desarrollo por la misma naturaleza de los problemas que nos afectan.
Es necesario considerar que esta importancia deberá ser acompañada de mayores responsabilidades y capacidades dentro de la Tercera Década de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo, en el cual los contrastes de las sociedades rurales de los países nuestros con aquellos de los países desarrollados, será una difícil prueba para la incrementación del marco conceptual del Nuevo Orden Económico Internacional.
Las responsabilidades de la FAO y su preponderancia serán llevadas a cabo por los órganos rectores con mayor facilidad si la FAO, en cooperación con los Estados Miembros, desarrolla un eficiente flujo de información sobre sus acciones y mediante el conocimiento de la evaluación, control, vigilancia y seguimiento que permita a éstos valorar la participación, colaboración e impacto de la Organización y sus programas para que, con base en ellos reorientarlos cuando corresponda, tal como ha sido registrado en el Informe de la Conferencia Regional de FAO para América Latina.
Las actividades encaminadas a la solución de los principales problemas de producción agrícola, en las regiones, donde la disponibilidad de la energía alimentaria no alcanza a satisfacer los requerimientos mínimos necesarios para un desarrollo pleno de sus habitantes, entre las que se consideran, principalmente, la determinación del potencial agrícola y la cuantía de los recursos de tierra y agua; es una acción que deberá reforzarse para hacer más efectiva la colaboración de la Organización en nuestras regiones.
Asimismo, y con la debida consideración en torno al impacto ecológioo, y a la par de la ampliación de la frontera agrícola debe asegurarse un mayor aprovechamiento de las tierras ahora cultivadas en esas regiones.
En este contexto y con la adecuada utilización de las tecnologías modernas, el programa de teleper-cepoión de la FAO, debe recibir alta prioridad, dado que, entre otras cosas, resulta de singular utilidad para la determinación de las zonas agroecológicas destinadas a la produooión de productos básicos de consumo para los mercados locales.
Al respecto, estimamos que la FAO no debe restarle importancia al estudio y aprovechamiento de productos como el maíz, trigo, mijo, yuca y diversos tubérculos que tradicionalmente han ocupado un sitio importante en la dieta de los pueblos y que han sido sustituidos por hábitos no nacionales de consumo.
Por la importancia que reviste el ataque de enfermedades animales, aceptamos totalmente las conclusiones del Comité cuando se refiere al caso de la fiebre poroina africana, que en fechas recientes ha amenazado con extenderse en América Latina. Siguiendo las directrices elaboradas con la asistencia de la FAO, México ha desplegado un singular esfuerzo para impedir su presencia en nuestro territorio! sin embargo, no cesa nuestra preocupación. Por otra parte, subrayamos la conclusión del Comité de Agricultura, en el sentido de promover intensamente el diseño, establecimiento y operación de grandes unidades pecuarias que obtengan los beneficios de la especialización y las economías de escala, as£ como las ventajas que reportan las formas asociativas de producción integradas. Insistir en aquellas prácticas que atomizan los procesos, como en la individual atención a pequeños productores aislados, resulta poco recomendable y antieconómi co.
Aceptamos las conclusiones del Comité de Agricultura en los puntos referentes a la nutrición, haciendo hincapié en la importancia de que se vigile la contaminación de los alimentos. La nutrición humana es uno de los mayores problemas que se han de resolver, y bajo este marco se deberá incluir el velar por la salud y el mayor desempeño de los habitantes de nuestros países, a quienes deberá dárseles también alimentos sanos. Así, de este modo, la vigilancia de la contaminación de los alimentos adquiere una singular importancia, porque partiendo de la insuficiencia le agregamos el estar contaminados.
Nos complace observar la altísima prioridad que el Comité le atribuyó al Desarrollo Rural, lo cual consideramos como una clara indicación de la disposición de la Comunidad Internacional para considerar en su magnitud el principio de que todo ser humano debe tener derecho al desarrollo y sus beneficios, haciéndose manifiesto, asimismo, ante los Organos Rectores de esta Institución la responsabilidad para que se aumenten los esfuerzos encaminados a resolverlo en el marco de la justicia social, la instauración del Nuevo Orden Económico Internacional y la aplicaoión íntegra de la Carta de los Derechos y Deberes Económicos de los Estados.
Reafirmamos el apoyo de nuestro Gobierno a las actividades internacionales encaminadas a la búsqueda de una sociedad más justa en la que se puedan conjugar la tecnología moderna y el aprovechamiento cada vez más adecuado de los recursos naturales en forma soberana y responsable y el trabajo con la más amplia participación de los productores de nuestros países. Siendo la reforma agraria condición previa al desarrollo rural, ambos deben ser considerados inseparables en la preparación de las condiciones apropiadas para el desarrollo integral.
A nadie escapa que es la FAO, dentro de las Organizaciones del Sistema de las Naoiones Unidas, la que debe incorporar cuanto antes dentro de sus proyectos, programas y políticas, los valiosos conceptos que esperamos contribuya la Declaración de Principios y el Programa de Acción para que, inmediatamente, se transformen en actividades efectivas a nivel nacional e internacional.
A.J. PECKHAM (United Kingdom): It is a pleasure, if I may say so, to follow so soon after Mr. Masud's comprehensive and helpful introduction to this Report of the Committee on Agriculture. I think it is probably one of the most basic committees there are in FAO's work, and - I stand subject to correction - one of the oldest, if not the oldest. However, it is a pleausre to follow Mr. Masud's introduction because he has led us, I think, very well through the Report, and I have only a very few comments on the Report, if I may.
In fact, my first comment is that I would like to move that we endorse the Report of the Fifth Session of the Committee on Agriculture. I think sometimes we miss the obvious; I think that is the obvious thing to do. It is a very good Report.
Secondly, I would like to record our view, also, that the meeting was a very successful one. As Mr. Masud said, it was very well attended and it addressed itself to some important questions. I think perhaps the strength of this Committee is that it stems from the attention which it gives to technical analysis and discussion, and we for our part would very strongly support the concentration on such specialist subjects. Also, in accepting that COAG is the appropriate body to discuss nutrition's place in FAO's programme, we agree that food and nutrition should be a standing item of future sessions of COAG, and we can fully accept that the terms of reference be amended accordingly.
As Mr. Masud has reminded us, the Committee carries out its functions in two ways. One is its traditional review of FAO's work in food and agriculture, and secondly, the in-depth examination of certain selected issues. I think it is a very good balance, and I think one reason for the success of this Committee is that it attempts to do this.
On the review of FAO's traditional functions, that is to say, the three points which Mr. Masud identified: the implementation of the current Programme, the medium- and long-term outlook, and the Programme of Work and Budget, I am happy to say that FAO's medium- and long-term outlook for agricultural development received general support in the Committee, and attention was also drawn to the difficulties in the way of progress in this field. It is very important that we face openly the problems in going forward.
As regards the Programme of Work and Budget for 1980-81, the Committee considered only the substantive and technical aspects of the Programme. It did not comment in any way on the budget level. I think that where the Committee endorsed the various elements of the proposed Programme, it was interesting that it laid stress particularly on crop and livestock development. I think again sometimes we miss the obvious, but I would like to make those points.
Now, with regard to the second group of items identified in the Committee's work, the in-depth study of specialist subjects, they were the on-farm use of water, the place of nutrition in agriculture and rural development, and agricultural mechanization. I am bound to say on the first of these, that is, the on-farm use of water, the debate was rather disappointing. Again I think we have to face the fact that when there is a disappointing outcome, we face that, and it is probably due to the lack of expertise around the table at COAG, but in comparison with that, I thought the debate on nutrition was extremely good. There was a considerable level of agreement, and whenever we find means of agreeing, let us for heaven's sake make that clear. I think the more we can agree on things the better.
There was general agreement on the important subject of nutrition, and as I have said before, its inclusion in COAG's future terms of reference.
But I think the other point to stress on nutrition was also the general agreement that it should be seen as part of a very complex process of development and its relationship to the general question of food production and consumption, and I think there is a need for the nutritional aspect of agricultural programmes from time to time to be evaluated.
On the third and final specialist subject which COAG addressed itself to, namely agricultural mechanization, I think possibly, much to my surprise, this attracted the most attention to all. Differing views were expressed on the value of mechanization. I think it is a very good thing occasionally when different views are expressed, because what this brought out was that the importance of mechanization is that it is simply one of the inputs in improving agricultural production, and one needs to stress the need for careful planning to ensure that the appropriate combination of human, animal and mechanized power is brought to bear on any special situation in a particular country. I think that it was very interesting to see this outcome. It is not a black and white situation, it is very important that one gets the right balance, as I say, between the human, the animal and the mechanized power, but finally, what also was of interest was that the whole thing must be seen within the general context of the particular country's national development objectives.
CHAIRMAN: I thank the delegate of the United Kingdom. You mention the age of the Committee. You thought it was probably one of the oldest. In fact, it is not. Well, as you can see, this is its fifth meeting, and I remember I was the Chairman of the first meeting of the Committee, and we started off with a great deal of confusion, but I am glad to see the Committee has really settled down and is now playing such a wonderful role.
C.S. RANGACHARI (India): May I begin by saying that I entirely agree with the United Kingdom when he said that the work done by the Fifth Session of the Committee on Agriculture has been extremely productive and possibly, as Mr. Masud pointed out in his introduction, it has been the most fruitful session of this Committee so far.
India generally endorses the recommendations of the Fifth Session of the Committee on Agriculture, but in doing so would like to make certain specific comments by way of supplementing the findings contained in this Report in respect of three specific areas. One of these is the prevention of food losses and the FAO Action Programme in that regard which has been referred to in paragraph 45 of the Report. The second specific area on which India would like to comment specifically is that of on-farm use of water, which has been referred to in paragraph 116 of the Report, and the third specific area is agricultural mechanization, which has been dealt with extensively in paragraphs 132 to 146.
On the Action Programme for prevention of food losses, India would like to point out that this is an extremely important programme and would therefore like to emphatically go on record that this Programme should receive even greater financial support. In our view, food losses should be viewed not merely in quantitative terms but also in qualitative terms from the point of view of the occurrence of mycotoxins in grains. For this purpose, this delegation would suggest that community drying facilities be created to assist particularly the small and marginal farmers in reducing the moisture content of grains before storage. It would be extremely useful if FAO initiates a programme of establishing demonstration and training centres in the area of improved post-harvest technology in developing countries. These training centres should pay particular attention to the training of women, since in many developing countries, post-harvest operations are by and large handled by rural women.
As regards the on-farm use of water, again India would like to emphasize that this is a very important programme, and I am inclined to agree with the view of the United Kingdom that this area did not perhaps receive satisfactory attention at the Fifth Session of the Committee on Agriculture. As India has been emphasizing, an important aspect of world food security should be greater attention to irrigation and the effective use of water. One of the constraints in the effective utilisation of ground and surface water is the inadequate availability of energy for pumping water either through tubewells or surface and lift irrigation pumps. In this connexion, FAO should carefully review the present status of utilization of solar energy for pumping water. A paper on this subject could be prepared and presented at the general Conference in November. Also FAO could, we suggest, at suitable locations start demonstration-cum-cefttres where all the available models of solar pumps could be tested and demonstrated. Although solar pumps may not yet be economical, in our view it is important to pave the way so that in a few years' time when suitable models become available the people of the area will be ready to use them effectively.
The third specific area on which the Indian delegation would like to make comments is agricultural mechanization. The Indian delegation supports the view that the aim of mechanization must not be labour displacement but labour's diversification and improvement of the efficiency of conversion of human energy. In addition to the suggestions made by COAG, the Indian delegation would like to suggest that FAO should initiate a systematic study of the kinds of implements and tools which are at present utilized by rural women, and help to improve them.
It is also necessary that techniques like minimum tillage, or no tillage, are tested and demonstrated widely, both to reduce the use of non-renewable forms of energy and for prevention of soil erosion. In fact many developing countries, particularly in the Sahelian zone of Africa, already practise no-tillage method of cultivation.
Instead of trying to change this practice, what is important is to introduce appropriate methods of weed control which will help the farmers to get good crops. Steps should be taken to ensure that the pathway of productivity improvement does not lead to an exponential increase in the consumption of renewable forms of energy.
We emphasize this since, as was so eloquently brought out by the Director-General in his opening statement on Monday, food and energy are going to be the most dominant concerns of the third development decade.
I. MOSKOVITS (Malta): I was prepared just to make the same remarks at the beginning but you have taken them from my mouth. I am pleased you are now in the chair for the discussion of the Committee on Agriculture, as I remember during the first discussion of the Committee when we had a lot of difficulties, and you as chairman in particular had great difficulty in overcoming them. Now I am very pleased you are here, as no-one else could appreciate or know better the progress that has been achieved during these five sessions.
This delegation was privileged to attend the Fifth Session of the Council Committee on Agriculture. We were very pleased to see that after the considerable hesitations during the first year of existence COAG is now on the right track to becoming a very valuable advisory body of the Council. It is indeed a unique position. It deals with a large part of FAO's past, present and future work - and a fact which cannot be stressed enough - purely on technical merits it is not hampered with financial considerations.
The technical officers of member governments gathered in this body express their frank opinion on the desirability that FAO's technical programme discussion should be maintained, expanded and strengthened, and whether new fields of work should be included in the programme of work of the Organization. Then it is up to the Director-General to make his proposals to the Council to examine COAG's recommendations and evaluate the financial and perhaps even the policy implications. This is a particular privilege granted to COAG.
We think that much, and possibly even more, use should be made of it. With some small organizational matters, COAG's work can be considerably enhanced.
We wish to explain our ideas in this respect a little bit more. To our mind, practically the work of COAG's sessions can be divided, not as Mr. Masud just suggested, into not two but three parts. During the first part it deals with FAO's work in fields of competence in three sections: one, the implementation of the current programme of work; two, the medium and long-term outlook for agricultural development; and three, a summary programme of work for the forthcoming biennium.
There are rightly three different working papers on each of these three sections. However, certain trouble and confusion starts in the discussion when each working paper has to be debated separately. Along the same pattern, namely the pattern which is used in FAO's Programme of Work it is evident that both the discussions and the resulting report will have a lot of overlappings and confusing repetition; and last but not least, a lot of time is wasted in the discussions.
We are wondering whether this procedure could not be rationalized. Would it not be better if certain improvements could be made, perhaps of the working papers and the following discussions, as has been pointed out during the meeting by the delegation of Canada, to improve the format of the working papers. We think it would perhaps be better to deliver the three papers together, then to discuss them, subject matter by subject matter, indicating the achievements that justified their continuation, and eventually, in the light of the needs and requirements, new activities.
This delegation also feels that the work of COAG is covered in the working papers, but the discussions are not as complete as they should be. They are limited to the work of agriculture and the economic and social policies, at present. Only by the terms of reference, COAG is much wider and covers a lot of other schemes of the work in other parts of the Organization. To mention only a few, we feel the work which has been carried out by regional offices is not sufficiently covered. The important work which has been carried out in the European Regional Office on Research Networks has only been incidentally mentioned, and not discussed at all. There was only very scarce information in the papers and the discussions of the field work of FAO.
This delegation asks you, Mr. Chairman, and the Council that these general remarks should not be interpreted as criticism but merely suggestions to enhance the working efficiency of COAG which to our mind is an extremely valuable and important committee. We do not pretend our proposals are the best ones, nor in any way do we attach any particular importance to the value of our suggestions. Perhaps this is more a discussion, and there would be much better suggestions and solutions to the same effect.
At this juncture we do not wish to analyse this third part of COAG's session according to the decisions which we have just taken and on which we will have ample opportunity to come back later when the item on the agenda will be discussed in the Programme of Work and Budget. We wish only to add to the general remarks an additional one, that we feel it is a pity that in the preparation of the documentation and the agenda, COAG's character as a static organ of FAO whose work is continuous, was not taken fully into account. A progress report on the follow-up given to the delivery of the resolutions of this last session was lacking, as well as FAO's judgments expressed on the work of the Committee by other and even higher organs of the Organization.
Let me now come to the work on the second part of COAG's section. This is devoted, as mentioned by Mr. Masud, to special development problems with the obvious aim of examining them with the future action in the work of the Organization in mind. This time the second part of COAG was devoted to three problems dealing with questions of nutrition and farm use of water, agricultural organizations and their effect on implement distribution, in particular in developing countries. The debates on these issues were useful, interesting and straightforward. We agree with COAG's conclusions on the last mentioned subject matter and we were particularly interested in the item on farm use of water which is of particular importance to Malta. The working paper was concise, perhaps even too concise. Certain important items such as ground water, energy saving, rainwater management, supplementary irrigation, irrigation equipment and land preparation for the prevention of soil erosion were not dealt with at all or were only touched upon slightly. The discussion on this topic therefore, to our mind, did not bring out important new elements for a new orientation of FAO's work not for influencing governments' policies. The Committee generally agreed that the farmer should be involved in project planning, operation, and in all aspects of water management, and that to this end the training of farmers is essential. Governments were requested to support the farmers in improving technologies for irrigation and drainage, to encourage the setting up of specialized farmers' associations and irrigation associations. It was stressed that agricultural water use must be planned in an overall frame of water development to give it its rightful place in the competition with other users such as domestic and industrial needs. COAG stressed that national actions for rehabilitation and improvement schemes for old irrigation systems should be promoted, possibly with FAO technical assistance. No formal recommendation on this topic was formulated concerning FAO's future activities in this field.
The other special development problems included "Agricultural mechanization in relation to production employment and income distribution in developing countries." The Secretariat prepared an interesting paper on this item to serve as a basis for the discussion. It had to be recognized, however, that there was a lack of basic and in particular statistical, economic and social information in developing countries on this matter. Hence, the paper and the interesting discussions which followed could not really cover the influence of mechanization, employment and income distribution, but concentrated mainly on the role of the different forms of mechanization - from hand tools, animal-driven to mechanical power equipment - and dwelt on the advantages of mechanization, on the timeliness and speed in performing operations.
The importance of farm machinery in agricultural development was fully recognized at COAG but it was pointed out that the inputs - in particular these using petroleum - increased the dependence and vulnerability of farmers due to increasing petroleum prices and possible disruptions in supply. Several delegations called for greater use of agriculture-based energy sources and crop residues as well as other alternative energy sources such as water, solar and wind energy.
The Committee stressed that in order to obtain the benefit from mechanical power, it is necessary that extension advice, fertilizers, improved seeds and credit be available. Infrastructural and institutional support is also essential, and in particular adequate supplies of spare parts, facilities for maintenance and repair, communication and credit arrangements.
The United Kingdom delegation declared that it was prepared to conduct, in cooperation with FAO, a seminar on the organization of spares services. The offer has been accepted with interest by many delegations. It was stressed that there was also a need for the training of operators, mechanics and - last but not least - also of the farmers. FAO was requested to organize such training centres; several delegates offered to make available facilities, personnel and other resources to assist FAO in its efforts.
The debate also stressed the financial implications for mechanization, the necessary credit facilities and foreign exchange availabilities. It was pointed out that the initial investment is only a part of the total investment required. Some delegates also noted that forms and conditions of financial assistance have sometimes resulted in the introduction of inappropriate mechanization.
Of particular interest was the third Special Development Problem, "Nutrition in Agriculture." It was placed before COAG as a follow-up of Resolution 8/77 of the last Session of the Conference, which requested the Director-General to review the FAO programmes on nutrition in order to assess their impact on the nutritional status of the rural and urban poor, and to suggest methods so that nutritional considerations - in addition to the economic point of view - are adequately included in the planning and execution of FAO's agricultural programmes and projects. Indeed, since the adoption of this Resolution, a complete reorientation has taken place in FAO's nutrition activities. While during a former period the Nutrition Division concentrated most of its efforts on theoretical nutrition problems of a general nature, the programme became, over the last few years, more country-focused and practical. A number of commissions assessed the nutritional status and the particular needs of different Member Countries with the aim of advising the respective governments on how to include nutritional considerations in their agricultural planning. This new orientation of FAO's work corresponds to the aims and expectations for which FAO was created. Nutrition is indeed an integral part of development. The solution of nutrition problems has to be found primarily in the adequate orientation of economic and rural development.
We therefore support the FAO approach as proposed in document COAG 79/6, "Nutrition in agriculture and rural development" which was placed before the COAG session and which outlines a methodology to assess the impact on food consumption and on the nutrition status of populations that can be expected from development programmes, particularly in the agricultural field.
Malta hopes that it can count on the cooperation of FAO specialistis to lay the ground of a national food and nutrition policy based on the assessment of the present situation and on the analysis of the contributions that the sectors of food trade, production and storage distribution, marketing and processing, promotion and education, can make to solving the problem of the people of the island.
We had the impression during the COAG session that a number of governments were willing to undertake the same essential exercise, by themselves or in cooperation with the FAO Secretariat, and in particular the Nutrition Division. We hope the Nutrition Division will be sufficiently equipped and financed to respond to all the requests for assistance generated by the strong support given to the nutritional approach proposed to FAO by the Committee on Agriculture. At the end of its discussions COAG adopted a formal recommendation concerning the implementation of Conference Resolution 8/77. My delegation accepts the terms of this recommendation and hopes that it will be carried out. It gives its consensus that nutrition should be included in COAG's terms of reference and that to this end the relative sections of Rule XXXII of the General Rules of the Organization be amended.
Finally, we also agree that in this context the Ad Hoc Committee on Nutrition should be dissolved.
During the third part of its session, COAG was supposed to deal with its future work programme and with the lessons which it learned from the work of the present session, in particular as regards the organization and the methods of its work. Unfortunately, there was extremely limited time left to examine this problem thoroughly, and all the more so as the Committee had also to study and improve the work of an Ad Hoc Sub-Committee which it set up on the revision of the International Plant Protection Convention. It therefore seems to my delegation that in the preparation of the agenda of the future COAG sessions, the time factor should be more closely watched and perhaps it should not contain more than two Selected Development Problems in addition to the main issue which will always be FAO's working programme for the forthcoming biennium.
CHAIRMAN: I hope delegates will be able to condense their interventions in order to save time.
G. BULA HOYOS (Colombia) : La delegación de Colombia agradece la presentación clara y adecuada hecha por el Sr. Masud, Vicepresidente del COAG. Estamos de acuerdo con el colega de India al apoyar la preocupación que el COAG expresa en el párrafo 24 de su informe, sobre el hecho de que no se hayan completado los 20 millones de dólares que debían destinarse a la Cuenta Especial para reducir las pérdidas de las cosechas. Cuando en uno de los períodos anteriores del Consejo discutimos intensamente la creación de esa Cuenta Especial, habíamos entendido que aquellos países que recibieron devoluciones reintegrarían, por lo menos, esos mismos valores y aun aumentarían sus contribuciones para lograr esa meta de 20 millones.
Lamentamos que esto no haya sucedido y pedimos al Consejo que inste a los países contribuyentes a que se logre esta meta para que el Programa siga prestando asistencia a los países en desarrollo que sufren pérdidas en sus cosechas por carecer de recursos para evitarlas.
La delegación de Colombia está de acuerdo con el párrafo 28 sobre apoyo a la investigación. Con pide-ramos necesario mantener estrecha vinculación entre los programas nacionales y las instituciones regionales e internacionales de investigación para facilitar la transferencia de tecnología que pueda contribuir a aumentar los niveles de productividad.
Estamos de acuerdo también con el párrafo 37 en el sentido de que la FAO debe seguir prestando apoyo a la UNCTAD en las reuniones preparatorias para concertar acuerdos internacionales sobre productos agrícolas en espera de que avancen las negociaciones sobre el Programa Integrado para los Productos Básicos.
40 el párrafo 40 el Comité pone de presente la gran necesidad de alimentos que necesitarán los países en desarrollo a fines de este siglo. Esas cifras oscurecen las perspectivas a medio y largo plazo del desarrollo agrícola y alimentario, e imponen una actitud más constructiva para quienes pueden contribuir a que el porvenir sea menos angustioso. Yen el párrafo 41 se habla de los preparativos para una nueva estrategia de desarrollo para el Tercer Decenio; del DD2 pasaremos al DD3 con un aumento de grado menos vertiginoso que el aumento de 400 a 500 millones de seres subnutridos en el mundo.
Siempre acato las instrucciones que usted da sobre los métodos de trabajo del Consejo porque son acertadas; es así como voy a terminar aquí mis referencias al documento CL 75/9. Desearía hacer algunas breves consideraciones sobre el otro documento que se cita en el Orden del Día, el CL 75/4, Informe del Comité del Programa, pero he leído y releído con atención los párrafos 2.178 a 2.180 del Informe del Comité del Programa, y francamente, no encuentro ninguna opinión de la cual valga la pena ocuparse. Es una lástima porque nuestra delegación sentía mucha simpatía en el pasado por los aportes útiles que los Comités del Programa y de Finanzas venían haciendo a las labores del Consejo a través de informes críticos constructivos. Naturalmente ahora no voy a profundizar sobre esta materia; lo haré más adelante, la semana entrante, cuando discutamos el punto pertinente y podamos hacer referencias a nuestra decepción por la manera como ahora los Comités del Programa y de Finanzas vienen presentando sus informes. La falta de opinión del Comité del Programa sobre este punto podría deberse en parte, a que según puede verse en los documentos, las sesiones del COAG y el Comité del Programa coincidieron, se superpusieron casi totalmente. Esto es negativo y debería evitarse en el futuro.
J,G. KHARAS (Pakistan): We would like to compliment the Committee on Agriculture for a very-comprehensive report and we congratulate and thank Mr. Masud for his lucid introduction to the report. We have already given our views in the Committee meetings and we would like to add the following comments here while the report is being considered by this session of the Council.
We have read document CL 75/9, which is the Report of the Fifth Session of the Committee on Agriculture with considerable interest. Agriculture is the most vital sector in the economy of Pakistan. 85 percent of our population is dependent on agriculture. It is, therefore, only natural that this Report receives very close and careful attention by us. I will endeavour not to go into too much detail and will restrict my remarks to Matters Requiring Attention of the Council, as outlined on pages v - viii.
We support the Committee's stress on the continuing importance of the special action programme referred to in the various programmes under Major Programme 2.1 Agriculture. These are well balanced and go a long way to meeting some of the immediate requirements of development countries.
Fertilizer is a key input to increasing agricultural production. Unfortunately, however, of late we have noticed a tendency for an increase in the prices. This is a most distressing development. MSA countries are now vitally dependent upon adequate fertilizer supplies. Any interruption or reduction in the supplies would have a very adverse affect on the efforts being made to increase agricultural production, and the effort to achieve self sufficiency in food. Unfortunately, assistance as recommended by the 7th Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly has remained inadequate and much below the level agreed upon. Under these circumstances it is imperative and vital that the International Fertilizer Supply Scheme should be further strengthened. We are grateful to the donor countries who have supported this Scheme particularly the United Kingdom and would urge others to join in and made the International Fertilizer Supply Scheme more effective. It is hardly necessary for us to say that we afford a great importance to the item of the Seed Improvement and Development Scheme and we fully support it.
I need not say much on the prevention of food losses as a great deal has already been said. However, we are disappointed to note that the funds in the special account to finance prevention of food losses projects are inadequate and unless a much more intensive effort is made, it would not be possible to achieve the target established by the United Nations General Assembly to reduce post harvest food losses by 50 percent by 1985. We would, therefore, urge all donors, particularly those who have not yet contributed to the special account to do so and make this really worthwhile programme a success.
We would like to lend our support to all efforts in the field of rural development aimed at improving the conditions of the rural poor and disadvantageous groups. It has become an imperative necessity to bring these groups into the main stream of national development so that they can benefit from the advantages of development.
Although we are aware that the final position regarding evaluation would be much clearer at the time of the next Conference, we feel it important to suggest that in order to judge the impact of various activities and to facilitate the assessment of relative priorities there should be a provision to make a mid biennium evaluation.
We have also noted with special attention the emphasis on production and improvement of oilseeds. My country has already given high priority within the crops programmes to this subject in the ongoing Fifth Five Year Plan and we are hopeful that increased oilseeds production would reduce dependence on imports to meet the requirements of the vegetable oil industry.
Lack of technical and financial resources, especially, the latter are still acting as major constraints to rapid development of training, education and extension needs and in this connection my country would welcome financial assistance to strengthen their national research capabilities. We support the main priorities under the medium and long-term outlook for food and agriculture development. Of course, we will be speaking on the Summary Programme of Work and Budget under a subsequent item of the agenda and would at this stage merely restrict ourselves to giving our support to the Summary Programme of Work and Budget 1980/81, as related to Major Programme 2.1 Agriculture. On nutrition in agriculture and rural development we support the views of the Committee and would confine ourselves here only to stressing the need to give greater importance to nutrition education.
Very briefly on the subject of agricultural mechanization which was discussed as a separate item by the Committee on Agriculture, we would strongly support the priority accorded to the small farmers and the importance of policy and planning to ensure that mechanization is developed in harmony with overall national development objectives. We agree that FAO should give greater priority to mechanization in order to implement an expanded FAO effort in this field as soon as practicable. In some countries, including Pakistan, the position of labour availability during the peak season has materially changed and without the help of agricultural mechanization, we would not be in a position to reap all the benefits accruing from the increased production. Even during the current crop year we faced difficulties in harvesting the crop and saving it from wastage. Vie were very much interested in the item, On-farm use of water. By way of interest I would like to state that my country has one of the most extensive and highly integrated water distribution systems in the world. If all the canals and water courses of Pakistan were put end to end they would go twice around the globe. Unfortunately, the ordinary farmer is not well organized to obtain and apply the irrigation water from this vast network in line with the complex demand of modern agriculture. 45 to 50 percent of the water entering the canal is lost before reaching the farmer' s field. The loss in the water courses alone ranges around 50 percent of the canal withdrawals. These figures underline the imperative need of improving the water courses in a scientific way to minimize losses. Even saving 1 percent of water in all the water courses would make available an additional 1 million acre feet. The Government of Pakistan has, therefore, launched a massive programme of "On-farm water management". Use of labour intensive methods lies at the heart of this programme. Under these circumstances, we endorse the proposed national action programme on which we are already embarked for rehabilitation and improvement of irrigation schemes and for farm water management.
Finally, we would like to support the suggestion of the representative of the United Kingdom that we accept the comprehensive report of the Committee on Agriculture.
P. HALIMI (France): Le document CL 75/9 soumis à notre examen est un important document, un document de de référence qui nous a été présenté de manière excellente par le Vice-Président du COAG, M. Masud, que je remercie de son introduction complète. Par l'importance des problèmes de développement qu'il étudie de manière sélective à chacune de ses sessions, le COAG qui est, ainsi que vous l'avez dit, chronologiquement le quatrième Comité du Conseil après le Comité des Forêts, celui des Pêches et des Produits, est insensiblement devenu l'un des Comités du Conseil où les problèmes du développement agricole sont étudiés de manière exhaustive grâce à la participation à ses travaux des meilleurs experts des pays membres de l'Organisation. C'est pourquoi, sans méconnaître l'importance de l'avis émis par le COAG sur le programme de travail actuel et futur de l'Organisation, je limiterai mon intervention, ainsi que vous l'avez demandé, à l'évocation d'un nombre limité de questions me réservant d'intervenir sur le programme de travail de l'Organisation lors de la discussion du point 11 de notre ordre du jour.
Examinons tout d'abord les difficultés, les points d'ombre. Les difficultés rencontrées par le COAG depuis ses cinq sessions tiennent à un certain nombre de faits.
Premièrement, le COAG a souhaité examiner la partie du programme de travail et budget du prochain biennium qui le concerne, d'une manière utile et efficace: c'est-à-dire avant la réunion du Comité du programme. Il n'a pu obtenir à ce jour une prise de considération de ce désir légitime, ce qui fait que le Comité du programme n'a pu qu'émettre un avis qui figure aux paragraphes 2/78 à 2/80 du rapport conjoint du Comité financier en matière de nutrition et a semblé ignorer toute l'activité du COAG, ce qui est pour le moins étonnant et certainement regrettable.
Deuxièmement, le COAG a souhaité tenir sa session à un moment où d'autres réunions n'auraient pas empêché certaines délégations de suivre ses travaux. Ceci, également, il ne l'a pas obtenu. Cette situation l'a donc prive du concours de certains pays à ses travaux.
Troisièmement, le COAG a souhaité que le Secrétariat l'informe du suivi de ses conclusions sur les thèmes soumis à son examen et qui ont fait l'objet de recommandations. Ce point figure au par.11 de la page 2 du Rapport dans le texte français. Ceci a été obtenu au cours des premières sessions du COAG, vous vous en souvenez, puis perdu de vue par le Secrétariat. Espérons toutefois que le prochain COAG connaîtra le résultat des travaux de la FAO durant le biennium en matière de petite hydraulique et de mécanisation.
J'en viens maintenant aux quatre thèmes principaux examinés par le dernier COAG. En matière d'hydraulique agricole, où le débat nous a semblé insuffisant, il faut, semble-t-il, intensifier la coopération avec d'autres organisations gouvernementales et non-gouvernementales. Ceci figure au par. 127 du Rapport, et je félicite le Secrétariat d'avoir, depuis lors, intensifié les contacts avec, notamment, la Commission internationale des irrigations et du drainage. Je signale, toutefois, que l'Europe dispose d'un nombre important d'experts qualifiés qui souhaitent pouvoir se réunir dans le cadre de la FAO, ou à défaut, dans le cadre de la Commission économique pour l'Europe. Un groupe conjoint FAO/Commission économique de l'Europe de l'hydraulique agricole serait aussi utile que le groupe conjoint existant de la mécanisation et permettrait, ce qui est essentiel, des transferts de connaissances des pays en développement.
Sur le plan de l'hydraulique agricole, il faut, à mon sens, se préoccuper des raisons de la détérioration des systèmes d'irrigation et ne pas négliger les problèmes de formation et d'encadrement des utilisateurs.
Sur le plan de la nutrition nous approuvons la proposition qui nous est faite d'inclure la nutrition dans le mandat du COÁG. Ceci permettra une liaison indispensable entre les problèmes nutritionnels et ceux du développement agricole. L'augmentation de la production agricole doit en effet entraîner un relèvement du niveau nutritionnel des populations rurales; ceci figure au paragraphe 13 de notre rapport. Sur le plan de la mécanisation il faut veiller à ce que l'introduction de la motorisation soit créatrice d'emplois par une bonne décentralisation des activités liées à la mécanisation: (commercialisation, préparation, formation de conducteurs, fourniture de pièces détachées, etc.) Ceci a, semble-t-il, été réussi au Pendjab, en Inde, ainsi que nous l'a dit le délégué de l'Inde pendant le COAG. J'appuie d'ailleurs ce qui a été dit au sujet de l'énergie par le délégué de l'Inde et celui de Malte, et je salue à nouveau l'initiative prise par les Nations' Unies d'organiser une Conférence sur l'utilisation de nouvelles sources d'énergie. Nous approuvons les conclusions des travaux du groupe ad hoc chargé de la révision de la Convention internationale sur la protection des végétaux et souhaitons que la prochaine Conférence de l'Organisation parvienne à un consensus. La délégation française déploiera quant à elle tous ses efforts en ce sens.
Enfin les sujets qui nous paraissent les plus intéressants pour le prochain COAG nous semblent être: premièrement la protection des végétaux, deuxièmement la conservation des sols. Le second sujet nous permettra de connaître l'application faite par la FAO de la Charte mondiale des sols (je dis bien la Charte et non la carte) votée par la Conférence mondiale de l'alimentation.
Pour ce qui concerne la présentation du document, la suggestion du délégué de Malte a retenu, je crois, l'attention du COAG et nous souhaitons que des progrès puissent être enregistrés en la matière pour éviter des interventions parfois répétitives.
D.H.J. ABEYAGOONASEKERA (Sri Lanka): My delegation wishes to endorse all the recommendations made by the Committee and wishes to thank them for the excellent work done. I do not propose to comment on all the aspects which have been dealt with by the Committee, as we do not dispute that they are all equally important.
My comments are mainly confined to the deliberations and recommendations made by the Committee on the Nutritional aspects of agriculture. The Report of the Fifth Session of COAG, I am pleased to say, has responded well to the request made by Sri Lanka, together with Pakistan and several others, at the last Council Session to look more closely into the nutrition activities of FAO. We raised the issue whether there should not be a separate standing committee on nutrition in view of the high importance that we all attach to the maintenance and improvement of nutritional standards to ensure the well-being of the poor communities. We are happy to note that the Committee has made a suggestion that the General Rules of the Organization should be amended to include Nutrition among the areas to be covered by COAG.
I hope it is not out of. place to mention here that we in Sri Lanka have all along paid attention to factors which affect food consumption, such as income distribution, employment, better and improved wages, availability of land for cultivation, and food price policies. In consideration of these needs the Government recently adopted measures which may be of interest to fellow delegates. The Government has exempted all public servants from the payment of income tax on their emoluments. Over half a million acres of land which came under the Government under the Land Reform Laws of 1972 and 1975 are to be distributed among landless families on the basis of half an acre per family under the Land Grants Bill. Under the Government's Job Bank Scheme one unemployed person per family will be found employment in the State services per year during the next five years. A Food Policy Coordinating Committee consisting of the Permanent Secretaries of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Food and Trade, have been set up to ensure a balance in the distribution of cereals, pulses and lentils in order to provide adequate supplies to the consumers, supplementing them with imports when needed to ensure that fair prices will prevail both to producers and consumers at all times. These are important steps which are being implemented in order to ensure that the community will have adequate purchasing .power to obtain their requirements of food in relation to quality as well as quantity, while at the same time ensuring that local production continues to expand.
A. BERGQV1ST (Sweden): The Swedish delegation has with great interest studied the report of the COAG, and like previous speakers would like to endorse it. Since many of the questions dealt with by COAG will be discussed later during this Council when discussing the Summary Programme of Work and Budget, I would limit myself to a few comments.
Sweden, together with other Nordic countries, has for a number of years in FAO as well as in other fora stressed the need for giving increased attention to nutrition. Therefore we are pleased to note that COAG at its last session spent some considerable time discussing how Conference Resolution 8/77 on Nutrition could be implemented and how FAO could further develop its nutrition activities. The Committee came to the conclusion that food and nutrition should be a standing item on every COAG session and consequentely recommended an amendment to the General Rules of the Organization.
My delegation supports this recommendation and the suggestion in paragraph 115 that the proposed amendment be referred to the CCLM. While giving its support to the recommedation of making nutrition a concern of COAG my delegation neverthelss wants to underline what is stated in paragraph 100, that the nutritional impact of devlopment activities has to be considered not only in relation to agriculture but also in relation to other areas, for example, fisheries. Thus we feel that this matter of nutrition might also be appropriately placed on the Agenda of the Committeee on Fisheries and the Committeee on World Food Security because there also nutritional aspects should be taken into consideration. With the inclusion of nutrition among the areas to be covered by COAG there might not be a need for an ad hoc Committee on Nutrition. My delegation is, however, somewhat reluctant to see the complete discontinuation of the ad hoc Committee: we would rather like to see it suspended for the time being. In the future the need might arise for a more in-depth nutrition deliberation than can be the case in COAG. On such occasions it might be necessary to convene a meeting devoted entirely to nutritional questions and therefore a meeting of the ad hoc Committee might then be appropriate. However, we feel that unnecessary meetings should be avoided.
With a new area the already broad mandate of COAG will be further expanded. There might be a risk that discussions in COAG, because of its vast mandate, will be of too general a nature, especially compared with the discussions in the Committee on Fisheries and the Committee on Forestry. I think the delegate of the United Kingdom dealt very well with that. When selecting topics for future COAG sessions, Sweden feels it necessary to strike the balance between subjects of a more technical nature and subjects that would give the Committee a possibility to discuss matters of a social and economic nature.
As to the timing of COAG meetings, it would to my delegation be preferable if COAG sessions could take place earlier during the interval between conferences in order to give the Committee an opportunity to influence the preparation on the Programme of Work and Budget earlier than has been the case so far. I think the delegate of France also dealt with that, and I support what he said. The other question on which my delegation would like to offer its comments concerns the formulation of a new development strategy for the Third Development Decade. FAO has already played an active role in the efforts of the United Nations to formulate a new strategy, and my delegation, therefore, strongly endorses what is said in paragraph 41, that urges FAO to continue to play an active role in this very important work.
My delegation will be pleased to have an opportunity to discuss elements of the new strategy during the coming Conference. As to the elements of a new strategy, my Government has in other fora stated that in our view, issues of environment and natural resources must be given a proper place in the new strategy. Our views were presented to the Preparatory Committee at the second meeting in April, that is, the Preparatory Committee for the new strategy.
I would take too long to go into detail now on the elements that we have suggested there, so I will just end by quoting a paragraph from a Swedish memorandum that among other things states that "The natural resources of the earth must be protected for the benefit of present and future generations through careful planning and proper management. The capacity of the earth to produce essential renewable resources must be maintained, restored or improved. The non-renewable resources must be employed so as to protect from further exhaustion and ensure that benefits from their employment are shared by all mankind.
F. REDA (Egypt) (interpretation from Arabic): We should like to express our satisfaction with the results arrived at by the Fifth Session of the Committee on Agriculture. In our view, this Committee has a particular importance within the framework of FAO, and we also hope that this importance will always be stressed. We did not expect that we would be attending this session nor that world problems of agriculture could be solved through one session of the Committee. However, technological and scientific progress which will go step by step will help us also to achieve progress as time goes on.
On this occasion, I wish to express our thanks to all our colleagues who attended the session with particular thanks to Dr. Bommer and Professor Islam, for we have no doubt that their preparation for this session and their participation therein played an important role in the success of the meeting, as is reflected in the Report submitted to us today.
I also wish to express our support and agreement with everything appearing in this Report. However, I shall stress a few points in the following manner. We would particularly emphasize the special importance we attach to the World Fertilizer Scheme and the support which COAG recommended should be given to this Scheme, since for certain countries, this is a source of hope and they want to see it continuing always and find it a considerable source of assistance.
We now move to the question of crops and to the recommendation made by COAG to the effect that FAO should give certain crops to which it was not attaching importance the same importance attached to other crops.
Next we wish to express our interest in the Programme on Post-Harvest Losses, and we join other members of the Committee who urged further participation in the special measures approved by the Nineteenth Session of the Conference, where the funds amounted to $20 million.
We further express our deep interest in the role of the Organization in agricultural research programmes, because the role of FAO in coordination and in supporting the various institutions will render a particular service toward agriculture which will be to the best interest of agriculture in general.
We wish also to express our general interest in the various rural development recommendations and programmes, and there is no doubt that the World Conference on Agriculture and Rural Development will be making particular recommendations to this effect, and for this reason we shall not speak on this subject in detail.
We also wish to express our particular interest in the various surveys and studies in which FAO participates, chiefly Agriculture in the Year Two Thousand, and also Agriculture in the Third Development Decade. In this area FAO is undertaking a very active role within the United Nations system, and we hope that these surveys and studies will be available to the various countries at the forthcoming World Conference.
On the subject of the use of water at the farm level, we wish to stress the recommendations adopted by the Committee in this area, particularly the participation of farmers in all projects of water system improvement and maintenance and also concerning training and the effective and economic use of water by farmers.
Likewise we wish to express our support for the recommendation made on the subject of nutrition, as adopted by the Committee, and we would like to see nutrition as a standing item on the Agenda of COAG.
As for rural development, we support all the conclusions and the final recommendations of COAG. We also wish to express our interest and our wish that FAO will attach all necessary attention to such items as will be included on COAG's future agendas, so that documents submitted to COAG will always be on the same level as the documents submitted at this last session.
D. WARE (Canada): On behalf of the Canadian delegation, I wish to make a few brief remarks on the report of the Fifth Session of COAG which was succinctly introduced by Mr. Masud. Our delegation at that session took a very active part, and one of the items was the decision to recommend to Council to modify the terms of reference of COAG to include nutrition as a standing item on the agenda of COAG. Canada fully supports this proposal as outlined in paragraph 114, while we fully recognize also the professional problem involved in measuring the nutritional impact.
We did also suggest at the Fifth Session that at some future time COAG should look at the role and impact of food prices. We think this could be discussed, and we think also that it should be one of the priority items among the many listed in paragraph 150. I fully appreciate, also, though, that COAG needs some flexibility and has to adjust its programme to the needs of the time.
My delegation agrees with the proposal that Council transmit to the Twentieth Session of the Conference the revised text of the International Plant Protection Convention as outlined in paragraph 148.
Turning now to the proposal for the rehabilitation and improvement of irrigation schemes, as outlined in paragraph 129, you may recall we had considerable discussion in CFA about this, and we only hope that such programmes are linked to food aid projects which might help particularly in those cases where possible to rehabilitate such schemes.
Turning to agricultural mechanization, the Committee discussion on this item was most useful, and I would draw the Council's attention to paragraph 138, where it is indicated that mechanization is one of the means of reducing some of the drudgery of farming operations and it is of benefit to rural women. I would also suggest that increased mechanization might be one means of keeping young people in the rural areas instead of having them migrate to the cities.
The concern of Council has been drawn to our remarks which we expressed at COAG and I will not say any more about it.
We also suggested that COAG could play a great part in greater evaluation of projects. This we believe would help all Council members to understand and appreciate the. impact which FAO efforts are having or in some cases may not be having on the many agricultural projects which are their purview.
In summary we found this a very useful and good report.
D. RICHTER (Germany, Federal Republic of): My government participated actively in the session of the Committee on Agriculture, and we fully support its report. Nevertheless, Mr. Chairman, permit a few remarks about the most important subjects which COAG dealt with at its Fifth Session.
In the discussion of the Programme of Work for the agricultural sector, both for the current and the next biennium, my delegation has supported the priorities as set out in the documents submitted. We consider it important that within the framework of the suggested measures priority will be given in particular to education and extension as well as to integrated rural development and, moreover, to the programmes for the prevention of food losses and for the improvement of nutrition. Likewise, we welcome an over-proportional rate of growth for the agricultural sector.
As the document on the summary for the programme of work for 1980-81 which was submitted to COAG only gave a first rough review of the priorities and financial implications of the activities that are planned in the agricultural and rural development sector, the discussion about these subjects could only be of a very general nature. The financial implications of the programme proposals and changes were not included in the discussion. A comprehensive and detailed discussion will only bè possible when the whole document on the Programme of Work and Budget for 1980-81 is available.
In this connexion, let me still say a word about documentation: as regards this agenda item,, three different documents were available to COAG whose statements often repeated themselves and did not always clearly set out the priorities within the actual programme.
Let me, therefore, ask the same question as the distinguished delegates of Malta, France and Canada, whether it would not be more useful for this discussion in COAG to comprise in one document important items for the assessment of the current programme of work on the medium and long-term objectives, and the summary programme of the work for the next biennium. I am sure that this would allow a more fruitful discussion of this subject in COAG.
As regards nutritional questions, I should like to remark that my government fully supports the strategy developed by the Secretariat to improve nutrition in agriculture and rural development. In this respect we welcome the guidelines suggested to review the project activities with regard to their implications for the nutritional sector, as well as the recommendations to incorporate the aspects important for nutrition in project planning.
COAG has proved that it is competent to deal with nutritional questions. My Government, therefore, supports the proposal to extend COAG's "terms of reference" by "nutrition" and to place "nutrition" as a permanent item on the future agendas of COAG. In our view this also answers at the same time the question that it is no longer necessary to transform the Ad Hoc Committee on Food and Nutrition Policies into a permanent committee of the. Council.
As regards the two subjects, water use and agricultural mechanization, I can be very brief. Regarding water use, I only wish to point out that the national programmes suggested by the Secretariat for this period for restoring and improving existing irrigation plants and also on agricultural water use management, find my Government's support in principle. The same applies to the Secretariat's analysis of agricultural mechanization, which as a complex problem can only be promoted within the framework of rural development through very careful planning.
M. KRIESBERG (United States of America): I would like to join with the others who have indicated their satisfaction with the work of the Committee and with the Committee report which is before us. Our representatives also participated actively in the past meeting of COAG. It was a singularly good session. The documents were well prepared, they were received in timely fashion, and as a result the discussions were considered and instructive.
We accept the COAG recommendation that nutrition be an item on future COAG sessions. We believe that having COAG consider matters of food consumption as well as production provides an important new perspective to these deliberations. It should help us all to better understand the relationships between farm policies and food policies. We do know that the two are not identical, and that is precisely why the people who are concerned with each of these important matters need to meet together and work together. Hence we support action by the Council to refer to the Committee on Constitutional Legal matters, amendments which would permit COAG to discuss matters of nutrition, policy and programmes on a regular basis.
However, we wish at the same time to be put on record as being supportive of the observation being made by our colleague from Sweden that having COAG consider matters of nutrition need not necessarily mean that the Committee on Nutrition should be abolished, but we feel it would be premature to do so, and that perhaps the- simplest thing would be that the Conference need not take any action on the Ad Hoc Committee while at the same time expanding the mandate of the COAG body.
We would like to make one other observation, and that is that the comments on the work of the COAG Committee that have been made here in the course of the last couple of hours indicate that it is not really possible to dicuss the broad range of topics coming within COAG's purview without raising considerations of budgetary implications. Hence we find ourselves in further agreement with our colleague from Sweden that as we think about setting a time for COAG's future meetings, we take into account how the deliberations of COAG can best be brought to bear on the decisions to be made by the Programme and Finance Committees.
Finally, we concur in referring to the Conference the modified text of the International Plant Protection Convention as endorsed by the COAG body.
P. LAOWHAPHAN (Thailand): At the outset my delegation would like to thank the Acting Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture, Mr. Masud, for his introduction to these two documents.
We all recognize that the problems of increased production in agriculture are the most crucial and complex ones. It was discussed at length at the last session of the Committee on Agriculture in April. In this connexion, my delegation will not go into details on this report. However, we would like to bring to the attention of the Council a brief remark in connexion with a point on these documents.
In view of the fact that the course and magnitude of food shortage in the food deficit countries are not only the low-yielding varieties, infertile land and insufficiency of water, and so on, but also the loss of food during harvest, transportation and storage. It is well known that an unsolved problem still remains predominant, particularly in the developing countries.
My delegation has strongly supported the Action Programme to reduce post-harvest food losses by 50 percent in 1985 as recommended by the United Nations General Assembly. In this connection, the 19th Session of the FAO Conference set the initial target of 20 million dollars for this purpose, and from this report it appears to us that the amount received fell well below the initial target. In view of the need and urgency we would like to urge that further contributions should be made in order to meet this target as soon as possible.
Srta. C. DOMINGUEZ D. (Panamá): Mi delegación quiere unir su voz para agradecer al Sr. Masud, Vicepresidente de este Comité, por la presentación del importante documento que contiene el informe del quinto período de sesiones del Comité de Agricultura.
Deseamos hacer algunos comentarios sobre asuntos que requieren la atención del Consejo. Nuestra delegación comparte la preocupación del Comité sobre los lentos progresos realizados para conseguir el objetivo fijado por la Asamblea de las Naciones Unidas, de reducir las pérdidas en un 50 Por ciento para 1985. También nos preocupa que los fondos a disposición en la Cuenta Especial sean insuficientes para satisfacer las necesidades de los gobiernos, las llamadas y las peticiones. Ya en una anterior intervención mi delegación manifestó su preocupación por no haberse alcanzado el objetivo inicial de 20 millones de dólares. Instamos una vez más a los gobiernos para que hagan nuevas contribuciones.
El desarrollo rural es una de las preocupaciones fundamentales de nuestro Gobierno. La estrategia para el desarrollo nacional está basada en la idea de que el hombre constituye de manera efectiva el sujeto y el objeto del desarrollo, y esto implica que el hombre debe participar en los beneficios del desarrollo y tener parte activa en la orientación del progreso.
Estamos convencidos de que la incertidumbre en la tenencia de la tierra es una limitación para la explotación económicamente mas eficaz de la misma. La solución de los problemas de los precaristas requiere una acción concertada. La solución es la incorporación de los agricultores al proceso de crecimiento económico que requiere asistencia técnica y financiera para mejorar las condiciones de explotación, asistencia social para hacer frente a las necesidades impostergables y la cooperación entusiasta del propio beneficiario para que realmente se induzca una transformación verdadera.
Por estas razones, nuestro Gobierno ha dado su decidido apoyo a la Conferencia Mundial sobre Reforma Agraria que se celebrará en el próximo mes de julio, esperando que las conclusiones positivas que de la Conferencia salgan, se proyecten hacia la estrategia internacional. Antes de pasar a otro punto, queremos dar nuestro apoyo a lo expresado en el párrafo 51 sobre la necesidad de que la mujer participe plenamente en todos los esfuerzos. Apoyamos que el contenido de los párrafos 26 y 48, así como lo expresado en el párrafo 28 sobre la necesidad, y cito: ''... la necesidad de seguir manteniendo una estrecha vinculación entre los programas nacionales y las instituciones regionales e internacionales de investigación, para facilitar la transferencia de tecnología y aprovechar más racionalmente los recursos disponibles para la investigación agrícola".
Estamos de acuerdo con la opinión del Comité sobre la nutrición en el desarrollo, y particularmente las recomendaciones contenidas en el párrafo 114. Consideramos de gran importancia el empleo del agua en la explotación de la agricultura, y compartimos plenamente lo expresado por el Comité sobre la necesidad de capacitar al agricultor en la utilización del agua para lograr eficacia, economía y rendimiento.
Compartimos el criterio de apoyar los programas nacionales de acción propuestos para los proyectos de rehabilitación y mejora del sistema de riegos y para el aprovechamiento del agua en la explotación agrícola. Para finalizar, damos nuestro apoyo al resto del informe del Comité que no vamos a comentar para dar cabida a su pedido de ser breves en nuestras intervenciones. Compartimos plenamente el resto del informe.
L.V. BORGES da FONSECA (Brazil): My intervention on this item will be a rather brief one; not that we do not attach a high importance to the report under consideration, the report of the Fifth Session of the Committee on Agriculture, but because we have already approved it in general terms during the session of the Committee on Agriculture to which it refers. My delegation therefore reiterates its support for the recommendations made by that Committee as contained in document CL 75/9.
Nonetheless, we would like to stress the following points. It is with special emphasis that we endorse and welcome the proposed priority to be given to the FAO programme for the prevention of food losses. Indeed, this programme, as reconsidered, will greatly contribute to the increase in agricultural productivity in developing countries. The Brazilian delegation would like to express its satisfaction with the priority with which FAO is supporting research activities in developing countries as referred to in paragraph 28.
Brazil also considers that it is necessary to strengthen agricultural research through technical cooperation, particularly at the TCDC level. In relation to the medium and long-term outlook for food and agriculture development, my delegation endorses the general approval of the report but would like to call special attention to the matters related to the expansion of production and productivity necessary to achieve the present and future world demands for food. The full endorsement of my delegation is also given to paragraph 1.45 which refers to agricultural mechanization activities promoted by FAO.
My delegation also expresses its support for the report of the Ad Hoc Consultative Group on the revision of the International Plant Protection Convention as contained in Appendix F of the document brefore us.
Finally, my delegation fully endorses the inclusion of food and nutrition as a standing item on the agenda of every future session of the Committee on Agriculture, as also presented by the Programme Committee in the report of its last session. In this sense, we endorse the inclusion of nutrition in the Committee on Agriculture's terms of reference as proposed by the amendment to be submitted to the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters and as recommended in document CL 75/9.
J.A. LEIVA (El Salvador): La amplitud y complejidad de los temas sometidos por el Comité de Agricultura para la atención sel Consejo, nos limitan a comentar algunos de estos puntos. Dentro de la ejecución del Programa de Labores resulta preocupante la escasa disponibilidad en la Cuenta Especial para la prevención de pérdidas en las cosechas. Esto reviste mayor gravedad si consideramos que no se está en posibilidad de financiar todas las peticiones de proyectos recibidas a nivel de nuestros países dando desarrollo a esfuerzos tendientes a combatir las pérdidas alimentarias con el convencimiento de que ello permitirá mayor disponibilidad de alimentos, en consecuencia, mejoras en los niveles nutri-cionales de la población.
Por lo tanto, estamos totalmente de acuerdo con el Comité al instar a que se hicieran nuevas contribuciones a la Cuenta Especial para alcanzar el objetivo fijado en el 19 período de sesiones y para mantener una actividad constante en este sector.
El Plan de Acción para la Seguridad Alimentaria propuesto por el Director General fue ampliamente tratado en el tema anterior, habiéndole otorgado nuestra delegación el más amplio respaldo al analizar las perspectivas a medio y largo plazo del desarrollo agrícola y alimentario. Debemos convenir en que la planificación de la nutrición debería integrarse en la planificación global del desarrollo y de la producción. Caro ha sido el precio que han pagado los países cuando al elaborar sus planes de desarrollo no han tomado en cuenta esta consideración los ministros encargados de la producción; no han armonizado sus programas con la salubridad y seguridad públicas en el empleo del agua en las explotaciones agrícolas. Ha sido un aspecto largamente descuidado. Los grandes proyectos de riego y drenaje conciben los aspectos de ingeniería a nivel de tierra, pero poco o nada sobre el manejo del agua a nivel de parcela, donde por desconocimiento de los agricultores, ocurren grandes pérdidas de eficiencia en la conducción del agua a través de los canales terciarios.
Los sistemas de riego deben tener como objetivo las necesidades reales de los países en desarrollo. Ocurre una tendencia a la construcción de grandes presas cuyo mantenimiento resulta oneroso y ofrece menos ventajas respecto a otros sistemas alternativos.
Apoyamos la propuesta del Comité de Agricultura en lo atinente al manejo del agua. La mecanización agrícola como herramienta para el desarrollo agrícola debe marchar acorde con el empleo de la mano de obra existente, en forma tal que la creación de fuentes de empleo sea paralela al uso de la mecanización, lo cual evitaría mano de obra cesante. La generación de industrias que aporten valor agregado a la actividad agrícola ofrece alternativas válidas.
Finalmente, la delegación de El Salvador se permite expresar su apoyo al informe del quinto período de sesiones del Comité de Agricultura, uniéndose a las demás delegaciones en considerar que este período ha sido muy productivo.
S. PADMANAGARA (Indonesia): With regard to the document before us my delegation would like to present the following comments. First, the report of the Fifth Session of COAG appears to have been favourably received by the Programme and Finance Committee.
Second, on the matter of natural resources my delegation wishes to emphasize the significance of the resources of the International Fertilizer Supply Scheme. Contributions should be further increased so that sufficient amounts of fertilizers can be made available to developing countries which are really in need of fertilizers and which face financial problems in connexion with the imports of these fertilizers. My delegation suggests that FAO assist the developing countries in a study on the proper application of fertilizer in terms of the type and quantity, transportation, distribution, and storage, especially in remote and isolated areas. Third, regarding crops, it is heartening to note that the proposed priority shift in emphasis and budgetary increases has been favourably considered. The production of staple food and secondary- crops should be given high priority. As far as Indonesia is concerned, rice is the staple food. In this connexion, the prevention of food losses, particularly rice, deserve greater attention. My delegation expressed the hope that the special account at the level of $20 million needed to support FAO's programme for the prevention of food losses will be reached through the generosity of donors who are in a position to contribute more.
Fourth, with regard to livestock, it is essential to make every effort to check the further spread of diseases, otherwise it would nullify all efforts which have already been made to increase animal production. The development of poultry should be taken up as an important effort to assist the small farmer without involving the opening of new lands.
Fifth, in the field of research, the practical aspects of the work should be emphasized and the length between these certain extension works should be strengthened. In this field FAO could play a more important role.
Like previous speakers, my delegation endorses the report of the Fifth Session of the Committee on Agriculture.
M, HAMDOON (interpretation from Arabic) (Iraq): I associate myself with those who have preceeded me in that this Committee, COAG, is one of the most important committees of the Council. My delegation has therefore taken part in the work of this committee and given it the attention it deserves. Without wishing to dwell on this topic, I wish to say that this document is a comprehensive one and covers the most important items discussed in the Committee.
I should like to refer to paragraphs 1.60 and 1.51 concerning the provisional agenda of the Sixth Session of C0ÀG. With the importance of the points to be included in the agenda of the forthcoming session, I find it appropriate that the patterns of agriculture should be included in the agenda of the forthcoming session because it is important that these patterns have their role in the improvement of agricultural production. Their absence is one of the reasons for agricultural deterioration. Small- scale farming should be decreased; we must move towards the application of agricultural mechanization through collective agriculture. The developing countries need a strategic change in the patterns of their production if they want to provide crops for their peoples, and in order to avoid political and economic dependence in the future as a result of their need for food, it becomes too late to decide from now to depend on themselves in the short term. They must give to agricultural patterns the importance they deserve. For these reasons I am of the,viewpoint that patterns of production should have the place they deserve during the forthcoming meeting.
Q.H. HAQUE (Bangladesh): We endorse the priorities on the agriculture sector that are discussed and endorsed by the COAG. We feel that the programme of post-harvest losses should also not be looked after by the Special Fund but it should also get priority attention under the agriculture sector.
Nutrition is an important issue but we feel that the recommendation of the Programme Committee with respect to the Ad Hoc Committee on Nutrition should be upheld by the Council and we endorse that.
B. SUSSMILCH (Observateur pour la Communauté économique européenne): Avec votre permission, je voudrais faire quelques brèves remarques sur la Convention FAO sur la protection des végétaux.
La Commission se félicite des résultats des délibérations du groupe ad hoc à l'occasion de la dernière session du COAG, notamment en ce qui concerne le texte du modèle de certificat phytosanitaire. En effet, la Communauté est intéressée, d'une part, à prescrire un modèle de certificat phytosanitaire qui reprenne la réglementation phytosanitaire de la directive 77/93/CE (J0 L n0 26 de janvier 1977) et, d'autre part, à ce que ce modèle ne corresponde pas à celui de la Convention FAO, qui n'était pas satisfaisant sur ce point. C'est pourquoi, dans la directive susmentionnée, la Communauté a déjà inclus le modèle qui avait été proposé par le Secrétariat de la FAO en 1976 pour la modification de la convention. Malheureusement, la Conférence de la FAO n'a pas adopté cette proposition. Le groupe ad hoc susmentionné vient d'apporter à cette proposition des modifications qui sont tout à fait acceptables par la Communauté. Nous espérons que la Conférence de la FAO 1979 approuvera dans sa nouvelle version la proposition de modification de la convention.
En ce qui concerne la nutrition, nous nous réjouissons de l'importance accordée aux problèmes de la nutrition. Nous approuvons la modification du mandat du COAG qui permettra d'examiner tous les 2 ans le suivi des problèmes de la nutrition dans l'organisation et la solution effective aux problèmes nutritionnels dans les projets de développement.
CHAIRMAN: This concludes our discussion on the Report of the Fifth Session of COAG.
P. MASUD (Second Vice-Chairman, Committee on Agriculture): I have listened with great attention to all that has been said about the proceedings of the Committee on Agriculture and I can only express my gratification at the very positive response from the Council to the various recommendations of the Committee. Of course, there was a lot of advice and I am sure that advice was well meant and I am also confident that it will be taken into consideration while preparing for the next meeting of the Committee on Agriculture.
The delegate of Malta has raised some points regarding the format. He did so during the proceedings of the Committee on Agriculture. He is of the view that the Committee instead of splitting up into two should split up into three parts, but actually in my introduction I did make it clear that there were actually two major parts, the first concerned with the review of FAO's programme in the field of food and agriculture and the second with an in-depth review of a few selected developments. In the first portion then it was split up into three and this is exactly what he is now proposing. The existing pattern is that the first part consists of the implementation of the work of the current biennium, medium and long-term outlook for agriculture and food development and substantive aspects of the Summary Programme of Work and Budget. I quite agree, and this point has been made by many other delegations, that there is a certain amount of overlapping and repetition while discussing these but somehow or other it seems to be inevitable. If we were to discuss all these three together then there would be a tendency on the part of the delegates to repeat themselves. It is really a problem and I am sure everybody is applying his mind to this and to find a satisfactory solution. As Dr. Moskovits himself has pointed out the first session of the Committee on Agriculture was somewhat difficult to handle but the last one was not. I acted as Chairman for part of the proceedings and I found it to be a great pleasure and an honour because of the positive response from the delegates so in actual effect it is developing and we hope it will develop further and look into these aspects of the problem also which have been raised by various delegates.
Besides this I have no other comments except that there was one comment that the Programme Committee had not paid sufficient attention to the proceedings of the Committee on Agriculture and in this connection, particularly paragraphs 2.178 to 2.180 a specific problem was posed to the Programme Committee and I happen to be a member. Unfortunately I had to take over from my colleague in somewhat disturbing circumstances but nonetheless I did participate on this and the one position that was presented to the Programme Committee was this and the Programme Committee has come up with a very positive recommendation. I do not see how it can be said that the Programme Committee did not discharge its duties fully.
Besides that I think there has been a considerable unanimity of view and I am once again grateful to the delegates for the very positive response. Or course, I will be reporting this to Professor Thomsen who is the actual Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture and to Dr. Ahmed who is the First Vice-Chairman.
M. TRKULJA (Chairman, Programme Committee): I would certainly wish to assure the members of the Council that the Programme Committee has always paid very considerable attention to nutrition and with regard to the specific issue of the future arrangements for intergovernmental consideration on nutrition activities of the house I would only recall that the Programme Committee at its thirty-fifth session studied in-depth the whole issue, especially the Programme Committee studied all relative merits of the proposal of the Ad Hoc Committee to be transformed into the standing committee of the FAO Council under Article V, paragraph 6 of the Constitution and while considering this, and we really spent a lot of time discussing this specific issue, the Committee also examined and suggested to the Council that on a trial. basis at least the nutrition concerned should be included on the agenda of COAG and then in the light of the experience gained the Committee would then refer back to the issue and then perhaps be able to recommend to the Council the final solution. This year during the last session of the Committee simultaneously we had the session of COAG, but the Committee certainly wished very mcuh to be fully aware of this specific part of the debate in COAG and since the COAG meeting and before our definite adjournment we paid due attention to the position reached in COAG and as I hope is very very clearly expressed in our report on page 27 the Committee welcomed the Committee on Agriculture's recommendation that nutrition should be a standing item on its sessions. Then again we took some pains and discussed again the whole issue about the future arrangement for intergovernmental consultatations. First of all we noted that recently AAC had been established, a specific mechanism for nutrtion, special committee on nutrition and advisory group on nutrition. Then we also recognized that FAO bodies established under Article V, paragraph 6 of the Constitution, the standing committees of the FAO Council were quite numerous, eight committees have already been established and all or most of them usually meet in the conference year. Then we also paid full attention to the fact that experience in COAG was quite successful and COAG was really able to discuss nutritional aspects of the FAO programme, overall activities across the house in a very successful way.
Then may I recall that the Programme Committee suggested and the Director-General accepted that the Conimittee on Fisheries should from time to time place on its agenda nutritional aspects of fisheries and then perhaps be a part of the overall FAO machinery and the overal FAO effort in this field. You will find this accommodation of the Committee in paragraph 2.28 of our Report. Then I might also mention that the Programme Committee has always been keen to discuss and review the nutritional activities of FAO and the Committee in paragraph 2.180 requested that progress achieved in developing the nutritional programme of the Organization be considered further at a future session. So the Committee itself wanted to review in depth the nutrition programme and how it developed.
We also took note of the fact that FAO wanted to convene a number of ad hoc expert consultations covering specific issues in this most vital field.
We also recognize the fact that the Director-General under the authority of the Conference or the Council might always convene inter-governmental consultations if a Member Country so wished.
With all this in mind the Committee definitely came to the conclusion that in the light of all I have said perhaps the Council might wish to consider discontinuation of the ad hoc committee. Otherwise we would have two bodies with exactly the same terms of reference. So if I may I would urge the Council to adopt and approve the position of the Programme Committee since this is the result of a very thorough study of the issues.
F.R. BOMMER (Assistant Director-General, Agriculture Department): I can be very brief because there are no real questions to answer. We can only add our voice to the voice of the Vice-Chairman of COAG, appreciating the discussion we had and the very valuable efforts that have been made during the discussion including the constructive remarks made in the COAG session. All this is noted. We. will try to accommodate as far as possible in the future deliberations in the work of COAG the comments made, including the new proposals made for additional studies to be performed. We will look into the matter to see how far such proposals could be accommodated in the already designed and agreed programme. 1 would like to repeat here the appreciation of both of us and of our colleagues who have been here this afternoon ready and prepared to answer any questions that you might raise. We are very satisfied with this section.
N. ISLAM (Assistant Director-General, Economic and Social Policy Department): I do not really have anything to add to what my colleague Dr. Bommer has already said, except to add my voice to the detailed reasoning and explanation which the chairman of the Programme Committee has given about the role of COAG in the field of nutrition and experience which we have gained through the last COAG meeting on this subject.
I would like to add that the discussions on COAG demonstrated conclusively that the subject is in the discipline inter-sectorial and the best way to handle nutrition in the context of overall rural agricultural development, which was the main intent of the Conference Resolution is by putting nutrition into COAG with the addition that from time to time the Committee on Fisheries would also widen and increase the opportunities of discussing nutrition in the context in which all the Members of the Conference and the Council want it to be discussed. The Chairman of the Programme Committee has also indicated that he has additional mechanisms, such as expert consultations, as well as the possibility of inter-governmental consultation, and when necessary, to take care of exactly the point which the delegate from Sweden pointed out, there may be a need, perhaps after a considerable interval of time, to look at the entire problem, and if necessary there could be an inter-governmental ad hoc meeting which could be called by the Director-General. So in the light of all the various possibilities that are here to take account of all the necessary requirements on nutrition, I think it would be in the fitness of things that Council would accept the recommendation of the Programme Committee for the discontinuation of the Ad Hoc Committee on Nutrition.
CHAIRMAN: This brings to an end the discussion on this item. Like the delegate of Malta, I am indeed gratified to see the way that this Committee has developed because, as the Director-General knows, at the beginning we were not sure how it was going to develop, but over the years it has matured and is still maturing.
The very useful criticisms and suggestions made for formats and for method of work, debates, etc., is the sort of thing that has improved the work of the Committee over this period, and I am sure that the Secretariat will take into account all these very useful suggestions.
There have been no recommendations of the Committee which have been thrown out, all the suggestions made have been accepted. Recommendations have been made for a change of emphasis in certain ways but this has not resulted in any real change in the Report as we have it.
On nutrition it has been accepted that the Committee has dealt with this very well and the recommendations have been made that the rules be changed to include nutrition in the responsibility of the Committee. That nutrition be a standing subject has been accepted by all, and the recommendation made by the Programme Committee is not very much different really from the substantive recommendation made in this Report. In any case, this is the Report which will be acted on by the CCLM when the time comes and I am sure that this will lead to better treatment for nutrition. If in future meetings of COAG, as has been explained, there is no satisfaction, then of course the situation can be changed. But I think that the whole issue of nutrition has been discussed both by the Programme Committee and COAG and things are evolving on nutrition. Nutrition has been recognized as one of the most important subjects which should be integrated at an early stage into any agriculture plan, rather than bringing it in later on.
Having said that, I would say that the recommendations in the report have been accepted by the Council, and the various points on which action has to be taken I am sure will be pursued, those that have to go up to Conference will go up to Conference. I would like to thank you very much for this very useful debate on this subject.
Tomorrow morning the meeting will be chaired by Ambassador Baeyens of Belgium, the other Vice-Chairman.
The meeting rose at 17.40 hours
La séance est levée â 17h 40
Se levanta la sesión a las 17.40 horas