CHAIRMAN: The first item on our agenda this morning is the election of five members of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes. It is an exceedingly important item and we are grateful to the six countries who have so kindly offered to serve on that Committee, because, after all, serving on such committees is a labour of love and it is an index of the importance attached by the Member Countries to the work of this Committee.
The six countries are Cuba, Egypt, France, Federal Republic of Germany, Nigeria and Zambia. We have to elect five from among them. The quorum is at least 33 countries, and I believe there are many more countries present. As regards the modalities of the election to the Committee and Food Aid Policies and Programme of the World Food Programme, the Council members will be called one by one, and when his name is called the delegate will proceed to the voting area and identify himself or herself by country to the tellers who are distributing the ballot papers, and each delegate will receive one ballot paper. Each voter will then enter a voting booth and insert on the ballot paper five crosses by the names of the five countries which the delegate wishes to vote on to the Committee. Any paper with less than five names will be invalid, it must be five names, no more and no less. Blank ballot papers or those with the word "abstention" written on them count as abstentions. I hope the procedure is clear - put a cross opposite the names for which you want to vote.
I am grateful to the delegates of the United Kingdom and Thailand for having agreed to serve as tellers.
Is there any Council member who wants to raise any points? I see no delegation wanting to ask any question or make any comment, so I call on Mr. de Caprona to announce the Council names in alphabetical order. As the names are called, kindly proceed to the voting area.
CHAIRMAN: We welcome the new members and want to thank them and thank Egypt for the outstanding contribution so far.
N. ISLAM (Assistant Director-General, Economie and Social Policy Department): The document CL 82/18 reports on the progress made on the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development Follow-Up Action. The implementation of the WCARRD Programme of Action with its focus on rural poverty alleviation is an important mandate given to FAO since it embraces in a comprehensive manner the various activities of FAO. The document before you analyses in detail the action taken within FAO both at Headquarters and at the country level. However, I shall highlight a few issues and bring you up to date on selected development.
Since the last Conference in 1981 this subject was discussed by the five regional conferences held this year. These conferences have noted with satisfaction the orientation and contents of FAO's post-WCARRD activities, assisting member countries in the implementation of the Programme of Action as well as in its capacity as a lead agency in rural development within the United Nations system. We have also received from the deliberations of these conferences recommendations which will help shape our future action. Among the issues of topics emphasized by the regional conferences were: monitoring of progress in alleviating rural poverty, establishment of a limited core of socio-economic indicators in relation to available data for monitoring agrarian reform and rural development; adverse effects of the problem of transfer of rural savings to the urban sector as well as of the deterioration of the terms of trade of the peasant sector of agriculture. The role of manpower training in development skills at all levels including small farmers and measures for checking the rural migration.
We continue to orient FAO's work towards WCARRD's principles and Programme of Action. Examples of such orientation relate to work on people's participation, women in rural development, monitoring and evaluation, extension for small farmers, agricultural credits and extension, forestry for community development and integrated development of small-scale fisheries. This shift in focus of work is combined with the systematic attempt for stock orientation both at the headquarters and at regional offices. At the national level important examples of activities with new orientation are contained in paragraphs 7, 8, 13, 20, 21 and 26 of the document before you. Our main thrust in the country-assistance programme is to promote projects with emphasis on poverty alleviation target groups, various areas of agriculture, forestry and fisheries. The document before you illustrates the kinds of projects for which assistance has been sought by member countries and they cover a wide range, including such activities as restructuring of land tenure systems, rural institutions including cooperatives to help small farmers, in-depth analyses of rural poverty, setting up a system of monitoring progress in agrarian reform as well as projects relating to rural peoples' participation.
We have carried out several activities in cooperation with non-governmental organizations including training of their leaders. FAO representatives are helping establish contacts with important non-government organizations engaged in rural development, in order to encourage collaboration with FAO. FAO national committees, wherever they exist, could also be a useful forum of such discussion and contacts. We realize that this is a complex and crucial matter for rural development. We are therefore convening next month an expert consultation on peoples' participation to examine their approaches followed by FAO in promoting programmes in this field, and to advise us on effective methods for achieving increase in participation of the rural poor in development.
Similarly, we are convening in April 1983 a consultation between FAO and international trade unions working in the field of rural development. Related to this work on rural peoples' participation in the promotion of the role of rural women in agricultural rural development has received special emphasis as described in paragraphs 12 - 15 of the document. The role of women in agricultural production, in the context of WCARRD follow-up, will be discussed at the last session of the Committee on Agriculture in April 1983. In order to illustrate the way in which some of these activities have been initiated, I wish to emphasize the role of the WCARRD follow-up missions. Nine such commissions have already been completed and three others are in preparation. Additional requests for follow-up missions are in the pipeline. I would like to highlight the fact that these multi-disciplinary commissions are also examples of inter-agency collaborative work. Representatives of various UN agencies and organizations join many of these missions. The missions review with high government officials the countries' policies, strategies and programmes within the context of the WCARRD Programme of Action. They identify - in collaboration with governments - key areas for immediate action which would benefit the rural poor. These projects are often innovative, with target group orientation. We attempt to coordinate the WCARRD follow-up missions with the different types of policy review missions which FAO organizes at the country level. Following the recommenda-tions of the 22nd Session of the FAO Conference, we have been working with member countries to facilitate collection and analysis of data pertaining to rural poverty. FAO's work on assisting member countries in monitoring agrarian reform and rural development through quantitative analysis of a limited set of social-economic indicators is described in the document before you in paragraphs 19-25.
We have undertaken in-depth studies on progress in agrarian reform and rural development, 30 of which are already in progress. This work was crucial for the first report which will be submitted to the FAO Conference in 1983, on the implementation of the WCARRD Programme of Action. It will enable the Secretariat to prepare an analytic and quantitative report on the progress made in the alleviation of rural poverty. As indicated in the WCARRD Programme of Action, there is need for collaboration with other United Nations agencies for the preparation and collection of data for reporting on a few aspects of this Programme of Action, especially those relating to international aspects of the Programme of Action. In order that projects and programmes at the country level for the implementation of the Programme of Action are expanded and strengthened it is hoped that the Member Governments will use the occasion of the UNDP third programming cycle to orient their technical assistance requirements and requests in the light of this programme of action.
The Council may also wish to urge all potential donors to contribute additional extra-budgetary resources to support the WCARRD follow-up action, in pursuance of the resolution of the 20th Session of the FAO Conference, which called for voluntary contributions to reach the requested figure of $20 million. These modest resources provide the necessary catalytic input to our efforts as well as to the efforts of our member countries. It will also strengthen the services of the regional centres on rural development, two of which have already been operational: one in Asia and another one in Africa.
We are grateful to the governments of Sudan, Norway, Denmark, China, Netherlands and Italy for their voluntary contribution in the follow-up of WCARRD.
The Council may also wish to invite the member governments concerned to join the centres for agrarian reform and rural development which had been established and are being established in diffe-rent regions, and to contribute effectively to their budgets and programmes.
In conclusion we look forward to the deliberations of the Council in respect of the follow-up acti-vities which FAO has undertaken so far.
CHAIRMAN: For this item a little later I intend to request my colleague, the Vice Chairman, Mr. Hasan Ahmad, to take the chair. He has considerable experience in rural development.
A.F. BOTHNER (Norway): I did not really intend to be the first speaker on this item but anyhow it may be considered as an indication of the interest of the Nordic countries on this issue.
We listened with great interest to what our friend Dr. Islam mentioned in his introductory remarks. The comments that I am going to make very closely follow the same pattern that he made in his intro-duction. I have the pleasure of speaking on behalf of the Nordic countries, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway.
The World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development held in 1979 was an important milestone in endeavours of the international community to reach a more just distribution of resources and to promote rural development in general. Norway and the Nordic countries have taken an active part and given high priority to the WCARRD Programme of Action. We have with great interest studied the FAO document CL 82/18, Follow-up of WCARRD. We find the document comprehensive and we would like to give it our specific support with regard to paragraph 37.
We would also like to express our satisfaction with the attention given to the role of women in rural development. It is a fact that women play a vital role in food production and it is therefore important that women have access to resources and participate in decision-making, both in working out overall development plans and food strategies and in drawing specific plans for projects and programmes. The Nordic countries are also pleased with the attention given to the follow-up work in developing social and economic indicators as an appropriate data base for the monitoring and evaluation of poverty and rural development within the dimension of growth with equity based on people's participation.
Three years have passed since the WCARRD Conference was held. Although the start of implementation of the principles has been modest and slow, some progress has been made during the last year. The Nordic countries are aware of the fact that the modest progress to a certain extent is due to lack of financial contributions. From the document and other sources we are informed that the contribu-tions so far represent less than 50 percent of the target of US$ 20 million. Most of the contributions come from the Nordic countries. With your permission the Nordic countries take this opportunity to urge other donors to make pledges to this important programme as soon as possible.
Follow-up of WCARRD has also been an item on the agenda of the regional conference in 1982. The Nordic countries welcome this. Our delegations would like to underline that the WCARRD principles should also be encouraged in all activites of FAO. The WCARRD approach is not a phenomenon separate from the technical work of the FAO departments in agriculture, fisheries and forestry. It is an overall philosophy which should guide all technical assistance activities of FAO because it deals with the core problem, the mobilization all the way of the very poorest group or rural areas in developing countries. We also wish to stress the catalytic effect of the follow-up of different WCARRD programmes and other donors and other development assistance. The Nordic countries would also like to stress the inter-agency aspects of rural development and the coordination and cooperation that is taking place both at Headquarters level through the ACC Task Forces as well as in the field.
Finally we would like to express some reflections about the food strategies discussed in the World Food Council earlier this year. The Nordic countries believe that these food strategies are important. We also hope that they can. take into account the demand for greater participation by the people, which is the theme of central importance in the WCARRD Conference. The Nordic countries have stressed that the Programme of Action from the WCARRD Conference must be the foundation for the World Food Council approach to food strategies. In this connexion the Nordic countries would like to ask if FAO, with its great experience and knowledge, can support the World Food Council in its work with food strategies. This applies particularly where there is a need to build up models and statistical material.
Finally I would like to underline the need for a proper discussion of the WCARRD Follow-Up by the FAO Conference in 1983. This discussion must be based on the Programme of Action from the WCARRD Conference. The Nordic countries are looking forward to studying the document which is being prepared for the Conference in 1983. We hope the aspects mentioned in our statement today will be reflected in this document.
S. Hasan Ahmad, Vice-Chairman of the Council, took the chair
S. Hasan Ahmad, Vice-President du Conseil, assume la présidence
Ocupa la presidencia S. Hasan Ahmad, Vicepresidente del Consejo
Y.A. HAMDI (Egypt) (Original language Arabic): The Arab Republic of Egypt has endeavoured, since the 1950's, to improve the living standards of the rural people. An act of rural reform was promulgated and integrated development plans were initiated. These plans included settlements extension and training and aimed at increasing rural workers' income and improving their economic and social standards of living. The Egyptian delegation would like to praise the efforts made by FAO in this context as a follow-up of the WCARRD and asks that these efforts be extended and increased. My country is convinced of the role to be played by the Regional Centers for Integrated Rural Development. From this point of view, and in order to share our experience with countries from the region, Egypt has proposed to host the Regional Center for the Near-East and places all the experience gained by the International Settlement Center in Maryut at the disposal of this Regional Center. In this context we would like to indicate that the Maryut Center was set up by Egypt with the participation of FAO, ILO and Unesco whom we would like to thank for their support.
CHAIRMAN: I would not want to interrupt the proceedings by giving the prefatory remarks which I thought I would make. I will reserve that until the end and we will get on with the business.
Señora Doña D. SANCHEZ (Colombia): A la Delegación de Colombia le complace que la FAO haya seguido implementando en forma acertada las principales recomendaciones de la Conferencia Mundial sobre Reforma Agraria y Desarrollo Rural celebrada en esta ciudad en el año 1979.
Destacamos la promoción de la participación popular y la colaboración justificada y conveniente con otras agencias de las Naciones Unidas, particularmente con la OIT.
La delegación de Colombia apoya plenamente la acción de los distintos departamentos de la FAO en cuanto al papel de la mujer en el desarrollo rural. Consideramos de gran importancia, como lo decía el representante de los Países Nórdicos, la integración de la mujer en el desarrollo. En consecuencia, nos parecen útiles las orientaciones y lista de referencias sobre este tema mencionadas en el párrafo 12 del documento CL 82/18.
Otorgamos particular importancia a la vigilancia y evaluación de la reforma agraria y desarrollo rural. Agradecemos la asistencia de la FAO para los estudios llevados a cabo en Colombia en esta materia.
Nuestra delegación considera esenciales las actividades a nivel regional; el nuevo gobierno colombiano está decididamente en favor del desarrollo rural a través del cual se pueda beneficiar particularmente a los pequeños y medianos agricultores. Tenemos en Colombia un Programa de Desarrollo Rural Integrado, el DRI, que es la base de la política agropecuaria colombiana basada en aspectos sociales y humanos de gran significación.
Dentro de ese orden de ideas el gobierno colombiano sigue siendo partidario del establecimiento en el vecino y fraterno país de El Ecuador del Centro de Reforma Agraria y Desarrollo Rural para América Latina y el Caribe.
A tal respecto quisiéramos saber si nos pueden actualizar, señor Presidente, la situación para el establecimiento de ese Centro Regional.
El Gobierno de El Ecuador ya ha depositado los instrumentos de ratificación: las últimas noticias oficiales las obtuvimos en la pasada Conferencia Regional para América Latina y El Caribe celebrada en septiembre pasado en el amigo país de Nicaragua. Entonces aún no se había decidido este asunto; por ello nos interesa saber cuál es su estado actual.
Finalmente,la delegación de Colombia se adhiere a casi todas las cuestiones que ha de considerar el Consejo, particularmente la solicitud en nuestro informe de pedir a posibles nuevos donantes contri-buciones con fondos extrapresupuestarios para seguir apoyando las medidas complementarias de esa importante Conferencia, así como invitar a los Estados Miembros a que promuevan la creación de comités nacionales y su plena participación en el Programa de Vigilancia y Evaluación de la Reforma Agraria y el Desarrollo Rural.
CHAIRMAN : We note your emphasis on the need to integrate women in rural development and we have benefited by your country's experience. We have also noted your desire to be updated on the situation about setting-up the Latin American Centre in Equador. The Secretariat will make a note of it and I am sure they will give you the latest situation.
LI ZHENHUAN (China)(original language Chinese) : First I would like to thank Professor Islam for his introduction of this item. Document CL 82/18 prepared by the Secretariat presents a concise yet Comprehensive illustration of FAO's activities as regards follow-up of WCARRD. We support the activities undertaken by FAO in this connection. We think that agrarian reform and rural development can be realized only by relying on the efforts of the government and people of a given country. But at the same time international efforts should not be neglected. If well utilized they will constitute an impetus to national agrarian reform and rural development. Therefore we wish to commend FAO for the leading role it has played in coordinating these activities.
Paragraph 37 (a) of the document refers to national coordinating committees on agrarian reform and rural development. I would like-to take this opportunity to brief delegates on the relevant work done in our country. Recently China's National Rural Development Research Centre held a meeting in Beijing at which eight strategic measures concerning the development of rural economy were formulated. They are as follows :
1. To stabilize all forms of responsibility systems of production - that is, to stabilize the system of household contracting under the unified leadership and management of production teams which is now effective in most parts of the rural areas and will not be changed easily without good reasons.
2. To continue to follow the principle of sparing no effort in developing grain production while encouraging a diversified economy with a view to enhancing integrated rural development.
3. To improve conditions for production. Apart from bettering water conservancy networks, use of fertilizers, agro-machinery, special emphasis will be put on the construction of infrastructure such as transportation and storage facilities.
4. To raise the cost effectiveness of farm production.
5. To explore new commercial channels so as to help the peasants overcome difficulties in selling their products and purchasing industrial goods.
6. To develop agro-scientific research and education and raise the cultural and scientific level of the peasants in a broad way.
7. To prevent problems with latent damage from emerging. So measures will be taken to control rural population, maintain ecological balance and protect the environment.
8. To strengthen political and ideological work in rural areas.
We consider that the foregoing eight measures are in conformity with the spirit of the declaration and Programme of Action of WCARRD.
Our objective is to bring about a rapid development of agriculture and a well-to-do life for the peasants by the end of this century.
Before I conclude please allow me to say a few words on the social economic indicators for monitoring and evaluating agrarian reform and rural development. Since the Twenty-First Session of the FAO Conference this Organization has done a great deal in this field. It is a rather complicated and fairly technical matter. This is not an item under discussion at the present Council Session and has to be further studied by experts. However, in order to facilitate timely and effective participation of more countries in such activities we suggest that when formulating social economic indicators FAO Secretariat follow the principle of making them simple, reliable, flexible and practical. At the initial stage the indicators may not be too ambitious and too complex. They can be perfected after experiences have been accumulated.
CHAIRMAN : We are delighted to hear about your experience in the National Rural Research Centre where you have evolved strategies for the development of the rural economy. I am quite sure that we all have a lot to learn from that. Thank you very much for your valuable statement. We have also noted your suggestion regarding the formulation of the economic social indicators which, as you say, have to be simple and reliable, and I think most of us agreed on that.
J.E. MENDES FERRAO (Portugal) : Selon l'optique établie par la Conference mondiale sur la réforme agraire et le développement rural qui s'est tenue à Rome en 1979, chaque gouvernement doit formuler sa stratégie de développement rural selon ses propres conditions et les objectifs qu'il prétend atteindre. Par ailleurs, on connaît l'intense activité développée par la FAO dans le but d'étudier et de donner un appui technique et financier aux actions de la réforme agraire et du développement rural et surtout dans les régions du Tiers Monde où les problèmes posés par la défectueuse distri-bution de la terre agricole présentent une telle importance qu'ils expliquent au moins en partie l'incapacité de ces pays de pouvoir alimenter leur population et satisfaire au moins ses besoins élémentaires.
Cela justifie que la FAO ait mis à la disposition des pays intéressés d'importants moyens afin qu'ils puissent mettre à exécution des projets intégrés de développement rural. Au Portugal, tous les problèmes relatifs à la réforme agraire traînent depuis des années quoique plusieurs mesures aient été prises afin d'adapter les structures foncières et d'exploration agricole à l'indispensable moder-nisation; la vérité c'est que c'est seulement en 1975 que l'on a essayé de développer le problème. Cependant, l'époque de tensions politico-sociales que l'on vivait alors et le caractère démagogique de quelques mesures ont empêché une vision objective du problème agraire s'agissant de le résoudre dans son ensemble, d'autant plus que les lois de réforme publiées prétendaient surtout faire coïncider son action dans le sud du pays caractérisées au point de vue agraire par la prédominance de la grande propriété rustique souvent de nature latifondiaire. Au nord, par contre, on trouve une excessive division de la terre cultivable. Comme on le sait, la situation se référant à la petite ou à la grande propriété empêche l'évolution du secteur agricole quand celui-ci est appelé à s'intégrer dans le processus d'accroissement de l'économie nationale,l'une utilisant des systèmes artisanaux, l'autre employant des facteurs de production en régime de sous-emploi. Ce que l'on vient de référer confirme après tout l'impossibilité du secteur agricole national, surtout dans les zones au nord du Tage, de pouvoir s'approcher des modèles suivis par une agriculture européenne compétitive faite dans des exploitations économiquement viables.
Ayant conscience de cette situation, le Gouvernement portugais tâche de trouver une solution réa-liste et adaptée au problème, surtout dans le nord du pays où 1 application de la loi des bases de la réforme agraire de 1977 n'a pas eu les incidences voulues Ainsi, pour atteindre les objectifs de modernisation de l'agriculture, a été promulguée, ou est en train de l'être, la législation concernant les sujets suivants : plan de réforme de l'agriculture; meilleure utilisation des terres abandonnées ou sous-utilisées, déterminant les minimums à atteindre dans leur utilisation; réserve agricole nationale; amodiation rurale; orientation agricole.
Le plan de réforme de l'agriculture fait partie d'un programme à moyen terme qui tend, dans sa géné-ralité, à la modernisation des structures agricoles de façon à les adapter au niveau des pays européens plus évolués.
En résumé, il s'agit de reformuler toute la problématique agricole portugaise, en ayant pour objectif de changer le sens négatif du processus de la productivité de l'agriculture et des niveaux de la production agricole. A cet effet, divers projets et programmes d'investissement ont été établis.
Le Gouvernement portugais est également très intéressé à donner son appui aux problèmes de la pluri-activité agricole et rurale qui ont fait l'objet de débats lors de la dernière conférence européenne de l'agriculture qui a eu lieu à Rome au mois de juin dernier, ainsi qu'à la 1 3ème conférence régionale de la FAO pour l'Europe ayant eu lieu récemment à Sofia.
En ce sens, étant donné la prédominance des "microfundi" dans le nord du pays, un projet de pluri-activité avec une collaboration importante des femmes est en train d'être mis à l'essai dans les régions du nord, avec l'appui du Gouvernement suisse et de la FAO.
On espère que ce projet pourra démarrer en 1983. Les négociations sont déjà très avancées.
En terminant ces considérations, je voudrais d'autre part annoncer que très récemment, le 18 novembre dernier, le Ministre de l'agriculture a soumis en discussion publique un projet de loi visant à modifier divers points de la loi des bases de la réforme agraire de 1977. Cet avant-projet prévoit, parmi d'autres modifications importantes, que les terres expropriées ou nationalisées seront données en exploitation aux petits et moyens agriculteurs, aux coopératives de travailleurs ruraux ou d'agriculteurs, ou bien encore seront administrées par l'Etat à des fins de recherche agraire, de vulgarisation rurale, et de formation professionnelle.
Ce projet doit être présenté à l'Assemblée de la République dans l'année en cours.
CHAIRMAN: We are grateful to you for giving us a narrative of the experiments you have undertaken in WCARRD-related activities and particularly for and telling us how you have been trying to solve the problem of integrating agricultural development in the overall economic pattern of your country.
J. LADAN (Nigeria): My delegation congratulates the FAO Secretariat for the magnitude of assistance it has rendered to all the developing countries and their regions in the implementation of the Programme of Action of the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development. The series of meetings, expert consultations, programme guidelines and research activities organized under the auspices of FAO is a testimony to the dedication of FAO to the cause of agrarian reform and rural development.
My delegation wishes to reemphasize here the Resolution of the last FAO Regional Conference for . Africa on Training of High-Level Manpower. This will provide personnel who will be able to plan and execute the Rural Development Programme, thus meeting the objectives of the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development.
My delegation is particularly interested in projects dealing with the following : 1) evaluation of the Rural Development Programmes, especially the design of suitable format for data gathering and report writing; 2) appreciation and strengthening the role of women in agriculture;and 3) people's participation in rural development through promotion of self-help organizations.
When the mobile task force for promoting projects for people's participation under the auspices of CIRDAFRICA becomes operational, Nigeria will be very keen to benefit from its activities. We shall be grateful to receive a few copies of the publication entitled "Administering Agricultural Development for Small Farmers - Issues in Decentralization and Participation".
In view of the very useful work being done by FAO, my delegation would like to appeal to all potential donors and development agencies to assist the Organization with financial and other resources in furtherance of the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development Follow-Up Programme.
One area of weakness in many countries is the coordination of rural development activities going on in several departments and ministries of governments. It is our view that the FAO may wish to direct its country representatives in such countries to use their neutral position to foster such coordina-tion. The national institution designated to work with CIRDAFRICA could be the primary contact of the FAO representative for such coordination efforts.
My delegation would like to appeal to the FAO Secretariat to continue its successful efforts so far made to establish CIRDAFRICA until the centre becomes very functional and effective. We look up to the centre to commence work in the field of research, training and organization of workshops and seminars in the very near future.
CHAIRMAN: We note you have highlighted the importance of implementing your Regional Conference Resolution on Training of High-Level Manpower who would plan and implement the development programmes in the rural development sector, and we also note your emphasis on the Centre for Integrated Development for Africa, which we understand is already on its way.
We have noted your request to the FAO to direct its Representative to use his neutral position to help coordinate the rural development activities which are distributed over various ministries in your country. I am sure FAO will take note of it, though generally perhaps they would have to have the opinion of other countries, too, in this regard.
A. ACUÑA HUMPHRIES (Panamá): Permítame formular sobre el tema 10 del Programa de este Consejo algunas consideraciones de carácter general antes de formular otras de carácter específico. Para nosotros, es motivo de gran satisfacción el hecho de que se este presentando, por segunda vez, a este Consejo, al igual que se ha hecho en otros órganos rectores de esta Organización, el resultado de las actividades que dan seguimiento al Programa de Acción que fue aprobado por la Conferencia Mundial sobre Reforma Agraria y Desarrollo Rural.
Esta Conferencia se diferencia de otras conferencias mundiales celebradas y cuyos seguimientos a las recomendaciones y acuerdos, parecieran haber caído en el vacío o en el mejor de los casos haber llegado a un franco estado de agotamiento. Este no es el caso, por suerte, de la Conferencia Mundial sobre Reforma Agraria y Desarrollo Rural. Por estos seguimientos que se le han venido dando a los Programas de la Conferencia Mundial sobre Reforma Agraria y Desarrollo Rural, tenemos que felicitar a la FAO.
Hacemos esta apreciación por el hecho de que somos unos permanentes convencidos de que en el contenido de las conclusiones y recomendaciones a que llego la Conferencia Mundial sobre Reforma Agraria y
Desarrollo Rural, y que recoge, tanto su Declaración de Principios como su Programa de Acción, ésta planteó el quid del asunto para la solución de los problemas que presenta la agricultura y la alimen-tación en el mundo. Lo formulado por estos documentos se constituye en prerrequisitos para el desa-rrollo de nuestros países que están en vías de este desarrollo. En algunas reuniones que promueve esta Organización, nos ha tocado escuchar planteamientos sobre la solución de los problemas que, a nuestro juicio, distan mucho de ser la solución verdadera a estos problemas. Muchas veces nos da la impresión de que para algunos, por ejemplo, la solución de estos problemas es la utilización masiva de toneladas de fertilizantes, de fungicidas e insecticidas, muchas veces muy mal usados así como de otros insumos técnicos para que prácticamente se solucione el grave problema alimentario y agrícola de nuestros países. A quienes formulan o se aproximan a tales planteamientos, les recordamos los fracasos en que terminó la denominada "revolución verde". Y este fracaso se debió, entre otras cosas, a que cuando se logró el aumento de la producción, este aumento benefició a unos pocos.
Hemos dicho, en anteriores oportunidades, que la solución de estos problemas es como el tratar de llegar a una cima por medio de escalones, los primeros de los cuales, no son indispensables para arribar a los otros; vienen a ser las medidas que corrijan los problemas que tratan, entre otras cosas, de cambiar y hacer más equitativo primariamente el acceso a la tierra, al agua y otros recursos naturales indispensables para verdaderamente alcanzar una seguridad alimentaria, tanto en el sentido horizontal como vertical; esto sin descuidar los otros aspectos necesarios como es el disponer de otros insumos productivos así como de mercados oportunos y precios adecuados, al igual que de servicios apropiados, de nuevas y mejores tecnologías, así como de una adecuada investigación, enseñanza, capacitación y extensión.
Estos son los otros peldaños de la escalera a los cuales no llegamos sin pasar inicialmente por los primeros, a riesgo de dar un gran salto y caer en el vacío. Sostenemos que, dentro de las particula-ridades propias de todos y cada uno de nuestros países en vías de desarrollo, hay que examinar a fondo lo referente a la propiedad y explotación de la tierra agrícola. Este es un tema que sigue siendo tratado como de tema tabú en muchas reuniones. No deja de recoger un problema que objetivamente existe y que no podemos soslayar ni nacional ni internacionalmente por más que queramos. Y en este aspecto la materialización de las Recomendaciones de la Conferencia Mundial sobre Reforma Agraria y Desarrollo Rural, se viene a constituir en una especie de llama encendida en espera, quizás, de que haya más oxígeno para que ilumine más.
Con relación a la sucinta información pero no por sucinta menos valiosa que nos suministra el documento CL 82/18: "Actividades complementarias de la CMRADR", y concretamente al capítulo VI, sobre las "Cuestiones que ha de considerar el Consejo", queremos señalar lo siguiente. Con relación al capítulo II "Actividades a nivel nacional" y en particular en relación a la asistencia para la preparación de estrategias, planes y programas nacionales, le concedemos prioridad a todas aquellas actividades encaminadas a las organizaciones cuando éstas no existan de los campesinos o al fortale-cimiento y consolidación de las mismas cuando existan, y que tiendan al desarrollo de actividades generadoras de ingreso y a una eficaz prestación de servicios a los pequeños agricultores; todo esto tendiente a que se logre paralelamente tanto la creación de nuevas organizaciones como la consolida-ción de las ya existentes, tomándose en cuenta, como correctamente se está previendo, la verdadera y cabal participación de la mujer en todos los aspectos del desarrollo, en general y en particular, de la Reforma Agraria y Desarrollo Rural.
Con relación a la prioridad en la asistencia a la participación popular, destacamos lo expresado en el párrafo 8, en el sentido de que la FAO ha seguido prestando asistencia a los países para que introduzcan la participación popular como objetivo de sus estrategias de desarrollo y componente de la planificación, elaboración, ejecución y evaluación de los proyectos de campo de desarrollo rural.
Al igual que destacamos lo señalado en el párrafo 11, relativo a la participación popular y su relación con los otros aspectos institucionales y organizativos referentes a los sistemas de distribu-ción de insumos y prestación de servicios a los pequeños agricultores, a través de la descentralización de los servicios públicos y la participación de organizaciones locales de agricultores.
Relativo a la educación, capacitación y extensión para el desarrollo rural, destacamos en este Con-sejo de la FAO, para su debida consideración, la eficacia que tiene la capacitación previa y durante el servicio del personal que desempeña funciones de extensión. Insistimos en este aspecto porque, por diferentes causas, el mismo en muchos casos si no se descuida totalmente, se pospone con consecuencias negativas para la ejecución de los proyectos de reforma agraria y desarrollo rural.
Sobre los aspectos de vigilancia y evaluación de la Reforma Agraria y el Desarrollo Rural, a esta delegación le gustaría conocer más sobre los indicadores socio-económicos para esta vigilancia y evaluación de la Reforma Agraria y Desarrollo Rural. Hemos escuchado al distinguido delegado de China, señalar su intención de que estos indicadores sean lo más simples posible, y que, conforme a lo expresado en el párrafo 19, ya se ha iniciado un programa al respecto. Igualmente, nos gustaría conocer más sobre el esbozo de un modelo de informe nacional para evaluación y control, esto con el propósito de que tanto los Estados Miembros que actualmente constituyen este Consejo, como otros estados de la Organización, informemos y recomendemos sobre el particular a nuestros respectivos gobiernos.
Por otra parte, el párrafo 25 del documento CL/82/18 nos informa sobre medidas adoptadas para prestar asistencia a los países en la preparación de sus futuros informes nacionales sobre la situación de la Reforma Agraria y Desarrollo Rural en nuestros países. Destacamos esto por la importancia que tiene para que nuestros dirigentes y gobernantes tengan una vision científica y libre de todo pre-juicio sobre los problemas de la Reforma Agraria y Desarrollo Rural en nuestros respectivos países.
Apoyamos lo señalado en el párrafo 35, en el sentido de que se siga atribuyendo elevada prioridad a la participación de las organizaciones no gubernamentales, y en especial, agregamos nosotros, a las de los campesinos y pequeños agricultores, en la identificación y ejecución de proyectos enca-minados a promover las organizaciones de autoayuda en el sector rural de países en desarrollo. Basta decir, sobre este particular, que son los beneficiarios de las acciones de reforma agraria y desa-rrollo rural los verdaderos interesados en que estas acciones se materialicen; más interesados, por supuesto, que nosotros los burócratas, tanto nacionales como internacionales.
Finalmente, nosotros somos unos convencidos de que existen países de la comunidad internacional, especialmente la Comunidad Internacional de Países Desarrollados, que tienen una clara conciencia en dar su apoyo financiero a las actividades que están materializando las Conclusiones y Recomendaciones de la Conferencia Mundial sobre Reforma Agraria y Desarrollo Rural, por lo que confiamos que surgirán, cada vez más, donantes que contribuirán con recursos extrapresupuestarios adicionales, para apoyar el programa de medidas complementarias de la Conferencia Mundial sobre Reforma Agraria y Desarrollo
Rural. A este respecto, acabamos de escuchar con satisfacción al Dr. Islam, informarnos sobre la participación de países como Suecia, Noruega, Dinamarca, Irlanda, Países Bajos e Italia, y nosotros esperamos que esta lista se aumente.
CHAIRMAN: You have in fact touched on the very core of the WCARRD concept, that production increases hitherto have been benefiting more sections of the population, by-passing by and large the millions who did not have access to land, water, and other natural resources. We have also noted your emphasis on training of extension staff. Most of us coming from developing countries would agree on this very important aspect of WCARRD. The Secretariat has noted also your desire to hear a little more about the status of developed or socially-economic indicators which has also been touched on by other delegates.
At this point I would like to mention that we have another long list of speakers, and if we could be a little more precise and brief I think that would generally help matters.
A. NAGA (Japan): My delegation would like to thank the Secretariat for having so well prepared this document CL/82/18. I would like to make a number of comments on this item.
We welcome and appreciate the progress in activities made by the FAO such as assistance with projects at the country level, inter-governmental consultation on a regional basis, and the role undertaken by the FAO in coordinating activities among the international organizations concerned. I believe it is of vital importance that the developing countries solve their problems in the long-term perspective on the basis of the correlation of principles and the Programme of Action of WCARRD.
WCARRD concluded that the key to agricultural development in the developing countries lay in the fostering of owner-farmers through the agricultural and agrarian reform. The Conference also emphasized the importance of agriculture and rural development, including the areas of forestry and fisheries.
Japan's own experience has convinced it of the importance of agrarian reform and competence in rural development. The implementation of agrarian reform in Japan led the farmers to strive to increase production. Of course, a wide range of proposals of both central and local government have encouraged the determination of the Japanese farmers to adopt policies including financial aid for the.promotion of agriculture, and the price-stabilization systems for farm products.
In the light of the need to support international activities, my government is ready to contribute $165 000 to assist the activities of the Centre for Integrated Rural Development in Asia and the Pacific in the 1982 Japanese fiscal year. Japan intends to support the activities of the Centre within the framework of the assistance scheme in the future.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you, delegate of Japan, for giving us your country's experience from which many of us can learn. We have learned wide-ranging policies as well as the WCARRD led activities and finan-cially aided price devaluation of farm output have helped modernise your agriculture. We particularly note with profound thanks that you are ready to contribute $ 165 000 for the Centre for Integrated Rural Development in Asia and the Pacific which is in Comilla, Bangladesh.
M. PHOOFOLO (Lesotho): Document CL/82/18, the follow-up of WCARRD, requires the Council to address itself to issues A to E of Chapter 6, paragraph 37 of page 7.
The progress made by FAO in respect of such an aim as that in chapter II of assisting countries in the preparation of national strategies, plans and programmes is very much encouraged. My delegation is extremely happy and grateful to FAO for their proposed fielding of the high-level policy review mission to Lesotho to give assistance there in the formulation and the implementation of agrarian reform programmes, strengthening of the training capacity for rural development in order to benefit the rural poor. We only wish to emphasize that the strengthening of training capacity for rural development should be done by training identified local people to the highest level possible. This means awarding fellowships to trained people who will be better equipped to plan and carry out rural development programmes, thus fulfilling the ideas and objectives of the WCARRD to Masters and Ph.D. levels.
Even in training people to post-graduate levels we ask that not too many people within one division be trained to that level, otherwise developing countries might run into the difficulty of finding jobs for them or of absorbing them in their establishment lists. Therefore what we would like to see is a balanced type of training.
An area which still remains grey is the role of women in development. While it is stated in paragraph 12 that the role which rural women play in agricultural production and rural development is now well recognized, the amount of research that is to be undertaken, as reflected in paragraph 16, somehow suggested that it may be an overstatement to speak of experts on women in agricultural development in order to facilitate the integration of women in countries' rural development programmes. For example, one sees very few if any at all African women on the high-level missions that go to Africa, and one wonders who other than African women can be expected to work in agrarian development. My delegation submits that unless they are just objects of study, women should be given a greater chance to pronounce themselves on their own affairs.
Under education, training and extension for rural development, there is no clear statement on specific efforts made to enhance the expert capabilities of Africa, which is the hungriest, poorest and least professionally capable continent. The measures reported under this section are not enough to help the rural poor out of their dilemma. My delegation therefore submits that a special fellowship programme should be established for training of professionals for Africa so that they can come back to train their own people. In this way there would be a higher multiplying effect.
Monitoring and evaluating agrarian reform and rural development, as explained in paragraphs 19-25,
seem to be the life-blood of WCARRD. We may only argue that integration of activities under paragraph 14 and paragraph 24 might include the value of these studies. My delegation is happy to note that Africa is starting to cooperate with an interim director. We are also quick to add that support for training of professionals to man this centre is most urgent and should be addressed directly by FAO.
My delegation finds difficulty in appreciating the full value of inter-agency cooperation if the agencies concerned cannot agree on a format for monitoring and evaluation. The statement in paragraph 32 that each agency would continue to monitor its own efforts is disturbing.
Finally, we would add our word to urge and invite donors and Member Governments to do what is required of them under paragraphs 34 and 37.
CHAIRMAN: I thank the distinguished delegate of Lesotho for particularly highlighting the need for special programmes for training in your country; for you think that a balanced training should be imparted only by trained local people. That means you emphasize the importance of training of trainers. You have also emphasized the role of women and lastly I think you made a point regarding your difficulty in appreciating the full value of inter-agency cooperation which I am sure the Secretariat would note and give you clarification.
RADIN SOENARNO (Malaysia): My delegation would like to congratulate the Secretariat for this comprehensive and informative document and also Professor Islam for his clear introduction of the topic under discussion. With regard to the main priority areas referred to in the document, my delegation wishes to congratulate FAO and CIRDAP for co-hosting an expert consultation on social economy indicators for monitoring and evaluation of agrarian reform and rural development for Asia and the South-West Pacific which was held in Bangkok from 19th to 24th April, 1982. Malaysia participated in the above consultation and we found that the consultation was beneficial in improving our monitoring and evaluation efforts in rural development projects. We welcome the major conclusions and recommendations of the consultation, especially the recommendations on the use of indicators. As emphasized, these indicators should be simple, measurable, accurate, timely and cost-effective. The outline for country reports on progress in agrarian reform and rural development, as agreed during the consultation, is also commendable. The list of core data for social economy indicators is relative to our present requirement, comprehensive and useful. We hope that subsequent consultations in the various regions will further improve existing universal guidelines for country reports. The experiences of the pilot studies undertaken now in the use of indicators for monitoring and evaluation of WCARRD's programme could be incorporated into the progress report to be discussed during the FAO Conference in 1983.
Malaysia has gained some experience in carrying out the pilot study on the use of indicators to assess the impact of rural development. The experiences gained from this study would be useful fot other future studies in the country and could be shared with other countries.
One of the programmes of action adopted by the WCARRD conference in 1979 was the promotion among national institutions of the exchange of experiences and expertise gained in programme implementa-tion on agrarian reform and rural development, including the establishment and strengthening of regional institutions for research and training. This is to expand the scope for greater cooperation in the exchange of knowledge and experiences in institutional reform and rural development planning. We strongly support this move and hope that other Member countries will do the same.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you for bringing out the importance and usefulness of the FAO and CIRDAP-sponsored intergovernmental consultations held recently in Bangkok for agreeing on the socio-economic indicators for preparing the 1983 report for the conference. Thank you also for throwing light On the very important requirement of promoting exchange of information and experience at the regional level on WCARRD-related activities between the regional countries.
R.B. RYANGA (Kenya): I would like to join my colleagues in commending the Secretariat for this document which outlines what FAO has been doing in respect of follow-up to WCARRD. I also wish to congratulate Dr. Islam for the clear introduction he has given us to this document. I think that FAO should be commended for the initiative it has taken since 1979 when the WCARRD conference was held. We appreciate the activities that it has initiated in our countries in order to improve the participation of people in their own development. We appreciate particularly such programmes as the preparation of national strategies, plans and programmes which enable countries to have a comprehensive approach to the alleviation of poverty and for encouraging development in rural areas.
Regarding specific areas that the FAO has been involved in, we ourselves have been involved in promoting people's participation and now, for example, there is a seminar being conducted in Nairobi which is looking at the improvement of institutional and organizational regimens for the delivery systems of inputs and services for small farmers. This seminar is being attended by countries from all over Africa and documentation has been prepared; and, after initial discussions in Plenary, the participants will be able to travel around the country to see how local small farmers are being assisted in the acquisition of inputs including extension services. We hope that this seminar will bring out some of the issues which could be discussed at a later date.
I see here that a paper will be prepared on these studies with policy issues and published in 1983. We look forward to receiving the results of these seminars and particularly this paper which will analyse the studies and the policy issues which have come out in these discussions. We also welcome the mobile sub-regional task force for promoting projects and people's participation in Africa which will be located at CIRDAFRICA and will soon be operational. We believe that this, mobile task force will enable our people to highlight those areas which they should concentrate on, and particularly in assisting people in their individual capacities in informal groups and also informal proposals.
Of particular importance is the work which FAO is doing in the role of women. There is a comprehensive programme outlined here in which FAO is attempting to improve the participation of women in rural development. We are encouraged to see that, for example, there is a programme for training women as para-technicians for rural development. I take it that this means that these women will be trained to be informal leaders in their own communities and therefore to assist in making the normal extension services more effective, because they will serve as focal points in their communities for the dissemination of information and training to their colleagues.
We also appreciate the projects listed here which, in fact, are of a critical kind; for example poultry production, sheep and goat production, and so on. We believe that these kinds of . programmes will also help women to increase their incomes and will be of very great benefit to the population.
We hope that these high-level missions which are going around to facilitate the increase of African women in the countries' development programmes will include also African women who, as my colleague from Lesotho said, are better placed to understand the problems and aspirations of African women.
We appreciate the programmes which are going on in training and expansion for rural development and we also think that in addition to creating a capability for the extension staff to solve the problems of the small farmers, we would also like to have a strengthening of the supervisory framework, that link from the central point in Headquarters right down to the field. We need this area of supervision to be strengthened as well in order to make sure of the programme within the framework of the programmes that have been planned generally. We agree with our colleague of Lesotho that there should also be a programme for high-level manpower development, and this is in line with the resolution which was passed in Algiers at the African Regional Conference where it was noted that Africa was deficient in high-level manpower to do the planning and implementation of African programmes. We therefore support that this programme should be included here.
We welcome the emphasis being placed on shifting cultivation; and we hope that at a later date we shall be able to receive a more comprehensive brief on this regarding exactly what shifting cultivation is, who is doing it, and the extent of the area under this and the real important significance of shifting cultivation in the African context; particularly we would like to know what proposals are being put forward and programmes to eradicate shifting cultivation.
We agree that one of the most important components of a monitoring and evaluation programme is a comprehensive and efficient information system, including textural as well as statistical information. We therefore support the work of the FAO in monitoring and evaluation of rural reform and agricultural development. We believe that these indicators which are now being developed will assist our countries to see for themselves whether our programme is of benefit or not, because this really is the important point.
We welcome the support that FAO has given to CIRDAFRICA, which has not quite started operating but which we hope will start operating soon with an interim Director, and particularly this programme which we mentioned earlier, the mobile task force, to strengthen people's participation. We hope that FAO will continue to give CIRDAFRICA the support which it is giving it now.
We are also a bit disturbed that the different agencies still insist that they should themselves continue to monitor their own efforts individually. We believe that this segregation of programmes as between agencies without effective coordination is possibly one of the problems which makes it difficult to have the proper results in rural development. I would also like to mention very briefly here that on the question of the training, one of the problems is that while in Africa we are short of trained manpower, I think that the operations of international agencies do aggravate the problem. These agencies isolate and segregate their individual programmes and by doing this they syphon off staff from the regular programme, particularly the extension at the supervisory level; and when they do this they make the resulting ministry less effective than it would otherwise have been. We believe, therefore, that these programmes should not only be integrated and coordinated but they should also be integrated in the national programmes to make them more effective and also to allow for personnel, as they have been trained, to be more effective in the operations.
Finally, we would like to urge all potential donors to contribute additional extra-budgetary resources to support the WCARRD follow-up action, and we would urge other governments to join those countries in CIRDAFRICA and to join other centres in other areas which will help in agrarian reform. We believe members should promote national coordinated committees for agrarian reform in order to make sure that the efforts of rural people will not be dissipated. We would like also to invite members to participate fully in the programmes for monitoring programmes on rural development and agrarian reform. Finally I would like to say that WCARRD itself is a supplemental programme, and the big problem we face today is actually the imbalance in international trade. If the African countries, in fact the countries of the Third World were to receive for their produce prices which were commensurate with the consumer prices in the rich countries, these countries in Africa and other poor regions would be able to tackle their problems more effectively. Therefore while we support WCARRD this does not mean that we do not think that rich countries should still try to promote and implement the objectives of the new international economic order, agricultural adjustments and international equitable trade.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you for giving us your impression as also signifying your support for FAO-sponsored activities in the field of WCARRD follow-up. Also, the information that you gave on the seminar that is being held in Nairobi at the moment is certainly going to be very useful; and we have noted that you have highlighted, in support of the delegate of Lesotho, the importance of having greater stress given on training of trainers. We appreciate the difficulty you have mentioned about having international agencies in the absence of adequately trained people in your country; and we have also noted that while you have full support for WCARRD, you would want also importance to be given to the implementation of the international development strategy and the new economic order and also to ensure that you have a better chance of trade than possibly you have at the moment,
A. PINOARGOTE (Ecuador): La delegación de el Ecuador quiere hacer presente la firme voluntad de su gobierno de conceder a la reforma agraria y el desarrollo rural la máxima prioridad posible. El desarrollo rural particularmente ha recibido en los últimos tiempos una atención preferente de mi Gobierno. Existe y funciona dinámicamente una Secretaría de Desarrollo Rural Integrado, adscrita a la Presidencia de la República, que fue creada en 1979.
Respecto a la inquietud planteada por la delegación de Colombia debo informar que, en lo que concier-ne al establecimiento de un Centro Regional de Formación Rural, el trámite pertinente se encuentra en su última fase, que es la aprobación del Parlamento, por lo que ratifico, de acuerdo a instruc-ciones precisas de mi Gobierno, la voluntad de concretar el proyecto del Centro Regional.
En lo que atañe al informe CL 82/18 deseo expresar la complacencia de la delegación ecuatoriana por el apoyo de la FAO a la causa de la reforma agraria y de la capacitación rural, pues sin un adecuado nivel de preparación del campesinado los esfuerzos que se hagan con miras a producir más alimentos, y distribuirlos de acuerdo a criterios de equidad, y con miras a desarrollar el agro, se verán siempre sujetos a metas poco ambiciosas.
Consideramos base fundamental de las actividades agrícolas la superación del nivel de preparación de los campesinos. En consecuencia, el Ecuador apoya irrestrictamente estos afanes y está dispuesto a prestar en breve una colaboración concreta mediante el Centro de Formación Regional.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you for giving me the clarification that was asked for by Colombia on the setting-up of a regional centre and thank you also for pledging your support to the proper functioning of the regional centre to be set up in your country.
AKLU GIRGRE (Ethiopia): My delegation has read Follow-Up on WCARRD, Report CL 82/18, with great interest and has found it to be informative, comprehensive and precise. We fully endorse its contents, particularly the recommendations contained in paragraph -37, page 7.
My delegation strongly supports the idea of a common format on monitoring and evaluation of agrarian reform and rural development on the basis of which country reports will be prepared. We also await with considerable eagerness the consolidated report to be prepared by FAO for consideration by the Conference at its 1983 Session, as indicated in paragraph 23, page 5. A comprehensive and efficient system is a very important component of any monitoring and evaluation programme, thus FAO's assistance in the establishment and development of such a system becomes paramount, especially in the least developed countries.
With regard to action at the country level, as indicated in the report a high-level WCARRD mission visited my country in early May 1982. The purpose of the mission was to review Ethiopia's strategies, policies, plans and programmes for agrarian reform and rural development, rate their adequacy to meet the WCARRD Programme of Action and identify clarity areas for action by my government and international agencies. The mission asserted that Ethiopia's policies and objectives are very close to WCARRD's declaration of principles and programme of action. However, the mission observed and identified several, institutional and technical problems in our strategies, policies and programmes and made invaluable recommendations for effective translation of these policies into action, to which my government will give due attention.
As a result of the mission's visit several areas which required immediate measures were identified, of which five are taking shape for implementation for international assistance. These are (i) workshop on women on agricultural development; (ii) assessment for need for agricultural manpower, education and training; (iii) food and nutrition policy; (iv) projects for an intensive support of agricultural production structures or cooperatives; (v) assistance to strengthen our planning and programme system.
With regard to action at the regional level, my delegation takes pleasure to inform the Council that my government has given serious consideration to join CIRDAFRICA and will ratify the agreement shortly.
CHAIRMAN : Thank you, delegate for Ethiopia, for your valuable contribution, particularly the welcome news that you have given that your government has decided to join CIRDAFRICA.
W.A.F. GRABISCH (Germany, Federal Republic of): The promotion of rural development has been for long a priority area of my country's fruitful cooperation with many developing countries.
As regards the implementation of programmes and actions outlined by the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development, we continue to hold the view, as unanimously agreed upon by WCARRD, that the key role for all measures to promote rural development and to improve agrarian structure lies with the respective country itself. The developing countries, own efforts in that important sector require, on the other hand, also external support.
My delegation welcomes the additional information given us by Mr. Islam in his introduction, supplementing what is spelled out in Document CL 82/18, but we should like to make a few further points.
As regards Chapter II we would like to know how many countries have national strategies, plans and programmes for this area, how many, apart from the nine mentioned, have asked the Secretariat for support. Mr. Islam told us that there are others in the pipeline. Could we know how many of those countries have already also opted for the concept of food strategies.
In Chapter IIB under the activity Promoting People's Participation mention is made of 34 project proposals for 30 countries. These projects are to be of a pilot nature. It would therefore be inte-resting to get to know a bit more about their general orientation and the general substance of these proposals. In this respect we are aware of course that the proposals must be tailored to the specific conditions and requirements of each country.
As regards the manual for monitoring and evaluation of the participatory actions for the rural poor, as mentioned in Paragraph 9 of the document before us, we should like to ask whether the manual is ready in the meantime. My delegation feels that the manual as well as the papers mentioned in paragraph 11 are of interest also to the Member Nations.
My Government attaches special importance to how monitoring and evaluating agrarian reform and rural development progress is carried out and presented to the FAO Conference in 1983 and to ECOSOC in 1984. There is no doubt that the reports to be prepared by the countries for this purpose should follow a certain pattern. We hope that the publication of the guidelines will appear in time (as envisaged for the beginning of 1983). As preliminary information the provisional guidelines mentioned in paragraph 22 could be distributed. I hope that it is not asking too much if interested delegations were given the possibility to look at the individual country reports at the Twenty-Second FAO Conference in 1983. We had a similar procedure at the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development.
I now come to the topics in Chapter VI which are recommended to the Council's special attention. Of the five areas mentioned, in the opinion of my Government priority should be given to the recommenda-tion mentioned in (e). We assume that national reporting by developed countries is not foreseen so the Secretariat will not be overburdened. Proposals for action in areas mentioned in (a) should primarily be expected of developing countries concerned. The measure mentioned in (d) refers to an institutional issue. We feel that it should be left to each country how to proceed. The same applies more or less to (c).
My country's priority for rural development in our cooperation with developing countries, which I mentioned at the beginning, was also reflected materially in the last few years. Thus, the share of our bilateral development aid for the agricultural sector increased from 13 percent in 1979 to about 20 percent in 1980 and increased again in 1981 to a total of 1.3 billion Deutsche Mark.
Before concluding I should like to mention that also a number of non-governmental organizations of my country actively promote and support rural development in developing countries.
CHAIRMAN: You have stressed the key role that the developing countries themselves can discharge in improving their own lot. I also thank you for including in your statement the fact that in this effort of theirs they do need external support which can help them accelerate the momentum.
You have asked for some information, such as how many countries have national plans and strategies and whether the manual for monitoring and evaluating progress has been prepared. I am sure that the Secretariat has taken note of this and will be providing replies in time. We have noted with great satisfaction the interest that the Federal Republic of Germany has been taking in the rural develop-ment of developing countries through bilateral help.
S.P. MÜKERJI (India): My delegation congratulates Professor Nouri Islam on his report. Our earnest hope is that the example set by Professor Islam in follow-up action on the important WCARRD Conference will be emulated by other agencies for following-up the conclusions and deliberations of other conferences, seminars and meetings.
India, and especially our Prime Minister, are deeply committed to an anti-poverty programme and would go to the extent of saying that this is the breath of life so far as our Government is concerned, and it is the breath of administration.
Our Prime Minister's new 20-point programme is directed mainly to ameliorating the condition of the poor in the country. Our Sixth-plan strategy is also directed towards removing poverty, in the rural areas especially. We have a separate Ministry of Rural Development as against a separate Department of Agriculture and Cooperation. So that indicates the particular attention and focus that we are giving to the urgent need of developing our rural areas and improving the quality of life of our people there.
Our strategy has been that a stage has come when there has to be a distributive justice in favour of the poor, so that they are able to have access to productive assets, access to skill, access to rural credit, access to other land and infrastructural facilities which will help them in participating in the mainstream of economic development in the country, because we feel that merely feeding them on doles and having only a fire-fighting arrangement when a calamity comes is not sufficient at all. That is why a separate ministry has been established. We are trying to involve voluntary organizations in rural development apart from the government organizations and ensuring people's participation. Also there is research going on in the matter of rural development. Industry in any sector is allowed tax exemption if they invest part of their income in rural development.
One of the most important programmes that we have launched in the matter of anti-poverty measures is that of integrated rural development in our sixth five-year plan under which while the country is divided into about 5 000 blocks, in every block we have identified 600 families every year who have to be given concentrated help and attention so that they are brought above the poverty line. These 600 families are the poorest in that area and they are identified on the basis of an economic survey and in consultation with the village councils and the local people also, so that no poor family is overlooked on any extraneous consideration. As a result of this strategy 600 families in each of the 5 000 blocks every year to be brought above the poverty line will be able to bring above the poverty line 3 000 families in each of the 5 000 blocks which will come to 15 million families with 75 million people to be brought above the poverty line in a period of five years. This is a tremendous task. We have an outlay of $2 000 million in our sixth plan budget directed to this particular unifocal scheme of anti-poverty programme to be given as subsidy to these identified families, which subsidy will be complemented by soft loans to be given by the rural banks to the extent of $4 000 million. The total outlay will be $6 000 million, that is $6 billion, to be given in subsidy-cum-loan form to these 15 million families on productive activities like agriculture, siriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, fisheries, cottage and village-level industries. We have great hopes of this scheme and we are sure that this will have a very visible and palpable impact on the problem of poverty in our country. Apart from this integrated rural development scheme we have a special livestock programme, where the poorest people are given 50-60 percent subsidy, as we give in the first scheme which I mentioned, to acquire poultry, sheep and cattle, and we also make sure that the produce of these productive commodities is marketed so that they are able to get income. We also have two important schemes of drought-prone areas programmes and desert development programmes, under which irrigation schemes, schemes of soil conservation, animal husbandry and crop husbandry, are taken up for the benefit of small and marginal farmers. I might point out at this stage why I am trying to distinguish between agricultural production and rural development.
In countries like India, any thrust in the matter of agricultural production will benefit only those who own land. They may be small and marginal farmers; nonetheless they have to own some land so that the benefits or incentives of agricultural production goes to them. But what about millions of those people in the rural areas who do not own any land at all, who work on the farms on a crop-sharing basis or on very small wages? It is they who are the poorest of the poor, and we found in the past that in our preoccupation with increasing agricultural production, people who do not own land and cannot participate in agricultural production are left out in the cold. That is why we under the leadership of our Prime Minister are not distinguishing between anti-poverty programmes which are not directly related to agricultural production, because the poorest of the poor do not own land, and the production programmes which are those concerned with those who own land and the small and marginal farmers, so therefore now we have a double-pronged approach: one is the production programme in the agriculture sector and the anti-poverty programme benefiting those who do not own any land at all, and in the case of the second category, which is the weakest category, we are trying to give them some assets. If we cannot give them land-because land is limited - we are trying to give them some productive assets in the shape of cattle, in the shape of poultry , in the shape of piggery, in the shape of tools for cottage industries, in the shape of horticultural plans so that even in their homestead they are able to grow some fruit and vegetables which they can market and then they can work, whether it is the eggs or chickens or meat, they can convert it into money and earn some income, so both the land-based people as well as the non-land-based people are being helped in this two-pronged attack on poverty.
Now apart from that, we have got a very ambitious and national project or programme on rural employment under which the central government gives massive help to the extent of 2 million tons of foodgrains, three of course to the provincial government. As the WFP gives under the Food for Work Programme, the Government of India gives 2 million tons of foodgrains. They gave 2 million tons of foodgrains in 1980-81 and cash of $125 million to the state governments to start Food for Work Programmes for the benefit of those who do not have any land at all, and these Food for Work Programmes are taken up for improving the environment on social forestry, on setting up agro-based industries, cottage industries, land development, digging of canals, construction of roads and so on, so that the productive potential of the rural areas is increased on one hand, and on the other hand, these landless people and the poorest of the poor are able to get foodgrains partly in wages, and part payment of their wages, and also in income, in cash.
One kilogram of foodgrain is given to each landless labourer who works on these nation-building works apart from the wages which are given in cash, so the total amount of 1 kilogram value of food and the cash component of the wage are given to each labourer on the basis of the minimum wages which are fixed in the various states.
Apart from that, we have got a scheme of training of the rural youth for self-employment, so that our young people in the rural areas who do not have any employment are settled in some sort of small-scale industry; they are trained for that, during the period of training they are given stipends and so on.
We have got a massive programme of construction of rural roads, rural markets, rural godowns, which also help in improving the economic condition in the rural areas.
As regards land reforms, so far we have distributed more than 4 million acres of land by declaring land surplus to the old owners. We have got a ceiling on land, and the people who had got more than the ceiling fixed by legislation have to surrender that land, and out of that surrendered land we have distributed 4 million acres to about 2.3 million families so far. We have also improved the tenancy rights of the cultivators, and our ultimate aim is that the man behind the plow also owns the land which he plows. In short, we are committed to removing poverty in our country, and that way, we are committed to the noble aspirations and aims of WCARRD. India is a member of the Centre for Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific which has been established at Comilla. We have been participating actively in their meetings. We have got a Council for Advancement of Rural Technology in my country which coordinates research and training work in the matter of rural development. We have established a National Institute of Rural Development which can be used by other developing countries also in the matter of research, training and extension in development
of rural areas.
My delegation also adds its voice to others in an appeal to the donors to achieve the target of $20 million as extra-budgetary resource to be given to the FAO for the follow-up on the deliberations of WCARRD .
I will close with a simple statement that we feel that poverty is a sleeping volcano. We cannot just sleep over it, because if we overlook it, the volcano is likely to erupt with great distress and social and economic unrest. Therefore we are committed to the removal of poverty, and we are very much with the FAO and its Director-General, Dr. Saouma, and WCARRD in their efforts at various forums and at different times to rouse the conscience and energies of the world community for meeting this great challenge which is staring mankind in the face at the present juncture.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you, India, particularly for drawing the distinction between the increase in agricultural production and rural development,I think a phenomenon which would not only be obtained in India but also in many countries of that region.
We have also noted your deep commitment to the anti-poverty programme particularly your plan to plan 75 million people above the poverty line in five years' time. The project of rural development and the ultimate aim to ensure that the man behind the plow is also the man owning the land are also examples of programme-oriented action which many others can emulate. I thank India for giving us this very valuable contribution to the WCARRD follow-up discussions.
F.M. MBEWE (Zambia): Before I begin my intervention, I would like to thank all members of the Council for voting Zambia and Nigeria to represent the African Region in the CFA, and congratulate Germany for taking the highest score. I think it is the confidence the Council has in Germany.
The document under discussion is very important. I say this because more than 50 percent of the population of most developing countries and Africa in particular live in rural areas, and therefore any effort directed at developing rural areas will form the basis of meaningful economic development for our people. The adoption of the WCARRD Action Plan therefore marks a significant milestone in this direction. We only wonder why this was not done much earlier in the life of FAO. I commend the Nordic countries for the lead they have taken in contributing to this programme. There is nothing more noble than to contribute to a programme which aims at alleviating the sufferings of many poor people. I urge other potential donors to redirect their efforts in building up military might toward assisting developing countries with the WCARRD Plan of Action.
Allow me to make a brief statement on some aspects of the paper. While we praise the intentions of WCARRD, it is necessary that those charged with its implementation are not blind to the realities of the situations prevailing in specific countries. We say this because it is frustrating for developing countries to move from one development concept and approach to another. In this regard, preparation of national strategies, plans and programmes in relation to WCARRD objectives should aim at strengthening the national food strategies which a number of countries have already prepared or are in the process of preparing.
As regards the promotion of people's participation, we note that 34 projects have already been proposed and that 6 are under implementation. Here again a word of caution is necessary. While it is necessary to involve the beneficiary groups in project implementation because it ensures not only successful implementation but also sustenance of project activities thereafter, there is a danger, however, that the experts may be the ones who will determine how people will participate in the activities of rural development. In paragraph 9, we note that a mobile task force will soon become operational at CIRDAFRICA. Can the Secretariat give us some information as to how it is envisaged this task force will operate ?
The question of women's role in rural development takes various conceptualizations. In my country, a woman's activities are not in any way considered inferior or superior to those of men. While notable attention should be given to women's efforts because they form a significant proportion of the rural population, this should not distract us from the true goals of development. After all, women do not live apart from men. If they did, it would have been a terrible world. What is important is to prepare projects which can bring about economic and social development of the people - all the people.
On education, training and extension for rural development, I wish to reiterate what previous speakers have said: Ethiopia and Kenya. The FAO African Regional Conference in Algiers resolved that FAO should, at least in Africa, give adequate attention to high-level training. We endorsed this resolution and urge FAO to start preparations for immediate implementation of this resolution.
On the question of monitoring and evaluation of projects on agrarian reform and rural development, we commend FAO for the work so far done. We urge both FAO and recipient countries to ensure that realistic benchmarks are determined, and they should be determined soon so that work in this area can start.
My delegation wishes to thank FAO for initiating CIRDAFRICA which is more or less operational. It is still a baby and FAO should continue nursing it. At this point I wish to urge other African countries which have not ratified the CIRDAFRICA agreement to do so as soon as possible.
My delegation welcomes the work done by the ACC Task Force in trying to improve coordination mechanisms at national and regional levels. We would like the Task Force to also work towards better coordination among UN agencies in providing aid for rural development.
To end my intervention I wish to reiterate my urge to all capable donors to join the Nordic countries in assisting the WCARRD Plan of Action, because is is a worth-while cause.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you for the very useful intervention you have made and for giving us your general reactions to the activities that have been going on under the sponsorship of the FAO in the WCARRD follow-up. We also note yourcall to the nations of the region to join CIRDAFRICA.
L. ARIZA HIDALGO (Cuba): Aunque consideramos, señor Presidente, que lamentablemente el alivio de la pobreza rural no tiene una respuesta positiva, creemos que la FAO ha sostenido una constante actividad por estimular a los gobiernos para lograr la adopción de medidas que garanticen el llevar a cabo el cumplimiento del Plan de Acción surgido de la Conferencia Mundial de Reforma Agraria y Desarrollo Rural.
Para nosotros el apoyo popular a los proyectos de reforma agraria y desarrollo rural, en el contexto de prerrequisitos que fueron aprobados en la Conferencia de 1979, y es la piedra angular de que se obtengan resultados positivos, son los hombres y mujeres del campo, los actores directos; sin ellos, masivamente, sin discriminar sectores poblacionales ni con integraciones locales, sin ellos, repeti-mos, creemos que el apoyo masivo ño podría obtenerse. Cuando ellos reciben directamente los beneficios integrales, ellos apoyan el desarrollo, y queremos significar la palabra "integrales"; queremos destacar "integrales", y no "integrado", a una zona. Coincidimos con la FAO, y la felicitamos calu-rosamente por considerar como esfera prioritaria la participación popular; sin esto, insisto, creemos que las evaluaciones seguirán siendo muy difíciles, y solo en el contexto técnico sin savia de pue-blos, señores delegados, sabemos que hay reformas agrarias y reformas agrarias, hay muchos enfoques; pero la verdadera, con el apoyo masivo, no integrado en bolsones tecnológicamente muy adelantados, pero muy lejos de resolver el problema del hambre crítica a nivel del país, solo puede ser marginando zonas muy pobres, aplicando el desarrollo de la agricultura, no solo localmente a los elegidos o privilegiados de una zona que mercantilmente sea realizable.
En este sentido de cómo lograr el apoyo popular, la Conferencia Mundial de Reforma Agraria y Desarrollo Rural profundizo bastante. Creemos que ha habido errores y que están incluidos en la forma de presentar las necesidades del apoyo del pueblo a los procesos de reforma agraria, y la necesidad ésta la tiene el sector rural. El sector campesino en todos nuestros países es de muy bajo nivel cultural, pero todos sabemos de quién es la responsabilidad de ese bajo nivel cultural. No son ellos los responsables, es su sociedad la responsable de su nivel cultural; pero sí tenemos experiencia de que es un sector que tiene una plena conciencia de su existencia y una capacidad propia para organizarse, repetimos "organizarse", de acuerdo con sus intereses. Desde hace muchos años, miles de años, los sectores campesinos han tenido su organización; por eso consideramos que hay una cuestión de concepto de que plantear solamente promoción exclusivamente puede ser un error también, pues ninguno de nuestros gobiernos puede descubrir el sector rural para promoverlo; la organización, el quid de la cuestión, no es que cada proceso de reforma agraria planteado por un gobierno específico tenga su propia promoción; creemos que esto es falso, que esto divide a las masas campesinas. Hay que reconocer a las actuales organizaciones, las que vienen históricamente promoviendo, las que vienen históricamente participando y buscando apoyo.
Creemos que esto, complementado con una promoción de nuevas formas de organización como la cooperativa, creemos que ellos se organizan si los apoyamos conjuntamente con un proceso y una estrategia diferida.
Partiendo de aquí, sin discriminar sectores, la mujer puede participar, como todo miembro de la socie-dad, en la capacitación y en la educación fundamentalmente; y de tener el apoyo masivo si el Estado puede garantizar la extensión agrícola, son mecanismos sobre los cuales hay bastante literatura.
Coincidimos con la delegación de Panamá en que, si visualizamos la situación partiendo de la técnica, seguiremos sin resultados o, por lo menos, sin los resultados que hacen falta a la gran mayoría. La Revolución Verde, el desarrollo de la comunidad, los desarrollos integrados, la modernización de la agricultura, hay muchas formas pero siempre sobre la base de la técnica.
Sin embargo nosotros creemos que la técnica agrícola hoy es suficiente; existe la técnica ¿qué falta entonces? Nosotros creemos que falta el apoyo popular prioritario, falta la decisión política a una estrategia definida y finanzas hacia la agricultura. Una de las cuestiones que más golpea al sector agrícola es la descapitalización de la agricultura porque, realmente en intereses, la agricultura no puede, por la situación climática y ecológica difícil del mundo hoy, no puede competir con otras esferas comerciales. Tiene que haber una decisión interna de su gobierno de querer desarrollar la agricultura aunque sea a nivel de subvención interna.
Sobre la vigilancia y la evaluación, estamos plenamente de acuerdo con la FAO, y estamos seguros que ella seguirá insistiendo en lo planteado en el Plan de Acción de la Conferencia, específicamente sobre la necesidad de un Centro Regional para la América Latina. Nuestra delegación seguirá insistiendo en su importancia, porque considera que surgen nuevas condiciones, sin el arrastre natural de estrategias fallidas y porque van a constituir un eslabón directo del trabajo de la FAO para cumplir los acuerdos de la Conferencia Mundial de Reforma Agraria.
Finalmente en el Capítulo VI: Cuestiones que ha de considerar el Consejo, coincidimos con todas, aunque con una pequeña variación en la última; nos parece que no es enteramente saludable el invitar a todos los Estados Miembros a que participen plenamente en el Programa de Vigilancia y Evaluación, creemos que se debe circunscribir a los que tengan estrategias definidas o reformas agrarias en proceso.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you, delegate from Cuba, particularly for giving us an analysis of the socio-cultural factors behind the background of poverty and for the possible solutions you have envisaged, through cooperative measures. We have noted that you have said that to increase production technologies is important but what may be lacking are people's support and political support or enough capital.
We have also noted your agreement with the issues listed for Council consideration in Document CL 82/18, accepting the fact you said that probably instead of all members joining in the full participation, only those who have started rural development should join it.
At this point of time, if I may have your indulgence, distinguished delegates, I have to inform you that the list of speakers is quite a long one and it is going to take some time even to exhaust the list of Member Countries, but I have a special request from the representative of the ILO, who is an Observer, but who is not going to be able to be present in the afternoon. He has requested the floor this morning, and with your agreement I would now like to give the floor to the representative of the ILO.
F. D'ATTILIA (Organisation internationale du Travail): L'Organisation internationale du Travail, que j'ai l'honneur de représenter ici, a participé très activement à la préparation et au déroulement de la Conférence mondiale sur la réforme agraire et le développement rural. Elle attache maintenant un grand prix à la suite à donner à la Conférence en question et ceci pour expliquer pourquoi je vous ai demandé la parole et je vous remercie vivement pour me l'avoir donnée ce matin.
Je vois dans l'introduction du document présenté par le Prof. Islam que la FAO présentera à la Conférence de 1983 un rapport global à la fois concret et analytique sur la base des modèles communs de présentation qui facilitera la tâche confiée aux pays et autres institutions intéressées au problème: notre Organisation pourra fournir le cas échéant, et elle le fera avec grand plaisir, tout l'apport et la collaboration qui seront jugés utiles ou nécessaires. Parmi les différents points du document que nous examinons je dois mentionner le chapitre par lequel mon Organisation est plus directement intéressée. Je voudrais parler tout d'abord de la promotion de la participation populaire pour laquelle a été créé un groupe dans le cadre de l'équipe spéciale du CAC, l'OIT étant l'institution responsable chargée de préparer un programme d'action (voir document CL/82/18 par.10). Ce programme d'action comporte l'analyse des obstacles rencontrés dans la conception des projets visant à assurer la participation des femmes au développement rural; il comporte aussi des consulta-tions en matière de moyens permettant de stimuler des investissements pour l'exécution des projets dans le domaine de la participation et enfin l'échange d'expériences entre pays en développement et projets conjoints sur le terrain. Sur la base des décisions prises au cours de la dixième réunion de l'équipe spéciale du CAC sur le développement rural, le BIT a convoqué à Genève du 13 au 15 décembre 1982, la seconde session sur la participation populaire. La réunion se propose notamment de réviser et discuter les résultats du programme de travail de notre Organisation sur cette matière, de rédiger les lignes de base pour une collaboration plus étroite entre les différentes institutions aux fins de la mise en oeuvre d'initiatives conjointes visant à promouvoir la participation populaire au développement rural au niveau national et régional. Les autres organisations intéressées ont été invitées à cette réunion. D'autre part, le BIT sera représenté par un observateur à la réunion des experts sur la participation populaire au développement rural que la FAO a convoquée à Rome du 8 au 10 décembre 1982.
En ce qui concerne le développement rural en général, je voudrais dire que l'OIT a décidé de convoquer, du 22 novembre au 1er décembre 1983, une session de la Commission consultative du développement rural. A été inscrit à l'ordre du jour un examen général des activités de l'OIT dans le domaine du développement rural et il y a également, à l'ordre du jour, la promotion de l'emploi et l'accroissement des revenus des déshérités ruraux à travers des initiatives d'activités non agricoles. Entre autres, seront examinés le marché de l'emploi rural et les politiques de l'emploi. Dans chacune de ces stratégies, la promotion de l'emploi pour les femmes des zones rurales est traitée d'une façon appropriée. A noter que cette Commission, comme d'ailleurs tous les organes collégiaux de notre Organisation, respecte le principe du tripartisme, ce qui signifie que les représentants des employeurs et des travailleurs sont à côté des représentants des gouvernements pour toutes décisions possibles. Plus particulièrement pour les femmes rurales, je voudrais dire que les activités de l'OIT visent à vérifier les besoins d'information et de documentation pour une meilleure connaissance du rôle des femmes rurales dans le développement rural et visent à mettre sur pied des projets de coopération technique.
Pour en terminer, ne voulant pas profiter de votre bienveillance, je me permettrai simplement de rappeler la Convention 141 et la recommandation 149 de l'Organisation internationale du Travail sur les organisations des travailleurs ruraux et leur rôle dans le développement économique et social; la Convention 141 ayant été ratifiée par bon nombre d'Etats Membres constitue, dans une certaine mesure, une base juridique pour la matière que nous traitons aujourd'hui même.
The meeting rose at 12.30 hours
La séance est levée à 12 h 30
Se levanta la sesión a las 12.30 horas