Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page


2. Election of Three Vice-Chairmen, and designation of the Chairman and Members of the Drafting Committee (continued)
2. Election de trois vice-présidents et nomination du président et des membres du Comité de rédaction (suite)
2. Elección de tres Vicepresidentes y nombramiento del Presidente y de los Miembros del Comité de Redacción (continuación)

CHAIRMAN: I call the session to order. I am informed that there is a nomination for the third Vice-Chairman.

W.A.F. GRABISCH (Germany, Federal Republic of): The delegation of the Federal Republic of Germany has great pleasure in proposing Mr. Peter McLean, the Permanent Representative of the UK to FAO and other agricultural organizations, as a Vice-Chairman. Mr. McLean is well known to everybody around the table. He has been very active in FAO activities and I feel I do not need to mention all that he has done so far. I am quite sure that he, as the two other Vice-Chairmen, will be a good choice in order to help you and the Council in its deliberations of the Eighty-sixth Session.

J.D.L. RICHARDS (New Zealand): New Zealand certainly has very much pleasure in seconding the nomination of the UK as the third Vice-Chairman.

CHAIRMAN: I now have a nomination proposed by the Federal Republic of Germany, seconded by New Zealand, of Mr. P.S. McLean, Minister in Rome, representative to FAO. Shall I take it that we select Mr. McLean as Vice-Chairman?

It is so decided.
Il en est ainsi décidé.
Así se acuerda.


I declare Mr. McLean elected. So we have the privilege of having the following three people as Vice-Chairmen: Ambassador Williams of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Baharsjah, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Agriculture of Indonesia, and Mr. P.S. McLean, Minister in Rome. I want to welcome all of them as Vice-Chairmen and I am looking forward to their assistance in ensuring the successful completion of our deliberations.


4. State of Food and Agriculture, 1984 (continued)
4. Situation de l'alimentation et de l'agriculture en 1984 (suite)
4. El estado mundial de la agricultura y la alimentación, 1984 (continuación)

CHAIRMAN: In the morning Professor Nurul Islam introduced Item 4, The State of Food and Agriculture, 1984. I just want to remind members of the Council that we have a separate item on the situation in Africa, because there are some who want clarification whether they should make their statements on Africa right now. We will first discuss the general paper, the State of Food and Agriculture, CL 86/2 and CL 86/2 Supp.l. Some time tomorrow we will have the privilege of having the Director-General himself introduce the situation in Africa. So may I request you to defer your specific remarks on Africa until we come to that item on the Agenda because it has been given explicit recognition as an Agenda Item. A number of delegates have asked for the floor. Also some observers have asked for the floor. We will give the floor to the observers after the members of the Council have spoken.

H. CARANDANG (Chairman, Group of 77): First I should like to state that the Philippines delegation was very pleased to see you chairing this meeting of the Council in a most competent manner.

I should like also to congratulate your three Vice-Chairmen, Dr. Baharsjah, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Agriculture of Indonesia, His Excellency Dr. Williams, Ambassador of Trinidad and Tobago, and Mr. McLean, Permanent Representative of the UK to FAO.

On behalf of the Group of 77, I should like to make some observations on the State of Food and Agriculture 1984.

In general we agree with the FAO Secretariat's analysis of the State of Food and Agriculture in Document CL 86/2. We should like to express our appreciation for the review of developments since the 1970's which is given as background for the assessment of the current situation, as 1984 marks the 10th year after the World Food Conference. We are pleased with the broad scope of this year's review concerning such topics as the evolution of food supply patterns, the demand for food fuelled by population and income growth, and particularly the underlying theme of the growing interdependence of food production, trade and the international policies affecting both. Likewise, we welcome the special chapter on the implications of urbanization trends and the effect of rural-urban migration on food production, marketing, land and water availability and rural development strategies.

The Group of 77 at this point would like to make observations on policy issues at two levels: first, at the macro-international level and secondly at the micro level regarding appropriate technology.

In the first place, the Group of 77 would like to state that, given the interdependence of the economies of all countries of the world, the existing obstacles at the international level, unless removed, will continue to impoverish the countries of the third world, to depress their agriculture and food production and increase the number of the hungry and malnourished.

The review of the state of food and agriculture, in describing the underlying economic and financial environment, referred to the following factors which have negatively affected the agricultural sector: the increase in the price of energy, the recessions of 1974-75 and of 1979-80, the unusually volatile exchange and interest rates and the massive debt problem of the developing countries. These severe economic blows according to the review, have not left the agriculture sector untouched.

To illustrate the feeling of the Group of 77 in this matter, allow me to refer to some recent declarations of eminent representatives of our Group.

The African Ministers assembled in Harare, Zimbabwe for the Thirteenth FAO Regional Conference for Africa, 23-25 July 1984, declared that the burden of developing their agriculture and rural areas and of raising the nutritional standards of their peoples, rested substantially on the efforts of their own governments and their own peoples.

In the same Harare declaration, however, these Ministers expressed their grave concern over structural constraints, which frustrated their best efforts. The Ministers pointed out that in addition to the drought which up to now nobody had yet learned how to control, and the domestic problems of population, urbanization and land distribution (which, according to their Declaration, they had the main responsability to solve) there were some external constraints which thwarted their efforts. These were: 1) the world economic recession which seriously affected the quantity and price of their exports; 2) the debt problem; 3) foreign exchange difficulties, and 4) constraints on the flow of concessional development aid. In the view of the African Ministers, however their own determined efforts alone would not bring a satisfactory solution to their food and agriculture problems, since these external factors were frustrating and thwarting their best efforts to find a solution to their domestic problem of agriculture.

The Declaration of the Thirteenth Regional Conference for Asia, held in Manila sometime ago also emphasized that the developing countries had the primary responsibility for finding a solution to their food and agriculture problems, but that the international community had the responsibility, for removing the obstacles which voided the developing countries' efforts at the international level.

In his address to the Intergovernmental Follow-up Coordinating Committee for Economic Cooperation of the Group of 77 held in Cartagena in September 1984, an eminent spokesman of the Third World, Dr. Belisario Betancour, President of the Republic of Colombia expressed the same idea with a slightly different emphasis. President Betancour pointed out that the rate of per capita income

increase of developing countries rose by an annual rate of about 3.4 percent from 1950 to 1975. In the last five years, however, this rate of growth could not be sustained. President Betancour indicated several reasons for the slow-down. These were deterioration in the terms of trade, growth of protectionism, high interest rates, unstable oil prices, and the heavy debt burden. In the view of President Betancour, to which the Group of 77 fully subscribes, not all factors which brought about the lower rates of growth come from outside the borders of a country. There are internal factors as well, such as unacceptable fiscal deficits, over-valued currencies and faulty economic policy formulation. According to him however, the exogenous variables are more important causes of the slowdown, than the endogenous variables.

To say the least, the agricultural sector of developing countries is caught in a vice of low prices for agricultural produce on one side, and on the other, rising costs of inputs such as fertilizer, pesticides, energy and credit. In many cases inputs are not even available because of the lack of foreign exchange to import them.

Developing countries are faced with almost insurmountable odds. They must export to finance their development efforts and pay their debts, but they run up against the wall of protectionism. Because of the decline in their exports, developing countries have to increase their indebtedness but, sooner or later,they are inevitably faced with the problem of illiquidity. They are then obliged by the IMF to implement austerity measures for readjustment and stabilization which, as everybody knows, reduce output, income, demand and employment. But, Mr. Chairman, how much further can one lower the already precariously low standard of living of the developing countries?

The total debt of the developing countries has reached the astronomical figure of 810 billion US dollars. The developed countries have not only not kept their commitment to transfer one percent of their gross national product in the form of long-term credits, but have allowed conditions to develop to a point where the developing countries have now become net exporters of capital. As indicated in paragraph 16 of the document already cited, there was an unprecedented net outflow of 11 billion US dollars from the develping countries in 1981.

The flow of official development assistance (ODA) has been declining. Commitments to agriculture for 1981 were nearly 40 percent short of the agreed estimate of 8.3 billion dollars at 1975 prices. The IDA was reduced from US $ 12 billion to 9 billion at its seventh replenishment. There are still doubts as to when IFAD's second replenishment will ever be completed. If the replenishment is completed, it is now clear that it sill be substantially lower than the level of both the initial resources and of the first replenishment.

The International Development Strategy has recommended that the developed countries, in formulating their agricultural policies, should take into account the interests of the developing countries. Yet some developed countries apparently do not give much importance to this recommendation of the International Development Strategy.

Take, for example, the policies of certain developed countries and a group of countries with regards to sugar. Not only have they erected tariff barriers to protect their production of this commodity, which they induce through subsidies, but they export huge quantities of this commodity at subsidized prices, thus depressing the price of sugar to permanently low, unremunerative levels in the world market.

A large number of the present difficulties in obtaining remunerative prices for producers and fair prices to consumers of basic agricultural products, could be resolved by means of international agreements with economic provisions. However, some developed countries put up a systematic opposition to negotiations for such agreements. The latest example of this was at the last meeting of the working party on the elements of an International Banana Agreement.

I should not limit myself to enumerating difficulties and unfulfilled commitments. I must also point out the achievements and the results of international cooperation, such as the IMF cereal import facility, the IEFR, the establishment of IFAD, (though it was funded at a level lower than originally envisaged and which is now having difficulties in its second replenishment), record commitments for food aid in dollar terms, the enlargement of the FAC, the Agricultural Research System, and others mentioned in paragraph 7 of the Review.

But, Mr. Chairman, allow me to reiterate what I stated earlier. The best determined efforts of developing countries at the national level must be accompanied by the efforts of the international community to remove the obstacles and structural constraints at the international level in fulfilment of the requirements of justice and equity. Otherwise, we will be moving further away from the realization of the solemn pledge that we all made ten years ago to banish hunger from this planet in the year 1984.

Finally, while we work and hope for a better economic and financial climate, it is high time to look for appropriate technologies suited to the present environment. As you know very well, Mr. Chairman, the package of technology that has been developed to be used with the HYV's is a high input technology, requiring high doses of fertilizers and pesticides.

The Group of 77 believes that the time has come to look for more viable alternatives, to develop or rediscover an appropriate technology that would use less imported inputs and utilize a broad range of locally available nutrients.

We know that the IRRI and UPLB (University of the Philippines at Los Baños) have started research in this direction on Azolla and deep placement of fertilizer. We hope that we are not imposing on you, Mr. Chairman, if we request you to brief the Council about your valuable experience in this important matter.

Another example of this could be the long-tested production strategies of China stemming from the combined pressures of a diminishing agricultural base (approximately 0.1 hectare per person) and a high population density. This system has been able to feed China's teeming population, efficiently utilizing locally available resources. It makes use of nutrient resources cycled from both within the farm, and outside it, such as manure, farm residues, by-products of food processing plants, wastes from population centres, and whatever cannot be used in adjacent farms. The system also makes use of symbiotic relationships in which the by-products of the biological activities of indigenous organisms are exchanged and cycled as nutrients for each other.

Mr. Chairman, the Group would like to suggest that the search and propagation of appropriate, low-input technologies for the production of staple foods could be included as one of the priorities of FAO, in order to assist the developing countries in their faltering struggle for self-reliance in food.

N.H. PASINI (Argentina): En primer lugar quisiera renovar nuestro saludo al Sr. Swaminathan y manifestar mi satisfacción por tenerlo nuevamente entre nosotros.

También quiero hacerles llegar nuestra felicitación a les restantes miembros de la Mesa y ofrecerles nuestra colaboración.

Permítame felicitar también a la Secretaría por haber realizado un análisis integral de la situación alimentaria tal como lo hace en el documento 2, así como la clara presentación que esta mañana nos hiciera el Sr. Islam. Vemos con satisfacción que en las variables utilizadas para el análisis macro-económico se ha incluido la financiera además de la comercial; sin ello hubiera sido imposible la evaluación de este tema, y en particular de la situación estructural de América Latina.

Ahora bien, no obstante ello tenemos algunas diferencias en el enfoque que se adopta en este documento. Permítame, y aun a riesgo de caer en cierto detallismo, que me refiera a algunos puntos específicos del documento.

El párrafo 10 podría ser ampliado y comprenderse mejor la situación para América Latina si se agrega que este proceso de endeudamiento se da coincidentemente en un marco de estancamiento en el crecimiento económico de nuestros países, en el cual, paradójicamente, nos hemos convertido en exportado res netos de capitales hacia los países acreedores.

Permítame, señor Presidente, dar algunas cifras para América Latina, cuya fuente es el Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo, para obtener una dimensión real de este problema.

Entre 1981 y 1983 los desembolsos netos recibidos por la region en materia crediticia disminuyeron de 50 000 millones a 22 000 millones de dólares. Simultáneamente, los pagos por intereses de la deuda externa aumentaron de 33 000 millones en 1981 a 40 000 millones en 1983. Todo ello ha significado una transferencia negativa de recursos que alcanzó cerca de 21 000 millones de dólares en esos dos años y que obligó a nuestros países a convertirse en exportadores netos de capitales en un período caracterizado por condiciones económicas muy adyersas.

En cuanto a los párrafos 14 y 15, queremos expresar nuestra sorpresa por la afirmación que ahí se hace. Nosotros creemos que ha sucedido totalmente lo contrario de lo que ahí se afirma. La estadística y la práctica misma han demostrado que la recuperación de los países industrializados, lejos de mejorar al mundo en desarrollo, en buena medida se ha logrado a expensas de los esfuerzos y de los intereses de los países en desarrollo en general y de América Latina en particular. Esto lo hemos repetido en la última Conferencia de la FAO, en el último Comité de Seguridad Alimentaria, en el Consejo Mundial de la Alimentación, y ya forma parte de la amplia documentación internacional existente en la materia por estar incluido en la Declaración de Buenos Aires que presentó el Director General a este período de sesiones.

En este sentido permítame hacer algunas consideraciones adicionales sobre párrafos que hemos encontrado y que cito seguidamente:

"La declinación de la balanza comercial estadounidense £ue una buena noticia para muchos de los países que comercian con Estados Unidos. En los casos de Canadá, Japón y Europa representa un repunte de las exportaciones que han contribuido a sacar sus economías de la recesión. Pero en el caso de los países del Tercer Mundo, sobre todo los de América Latina, la estructura cambiante del comercio representa algo totalmente distinto. La declinación de la balanza comercial estadounidense es de mucha mayor magnitud que la registrada con otras partes del mundo.

El aumento de su balanza comercial no es una buena noticia para Latinoamérica, sino todo lo contrario, constituye un síntoma del grave problema de la deuda que afecta a la mayoría de estos países, así también como muchos países de Asia, Africa y Europa Oriental y de los dolorosos ajustes que necesitan hacer."

Aquí termina la cita, y aunque parezca extraño no pertenece a ninguna organización que representa al mundo del desarrollo, sino, por el contrario, es el primer párrafo de la Tercera Sección del segundo capítulo del Informe Anual del Consejo de Asesores Económicos presentado a finales del mes de enero de este año al Presidente de los Estados Unidos, Ronald Reagan.

Creemos que esta afirmación originada en un estudio, pero que viene de los mismos países que afirman públicamente lo contrario, es suficiente para que en el Informe final de este Consejo se incluya la corrección a lo sostenido en los párrafos 14 y 15 del documento 2.

A estos argumentos podemos agregar la afirmación que se sostiene en el párrafo 57 de dicho documento en relación a la tendencia decreciente de importaciones en los países en desarrollo en el comercio mundial. Esta contradicción entre el párrafo 14 y el 57 debe ser ajustada.

Por otra parte, si a esta situación le sumamos lo dicho en el párrafo 12 respecto a la baja de precios en los productos básicos y, a la vez, la persistencia de la política proteccionista, completaremos un cuadro totalmente negativo para nuestros intereses. Ello nos llevaría a afirmar una vez más que no se trata de continuar discutiendo, se trata de aplicar las resoluciones existentes en la materia aprobadas por la inmensa mayoría de los países y que son: la Resolución 2 de la Conferencia de la FAO de 1979, referida al comercio de los productos básicos, proteccionismo y reajuste agrícola; las Resoluciones 2 y 3 de la Conferencia de 1983 relativas a Seguridad Alimentaria Mundial y Reajuste Agrícola Internacional; y por último, los artículos 4 y 5 de la Declaración de Buenos Aires.

Respecto a los párrafos 16 a 18 del documento en análisis, queremos destacar nuestra preocupación por lo que en él se afirma. En cuanto a la recuperación del vigor del comercio internacional, queremos ser muy sinceros; si ello no sucede en términos diferentes a lo que ha sucedido, tendremos dificultades para el pago de los servicios de la deuda externa. Es en este contexto que hemos visto con entusiasmo la posición de Italia y Francia ante la ultima reunion cumbre de los países industrializados en el sentido de que estos países deberían prever políticas de largo plazo para el aumento de las exportaciones provenientes de los países en desarrollo. Apreciamos tal actitud y esperamos que la misma se generalice en los restantes países industrializados más importantes del mundo occidental.

En lo que se refiere a la disminución de la financiación para el desarrollo, nosotros creemos que éste es uno de los factores que más contribuye a profundizar el desequilibrio existente entre el Norte y el Sur, y que por lo tanto, afecta a la paz y seguridad internacional. Permítame referirme a una ouestión que no ha sido abordada en este párrafo, pero que tiene que ver con el comercio y con la financiación internacional. Se trata de la facilidad cerealera del Fondo Monetario Internacional. Hemos tenido noticias de que el Fondo redujo el crédito del 100 al 80 por ciento de la cuota. No entendemos cómo ello puede haber sucedido cuando FAO y el CMA en reiteradas oportunidades apoyaron este Servicio, y es más, propusieron ampliarlo. Para el caso argentino, ello es más perjudicial ya que en diversas oportunidades instó a que las compras, al amparo de este Servicio, se hicieran con carácter prioritario en los países en desarrollo productores y exportadores de alimentos (VIII Comité de Seguridad Alimentaria, párrafo 67; Conferencia de la FAO del 83, párrafo 88; e Informe de Bucarest, sobre CEP, párrafo 62 i).

En este punto, quisiéramos más información de la Secretaría sobre que ha ocurrido, a la vez que solicitamos se haga un análisis del funcionamiento de este Servicio cerealero hasta la fecha; qué países lo utilizaron, cómo se solicita la utilización de este Servicio; y tal vez, la poca experiencia que se tiene hasta el presente, permita a otros países una mejor utilización del mismo, o que se puedan hacer las sugerencias correspondientes para modificarlo.

En relación a los párrafos 31 a 37 sobre la Ayuda Alimentaria, queremos dar nuestro total apoyo a este sistema, y reiterar que en la medida de nuestras posibilidades, seguiremos contribuyendo a la misma de la manera en que lo hemos hecho hasta el presente. En este contexto, recordamos que en el período 1980-83, Argentina comprometió y aportó 142 000 toneladas de trigo en concepto de ayuda alimentaria total.

En lo que se refiere al capítulo sobre Cambios estructurales en el comercio agrícola, párrafos 54 a 58, no queremos abundar en detalles, ya que en este punto, en materia está todo dicho y escrito. Solo queremos destacar que no se pueden describir correctamente las corrientes del comercio agrícola

si no se incluyen además de la disminución de la participación de los países en desarrollo, en el comercio global, las siguientes cuestiones: el factor precio, las barreras proteccionistas de diversa índole, los subsidios y el financiamiento de las exportaciones de alimentos y productos agrícolas que practican los países industrializados. En este sentido, reiteramos la necesidad de llevar a la práctica las Resoluciones y Declaraciones antes citadas.

En lo que se refiere al comercio entre países en desarrollo, párrafo 62, queremos recordar la existencia de las Recomendaciones del párrafo 77 de la reciente reunión de Bucarest, sobre las actividades que deberían llevarse a cabo para incrementar el comercio entre países en desarrollo. Confiamos en que el crecimiento a nivel regional sea un anticipo del interregional.

La segunda parte de este documento, referida a la urbanización, nos pone frente a un problema que nosotros consideramos importante ya que la Argentina tiene un alto grado de concentración urbana. El contenido del documento en esta sección es esencialmente descriptivo y apoyamos el tratamiento que se hace de los problemas identificados. A estas alturas del debate, sólo podemos decir que esperamos el Informe final que presentará la FAO en este tema, y que ponemos a vuestra disposición toda nuestra cooperación en esta materia.

Finalmente, quiero dejar constancia de nuestra preocupación y de nuestra solidaridad con la grave situación que atraviesa Africa y a la cual nos referiremos en el próximo punto de la Agenda.

Quiero solicitarle mis excusas por haberme extendido en este punto, pero Ud. sabrá comprender que la importancia de este tema hizo necesario tener que extendernos más de lo usual.

G. BULA HOYOS (Colombia): La delegación de Colombia es plenamente solidaria con la declaración que en nombre de todos los países en desarrollo ha hecho esta tarde nuestro colega y amigo Horacio Carandang de Filipinas, Presidente del Grupo de los 77.

En cada una de nuestras sesiones de otoño éste es el primer tema de fondo a la consideración del Consejo. Siempre concluimos que el estado mundial de la agricultura, y la alimentación es preocupante, y lo que es más grave, particularmente en Africa. Este es un cliché que se repite anualmente en el seno de este Consejo.

En la medida en que algunos de nuestros colegas nos lo permiten, logramos reflejar en el informe sobre este tema, algunas de esas realidades. La vida sigue su curso y un año despuěs, estamos en las mismas o peores condiciones. De ahí que la delegación de Colombia piense que en esta oportunidad, conviene cambiar un poco el sentido de nuestra intervención. En vez de referirnos demasiado a los hechos concretos, será mejor tratar de identificar y señalar las causas de esa deplorable situación así como las posibles soluciones.

Sin duda, al fondo de todo ello, está la demostrada, confirmada e incorregible falta de voluntad política de algunos países desarrollados.

El párrafo primero de la Introducción nos dice que los acontecimientos que tuvieron lugar a principios de los años 70, se conocieron con el nombre de crisis alimentaria mundial. Nosotros pensamos que esa crisis fue apenas una de las que se han denunciado por situaciones coyunturales, pero que a la luz de este documento IV, existe una permanente crisis alimentaria mundial.

En el párrafo 3 se hace referencia al crecimiento de la producción alimentaria en los países en desarrollo, muy inferior a las metas establecidas, y como siempre, se concluye que el caso africano es el más agudo.

En el párrafo 5 se describe la situación de la mayor parte de los países en desarrollo que ya no pueden importar más alimentos. Bastaría relacionar estos dos hechos para corroborar nuestra afirmación.

Es evidente que sólo los grandes países productores, con sus políticas omnímodas, sin tener en cuenta los intereses, las aspiraciones ni la suerte de los países en desarrollo, determinan los niveles de producción, de precios y excedentes que concentran en sus propios estados.

En la parte A del documento, Análisis Mundial, se habla de la deuda externa que afecta a los países en desarrollo, particularmente a los de America Latina y el Caribe, con un incremento anual, realmente increíble del 20 por ciento·

El párrafo 13 señala claramente que la recuperación económica se está logrando tan sólo en los países industrializados, sobre todo en el más importante y rico de éstos.

En la Conferencia Regional de la FAO para América Latina y el Caribe, celebrada en Buenos Aires en agosto pasado, el Presidente Alfonsín de Argentina dijo con gran claridad que "la recuperación económica de los países desarrollados se está logrando a expensas de los intereses de los países en desarrollo".

Como lo dijo el colega de Argentina, esto consta en la Declaración de Buenos Aires. Los párrafos 4, 5 y 7 del Suplemento 1, confirman estos hechos·

De los dos ejemplos del párrafo 14, el primero es un sueño porque el crecimiento económico de los países industrializados, en su forma actual, no permite que los países en desarrollo obtengan ninguno de los beneficios prospectados.

En cambio, el segundo ejemplo del párrafo 14, demuestra claramente cómo la elevación de los tipos de interés representa 3 500 a 4 000 millones de dólares del costo del servicio de la deuda de los países en desarrollo; cifras con las cuales se podrían comprar 19 millones de toneladas de cereales, de los 25 millones que, por ejemplo, importa anualmente la región de América Latina y el Caribe.

Sobre la Seeción 4, "cambios estructurales del comercio agrícola", nuestra primera observación consiste en que en esta ocasión excepcionalmente, no encontramos en la referenda al comercio agrícola, ni siquiera una vez, la palabra proteccionismo. Suponemos que la Secretaría ya agotó el empeño permanente que ponía siempre en señalar los efectos nocivos del proteccionismo ante el hecho de que éste no se corrige sino que se extiende.

La frase final del párrafo 54 dice que el GATT, prevé que en 1984 el comercio mundial crecerá en un 5 a 6 por ciento, pero no especifica de ese porcentaie. qué proporción corresponded a los países en desarrollo. Suponemos que la respuesta está en relación con lo que dice el párrafo 55 sobre el descenso del 21 al 15 por ciento de la participación de la agricultura en el comercio total.

Todos los aspectos son negativos para el Tercer Mundo. El párrafo 56 confirma el hecho de que los países en desarrollo, a partir de 1981, pasaron de exportadores netos a importadores netos de productos agropecuarios. Así como las exportaciones de los países en desarrollo crecieron a un ritmo inferior en un 50 por ciento al de los países desarrollados.

Es el deterioro creciente e incontenible que, como fuerza negativa y contraria, se opone a la construcción del Nuevo Orden Económico Internacional más justo y más equitativo que tratamos de lograr.

Esa actitud injusta de muchos países desarrollados que no permite nuestra recuperación económica y social, nos ha replegado a la necesidad de intensificar el comercio agrícola de las regiones en desarrollo y dentro de ellas, como lo dice el párrafo 60.

No obstante nuestros esfuerzos en este sentido, logramos mínimos resultados porque los países industrializados siguen siendo los principales mercados para las exportaciones agrícolas de los países en desarrollo, mercados que continúan cerrados por el proteccionismo, los subsidios y otras formas de asistencia a la producción en los estados desarrollados.

A este respecto, la delegación de Colombia, desea destacar, en sentido muy positivo, el apoyo que el Director General de la FAO viene ofreciendo a la cooperación económica y a la cooperación técnica entre países en desarrollo.

Pedimos que en nuestro informe sobre este tema, se haga ese reconocimiento a la FAO y se pida al Director General que continúe dedicando todos los medios y recursos que considere indispensables para fortalecer la CEPD y la CTPD. Pero sobre esas dos cooperaciones, hablaremos en la consideración del tema 9 de nuestra agenda.

Para concluir, la delegación de Colombia piensa que en nuestro informe debe consignarse el hecho de que el estado mundial de la agricultura y la alimentación es completamente desfavorable a los países en desarrollo, sin que existan los menores signos de recuperación. Debemos pedir, una vez más a los países desarrollados, que ofrezcan su asistencia en volumen, oportunidad y coherencia que realmente representen la voluntad política que todos les estamos exigiendo, en favor de la cooperación multilateral.

La delegación de Colombia sigue pensando que tan sólo el aumento de la producción en los propios países en desarrollo, podrá corregir este lamentable estado actual.

Nos consuela el hecho de que en el campo de la agricultura y la alimentación, los países en desarrollo contamos con una organización como la FAO, que ha sido creada para contribuir a mejorar esa situación, y para cuya labor, en nuestro Informe, debemos reiterar el pleno apoyo del Consejo y la necesidad de que permita a la FAO, através de un presupuesto amplio y suficiente para 1986-87, disponer de los medios y de los recursos necesarios para asistir a los países del Tercer Mundo y evitar que el estado mundial de la agricultura y la alimentación sea siempre el mismo, o cada vez peor, como se comprueba en todas las ocasiones que sobre este tema discutimos en este Consejo.

H.J.H. TALEYARKHAN (India): May I begin by complimenting you, Mr. Chairman, as one of the most distinguished agricultural scientists of the world for taking the Chair today. It gives us a source of great confidence and inspiration that under your distinguished chairmanship, leadership and guidance it will be possible to come to effective productive and lucrative conclusions at this Council's meeting so that those countries which are suffering from food shortages and famines could be saved for the future and rescued by solutions we may be able to find.

May I also congratulate the distinguished Director-General, Dr. Saouma, on the statements made in his speech and the anxiety and concern which he expressed for the well-being of humanity at large and how much he feels for those who are suffering so much. There is no doubt of the sincerity and . the genuineness with which he made his statement which came right from his heart.

Also the statements Dr. Islam, the Assistant Director-General, made in enlightening us on the different aspects of this paper.

Mr. Chairman, it would have gladdened the heart of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on her 67th birthday today to see so much worldwide interest in the plight and predicament of food-shortage-suffering countries of the world. She was always like a beacon light for them, as we heard from the excerpts of her tape recorded speech on 7th November of her address in this very hall in 1981 at the function of non-aligned and other countries which was held here and so well organized by the FAO Secretariat.

Dr. Samuel Johnson has said that where there is no hope, there is no endeavour, but hope has been kindled by FAO during its career of years, and it has shown by the dint of its hard work and the results which have accrued that some benefits have come forth in the increased areas of supplies and production, productivity and technology for agriculture round the world - not to the extent that it could be appreciated, not to the extent that perhaps, as quite rightly the distinguished Ambassador of Colombia and the Philippines mentioned, if the increased assistance which could have come forward from developed countries, which I believe would like to give it, because I believe that they are equally concerned with the welfare of humanity at large it would have been possible to do so. But there is hope, and this can be proved by the fact if we look at it historically, that any developments in the last two decades suggest that countries over certain parts of the world have managed to achieve some specific increment in agricultural production including India, China and others, but a large part of the increased production has been absorbed by the rapidly expanding population. If we look at it by 2000 A.D. at the present rate of population growth there will be 3.6 billion mouths to feed. It means that the world food production will need to be increased in the present decade of the 1980s at the rate of nearly 2 percent per annum. It may come down to 1.65 percent in the quinquennium of 1995 to 2000.

Mr. Chairman, there is a ferocious battle raging between agriculture, forestry, urbanization, industrialization and road building in the world, and mankind is only using half the world's arable land. Nearly 50 countries of the world, including the devastation in Africa today, are considered full priority countries, and most of them, as I said, in Africa and quite a few of them in Asia. Over 100 countries of the world have agricultural economies.

I would like to offer certain specific suggestions in addition to the contribution so commendably made by the speakers who have preceded me. I would begin by making a recommendation that it is most necessary for the purposes of increased production and productivity that research projects on soil productivity, water management, agronomy, agricultural engineering, pest and disease management, dry land farming, require to be much more continuously and constantly carried out than what they are today. Suitable technology for efficient use of water and water requirements for crops, reclamation of alkaline and saline acidic soils, agrotechniques like wheat control, multiple cropping, intercropping, fertilizer requirements, micronutrients, plant protection are also to my mind most necessary. Mechanization of agriculture also needs all our efforts in areas where it is possible, but it may be stated, Mr. Chairman, that in some places bullock farms can yield better results than tractorized farms. Irrigation is most vital. India today has the biggest irrigation area in the world in absolute terms and on that account demand for all farm inputs, including implements, organic and inorganic minerals and energy is bound to go up.

I would also recommend that much better input management requires to be constantly kept in mind and policies formulated to ensure such management. To meet in many countries the visitations of annual calamities like floods and scarcity conditions and famine, procurement and buffer stocks to safeguard against lean seasons is extremely important. As you quite rightly mentioned this morning, Mr. Chairman, in India we have a pipeline stock of nearly 22 million tons through procurement of surplus production in various parts of the country, as a result of which we are well prepared to meet any exigency or emergency during lean seasons, and rush stocks to areas and states which might be suffering from the elements of calamities.

I would also suggest that just like we have done, appointed additional sources for energy known as the CASE, through pipelines set up from gas plants for the supply of methylene gas, could be undertaken elsewhere as well, and to a greater extent where they have already been introduced. It provides greater relief for rural people from having to collect firewood all day long. This organization, the CASE, has programmes to set up such pipelines for gas, if I am not mistaken, about US $ 75 million in the current sixth Five-Year Plan, and for the seventh plan to which you referred an even larger allocation will be provided.

May I also suggest that it is extremely important to overcome the problems which are being faced, that training of field workers should be given a priority consideration on a much larger scale than what is being done today, and also for identifying the training institutions for officer training. It is being done but not to the extent that it could be done, and I am quite sure that FAO with its great expertise will be able to give to this matter also the attention and concentration it deserves.

May I suggest, Mr. Chairman, that there is also a necessity in various countries where there is not, to set up soil and conservation boards with wide powers to ensure coordination with other departments concerned. What very often happens is that even where there are boards they are not effective enough for the reason that there is not sufficient coordination with the other departments concerned which are necessarily involved in this process, and therefore it is of imperative importance that there should be coordination once such soil and conservation boards are set up in various areas.

I would also recommend the importance of ensuring increased production, watershed and micro watershed as the best and eventual solution in such areas. We need to have properly organized watershed and micro watershed arrangements so that they could be provided to safeguard for eventualities and to provide for the future of agriculture development as well in such affected areas.

Coming to marketing, there is need to have properly organized and functioning marketing federations. Very often the problem, linked with the prices, is the insufficiency of properly organized marketing organizations and federations, so I would like to recommend for the consideration of the Council that marketing federations should be set up wherever they are not, and to ensure that they function not only in name but in fact. Programmes for the purposes of marketing could be undertaken because it is an extremely important feature.

I mentioned at a previous meeting of the CFA that another very important point from the point of view of safeguarding the interests of the small and marginal farmers to whom we are devoted, is to have laboratory to land programmes. The laboratory to land programmes help to give to the farmer technical guidance, they help to give him free inputs and to make sure of the quality of his land so that he can be engaged in more modern forms of agriculture.

Exploitation of underground water resources is another source which has not been sufficiently tapped in those areas where there is shortage of water supply for the necessity of cultivation. Drilling and combination rigs could be profitably utilized in this connection. UNICEF would be, I am sure, prepared to help as they have done in certain areas in our country.

I would like to mention that credit has to be linked to production so that rural people could derive substantial benefit. Our Prime Minister, Mr. Chairman, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, was always stressing on the floor, bank credit to the agricultural sector in order to improve the economic conditions of the weaker sections of the rural community and to increase rural production. So for the small and marginal farmers, the labourers and rural artisans, the landless labourers, the tenants on the land, they must be fully included in the scheme of things, and they must also be ensured that they would derive remunerative prices for their produce. A joint identification of beneficiaries by state government and banks would be very useful, and from our experience at home, 50 percent of our nationalized bank branches in rural areas, numbering over 18 000 out of 36 000, are functioning in these rural areas. Also with the establishment of the comparatively newfound concept of regional rural banks which provide only for agricultural needs, all these, to my mind, are those which will ensure that for the future, production in difficult years will improve with the encouragement and incentive given to the farmers and the initiative shown by them. For meeting overall shortages imposed by bad harvests the only safeguard is a world food bank, properly established, through which part of the buffer stocks built up in prosperous years could be canalized. I would strongly recommend that this could be done very effectively to overcome the havoc of bad harvests. Recently at a meeting of some 19 or 20 countries in Bangkok two or three years ago - I do not remember the exact year - under UN auspices the concept of an Asian food bank was accepted. I would like to know to what extent that concept has come into force or has been implemented.

I also wonder what progress has been made so far by the World Bank-aided agriculture research project being executed by 21 agricultural research universities in different areas. Modern agricultural techniques should also reach the farmers quickly, and to my mind, Mr. Chairman, one of the uses of primary objectives should be to bridge the gap between the actual and the potential yields. The gap between the actual and potential yields is still wide open and that requires to be narrowed down. There should be no delays in land acquisition, starting civil works and procurement of equipment.

Instead of focusing attention - and this is another point I would like to stress - instead of focusing attention on particular disciplines, what is needed is interdisciplinary approach. Interdisciplinary approach to my mind is extremely important. Regional workshops are needed for agricultural scientists, and regular contacts between those working in the ecological zones is also required to be done with a greater determination of purpose.

I have mentioned a number of points for the consideration of the Council and I am sure that I will be enlightened much more, as I have already been in the course of the observations already made from the stage and from the floor, as well as from the speeches which are yet to come.

I would only conclude by saying that in the number of improved varieties going to the cash crops, we have been concentrating a great deal also on cash crops like sugar cane, cotton, tobacco and jute, a number of important varieties of groundnut, castor, sunflower, linseed and mustard are available for cultivation.

The Assistant Director-General referred to the question of urbanization. I think the solution for the danger of urbanization and the drift and flow of the villagers into the urban areas is to start satellite towns with full infrastructural facilities in the areas in which they live. The purpose, meaning and significance of the satellite towns is that they should have schools and health clinics and primary health centres, hospitals, shopping, marketing, housing for rural areas and guidance for their agricultures so that they do not move from the rural areas into the towns, and the hopeless bit, I would say, of finding employment or housing. All these should be provided there. The element of calamity can be overcome, as I mentioned earlier, by procurement of stocks. The distinguished Ambassador of Colombia mentioned about protectionism. We are perhaps the only country which has a liberalized import policy, and I am sure in the course of this conference the distinguished delegates of the developed countries will recognize the necessity of reconsidering their policy regarding protectionism which is harming and damaging developing countries, which I am sure it is not their intention to do.

The distinguished Director-General mentioned in the course of his closing remarks about the different organizations associated with FAO. I cannot agree more with him that there should be a complete comprehensive understanding between all such organizations, whether it is FAO or WFP or IFAD, all of them serving the same purpose of welfare for humanity, and once given the common link of transparent sincerity, integrity of purpose and devotion to duty and dedication, I am sure we will be able to wage this war against want which all of us are trying to do together. I hope and trust that the FAO will succeed in its eminent objectives through the cooperation of one and all of us.

A. WAHEED (Pakistan): We would like to begin with to express our delegation's great pleasure at seeing you, Dr. Swaminathan, once again in the chair of the worthy Council. We are confident that you will bring to it the same maturity that we have come to expect of you.

We would also like to welcome the presence of the Director-General, Dr. Edouard Saouma, who has been guiding the affairs of the FAO so ably.

We would also like to congratulate the three newly elected Vice-Chairmen of the Council. Also we wish to welcome Mr. Savary - I hope my pronunciation is correct - as the new Assistant Director-General and we wish him a very successful tenure.

We also welcome the Solomon Islands as observers amongst us and look forward to their becoming full members in the not too distant future - that is, next year.

This morning we have had the privilege of listening to an inspiring and thought-provoking address by the Director-General, Dr. Saouma, and a very informative address by Dr. Nurul Islam on the state of food and agriculture on our planet. We congratulate Dr. Saouma for the insight and lucidity with which he has provided to all of us the most required information. To Dr. Nurul Islam we extend our appreciation for the clarity and conciseness of his presentation.

The document that we are now examining pertains to the year 1984, that fateful almost tragic year in which we see a lot of suffering and misery in several parts of the world, particularly in Africa.

The document on the State of Food and Agriculture so eloquently introduced by Professor Nurul Islam this morning makes heartening but nevertheless disturbing reading. On the one hand we have before us the prospects of a general world economic recovery but on the other the developing countries, representing the vast majority of mankind, suffering from an unprecedented burden of debt servicing involving a net outflow of 11 billion dollars from developing countries. They also suffer from an increasingly difficult balance of payments and foreign exchange situation, a decline in aid for food and agriculture, especially on the most needed concessional terms, and a volume of trade which still remains short of previously achieved levels. On the side of food and agriculture, whilst we learn that progress has been made globally since the crisis in agriculture of the early 1970s and growth in production has exceeded population growth in most parts of the world and the standard of nutrition for developing countries as a whole has increased, we seem to indicate that we are all happily well-fed and malnutrition, at least in this respect, no longer exists; yet we have hidden behind these global figures a state of poverty and deprivation in which the majority of human beings still lives.

As the Report highlights so clearly in its text and so graphically in diagrams, 27 countries out of the 90 are now worse off than in the last decade. The problem is not only one of production but more fundamentally perhaps one of distribution, both between countries, as the Report so well highlights, as well as within the countries which the Report does not document.

There is also the disturbing emerging problem of increased and unprecedented food dependence of the developing countries and we are informed that the developing countries as a whole have, during the last decade, turned from net exporters to net importers of food with food imports as a rising percentage of total exports, 80 percent of which has to be paid for by the developing countries in foreign exchange, only 20 percent in food aid.

We are also informed that food production has been more stable in the last decade than in the previous one and that food cereal stocks are now at a satisfactory level, while we have in Africa today hundreds of thousands of people starving and dying from hunger before our very eyes.

The Director-General has justly and eloquently pointed out this paradox of scarcity among plenty, which truly is one of the fundamental issues of our times. We in Pakistan wholeheartedly support and acclaim the great humanitarian effort that FAO and the entire world community is making for the relief of Africa. Any amount of sympathy and encouragement and praise would be inadequate for those who, like FAO and the World Food Programme, are pioneering and spearheading this great and stupendous task.

The Report before us has, in our view, rightly pointed out that the basic problem in Africa is not merely one of drought, which may be merely a temporary phenomenon, the problem goes deeper and has many ramifications, all of which we are confident that FAO and the world bodies will be diagnosing and examining in dept in future analyses.

One particular aspect that we would like to bring to the notice of this body, an aspect which, if you would allow me, Mr. Director-General, to refer to the statement made by you earlier this morning, in which on page 2 in the second paragraph you have highlighted: "Let us not forget, behind those images, the harsh realities of drought, desertification and man-made disasters" and so forth. We have examined, we have spoken of several problems faced by agriculture in developing countries, particularly in Africa. We talk of fertilizers, of seeds, of credits, of everything. But in my view we have paid much less attention to the most fundamental requirement - that is, water management. We have had before us drought in Africa. We have had it in Ethiopia. But most of the time the attention is paid to meeting the immediate requirements. That is necessary to save human lives. But I think fertilizers, credits, seeds, etc. will go waste if we do not care for the management of the water resources. All civilizations have flourished on the banks of rivers and canals, and that is what we can learn from history.

We in Pakistan and in India, as my colleague from India said, have had some experience of making our agriculture independent of rainfall to a very large extent. We had a very bad year in 1983/84 when we had no rainfall for about three or four months, but since 85 percent of our agriculture had been made independent of rainfall the loss to the crops was 10 to 15 percent and not 50 to 60 percent as we see in the case of Africa. Unless we divert our attention and allocate more resources to water management, which includes water logging, soil erosion and everything, we cannot master this problem at all. We have to plan for this over a period of five to ten years. This is my submission. I am very happy to see that the FAO has a publication called "Small Scale Irrigation in Africa in the Context of Rural Development". So I hope we will go on in this direction.

We in Pakistan and many developing countries who have had more experience welcome the idea of ECDC and TCDC where we can share our experience with the others. The misfortune is that there is a resource difficulty. So if it is possible to provide some financial resources this experience could be shared with other countries, which would be more relevant.

Before I conclude my statement, Mr. Director-General, I have increasingly come to be convinced of the need of world food security. I think you have provided in your document last year a very valuable and a very comprehensive definition of world food security. The concept is very broad. This is the real concept. It is not only the production of more food, it is distribution, seeing that it is available at various places and also that the people who need it most have the means to have access to it. That is very essential.

W.A.F. GRABISCH (Germany, Federal Republic of): My delegation wishes first to thank the Director-General for having drawn our attention to the salient issues of the world food and agriculture situation and for having given us an account of important ongoing and future FAO activities in his introductory statement this morning.

My delegation welcomes the Report submitted by the Secretariat on The State of Food and Agriculture, 1984, document CL 86/2 and document CL 86/2-Supl.l, whose main basic statements are largely shared b.y us.

Part A of the document before us gives an on the whole balanced description of the world food and agriculture situation. Beyond the difficulties described, in particular the difficult economic situation in developed and developing countries as reflected in paragraphs 10 to 18 of the document,

we particularly welcome the successes in food and agricultural production achieved in developing countries, as highlighted in paragraphs 19 to 33 of the document, also the perspectives as outlined by Dr. Islam for 1984/85 in his lucid introduction. In this connection we think inter alia of the average rate of growth of food production in the developing countries, which from 1974 to 1983 increased annually by 3.3 percent and was on an average above population growth as stated in paragraph 40 of the document. We regret, however, that food production, in particular in African developing countries, could not keep pace with population gowth. An annual rate of growth of 1.9 percent of agricultural production is outweighted here by an annual population growth of 3 percent. We should however on the other hand not forget that today, ten years after the World Food Conference of 1974, about 800 million people more are fed than ten years ago. Per caput dietary supplies in about one half of the developing countries have improved substantially, as shown in paragraph 3 and Table 3 of the document. On the whole the average per caput supply increased from 2140 calories in the early 1970s to 2350 calories per caput per day now. Nevertheless it continues to be depressing that 450 million people still go hungry or are seriously undernourished.

What is of particular concern to us is the critical food crisis in a number of African countries. Such a crisis which has recently aggravated does not only exist in one but unfortunately in several countries, whilst in some West African countries the food supply position is considered back to normal, as stated in the supplementary document.

To overcome these serious problems nine countries of southern Africa with comparable problems grouped together in 1980 to the Southern African Development Coordination Conference, SADCC. We welcome this grouping and the efforts of FAO to support the activities of SADCC through the preparation of a perspective study "SADCC:Agricultural Perspectives to 2000':. Likewise we welcome the declaration of the African Ministers at the Thirteenth FAO Regional Conference for Africa, which is a clear commitment towards high priority for food and agriculture, as well as for greater self-reliance. We consider that declaration of such importance that we translated it into German for distribution to the public at our World Food Day activities.

As trade issues have been taken up by some of the speakers who took the floor before me I wish to make just a few remarks on this item, but I will refrain from giving detailed figures on our increasing food and agricultural imports from developing countries. Nevertheless it might give you a rough idea of recent developments if I mention that food and agricultural imports from third countries increased in 1983/84 to 24.8 million deutschemarks. Our net imports surplus increased by 1.7 billion to 16.4 billion deutschemarks. Developing countries participated in that surplus by about two-thirds.

We share the assessment in part B of the world population development and of the urbanization to be noticed in developing countries. We assume that a study of the related questions will also in future be effected in close coordination with the competent institutions in the UN system, particularly the World Population Fund.

Document CL 86/2 analyzes the causes of growing urbanization and its impact on agriculture and human nutrition. We observe that particularly young people from all areas are attracted by urban livelihood. There are in our view four main reasons: first, the expectation of benefiting from the creation of new urban employment opportunities and thus the hope of a higher income; second, the release of labour from agriculture through modern labour-saving methods; third, the scarcity of land, in particular caused by a lack of cultivable land and partly by inadequate land use due to inadequate agricultural structures; fourth, the difficulties in the efforts to improve the living conditions in rural areas as fast as it is expected in the cities.

In this connection, the manifold disadvantages and difficulties of the conurbations are often underestimated. The migration of young people to urban areas causes substantial problems for the remaining rural population. In many developing countries, various problems can be seen to arise, such as the promotion of industrial settlements through investment; tax and tariff policy in favour of urban areas; food subsidies at the cost of producers; the subsidizing of dwellings and the promotion of education of young people for office jobs.

In our view, this trend can be reverted in an effective way only if care is taken to improve decisively the living conditions of those in rural areas - in particular through rural development promotion which must, inter alia, include measures to increase agricultural production within an appropriate food and agricultural policy, better marketing, better processing of agricultural products, the improvement of infrastructure, and the strengthening of education and training in agriculture with special reference to the role of women within the framework of integrated rural development. These are priority tasks. They have been identified, apart from other tasks, in the Programme of Action of the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development.

In the view of my delegation mention should also be made of some other important measures. First, the development of national food strategies already initiated in 30 countries and their practical implementation in the form of concrete programmes and projects; increased protection of natural resources, inter alia through regular crop rotation, proper pasture management, the avoidance of overgrazing, the sustained use of forests and increased reafforestation; incentives to increase production through an adequate price and structure policy; improvement of infrastructure; a reasonable balance between the cultivation of cash crops and staple food; expansion and intensification of agricultural research

extension and training through adequately adapted technologies; and population policies with the aim of a better harmonizing of population growth and food supply.

As experience has shown, agricultural and rural development play a key role in overall development. Therefore, the Federal Republic of Germany for a long time has given priority to rural development in its fruitful cooperation with developing countries. In 1983 35 percent of the pledges of our technical cooperation, and 12 percent of our financial cooperation were accounted for by this sector. In this respect, it should be mentioned that in 1983, the official development assistance of the Federal Republic of Germany increased to 0.49 percent of its gross national product. The activities of many German non-governmental organizations and the private resources transfer have to be added to this.

Mr. Chairman, I will refrain from quoting other figures, but may I remark that the manner in which the citizens of my country have endeavoured - and are still endeavouring - to help their needy brothers and sisters in Africa in particular was beyond expectation. For them, solidarity was no lip service, and it is encouraging indeed to see that that solidarity exists.

R. LOPEZ PORTILLO (México): Al reiterar nuestra complacencia por su presencia aquí en este Foro, y por la forma eficaz en que dirige nuestros trabajos, deseamos adelantar desde ahora que nuestra delegación le dará la bienvenida, en la oportunidad correspondiente, a las Islas Salomón como nuevo miembro de nuestra Organización.

Extendemos nuestra felicitación al Dr. Saouma por su brillante y comprensivo informe. Asimismo, al Dr. Islam nuestro agradecimiento por la presentacion de este tema. Nuestra solidaridad con la declaración del Presidente de nuestro grupo, del Grupo de los 77, misma que suscribimos.

Nos complace que el documento CL 86/2 nos permita contar con una visión general del estado mundial de la agricultura y la alimentación. Nos satisface en particular la presentación de un capítulo especial sobre el crecimiento demográfico, urbanización y sistemas alimentarios, conforme se solicitaba en los párrafos 24 y 25 del Informe final del 83° período de sesiones del Consejo de la FAO.

El documento que hoy debatimos examina de manera breve y en general acertada, muchos de los acontecimientos ocurridos desde 1970, y nos permite reunir datos para la evaluación de la situación alimentaria actual.

Sin embargo no coincidimos, entre otras cosas, con la afirmacion hecha en el párrafo 15, como lo han ya expresado otras delegaciones.

En lo tocante a la recuperación económica que, aunque vacilante, ha significado un respiro para los países en desarrollo, no obstante que el documento reconoce importantes limitaciones a las perspectivas del desarrollo y que el propio Dr. Islam, en su intervención, matizó aún más este aspecto, mi delegación subraya que dicha recuperación resulta aparente en varios países desarrollados y que es claro que no se extiende a los países en desarrollo en ninguna medida apreciable.

Ya varias delegaciones han presentado datos muy significativos al respecto, y han hecho referencias a importantes informaciones que se manejan en países industrializados. El virtual crecimiento de las exportaciones derivado del incremento de la demanda de importaciones en algunos países avanzados ha sido irregular y desigual, y con frecuencia se ha visto revertido por la resistencia y aun por la proliferación de acciones restrictivas del comercio, mismas que subrayamos, y que el documento no analiza.

Del mismo modo, las cotizaciones de los productos básicos de exportación de interés para los países en desarrollo, han continuado en general deprimidas y con una clara tendencia a la baja. Así, el deterioro de los términos de intercambio de nuestro comercio exterior durante los últimos años ha modificado, ha reducido las ganancias netas de mayores exportaciones, y en materia alimentaria, muchos países hemos pasado, como bien lo ha señalado el propio Dr. Islam, a ser importadores de alimentos, afectándose así nuestra soberanía alimentaria y las posibilidades de nuestro crecimiento económico.

Resulta igualmente alarmante que el uso de los fertilizantes y otros insumos agrícolas y alimentarios, se haya reducido debido a una menor capacidad adquisitiva de los países en desarrollo en el mercado internacional. Ello ha incidido significativamente en la reducción de la producción agrícola. Esta situación deberá revisarse de la forma más amplia en el foro respectivo para que se tomen las medidas de solución prontas y adecuadas. Volvemos a insistir en la necesidad de establecer convenios internacionales en materia de cereales así como en el nuevo convenio internacional del trigo, y también de productos básicos, con cláusulas económicas. El del azúcar e igualmente el del banano son de crucial importancia para muchos países en desarrollo. Sin este paso, el futuro de la producción y comercialización agrícola seguirá siendo incierto para el Tercer Mundo.

Mientras continúe este orden de cosas es difícil esperar que los beneficios de la recuperación económica en los países desarrollados alcancen a los países en desarrollo, muchos de los cuales dependen esencialmente de los ingresos por la exportación de unos cuantos productos básicos.

El urgente retorno a la racionalidad en materia de tasas de interés sigue sin manifestarse, si bien parece haberse detenido su alarmante tendencia alcista, que volvió a darse a lo largo de la primera mitad del año en curso. Los niveles de las tasas de interés que ahora enfrentan el mundo en desarrollo hacen inconcebible la consolidación y extensión de la recuperación. Basta recordar que dichos niveles son tres veces superiores a los que prevalecieron en la época de expansión económica internacional de la posguerra. El servicio de la deuda en la mayoría de los países en desarrollo se ha agigantado de manera poco manejable, pues cubre muy buena parte de las divisas obtenidas por su exportaciones. A ello hay que sumar el hecho de que los países en desarrollo, en general, se han convertido en exportadores netos de capital, como igualmente lo mencionaba una delegación. La fuga de capitales tan acentuada contribuye adicionalmente a ese dramático resultado.

En esas condiciones, la situación alimentaria del mundo en desarrollo no parece presentar perspectivas positivas en tanto no se corrijan las tendencias de un orden económico internacional cada vez más injusto.

Por eso, reiteramos ahora como lo hemos hecho antes, que la única consideración para consolidar una mejora en la situación alimentaria es sentando las bases de un Nuevo Orden Económico Internacional; y por tanto, la consecución de los primeros pasos del diálogo Norte-Sur, que fundamentalmente residen en el inicio pronto de las negociaciones globales.

Suscribimos asimismo, la referencia hecha por la delegación argentina a la necesidad de dar cumplimiento a las resoluciones ya aprobadas, y que en el Informe de este Consejo, las recuerde y exhorte a todos a cumplirlas.

Insistimos igualmente en el incremento del servicio cerealero del Fondo Monetario Internacional, en la explicación respecto de su situación actual, y en que se estudie con urgencia, su expansión para comprender insumos tales como los fertilizantes, tan indispensables para los países en desarrollo y cuya importación se nos ha dificultado recientemente.

Hoy por hoy, no resulta exagerado afirmar que las relaciones económicas y comerciales relativas a los alimentos, y la posibilidad de manejar significativamente nuestra situación alimentaria, no está en nuestras manos sino que depende de las decisiones principalmente de los países industrializados, y también de la propia estructura económica e internacional que domina buena parte de los productos y de los insumos de nuestra agricultura moderna y de nuestra industria alimentaria.

Esperamos en especial con gran atención, el análisis de la política de precios de productos agrícolas y alimentarios y la información que la FAO nos presentará para el próximo año en el Comité de Seguridad Alimentaria sobre las corporaciones agroalimentarias transnacionales en la agricultura y la alimentación.

Respecto de nuestros comentarios sobre la situación de Africa, le solicitatnos a usted nos permita hacerlos en la oportunidad correspondiente. Debemos replantear el significado y el papel de la modernización de la agricultura en países que bien fácil podrían caer, o seguir cayendo en un proceso de creciente y más costosa dependencia comercial y financiera. El desarrollo rural integral de los llamados sectores tradicionales de la producción agrícola, significará más sólidas esperanzas y sobre todo un destino más justo y más equilibrado económicamente.

Ello es igualmente cierto para muchos países que han desarrollado los llamados sectores modernos de la agricultura y que han alcanzado un límite de productividad difícil de superar, salvo con costos exponenciales de recursos financieros y energéticos.

En general los países del Tercer Mundo hemos tendido hacia una agricultura polarizada cuya parte moderna y ligada al gran comercio está igualmente relacionada al fenómeno de urbanización, igualmente desmedido, que repercute en más importaciones de alimentos y de insumos, en mayor dependencia y en una política de preferencia por las ciudades, como bien lo califica el Documento en cuestión. Sin embargo, la causa de los desequilibrios campo-ciudad y de un proceso de urbanización desequilibrado, no se ha recibido principalmente en decisiones internas en nuestros países, sino que es el reflejo y aun la consecuencia de una estructura económica internacional que premia e induce la urbanización, y de programas de desarrollo multilaterales, bilaterales, y también de inversiones privadas que en general, y sistemáticamente, han favorecido la concentración urbana y la disponibilidad de mano de obra barata en las grandes ciudades.

Ese es el mismo caso de la expansión demográfica y el del concepto de sobrepoblación que sólo puede comprenderse en tanto que es relativo al grado de desarrollo y a la posibilidad de crecimiento económico y en este caso alimentario de cada país. En términos europeos, por ejemplo, Africa y América Latina son regiones virtualmente despobladas, sobre todo si tomamos en cuenta sus recursos y su extensión, no así su grado de desarrollo.

El atemperamiento del crecimiento demográfico en nuestros países, el cuidado ecológico y el equilibrio campo-ciudad en general, serán producto principalmente del desarrollo económico y social justo

y del acceso a los bienes culturales para toda la población. La mejora de la situación alimentaria dependerá por tanto del grado y del tipo de desarrollo y no sólo del control poblacional o de políticas ambientales impuestas a la fuerza y quizás demasiado costosas.

Finalmente, señor Presidente, reconocemos la trascendencia de la labor de la FAO y en especial el esfuerzo del Director General por contribuir a resolver los complejos problemas de la alimentación y por hacer conciencia universal del drama del hambre. Volvemos a alzar nuestra voz para exhortar sobre todo a los países desarrollados a que apoyen y fortalezcan el multilateralismo, en tanto que es la vía más equitativa para dirimir nuestras controversias y programar un futuro más justo.

A.M. KHALED (Yemen People's Democratic Republic) (original language Arabic): On behalf of the Near Eastern group and the People's Republic of Yemen, I should like to echo the words of previous speakers in telling you how pleased we are, Mr. Chairman, that you should be chairing the work of this Session. We should also like to congratulate the vice-chairmen who were elected this morning, Their Excellencies Mr. Williams of Trinidad and Tobago, Mr. Baharsjah of Indonesia and Mr Peter McLean of the United Kingdom. I am convinced that they will assist you a great deal in your work.

Allow me, Sir, first and foremost to pay due homage to this document, this summary, this account which was introduced by Dr. Edouard Saouma, the Director-General of FAO. We are particularly appreciative of the works he has engaged in as Director-General of FAO in order to arouse the world awareness of the situation in Africa and which has only been reacted to quite recently. We are very grateful to donor countries for their generous support and for the assistance they have provided.

As regards the State of Food and Agriculture in the world, we would like to echo the words of Dr. Carandang, Chairman of the Group of 77, who stressed the Group of 77's viewpoint.

We should also like to echo the words of previous speakers in highlighting the need to improve the State of Food and Agriculture. Previous speakers have in fact already said more or less what I wanted to say, so there is no need for me to be repetitive. Nevertheless, I would like to refer to one or two aspects of particular interest to us.

The situation is giving cause for great concern in most developing countries, and the urgency of the situation is very pressing. This is reflected, of course, in this document that we have before us. The drop in production in some countries, bearing in mind the overall disastrous economic and financial situation and the lack of funding as well as the increase in the cost of agricultural inputs and the drop in the price of the commodities exported by developing countries -all these, I say, are facts which remain but which cannot be solved if we study them purely as separate units, so in order to solve these problems, I think first and foremost we should define an appropriate framework. This should enable us to see things in their perspective and arrive at an appropriate solution. The world situation does seem to be the most appropriate framework. The proposal made by the Director-General that we should have a meeting of those responsible for the various international institutions in Geneva is a most timely and appropriate proposal, but we believe that the most appropriate venue or setting in which to find an adequate solution would be within the framework of North-South dialogue, this long awaited North-South dialogue, which has not yet achieved anything because of the lack of political will on the part of certain developed countries, so I think it would be appropriate here and now for us to issue an appeal that such negotiations be held so that all the material be provided to ensure the launching of a genuine and fairer New International Order.

We believe that economic and technical cooperation at a regional level is a local solution by which we might improve the situation. This is an aspect which has not been covered in the detail it deserves. This may be because the countries in the various regions have not known a genuine will to cooperate. We believe that regional cooperation in fact is one of the priorities, as was pointed out in the Director-General's statement.

ZHU PEIRONG (China) (original language Chinese): Let me at the outset congratulate you for chairing this session, as well as the three Vice-Chairmen on their election. I would like to extend my gratitude to the Director-General for his analysis and assessments made in his opening statement on the world food agricultural situation. I would like to express my appreciation to the Secretariat for providing this Council session with comprehensive documents on this subject.

Now, please allow me to make a few points. After experiencing some years' recession, the world economy is now gradually recovering. Following the disturbing reduction in world food production in 1983, it is expected to have a better harvest in 1984. Both world food supply and storage may increase, and food production inputs and marketing are likely to be somewhat improved. Nevertheless, we must be fully aware that there will still be periodic fluctuations in world food production due to the great variance of annual production of some major food producing countries. Food security in food-deficit developing countries is still lacking reliable guarantees. It is therefore not right to be over-optimistic and off our guard to the world food and agricultural situation.

Document CL 86/2 reviews and evaluates in the state of world food and agriculture in the last ten years, in particular that of the developing countries. Ever since the World Food Conference held in 1974, developing countries as a whole have achieved a certain increase in agricultural development and food production due to the efforts made both at the national and international levels in the last ten years. However, this increase does not keep pace with the target set by the World Food Conference and is quite unbalanced among regions and countries. What is more, the situation in those low-income, food-deficit countries, heavily dependent on international inputs and assistance, is yet to be improved. There is a big gap between supply availability and demand. We think that to further strengthen the food production of developing countries, especially low-income and food-deficit ones, and to enhance step by step their ability to food self-sufficiency remain one of the key links in solving the world food problem. It should, of course, rely primarely on the efforts of the related governments and people to develpo food and agricultural production; yet the support ofthe international commmunity is indespensable. At present, developing countries are still lacking funds and technology for increasing food and agricultural production. We hope that developed countries will, proceeding from their overall interests in revitalizing the world economy, take steps to further help developing countries with funds and technology to promote agriculture and food production and at the same time ease the restrictions to trade so as to improve the agricultural trade of developing countries. Only when the economy of the majority of developing countries is developed, will there be relatively reliable guarantees for the development of the world economy as a whole.

In addition, we are happy to see the constant development of economic and technical cooperation among developing countries as well as the continuous consolidation of agricultural trade among and within the developing regions which illustrates the spirit of collective self-reliance of the developing countries. This will benefit the common development of the agricultural economy of various countries.

We note with great concern the drop in per capita food production in Africa in the past ten years'. In particular, the successive droughts in some African countries in recent years have resulted in a yield much lower than normal years and subsequently in the emergence of serious food shortages which attracts the concern of the international community. Therefore, the agricultural development of Africa and especially the present food shortage problem deserves special attention and assistance from the international community.

Document CL/86/2 raises the question of urbanization in developing countries which is an important issue. Rapid migration and urbanization will create a series of economic and social problems for the cities and rural areas of developing countries. The Chinese Government has also attached great importance to the measures taken in solving this problem properly. Proceeding from her given conditions, China is guiding the rural labour force in a planned way to engage in occupations other than agriculture in the rural areas. Its concrete approach is to establish town and township enterprises such as food processing industry, food industries, building and construction materials, maintenance and repair of farm machinery, rural energy, small-scale mining, light industrial products, commerce and other servicing so as to build new types of small towns in rural areas. In essence this means to develop rural economy in a comprehensive way by making full use of the local natural resources, rural labour force and funds as well as by practicing an integrated management of agriculture, industry and commerce. This will play a positive role in relieving the pressure on the big cities and in promoting balanced development of industry and agriculture as well as of the cities and rural areas.

As far as the relationship between food and non-food crops is concerned, we are of the opinion that the relationship of mutual restriction and promotion exists between cereal and cash crops; so does that among agriculture, forestry, fishery and animal husbandry. However, the economic, social and natural conditions vary from country to country. It is imperative for each individual country to deal with this relationship properly in accordance with their respective actual conditions. It has a very realistic and important bearing on the solution of the food problem in developing countries, particulary in the low-income, food-deficit countries.

In China, in order to further promote the movement of agriculture towards specialization, largescale commodity production and modernization, integrated rural development is being practiced, the agricultural production structure in being adjusted in a planned way in addition to the production responsibility system adopted, the purchasing price of agricultural products adjusted as well as the relationship between planning and marketing dealt with. In adjusting the relationship between cereal and cash crops, we have taken a very prudent attitude preventing any approach being adopted which is detrimental to the increase of grain output. Our policy is to develop actively diversified economy while sparing no efforts in grain production. Because of the more rational structure and distribution of agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and fisheries as well as cereal and cash crops after adjustment, the acreage devoted to cereal crops has cut down slightly, yet the momentum of the sustained growth still remains. The production of cash crops, forestry, animal husbandry and fishery also registered a faster increase.

In 1983, the gross output of agriculture reached 312.1 billon yuan, registering an increase of 74 percent over that of 1974. Total grain production reached 348 million tons, 45 percent more than 240 million tons of 1974. The production of oil-bearing and sugar-bearing crops, cotton, meat and eggs also increased by a big margin.

According to the forecast of the department concerned in China, the total grain output will reach 360 million tons this year, thus registering an increase of 3.4 percent over that of 1983. With the gradual improvement of the production of food and agriculture in our country, food grain import begins to be reduced and a certain portion of food grains is used as feeds so as to develop animal husbandry and fishery to increase the animal products and to improve the livelihood of our people.

In spite of the achievements made in the field of food and agricultural production, the per capita grain output and consumption levels remain lower than the international average level due to the large population of the country. The level of development is uneven from area to area in China. Peasants in some areas, particularly in the mountainous, pastoral and marginal areas, still have many difficulties in their production and livelihood. Animal husbandry and fishery are still backward. All these remain to be solved through our sustained efforts.

The great achievements scored in the past few years in China's rural reform has stimulated the all-round development of food and agriculture as well as the development of industry and urban economy, China has decided to carry on from this year on, the reform of the entire economic structure with the cities as the focus. This is a major event in the economic development in our country which will certainly bring about a new upsurge of the entire national economy, including agriculture.

A. PAPASOLOMONTOS (Cyprus): Mr Chairman, we would like at the outset to commend the Secretariat for the comprehensive analysis they presented in Document CL 86/2 before us.

My délégation was pleased to note that there has been an improvement in overall food availability in developing countries since the world food crisis of the early 1970s. From the data provided it can be seen that on the whole, food supplies have more than kept pace with population growth. However, it should be stressed that more equal distribution is necessary if all people are to be adequately fed. This is obvious from the contents of paragraph 25 on page 6 where it states that, "In many countries, supply availability and dietary levels have regressed".

We believe that the shortage in the supply of food, especially in the developing countries, cannot be overcome if the agricultural sector is not helped, is not assisted to increase its production. In this respect, we noted with considerable regret and concern the conclusions of paragraph 18 on page 5 in relation to investments for agricultural development from where "in this respect progress since the World Food Conference has been disappointing". This is attributed to several factors of which the most important is the deterioration of the economic situation of most developing countries. Following the analysis made by the Secretariat it can be seen that for most developing countries the ratio of food imports to total exports deteriorated. This resulted in a reduction to resources that could be made available for other investments for development.

The concept of rural development, Mr Chairman, is both a complex and difficult one to be described in a few lines. Most of the factors affecting rural development have several times been outlined and stressed both here and in other fora. When discussing food supplies, one cannot stop at referring to this concept since it is directly connected with food production. What developing countries would have wished to do in this connection in order to overcome their problems does not always depend on them. The most important input that they need, that is capital, is not only scarce but it gets increasingly more difficult to secure and service. For a country to be able to plan and implement development plans, capital is a crucial factor but certainly not the only one. There are also others. Nevertheless without this input nothing can proceed as planned.

The final part of the document under review, Mr Chairman, is devoted to the problem of urbanization and the movement of people from the rural to the urban areas. The rural exodus and the resulting problems like the social problems created in the urban areas and the reduced labour force in the rural areas, to name only two, cannot be stopped if no investments can be made and/or incentives given to the rural areas, to reduce this movement. As I have already said, certainly we do not claim that capital is the only input required. Developing countries have always been seeking and are in urgent need of education, training and human resources development. This should also be emphasized, and in our view we should adopt an intensification of investments in this field, i.e. in the field of education, as a security for the future. There are of course also the non controllable natural disasters, something that we sadly observe today happening in Africa. The current drought cannot now be controlled and there is need for assistance from outside. Once the problem is over, however, steps should be initiated for preventing over time the same situation repeating itself. The international community could help in this direction. In this respect, we fully support paragraph 100 on page 28 from where I quote: "Rehabilitation and post-emergency measures including building of food stocks and efforts to improve animal health situations, are also required to restore agricultural production and help prevent recurring food crisis in countries prone to drought".

To this, Mr Chairman, my délégation would add, where possible, the role of water both ground and surface, for irrigation, as has already been stressed by the distinguished delegates from India and Pakistan, and the urgent need to develop the water resources of the developing countries, the necessity to train the farmers to use these resources wisely and efficiently and of course to provide them

with the capital needs and other inputs to develop these and other natural resources. Such measures could gradually, and unfortunately only gradually, lead to increased production and productivity and lessen the reliance (in relative terms, Mr Chairman) on rainfall if coupled with a remunerative price structure and other marketing arrangements.

M. ABDELHADI (Tunisie) : Je voudrais saisir cette occasion pour vous dire combien ma délégation est heureuse de vous voir encore une fois diriger avec competence les travaux du Conseil.

Je voudrais saisir également cette occasion pour exprimer ma reconnaissance au Dr. Saouma, directeur général de la FAO, pour la brillante déclaration qu'il a prononcée ce matin, déclaration exhaustive puisqu'elle a traité d'une façon magistrale de tous les points inscrits à l'ordre du jour de la présente session du Conseil et, notamment du rôle et des initiatives de la FAO dans le dénouement de la crise alimentaire actuelle.

Les propositions qu'il a formulées, surtout celles ayant trait à la tenue d'une réunion groupant les institutions internationales pour traiter des différents aspects de la situation actuelle, rencontrent notre adhésion.

Je voudrais également, à l'instar de ceux qui m'ont précédé, formuler les plus chaleureux remerciements pour l’introduction claire du Dr Islam au point 4 de l'ordre du jour, et pour le document CL 86/2, document très intéressant que le Secrétariat nous a soumis sur la "Situation mondiale de l’alimentation et de l'agriculture en 1984". Ma délégation appuie la déclaration que vient de prononcer tout à l'heure le Président du Groupe des 77, où il a développé un certain nombre de questions intimement liées à la situation alimentaire mondiale et exposé les vues du Groupe sur ces questions.

Le document CL 86/2 nous paraît intéressant à plus d'un titre, notamment lorsqu'il analyse dans ses différentes parties la situation actuelle par rapport aux objectifs visés par la Conférence mondiale de l’alimentation en 1974. Globalement, ces objectifs ne semblent pas avoir été atteints puisque la crise alimentaire continue de sévir et, je dirais, de sévir sévèrement, dans plusieurs pays et notamment en Afrique. C'est ainsi que la prévision d'une personnalité politique influente, à l'époque, en 1974, n'a pas été réalisée: il avait déclaré à l'époque, il y a dix ans, devant la Conférence mondiale de l’alimentation, je cite : "Pour la première fois, nous avons les moyens techniques de libérer l'humanité du spectre de la faim, nous devons donc nous engager à ce que dans dix ans plus aucun enfant ne se couche en ayant faim". Sans aller jusqu'à dire, comme mon collègue le représentant de la Colombie, que la crise alimentaire semble être un phénomène permanent, nous avons l'espoir que grâce à la concertation internationale et aux efforts conjugués de la FAO, de l’ONU et des autres organisations internationales, et grâce aussi à des politiques clairvoyantes nationales (attribuant à l’agriculteur la priorité absolue), grâce à tout cela, la crise finira un jour par être jugulée. D'ailleurs, les résultats positifs et encourageants auxquels sont parvenus certains pays en développement sont pour nous un motif de fierté et de satisfaction. J'en cite, à titre d'exemple, et à titre tout à fait indicatif, l’Inde en Asie et l'Arabie saoudite au Proche-Orient. Ce dernier pays a su réaliser, grâce à une utilisation judicieuse de ses ressources, et grâce à une politique agricole clairvoyante, son autosuffisance en céréaliculture notamment.

Ma délégation voudrait enfin formuler quelques observations sur la partie du document CL 86/2 qui traite, aux pages 36, 37 et 38 (c'est-à-dire les paragraphes 120 à 130), d'une question à laquelle ma délégation attribue une importance particulière, il s'agit en effet "des effets d'une urbanisation accélérée sur les systèmes de production agricole". L'urbanisation a été en effet l'origine, comme l'a d'ailleurs mentionné le document, de la soustraction, dans plusieurs pays, de bonnes terres agricoles à la production pour créer des logements, des usines, des infrastructures touristiques et autres. Ce phénomène de l'urbanisation rampante aux dépens des terres agricoles n'a malheureusement pas épargné mon pays. C'est pourquoi en vue de freiner cette tendance, la Tunisie a adopté récemment une législation appropriée relative à la protection des terres agricoles, dont la superficie en Tunisie est limitée. Ces terres ont en effet, conformément à cette législation, été réparties en trois zones. Premièrement, les zones d'interdiction, notamment les périmètres publics irrigués, et les terres forestières, deuxièmement, les zones de sauvegarde qui couvrent les terres dont la vocation agricole doit être protégée, en raison de leur impact sur la production agricole nationale et enfin les zones soumises à autorisation ministérielle qui couvrent toutes les terres agricoles non comprises dans les deux autres zones.

Il s'agit là de quelques réflexions que ma délégation a tenu à formuler concernant la situation de l’alimentation et de l'agriculture mondiales.

Sra. E. HERAZO de VITI (Panamá): Bienvenido señor Presidente; nos complace enormemente tenerlo nuevamente entre nosotros.

Deseamos manifestar al Director General, Dr. Saouma, que escuchado atentamente y apreciado el contenido de su declaración esta mañana, mediante la cual expresó su profunda y sincera preocupación por los problemas que estamos confrontando y sin recurrir al frío uso de cifras, y su voluntad, con el dinamismo que le caracteriza, para poner en marcha una serie de iniciativas al objeto de facilitar la solución de los mismos.

Igualmente nos identificamos con lo propuesto por nuestro actual Presidente del Grupo de los 77 en relación con las causas exógenas que objetivamente estrangulan las economías de nuestros países en vías de desarrollo.

Dentro del espíritu del artículo primero de la Constitución de la FAO, en el sentido de que esta Organización se "reunirá, analizará, interpretará y divulgará las informaciones relativas a la nutrición, alimentación y agricultura", discutimos en este 86º período de sesiones el estado mundial de la agricultura y la alimentación. Y ésta cobra particular importancia cuando la misma se realiza a una década de haberse celebrado la Conferencia Mundial de la Alimentación, e igualmente se da dentro del marco de una situación què ubica, por ejemplo, a nuestra Región -América Latina y el Caribe- dentro de una encrucijada económica que se caracteriza, fundamentalmente, en la dificultad de cumplir con el pago de la deuda externa, en un franco estancamiento económico que se une a la fuerte inflación, tipos de cambio e intereses excepcionalmente variables, así como los bajos precios de los productos agrícolas con sus consecuentes repercusiones negativas en los ingresos.

A este propósito deseamos aquí señalar el mensaje del actual Presidente Constitucional de la República de Panamá, doctor Nicolas Ardito Barletta, al dirigirse a la nación el pasado 13 de noviembre para declarar una situación de urgencia nacional debido a la gravedad de la crisis económica que nos aqueja. El próximo mes de diciembre debemos refinanciar 700 millones de dólares de la deuda externa. Para superar esta situación de urgencia se ha optado por acciones indispensables, sea en el sector público que en el sector privado, adoptando medidas de austeridad encaminadas a sanear la Administración del Estado y a racionalizar el gasto público y medidas generadoras de ingresos mediante el incremento de las recaudaciones fiscales.

Por lo que concierne al contenido del documento CL 86/2 que se refiere al análisis mundial de la evolución económica y financiera durante los últimos años, sobresale lo expresado en los párrafos 14, 15, 16 y particularmente el 17 que indica que el ritmo de crecimiento de los compromisos oficiales de ayuda a la agricultura, (COA) -definición ampliada- se ha reducido a partir de 1979, así como los compromisos multilaterales disminuyeron de hecho en 1983, como se desprende del Cuadro 8 del documento CL 86/2 Suplemento 1.

Paralelo a esto, los compromisos en condiciones comerciales han contrarrestado esta situación, pero han agravado el problema de la deuda de los países en desarrollo. Las dificultades de mantener las corrientes multilaterales en condiciones de favor se han manifestado en disminuciones de los compromisos de la AIF en un 14 por ciento y del FIDA en un 37 por ciento durante el pasado año 1983.

Especial mención amerita el Fondo Internacional de Desarrollo Agrícola (FIDA) el cual atraviesa actualmente una situación dramática. El 12 de septiembre pasado, en el transcurso de lavisitaque hiciera a la Junta Ejecutiva del FIDA, -amerita también decir aquí que es la primera vez que un Presidente de una República visita a los miembros de la Junta Ejecutiva del FIDA, el Presidente de Panamá, al referirse específicamente al problema de las reposiciones que actualmente confronta el Fondo, señaló la notable labor que el FIDA ha realizado en favor de los países en vía de desarrollo para ayudarlos a combatir su pobreza rural y la importancia que tiene para dichos países que el problema se resuelva satisfactoriamente.

Sobre el importante aspecto que tiene que ver con la disponibilidad y utilización de alimentos y en base al análisis de dos grupos de países seleccionados de los 90 que constituyeron el estudio de la FAO, "Agricultural Horizonte 2000", y que dio por resultado un grupo de países cuyo suministro alimentario aumentó y de otro grupo de países en los cuales este suministro disminuyó, en el grupo de países donde el suministro alimentario aumentó, el servicio de la deuda representó el 11 por ciento de los ingresos de exportación y en aquellos en los cuales el suministro alimentario disminuyó, el servicio de la deuda absorbió un 14 por ciento de sus ingresos de exportación. Se destaca el hecho de que el suministro de energía alimentaria está relacionado en gran parte con la capacidad de los países para importar alimentos. Resulta, pues, dudoso que pueda mantenerse este nivel de importaciones corao en el pasado, habida cuenta del actual endeudamiento y de la falta de capacidad para obtener divisas.

Frente a este panorama que se nos presenta y que demanda la objetiva comprensión de la comunidad internacional y muy en particular de los países industrializados, es que resultan incomprensibles hechos como los acontecidos en esta Sede hace tres semanas durante la reunión del Grupo de Trabajo, que es apéndice del Grupo Intergubernamental sobre Bananos, reunido para discutir los elementos de un futuro Acuerdo Internacional sobre Bananos y que no logró hacerlo por la negativa a discutirlo del principal país importador, pese a los claros planteamientos de los países productores-exporta-dores, principalmente los que integran la UPEB, que ven en este Acuerdo un mecanismo único para ordenar el mercado: obtener precios justos para los productores y razonables para los consumidores.

Con relación a la utilización de piensos y la disponibilidad y utilización de alimentos, nuestra delegación planteó en el reciente pasado período de sesiones del Grupo Intergubernamental sobre Cereales, la necesidad de considerar una mayor atención por parte de la FAO, al mejoramiento tanto en calidad como en cantidad de los pastos, para contrarrestar así la utilización en mayor porcentaje de cereales para la alimentación animal, en detrimento de la alimentación humana.

Sobre el crecimiento de la producción alimentaria mundial, constatamos con preocupación que la mayor parte de las regiones en desarrollo, no nan logrado los objetivos indicativos mínimos de aumento planteados en 1974 por la Conferencia Mundial. Así tenemos que de 105 países considerados, en la mitad de los mismos, la producción de alimentos fue inferior al crecimiento de la población, y en sólo el 32 por ciento, el aumento de la producción alimentaria superó en ritmo al de la población, en tanto que en el restante 18 por ciento de los países, el aumento de producción fue similar al crecimiento de la población. Y a esto hay que señalar las conclusiones un tanto inciertas sobre el futuro de la disponibilidad de fertilizantes, especialmente de fertilizantes nitrogenados.

Al hecho desalentador del cambio de posición de los países en desarrollo, que de exportadores netos pasaron a ser en 1981 importadores netos de productos agropecuarios, señalamos de acuerdo con lo agregado por el párrafo 31 y el Guadro 6 del Documento CL 86/2 Sup. 1, que si bien los países en desarrollo, en conjunto, volvieron a convertirse en 1983 en exportadores agrícolas netos, ello se debió a una disminución de sus importaciones de productos agrícolas cuyo nivel fue de un 13 por ciento inferior al de 1983.

Por otra parte, viene a constituirse como algo esperanzador el hecho de que durante el decenio de 1970, el comercio de productos agrícolas entre regiones en desarrollo, creció a un ritmo dos veces superior al de sus exportaciones agrícolas a los países desarrollados. Destacamos esto porque creemos en el papel de protagonistas que deben tener los países en vías de desarrollo en sus propios destinos.

Refiriéndonos al contenido del documento CL 86/2, parte B, que tiene que ver con el problema de la urbanización como un desafío creciente a la agricultura en los países en desarrollo, cònsideramos que las políticas que tiendan a mejorar las condiciones de vida en las zonas rurales, como se indica en el párrafo 152, junto al fomento, establecimiento y desarrollo de agroindustrias en dichas zonas, como se expresa en el párrafo 157, unidas a otras que atiendan lo relativo a la organización de la cadena voluntaria de productores y consumidores, constituyen puntos que deben ser recomendados por este Consejo, para que sean adoptados con los ajustes del caso en muchos de nuestros países.

Para finalizar, y no por considerarlo menos importante, sino al contrario, para darle un énfasis muy especial, deseamos hacer un llamado a la comunidad internacional con relación a la crisis alimentaria y agrícola por la que atraviesan actualmente 24 países africanos afectados en gran parte. por la sequía. El caso más grave es el de Etiopía que concierne a 6/7 millones de personas.

Reconocemos el esfuerzo del Director General de la FAO, Dr. Saouma, con miras a enfrentar esta problemática a través de iniciativas como la de la constitución de un Grupo Especial de Acción de la FAO y el PMA que vigilará la situación en estos países, así como el estudio perspectivo sobre la agricultura del conjunto de países de la Conferencia para la Coordinación del Desarrollo del Africa Austral.

Asimismo, estamos conscientes del hecho de que no basta proporcionar ayuda alimentaria, sino también hacer llegar la ayuda a las poblaciones afectadas, a pesar de los problemas existentes como son la escasez de medios de comunicación y la inseguridad causada por los conflictos internos, y proporcionar los medios para la distribución de dicha ayuda.

La delegación de Panamá desea manifestar a los países africanos su profundo sentimiento de solidaridad en estos momentos difíciles, y apoya con firmeza cualquier propuesta tendiente a resolver la crítica situación con la cual se enfrentan actualmente dichos países.

R. STEINER (Austria): The comprehensive reports in document CL 86/2 and the lucid introduction by the Assistant Director-General, Dr. Nurul Islam, divides the presentation of the State of Food and Agriculture into two parts. One is the world review and the second is urbanization. We regard this division as a very appropriate one. By focusing this debate also on urbanization and its effects the Secretariat very rightly aims at the core of the matter that constitutes the State of Food and Agriculture and the state of food supply in many developing countries.

First a few remarks about the overall state of food and agriculture. For many developing countries the overall economic development in the world, and in particular in industrialized countries, had its strong bearing on their own economic performance. While they benefited from the commodity price boom in 1977/78, low commodity prices during subsequent years impaired their agricultural development. This in turn caused reduced rural investment from all sources. Furthermore agriculture in many countries was affected by sharply rising costs of farm inputs and rising interest rates on capital. The indication in the report that over 1974 to 1983 world production rose annually by 2.2 percent cannot really console us, if one takes note that this change corresponds only to a 0.4 percent per caput. The 2.4 percent annual rate of change of least developed countries thus corresponds to a decelerated growth per caput of only minus .03 percent. The positive achievements in certain parts of the world should~õrï the other side be noted with the recognition that they truly deserve. Asia and the Far East accomplished a goal of the World Food Conference of 3.4 percent per annum. The achievements, for example of India and of the People's Republic of China, very significantly contributed to these results.

Forestry resources in all countries of the. world have a part of their importance as a source of energy, a most important stabilizing effect on agricultural production and variability of agricultural production. By recognizing as key problems degradation and depletion of forests in the humid tropics, fires and desertification in the arid zones, and acid rain and other atmospheric pollution in the temperate zones we have defined causes of the present situation. Comprehensive and regional as well as world-wide coordinated efforts and measures still have to follow. We will refer to the situation in Africa under the item of the agenda.

The trend towards urbanization is a world-wide one. All over the world, and in particular in developing countries, it can be regarded as one of the most important phenomena influencing economic and social development and stability. In the past the family, often also in an extended sense of the word, formed a socio-economic base balanced in itself to secure the well-being of its members. The accelerating movement, particularly of the young and active part of the population, towards urban areas is indeed dramatic, as shown in Tables 13 and 14. These Tables reflect that the population of Africa is expected to increase from 1980 to the year 2000 from 470 million to 853 million. The share of the urban population during this period is going to increase from 35 percent to 42 percent. How does the society of people living in our countries and the outside assistance respond and adjust to that situation? To be very honest, the reaction is a very slow one, often too late and seemingly so far very inadequate in its kind.

One of the conclusions contained in document CL 86/4 is a very right one, namely that farmer production will have to increase by greater amounts than population increases itself. Substantial achievements in production systems have to be introduced to maintain an increased agricultural production while migration from industrial to urban areas is going on. Urban patterns of life and food consumption often imply forced changes in dietary and food habits. Growing urban areas place a rational use of water resources in a new perspective with constraints looming more and more on the horizon. The need for a new infrastructure and flexibility in marketing has been rightly pointed out by the Secretariat. That includes removing bottle-necks in transportation, storage and food processing.

As we all know, agriculture is a complex sector. Development of agriculture is even more complex and inter-related with many economic and social facets of our life.

Allow me, Mr. Chairman, to end with a quotation: "Agricultural development cannot be conceived in isolation from industrial development or of economic development in its totality. For the supply of inputs and the demands for outputs agriculture depends on industry. The growth of agricultural productivity is conditioned by employment opportunities elsewhere, by the supply of non-land inputs at increasingly cheaper rates and the absorption of outputs at remunerative prices". These were words included in the McDougall Memorial Lecture to FAO by Her Excellency Indira Gandhi Prime Minister of India on 9 November 1981. I would feel, Mr. Chairman, that we best pay homage to a great person by being guided by these wise words of the late Indira Gandhi.

CHAIRMAN: It is now nearly 5.30 and we should give sometime for those who are trying to settle the composition of the Drafting Committee. So I propose that we adjourn now. I hope that tomorrow you will keep your interventions as brief as possible because we should have sufficient time also to discuss Item 4.1, the Food Situation in Africa.

The meeting rose at 17.30
La séance est levée à 17 h 30
Se levanta la sesión a las 17.30 horas

Previous Page Top of Page Next Page