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III. ACTIVITIES OF FAO AND WFP (continued)
III. ACTIVITES DE LA FAO ET DU PAM (suite)
III. ACTIVIDADES DE LA FAO Y DEL PMA (continuación)

8. Report of the Ninth Session of the Commission on Fertilizers (Rome, 19-22 February 1985) (continued)

8. Rapport de la neuvième session de la Commission des engrais (Rome, 19-22 février 1985) (suite)

8. Informe de la Novena reunión de la Comisión de Fertilizantes (Roma, 19-22 de febrero de 1985) (continuación)

CHAIRMAN (original language Arabic): As you know, the documents which we are going to be discussing through the course of the afternoon are the Report of the Ninth Session of the Commission on Fertilizers and the Report of the Sixteenth Session of the Committee on Fisheries. We actually participated in the work of these groups and, therefore, I trust that you will be brief in your contributions and that you will not repeat yourselves and go over arguments that we heard during the deliberations of the respective sessions

Ms A.L. PETERSEN (Denmark): Let me start by thanking Dr Bommer for his clear and informative introduction this morning.

The Danish Delegation has studied with interest document CL 87/8, the Report of the Ninth Session of the Commission on Fertilizers held in Rome on 19-22 February 1985. We endorse the view that in the present critical food situation, especially in Africa, fertilizer along with improved seeds and water is an essential input to bring about increased productivity in food production. In this context we would like to express our appreciation for the work carried out by the FAO International Fertilizer Supply Scheme since its inception in 1974. The concept of combining fertilizer aid with activities under the fertilizer programme at country level thereby assuring the optimum use of the supplies by the immediate beneficiaries is a concept which we very much support.

With regard to the future Programme of Work of the Commission, my delegation is concerned about the proliferation of activities in various Commissions and Committees. You will no doubt have noted that we mentioned specifically the value of high-level technical competence when we made our comments under agenda Item 7 when discussing matters referring to the COAG. We feel that the time has perhaps come when the problem of fertilizer could be part of the agenda of the Committee on Agriculture. In our view this would make the debate more comprehensive and help to focus better on all aspects of increased agricultural production.

R.D. KAUZLARICH (United States of America): Mr Chairman, we are very pleased to see you in the Chair this afternoon.

The United States supports the activity of FAO in the field of fertilizers. We think that the FAO fertilizer programme and the general FAO activity in fertilizer research, statistics and education are very worthwhile. The monitoring of production and marketing conditions by the Fertilizer Commission is quite helpful to both developed and developing countries.

We would like to see FAO expand its statistical activities to include information on fertilizer inventories, costs and possibly the profitability of the industry. Also, we would hope that FAO fertilizer investment in production cost analyses, which are based largely on data from North America, could be expanded to include similar data for other developed countries, developing countries and socialist countries as well.

While the International Fertilizer Supply Scheme plays a role in supplying fertilizer aid to developing countries, many countries, including the United States which has bilateral aid programmes, prefer not to participate in this programme. Still, the IFS does provide a useful vehicle for those donor countries which do not have continuing bilateral aid programmes. While we do not participate in the FAO IFS, we do provide substantial fertilizer aid through direct assistance. We might note in this regard that in 1983/84 we provided almost US $ 58 million in fertilizer aid, which increased our fertilizer aid to developing countries by more than 50 percent between 1983/84. There are several sources of aid to maintain fertilizer supplies, as I have noted, including the IFS and individual country bilateral aid programmes such as that of the United States.

Obviously, we share the Commission's concern that credit availability may be limiting fertilizer use in developing countries. We are also concerned about how fertilizer needs are to be financed. To the extent that fertilizer imports are a major factor in contributing to balance-of-payments problems, they would automatically be taken into consideration in any IMF overall balance of


payment support decisions. As we have noted at the Commission itself, any proposal to consider an IMF facility to finance specific commodities such as fertilizer imports would, we believe, be inconsistent with IMF's traditional focus on overall balance-uf-payments positions rather than on particular commodities or sectors.

Finally, I would like to draw attention to some concerns that we had in terms of the wording of the Commission's Report regarding the role of IMF. We feel that the language which Dr Bommer

cited this morning - that the commission requested the Director-General not to cover sufficiently the views of the United States on this particular issue - - I think, because it is of relevance to the work of the Council, we do need to make sure that indeed the language reporting on the results of activities such as the Fertilizers Commission does adequately reflect that there were dissenting views and that this was not a consensus view of the Fertilizers Commission.

M. MOMBOULI (Congo) : Nous voudrions nous aussi remercier M. Bommer pour la présentation fort précise qu'il a faite du rapport dont nous sommes saisis, Monsieur le Président.

Ainsi que cela ressort de la liste des participants placée en Annexe du document pertinent à l'examen, nous avons eu le privilège de prendre part aux travaux de la 9ème session de la Commission des engrais, qui a eu lieu ici à Rome, du 19 au 22 février de cette année.

A ce titre, et par souci de suite, nous appuyons entièrement le contenu du rapport de cette session de la Commission dont notre Conseil est actuellement saisi au titre du point 8 de son ordre du jour, sous la cote CL 87/8.

Monsieur le Président, les engrais, voilà là un des groupes des facteurs de production dont on a beaucoup parlé, dont on parlera encore pendant longtemps au cours de nos "fora", tant au cours des sessions des conférences et consultations techniques régionales organisées dans le domaine de l'alimentation et de l'agriculture, qu'au cours des sessions des organes directeurs de notre organisation. Nous venons d'ailleurs d'en parler au cours de la dernière consultation sur la CEPD qui s'est tenue du 3 au 7 février 1985, sur l'initiative et sous l'égide de la FAO, consultation à laquelle nous avons aussi participé et aux travaux de laquelle nous avons apporté notre modeste contribution.

Par souci de brièveté, ainsi que vous nous y avez invités, nous ne nous étendrons pas sur l'importance de ces intrants agricoles que sont les engrais.

A l'occasion, nous aimerions insister sur les conclusions des travaux de cette neuvième session de la Commission des engrais.

A la lumière des résultats de la neuvième session de la Commission des engrais, nous avions noté non sans préoccupation qu'alors que le taux d'utilisation des engrais dans les pays en développement, particulièrement en Afrique, reste encore globalement bas, l'offre mondiale des engrais et fertilisants sera inférieure à la demande au cours des décennies à venir.

Par ailleurs nous continuons à être préoccupés en constatant qu'alors que les utilisateurs dans les pays en développement estiment que le niveau des prix d'acquisition des engrais est trop élevé au regard des prix des produits agricoles qui sont bas, les investisseurs des fabriques d'engrais jugent, eux, ces mêmes prix d'engrais insuffisants pour les inciter à investir dans de nouvelles usines. Nous sommes d'ailleurs d'autant plus préoccupés que les dernières informations mises à notre disposition ce matin par M. Bommer, qui a mentionné la fermeture de certaines fabriques, sont venues renforcer davantage notre préoccupation. Ceci constituait à nos yeux une situation grave, quand on sait que les engrais, autant que les autres intrants agricoles, sont indispensables à l'accroissement de la production agricole.

Nous nous félicitons des mesures préconisées par la Commission des engrais à sa neuvième session en tant qu'élément de solution à la situation de déséquilibre, mesures parmi lesquelles nous avons pu noter celles ci-après que nous appuyons, à savoir la consolidation des structures et mécanismes existants, notamment par l'exploitation optimale des capacités des fabriques actuelles, le renforcement des ressources du Programme international d'approvisionnement en engrais, l'usage des monnaies non convertibles détenues par le PNUD pour l'achat des engrais destinés aux pays les plus pauvres, l'extension des facilités de financement du FMI à l'achat des engrais destinés à l'aide, ceci malgré l'opposition d'un certain nombre de membres de notre Conseil.

Nous avons également noté trois autres mesures préconisées par le Conseil. Il a été envisagé la création d'entreprises mixtes entre pays détenteurs de matières premières et ceux ayant les ressources financières et les connaissances technologiques requises. Nous avons également note qu'il a été préconisé l'intensification des procédés de fixation de l'azote biologique, les recherches dans le domaine du génie génétique, l'intensification de procédés de recyclage de matières organiques dans le cadre des systèmes intégrés de nutrition végétale. La FAO a joue un


role de premier plan dans ce domaine des engrais, par l'intermédiaire du Programme international des engrais, et nous exhortons les partenaires concernés , fabricants, commerçants et utilisateurs, à mettre en oeuvre ces mesures de la neuvième session de la Commission des engrais. Pour l'Afrique nous souhaitons que ces mesures trouvent leur début d'application par les donateurs et bailleurs de fonds, dans le cadre du financement des projets de relance de l'agriculture de 21 pays d'Afrique les plus touchés, projets dans lesquels les engrais occupent un volet important parmi les intrants agricoles.

Nous terminerons en espérant que le Conseil et la Conférence de notre Organisation réserveront à ce rapport l'appui qu'il mérite.

POINT OF ORDER POINT D'ORDRE PUNTO DE ORDEN

A. ABDEL MALEK (Liban) (langue originale arabe) : Comme vous l'avez déjà dit, Monsieur le Président, les deux rapports qui nous sont soumis, et qui sont le Rapport de la neuvième session de la Commission des engrais et le Rapport de la seizième du Comité des pêches, nous sont soumis pour information et c'est ce que le représentant du Congo vient de confirmer.

Comme nous voyons que la liste des orateurs inscrits pour parler du point 8 est très longue, et comme nous constatons un certain retard dans l'étude des points inscrits à l'ordre du jour, nous craignons, si la discussion continue de la même manière, que cela ne dure des jours et des jours.

Pour cette raison, je voudrais proposer de clore le débat sur ce point 8 de l'ordre du jour pour passer au point 9, c'est-à-dire le rapport de la seizième session du Comité des pêches.

CHAIRMAN (original language Arabic): Personally, I agree with you, Lebanon. I said this at the beginning of the Session. Does anyone second this point of order that we guillotine the debate on item 8? (Continued in English) Are there two speakers against this motion, that we close this

debate?

J. AITKEN (United Kingdom): We would like to speak against this motion, simply to say that we consider these to be important subjects. We consider that it is important that they be considered by the Council and that the Council has the chance to consider them fully even though they are only for information, because this is a part of the process of the governing of this Organization. Therefore we oppose the motion and we prefer that there be a proper consideration of this item.

CHAIRMAN: I need another speaker - but I would like to say that nobody says the subject is not important. It is important, and everybody knows this.

Fertilizers are like food for human beings - without fertilizers there can be no plants. That is why Africa and other poor countries are crying out about the shortage of fertilizers. But, as I said, this is a report by your Committee -you were there, in the Committee. Perhaps the United Kingdom did not attend this meeting, but most if not all of us were there. So the repetition is just for me - for everyone else it is just wasting time, especially now when we are coming to the end of the Council. We still have many important items, including the adoption of the report, and we have only two days, tomorrow and the day after. I am ready to work on Monday, but Saturday - no. Is there anyone against the motion?

HARTAWAN ADANG (Indonesia): Thank you for giving me the floor at this juncture, especially as we are discussing the report of the Commission on Fertilizers. This is not a point of order, but because my country has extended its contribution to the Council, permit me also to extend our contribution to this comment on the Report of the Ninth Session. If you will permit me, I would like to continue my delegation's statement. If you meant that you are inviting me to make a comment or to second the motion, then permit me not to agree with the motion that has been put forward by the delegate of Lebanon. My delegation would agree with the opposition of the delegate of United Kingdom and feels that the chance should be given to the representatives of the governments who are present at this Council meeting to discuss the matter.


CHAIRMAN: We now have two speakers against the motion, so we have to continue our discussion.

HARTAWAN ADANG (Indonesia): First of all my delegation would like to extend its appreciation to the Secretariat for providing a very comprehensive document on the matter under discussion, and especially also to Dr Bommer who has introduced the paper very clearly and precisely.

My delegation would lend its support to the programme of the International Fertilizer Supply Scheme. It extends its appreciation to developed countries who have contributed to the scheme to enable the developing countries to promote their food products. If we understood correctly paragraph 43 of the report, in which it is mentioned that the fertilizer scheme is aimed at minimizing the dependency of the developing countries on the food assistance given by the developed countries, unfortunately we believe that there is such a dependency on fertilizer assistance from developed countries. Therefore, Mr. Chairman, my delegation is of the view that this scheme should be promoted only on a short-term basis, but in the long term we urge that kind of assistance should be directed towards the effort of fulfilling fertilizer requirement at national level, and especially should be geared at constructing a fertilizer plant in the developing countries themselves.

Let me put it this way. Every assistance whether from bilateral or multilateral resources should be geared toward a self-sustaining on fertilizers. It might be necessary as well to develop such a programme which could also be promoted under the auspices of Economic Cooperation among the Developing Countries, such as in our region, namely Asian Fertilizer Project between Indonesia and other Asian member countries.

CHAIRMAN ('original language Arabic): Thank you very much, representative of Indonesia, and thank you particularly for being brief. I hope that other members will be equally brief.

S.S. KAMVAZINA (Malawi): My delegation is very happy to be given the floor and to comment on the Report of the Ninth Session of the Commission on Fertilizers. I will try to be brief and make a summary of the summary that I have already made.

I wish to start my comments by supporting the statement made by the Director-General in his opening address on the Ninth Session of the Commission on Fertilizers. I feel it is very important, very necessary to re-emphasize here that while we all appreciate that food aid should be considered an important but temporary relief of the food crisis in Africa, the long-term solution to the food crisis is in the provision of the means to produce food. Accordingly inputs that will increase productivity of the most depleted soils of the African region will definitely be a crucial factor in resolving this problem. To this end most countries are putting their efforts to become more self-sufficient in food by placing high priority on inputs like credit and other extension packages that include provision of fertilizers and improved seed.

We expressed our views in an earlier statement that most of our countries are living under harsh climatic conditions. In most cases we have only one rainy season and I think it is important here to take a maximum advantage of that one rainy season that we have, and one of the ways is by the use of packages that are going to improve production. I think we have to consider fertilizers and irrigation as a means to boost production in most of our countries that are now facing the food crisis. It is very important to note here that in most African countries, and Malawi in particular, we are highly dependent on smallholder food production for our staples. It is desirable therefore that appropriate incentives geared towards smallholder production of food should be provided in order to stimulate and increase food production.

To this end, whatever packages we have or whatever we want to introduce, it must be within the reach of the smallholder farmer. I must admit here that we have not been able to reach the smallholder farmer with affordable packages. This is so because the fertilizer that has been produced has been presented to the farmer at a very high cost, a cost which he cannot afford. We believe that subsidies will drive us to a point in attaining increased food production in the present climate when the cost of inputs are above the reach of the smallholder farmer. On the other hand we have also noted that most donors are not in favour of subsidizing farm inputs wherever they exist. They would like to see the subsidies phasing out. As such we are faced with the situation where we have expensive fertilizer on the one hand, and a farmer who is not producing enough food because of shortage of the means to purchase that fertilizer on the other.


It is this aspect that I support the. Director-General's statement at paragraph 2 which I quote "To further ensure fertilizer supplies, the Director-General proposed that in cooperation with relevant agencies, developing countries should be assisted to use their installed fertilizer production capacity to the fullest, and that expanded international cooperation was essential to complement the present inadequate supply".

We in Malawi have gone further than this. We consider that we should have also our own fertilizer plant. This is so because Malawi is a land-locked country, and to get a fertilizer in time is the question because, first of all the ports through which these farm packages or farm inputs come through are not in our territory so we have to wait. We are at the mercy of those who control those ports.

It is true that in the Africa region as a whole, and Malawi in particular, the major constraint to provide fertilizer in a timely and cost-effective manner is the inherent deficiencies of the facilities of fertilizer marketing and distribution systems, it is necessary to point out here that, much as we agree with this statement, in other areas things beyond the borders of the countries concerned should be taken into account, and this is why we stress the need for local production of fertilizers.

We welcome the recommendations at paragraph 24 of the document of the Commission on Fertilizers. As I said earlier on, we have conducted studies in this area and we hope that donors will be looking at the proposals favourably. Lastly, I wish to commend the various donor countries that have come forward to our rescue on fertilizer aid. What has not been possible for us to fulfill are demands where such aid has been attached to national budgets in terms of structural adjustment. It is a fact that most countries in Africa have budgetary problems. Malawi is no exception. If our agricultural base is to be improved, fertilizer aid should be considered as a special case, and in this particular case I think subsidies should be considered. Credit packages must be considered on a basis of affordable rates to the smallholder farmer. To this end we also solicit donor agencies to look into our existing fertilizer credit funds and replenish them in a manner that will enable the inputs to be within the reach of the smallholder farmer.

Sra. M. LIZARRAGA SAUCEDO (México): Ante todo, señor Presidente, mil disculpas por llegar en retardo en nuestra complacencia por verlo dirigir este foro y al señor Bommer por la excelente presentación del tema.

Al analizar este informe que trata de uno de los insumos básicos para la producción agrícola, la delegación mexicana quiere poner énfasis en algunos aspectos que considera deben tomarse en cuenta en nuestras deliberaciones para actuar de forma congruente y solidaria.

De los estudios realizados por la FAO se desprende que más del 50 por ciento del aumento del cultivo cerealista de los países en desarrollo desde 1965 se debe atribuir a los fertilizantes y que se considera viable que éstos contribuyen en un 50 por ciento al logro de la meta establecida de duplicar la producción para el año 2000 a nivel mundial.

Por otra parte, contrasta el nivel de utilización desequilibrada entre los países industrializados que usan ciento once kilogramos por hectárea y los treinta y tres kilogramos por hectárea en promedio que utiliza el conjunto de países en desarrollo, entre los cuales existen a su vez enormes contrastes ya que en Africa 29 de los 49 países una menos, 2 kilos por hectárea, o en la región de América Latina en donde el 50 por ciento de los fertilizantes es consumido por Brasil.

De hecho el informe de la Comisión expresa su preocupación por el índice de aumento actual del consumo de fertilizantes que es muy inferior al necesario para lograr la autosuficiencia y seguridad alimentaria en los países en desarrollo.

Los problemas de falta de divisas, peso de la deuda externa, desequilibrio de la balanza comercial y otros de caráter económico son causa fundamental de que los países en desarrollo no puedan importar, o en algunos casos producir los fertilizantes.

Por otra parte, en el corto plazo a nivel mundial la capacidad instalada no será capaz de satisfacer la creciente demanda, y las inversiones, siendo muy altas, no parece interesar en los países desarrollados y los precios debieran bajarse para ser accesibles a los países en desarrollo y éstos, que estarían muy interesados en disminuir la dependencia y lograr la autosuficiencia, no pueden afrontar las inversiones por lo que requiere que las instituciones financieras de desarrollo apoyen esta actividad y la FAO asista a los países en la identificación y preparación de proyectos nacionales, subregionales y regionales con fórmulas innovadoras para su logro.

La asistencia en materia de fertilizantes solicitada por el Director General al Fondo Monetario Inte-nacional y al PNUD ha sido negada, por lo cual durante su Noveno período de sesiones la Comisión pidió al Director General que insistiera en su gestión. Nuestra delegación insta al Consejo a que ratifique dicha solicitud al reiterar su preocupación sobre el tema de los fertilizantes.


La delegación mexicana desea insistir en el fortalecimiento del IFS así como la revitalización del Programa Internacional de Fertilizantes para apoyar a los países con mayores problemas de desarrollo.

Asimismo consideramos importante subrayar la recomendación del párrafo 54 relativo a que los informes de la Secretaría de la Comisión contengan más datos sobre las actividades del Programa de Fertilizantes dentro de la FAO y de las políticas generales de desarrollo, así como en los programas de fomento agrícola a los países, de apoyo ampliamente en programas de trabajo propuestos por la Comisión.

Finalmente la delegación mexicana desea expresar su satisfacción uniéndose a lo ya expresado por la delegación de Panamá porque la FAO cumpliendo con lo comprometido ha iniciado los pasos oficiales en relación con MULTIFERT, la empresa de comercialización de fertilizantes en la que participan varios países de la región latinoamericana, que es ejemplo de cooperación entre países en vías de desarrollo y debe ser fortificada para servir de ejemplo y apoyo para nuestra zona y otras regiones.

A. LOUCA (Cyprus): In responding to your plea for saving time I shall limit my intervention to two points. The first one is a note of concern with regard to the decline of the use of fertilizers. Unfortunately this decline occurred where the most serious shortages exist, namely in Africa.

The situation has improved only slightly during 1983/84 in Africa and Asia, but it worsened in Latin America. I think at that international level both consumption and production of fertilizer recovered during this period. The reasons behind this lack of recovery in the use of fertilizer in developing countries can only be attributed to the deteriorating economic situation of these countries, the balance of payments problems, and their inability to import the required quantities of input of production.

Another area of concern to my delegation is the availability of resources to the International Fertilizer Scheme and the constant drop of fertilizer aid to developing countries, both bilateral and multilateral, from 1974 to 1982. We appreciate in this respect the generous offers made by the governments of Australia, Ireland and Italy to IFS.

We were happy to hear during the introductory remarks of Dr Bommer the new contributions to the scheme made by FIAC. We hope that other countries in a position to do so will provide the scheme with the required resources.

The IFS has proved to be of valuable assistance and it should be assisted to be effective.

The interests of the international community in the less fortunate countries should not be limited to providing emergency assistance only when people are starving. People should be assisted to improve agricultural performance and purchase their own food.

With these brief observations the delegation of Cyprus endorses the report of the Ninth Session of the Commission on Fertilizers.

J. MUSHARRAF (Pakistan): We would like to refer to the following four related aspects on fertilizers: (1) the problem of supply instability in the fertilizer industry, and hence the question of the stability of fertilizer supply to developing countries; (2) the question of self-sufficiency in developing countries; (3) the choice of technology in fertilizer manufacturer; (4) the more fundamental choices on the overall approach to soil fertilization. In order to save time I will cut out the last part and hand the written statement in so that it can be included in the verbatim records.

To take the three aspects one by one, the first is the problem of instability. As was brought out in the Review of the Fertilizer Situation and Outlook, fertilizer supples and prices have been experiencing upward and downward swings over the last two decades -- a sort of cyclical behaviour of prices, profitability and production. Perhaps such instability is inherent in the nature of an industry that requires huge investments in large scale plants, with long gestation periods, but where the demand is fluctuating.

The question should be asked, however, whether the structure and behaviour of the industry itself affects the intensity of the cycles, whether by dampening the cycles or further accentuating them. Perhaps the Fertilizer Commission could go more into the question of the structure and behaviour of the industry than it has done so far. Regarding structure, we should know who are the major producing units and how they are related to each other; how oligopolistic or competitive is the industry; who are the biggest among the producers; what is the role of the multinationals; and so on. At present one does not even possess a list of the major producers. Perhaps future documentation can include such a list or inventory.


As regards behaviour of the industry, one should know whether there is collusion or not in the matter of price behaviour; and in the matter of output behaviour whether the industry is so able to control or manipulate the volume of production as to ensure that profits do not fall below a certain level, above normal profits in the economic sense. Or is it that there is so much competition that strong tendencies do exist towards normal profits. Also, how does the very large public sector in the industry behave in all these respects. It seems that people make various suppositions and counter-suppositions in these respects, but not enough is really known to enable us to understand the possible structural and behavioural causes of instability.

For the immediate future, there have been warnings of the possibility soon of a major technological breakthrough in nitrogenous fertilizer production. The question that arises is, will such a breakthrough lead to a repetition of the situation 20 years ago in 1963 when the dramatic technological breakthrough in nitrogen production, through the centrifugal compression process, had led to such a heavy rush of investment to cash in on the super profits awaiting the early comer that the whole industry went later into a major slump in the late 1960's when all the new plants came simultaneously on stream. Will there be a repetition of such a cycle, or has there been some sort of historical learning process to prevent it?

A similar volatile situation in the fertilizer field had arisen, though for altogether different reasons, in 1973/74, when prices had shot up manifold and market supply had fallen down.

The relevance of such instability for the developing countries is that the disruption of prices and availability takes place to the extreme detriment of the developing countries.

During the crisis of 1973 governments as well as industry in producing countries had preferred to divert supplies to their own domestic users, even to the point of breaking supply contracts already entered into with the developing countries.

In view of the characteristics of the industry we find it heartening to see in the document, under paragraph 64 item vii at page 7, concerning the future programme of work of the Commission, that the Commission has recommended an investigation into the structure and interrelationship of the fertilizer industry with particular view to price formation and marketing. We hope that the considerations recounted by me just now will be covered under this item and funds will be found for this particular investigation that is recommended by the Fertilizer Commission.

Coming now to the second point of the four aspects that I started with, the question of instability is relevant to this second aspect, which is the question of striving for self-sufficiency in production in the developing countries by inscreasing domestic plant capacity.

The danger here is that of setting up white elephants, as pointed out in the Director-General's speech at page 22 of the document before us. In this respect studies by the CECD and some independent researchers have indeed shown, or implied, that fertilizer production may not be the best candidate for import-substitution in many countries. It would be wasteful of resources which could be used more productively elsewhere. It may not even be foreign exchange-saving, as some researches have shown. Furthermore, the earlier experience of many countries showed how difficult was the efficient management of fertilizer plants. For a host of technical, managerial and economic reasons, the chronic problem, at least initially, has been a gross underutilization of capacity in these countries.

The possibility or likelihood of such inefficiencies therefore poses a very hard choice for the developing countries. The hard choice arises because, as opposed to the consideration "efficiency", is the consideration of "self-sufficiency" in a vital resource. In the case of food, and all resources that produce food, arguments of self-sufficiency have to be considered against the arguments of efficiency. And it could be a perfectly rational and acceptable choice, in certain given circumstances, to sacrifice efficiency for self-sufficiency. Given the instability in the world market, trade is too fragile and unstable a mechanism to be depended upon in all circumstances. Therefore we entirely agree with the recommendation made by the Commission at paragraph 24 for facilitation developing countries to produce their own fertilizer and FAO's role in it.

Related to the question of production is the question of technology to be used in the manufacture of fertilizer, which is the third of the four points I started with. In this respect UMIDO-sponsored mini plants, mentioned at paragraph 61 of the document, are of considerable interest. But in this respect it is relevant to ask how many of these are really mini plants. I think the position in this respect is that a plant with a capacity of 50 000 nutrients tons per annum has been found by UNIDO to be generally the most optimum from a technical point of view. This really is not terribly mini, though it is on the smaller side of the common run of nitrogenous fertilizer plants today. Third, it is not clear whether the smallness in size is also accompanied by a simpler technology, simpler in terms of equipment, process and feed stock, and whether it is more labour-intensive than the highly capital-intensive large plants of today. The need is to develop not only a smaller plant but also a more labour-intensive plant.


CHAIRMAN: Thank you for your cooperation.

J. MUSHARRAF (Pakistan): Finally, regarding the fourth and last point regarding the choice on the overall approach to soil fertilization, this has to be based on the objective conditions prevailing on the global and domestic fertilizer scene. Some of these can be recounted as under:

(i) A perpetual global shortage of fertilizer - shortage defined not in relation to the market (in which there may be no shortage in terms of effective demand) but shortage in terms of global needs for food security, shortage from the point of view of the capacity of the earth to sustain its increasing population. FAO's study, "Land, Food and People", has projected that 150 million tons of fertilizer will be required annually in the developing countries to reach the lower (intermediate) level of fertilizer use for a less ambitious scenario on carrying capacity in various regions of the world. The study "Agriculture through 2000" also projects a rate of annual growth in fertilizer use far above that being achieved at present. The questions which therefore arise are: will the developing countries be able to afford all this? (the question of purchasing power); and will, indeed, the earth be able to afford all this (since feedstock of oil and gas is a depleting resource).

(ii) A second feature on the global scene is the present inability of the developing countries to afford to buy fertilizers in the quantities they need. Even with the relatively low and declining fertilizer prices prevailing after 1980, developing countries are unable to afford the import of fertilizer due to balance of payments problems, debt burden and depreciation of their currencies vis-a-vis the dollar. Whatever they are able to import, they are unable to provide to their farmers at sufficiently attractive prices without imposing a heavy fiscal burden on government finances due to subsidies.

(iii) A third element in the international fertilizer scene is the wide disparity in fertilizer production and consumption between developing and developed countries - for technical, economic and historical reasons. On the production side, as the document before us shows, in 1968-69, developing market economies accounted for less than 5 percent of total fertilizer output. The situation of course has been improving; and we are heading by 1988-89 to a 40:40:20 ratio between the output of the three economic classes namely the Developed Market Economies, the Centrally Planned Economies and the Developing Market Economies. But still for the developing countries production falls far short of needs. Not all countries have the benefit of oil or cheap natural gas reserves (phosphate rock or an extensive irrigated agriculture (70 percent of land is irrigated), an old-established extension and research network, and a large fertilizer "market". Many of the developing countries are far less placed than this, with no feed back available to them.

Given this situation, we have to look further afield, and more fundamentally, at the whole question of fertilizers and our present over-dependence on chemical fertilizers and the grand option in the longer run is to reduce our dependence on them altogether. In the place of the possibly hazardous use of chemical fertilizers which, also, are capital intensive and therefore expensive to produce, the developing countries have the choice to go in more for an "integinted" nutrient approach. Greater emphasis may be placed on some old-fashioned solutions such as organic recycling and, simply, better and more careful farming practices - as well as the more "modern" use of biological nitrogen fixation. It is heartening to see a shift in emphasis in this direction in FAO, and we strongly welcome what is stated at paragraphs 49 and 53 of the document regarding Integrated Plant Nutrition Systems etc. and the recommendation made at paragraph 64 for FAO to undertake further investigation on the subject.*

Sra. R.A. SUAREZ MELO (Colombia): Ante todo queremos agradecer al señor Bommer por la presentación clara y exacta de este tema.

Atendiendo a la solicitud de la Presidencia haremos solo un breve comentario en relación al presente documento pues debido a la complejidad de los diferentes temas debatidos anteriormente vemos que nuestras labores se han retrasado un poco y no desearíamos contribuir a acrecentar esta demora.

En el pasado mes de febrero durante la Novena Reunion de la Comisión de Fertilizantes del Director General expreso una vez más la difícil situación que dio origen a esta Comisión en 1974.

Igualmente señaló los innumerables esfuerzos que viene realizando la FAO en la rehabilitación de la agricultura africana.

__________

* Statement inserted in the verbatim records on request


En este contexto es factor preponderante la acción de los fertilizantes que junto con políticas adecuadas de riego y suministro suficiente de semillas contribuirán al alivio de la alarmante realidad africana.

Somos conscientes de la importancia del uso de los fertilizantes y estamos convencidos que son elementos vitales en todo el desarrollo y recuperación agrícola. A este respecto deseamos manifestar que nuestra delegación considera preocupante lo mencionado en el párrafo 17 de este documento CL 87/8 en el apartado 2, bajo el rítulo "Política Mundial de Fertilizantes", pues es insatisfactorio el descenso en el consumo de los tres nutrientes: potasio, fósforo y azufre, en determimadas regiones, entre ellas la nuestra.

Creemos así decisivas y apoyamos, las recomendaciones formuladas por la Comisión en el párrafo 24 y en el 25 tendientes a subsanar esta disminución incrementando a mediano y largo plazo la producción y aplicación de fertilizantes.

Apoyamos igualmente los párrafos 29 y 30 e insistimos en que la experiencia de MULTIFERT como excelente modelo sea objeto de un estudio especial particularmente en nuestro ámbito regional, caribeño y latinoamericano.

Finalmente, queremos manifestar nuestro total acuerdo y pleno apoyo al párrafo 49 del documento que ahora se debate. Creemos ser vital y de un constante integrador para la nutrición vegetal el empleo de materias orgánicas y la fijación biológica del nitrógeno, más aún si se tienen en cuenta los aspectos económicos de definición de costos involucrados en un medio como el nuestro de países en vías de desarrollo.

S.M. MATIUR RAHMAN (Bangladesh): My delegation also thank Dr Bommer for his excellent presentation of the Report of the Ninth Session of the Commission on Fertilizers. We commend the Commission on its useful and informative report and for all it has accomplished since its inception. My delegation participated in the Ninth Session of the Commission; hence we support all the recommendations contained in the report. However, on one or two points I have some short comment.

We support the important work of FAO in the International Fertilizer Programme. In view of the important role it is playing, it deserves better support from the donor countries than it is getting at present. Because of the difficulties in developing countries in respect of their food supply, the present levels of multilateral and bilateral aid from the donor countries should also be increased.

Regarding the fertilizer programme, my delegation supports the work of that programme, and would encourage FAO to give greater priority to such activity as the promotion of biological fertilizer, organic fertilizers and plant nutrition systems. We stress the need for extending fertilizer use in order to increase food production. Lastly, we endorse the report for adoption by the Council.

C.A. FERREIRA GUIMARAES (Brazil): The Brazilian delegation wishes to thank Dr Bommer for his presentation of document CL 87/8. My delegation supports the concept endorsed by the Commission on Fertilizers that the most lasting solution to the problem of hunger and malnutrition lies mainly on increased food production, and particularly on the increase of agricultural productivity in the developing countries. In this connection, my delegation wishes to stress the importance of the rational, balanced and regular use of fertilizers as an essential input to help countries toward food self-reliance.

With regard to the Review of Current Fertilizer Situation and Outlook, we wish to express our deep concern with the decline in fertlizer consumption in Latin America. Among other factors, like changes in subsidy policies as have occurred in Brazil, fertilizer purchase and consumption in Latin America have been adversely affected by the serious external debt problem, limited by heavy interest charges. In this connection, my delegation favours the increase in fertilizer aid in order to reverse present negative trends both in Africa for the rehabilitation of its agriculture, and also in other countries with insufficient levels of consumption and difficulties in their balance of payments. For this purpose, the international community is invited to give its support, either bilaterally or multilaterally. Revitalization of the International Fertilizer Supply Scheme would also be very desirable. We think that the multiplying effect of fertilizer use justifies the extra effort by donors to provide this input to the region most affected by a food crisis.

Finally, I wish to inform you, Mr Chairman, and the Council that after three consecutive years of decrease in the consumption of fertilizers, Brazil in 1984 experienced an increase of about 45 percent in fertilizer consumption, as compared with 1983. However, this level is still 20 percent below that reached in 1980.


R.G. PETTITT (United Kingdom): The suggestion of my delegation that the debate should run its natural course was really a matter of principle, not because we intended to subject this Council to a diatribe I

We welcome the Report of the Ninth Session of the Commission on Fertilizers. We did not participate in the Commission, but agree with the report subject to the following comments and queries. As we implied in our comments earlier under item 7, we think the use of fertlizers for the recovery of food production is probably less direct and certain than generally is upheld in the report. Where countries rely on rain-fed agriculture the supply of fertilizers by aid through free or subsidized distribution is unlikely to be helpful in moving towards true recovery and true self-sufficiency. The massive application of fertlizers is not an answer to the problems of Africa.

Like our colleagues from the United States of America, we cannot support the further approach, as suggested in paragraph 20, to the IMF on the question of the IMF extending facilities for the procurement of fertilizers. We consider this would introduce distortions in the work of the IMF.

Thirdly, we are puzzled by the recommendation in paragraph 64 that FAO should carry out further work on price stabilization measures including buffer stocks, when paragraph 31 of this same paper records the view of the Commission that buffer fertilizer stocks are not feasible. However, there are various other suggestions in paragraph 64 for further work, funds permitting, and after examination of earlier work by the Commission. We particularly support two of these suggestions, which are, "measures required to implement the efficiency of fertilizer use" - paragraph 64(vi) - and the examination of "experience of the successful application of alternative or low-cost measures of nutrient supply including biological nitrogen fixation, recycling of wastes, etc." - paragraph 64(v). I need not repeat in this Council the view that the use of nitrogen fertilizer needs to be carefully controlled since its excessive application, particularly during wet weather, is not only wasteful but allows too much to groundwater supplies.

CHAIRMAN (original language Arabic): I appreciate your principle, United Kingdom. Thank you.

R, PRESTIEN (Germany, Federal Republic of): The Report of the Ninth Session of the Commission on Fertilizers clearly reflects two basic features: first, the decisive role of fertilizers for crop production and second, the inter-relationship with overall economic conditions. The present fertilizer production capacities throughout the world are sufficient to meet demand. Nevertheless, consumption is stagnating in many countries. This shows how fertilizer use is dependent on the price:cost ratio. The farmer must be able to realize a price for his products which makes worthwhile the use of fertilizers, seed and other inputs.

As regards direct fertilizer supplies as aid, my delegation recalls that supply bottlenecks led in 1974 to the establishment of the International Fertilizer Supply Scheme. Much has been achieved through this Scheme. But conditions have meanwhile changed. There is no lack of commodity, but there are financial limits. Fertilizers are being made available by the Federal Republic of Germany within the framework of bilateral, technical and financial cooperation. FAO has been informed about that. Requests from the countries concerned are carefully examined. We welcome the efforts of FAO to coordinate fertilizer aid with the FAO Fertilizer Supply Scheme. FAO deserves appreciation for its manifold fertilizer activities, in particular under the various regional field programmes.

We fully support the efforts towards a better and more efficient use of fertilizers, and towards including organic components which are available at local level. In this respect, great success has already been achieved in many developing countries. Therefore, these efforts should be continued.

With regard to paragraph 20 of document CL 87/8 concerning an eventual extension of IMF facilities for the procurement of fertilizers, we maintain our position already expressed during the session of the Commission. In our view, the IMF should not differentiate according to individual causes in considering balance-of-payments deficits.

R.C. SERSALE DI CERISANO (Argentina): Gracias, señor Presidente: Vamos a ser muy breves. En primer lugar queremos dar nuestro apoyo al informe 9 de la reunion de fertilizantes. Hemos participado en esta reunion y así ahora reiteramos nuestro apoyo. A la vez también queremos reiterar esta vez también nuestro total endoso a la labor que realiza el Programa de Fertilizantes y destacar que la consideramos como una de las principales actividades que hace la FAO. Queremos también en esta oportunidad dar el apoyo a las delegaciones que se han referido a la experiencia de Multifert.


Para nosotros, parte de las orientaciones del Programa de Fertilizantes debe estar dada hacia facilitar la cooperación entre países en desarrollo para la producción y comercialización de nuestros países, que son los que tienen materias primas, son los que disponen de recursos naturales para la producción. En ese sentido nos remitimos al punto referido a fertilizantes sobre consultas de cooperación económica entre países en desarrollo que tuvo lugar en la FAO hace pocas semanas en el capítulo de insumos, que tiene que ver siempre con fertilizantes.

Otro aspecto que nos interesa en favor de nuestras estrategias para el uso de fertilizantes es el de poder disponer de mayor información acerca de los resultados logrados y que se vayan conociendo sobre el empleo de fertilizantes en distintos cultivos y bajo diferentes condiciones ecológicas de los países. No debemos olvidar tampoco el interés que merece el conocimiento de los problemas que crean a diversos cultivos las deficiencias en elementos menores, la interacción de otros factores físicos y químicos presentes en el suelo natural: aridez, drenaje, acidez, etc. Estos aspectos creemos que deben ser tenidos en cuenta cuando se evalúen los resultados del uso de fertilizantes, y es la FAO, con sus servicios técnicos, el Organismo que nos pueda dar una información completa que en el análisis global del tema fertilizantes considere también estos aspectos particulares de la utilización y uso de fertilizantes.

Finalmente queremos decir, que debido a la escasez de recursos de que se dispone actualmente en nuestros países en desarrollo, debido principalmente a problemas de precios y comercialización, los agricultores no disponen de un sistema de fácil acceso a los insumos. En ese sentido la Argentina ha desarrollado una experiencia en el último año, que es la de distribuir fertilizantes a pequeños productores, nada más que a pequeños agricultores, a ser pagados posteriormente con una proporción del producto obtenido del cultivo. Con este procedimiento, que se inició ya el año pasado, en Argentina se han sembrado más de 2 millones de hectáreas para la producción de cereales. Otra cosa que la FAO podría proporcionarnos también es una actualizada y continuada información sobre la evolución del mercado de fertilizantes, los precios por unidad y sus perspectivas a corto y mediano plazo, como también los acuerdos que se vayan logrando entre países en desarrollo para la producción de estos insumos.

Por nuestra parte estamos desarrollando la elaboración de fertilizantes nitrogenados y Argentina está dispuesta a cooperar con los países que se interesan en este tipo de problemas.

R.C. GUPTA (India): Mr Chairman, let me say how happy we are to see you presiding at the deliberations of the Council. We would like to compliment Dr Bommer for his clear introduction.

Our delegation had the privilege of presiding at the last Session of the Commission, and we would like to place on record our deep appreciation of the work of Dr Couston, the Secretary of the Commission, in assisting the work of this useful Commission in the FAO.

I would like to confine my comments only to one particular aspect, Mr Chairman, in view of your direction to be brief, which is in regard to the price of fertilizers. We have a somewhat unusual situation in the case of fertilizers. Whereas the fertilizer industry is languishing with some capacity under-utilized or unutilized altogether, on the other hand the use of fertilizer, particularly in the developing world, is declining. We can think of various alternatives such as biofertilization, increasing efficiency of fertilizers, increasing extension efforts to make proper use of fertilizers, but nevertheless the problem continues.

In terms of dollars the price of fertilizer might have declined but in terms of local currencies and payment capacities of developing countries, fertilizer prices are becoming more and more prohibitive, and the cost/value ratio, because of the adverse terms of trade of agricultural commodities is going down, as is the use of fertilizer in the developing countries.

We will have to address ourselves to this situation and in our opinion we have to approach it in certain ways. One of them is that further research and study is necessary to reduce the cost of production of fertilizers. Another concern, which we voiced in the Commission meeting, is that perhaps fertilizer prices are not reflective of the true prices. We strongly urge the Fertilizer Commission to study the structure and inter-relationship of the fertilizer industry with particular attention to price formation and marketing. We would look forward to such a study by the Commission.

Mr Chairman, I should like to say one more word about the situation in my own country. In India the use of fertilizer has gone up from 3 or 4 kilograms per hectare about a quarter of a century ago to about 48 kilograms per hectare now, and food production has increased from 50 million tons to 151 million tons over this period. According to our plans our fertilizer requirement would go up from 8.4 million tons of nutrients now to about 14.5 million tons of nutrients by the end of this decade. Our import requirement of fertilizer would go up from 3.5 million tons at present to about 4.5 million tons of nutrients by 1990. I am giving this information particularly as a signal to the fertilizer industry that we will continue to be a major importer of fertilizers.


L. ARIZA HIDALGO (Cuba): Muchas gracias, señor Presidente: Quiero también unirme a los colegas que se han sentido felices por verle presidir a usted las sesiones de nuestro Consejo, Señor Presidente, nosotros no tuvimos el honor de oír el informe del señor Bommer, pero estamos seguros que con la misma maestría y experiencia de siempre nos hizo un buen informe, una buena presentación.

Señor Presidente, queremos primeramente expresar que vamos a tratar de no ocuparle mucho tiempo, pero sí creemos que no por ahorrar tiempo podemos dejar las cosas sin aclarar, porque la cuestión es que se siguen complicando y las cosas sin aclarar son malas. Primeramente creemos que la Comisión de Fertilizantes (esta Comisión surgió en momentos muy difíciles para los fertilizantes) surgió como una decisión para especializar el estudio de la situación de fertilizantes, y esta-situación de fertilizantes no se ha despejado. Creemos que al contrario, creemos que en estos momentos la situación es más difícil que cuando se creó la Comisión, y no por falta de trabajo de la Comisión, no por falta de trabajo de la FAO, sino por situaciones totalmente exógenas, por problemas de precios, por problemas de proteccionismo, por problemas de producción, por una serie de problemas que la Comisión ha discutido con bastante profundidad. Nosotros creemos, en ese contexto, que debe mantenerse como instrumento especializado hasta que la situación crítica desaparezca. Ese es nuestro criterio porque brinda un marco muy especial para discutir uno de los insumos más importantes que tiene la agricultura, si no el mas importante, en estos momentos en que, después de siglos de trabajar la tierra, ya la tierra necesita una inyección de energía para poder rindarnos tres o cuatro veces más producción, con cuatro o cinco veces más población. Por eso creemos que si hay una Comisión que es necesario que exista es esta Comisión por su especiali-zación, y además lo demuestra este informe. Este informe es un recuento, es muy especializado y muy amplio de situaciones, que ninguna de ellas se puede llamar como una situación irrelevante o como una situación que no deba haberse discutido. Desde el número 1 hasta el número 67 son cuestiones que todas llevaron atento trabajo por su necesidad. No creo que se pueda expresar aquí que esta Comisión no es necesaria.

Segundo, señor Presidente, vamos a dar nuestros criterios sobre el informe. Primeramente nosotros estamos totalmente de acuerdo con el informe en toda su extensión. Queremos, para ahorrar tiempo, apoyar en todas sus partes, el informe que hizo la distinguida representación de México y la distinguida representación de Pakistán, así como el Congo.

Creemos que en el Informe, el párrafo 5 es muy interesante, porque la declaración del Director General reiteró el convencimiento de que los fertilizantes, en las condiciones adecuadas es esencial para fomentar la producción.

El párrafo 17 es una de las cuestiones que hace pensar en la necesidad de mantener la Comisión por la gravedad de la situación; el consumo mundial de los diversos nutrientes disminuyó por segundo año consecutivo, si bien aumentó el consumo general en los países en desarrollo, descendió el de cada uno de los tres nutrientes en Africa. Hemos constatado la situación peligrosa y la situación en descenso que tiene este problema de los fertilizantes.

En el párrafo 20, se habla con bastante realidad de que a pesar de la rehabilitación de la agricultura en Africa, se requieren esfuerzos no sólo a corto plazo sino también a medio y largo plazo. Por consiguiente la ayuda debería prestarse durante varios años. Esto ha sido analizado y llevó a la Comisión en general, a expresar su preocupación tras la respuesta negativa dada por el Director Gerente del Fondo Monetario Internacional, respuesta que se consideró negativa en los momentos y en la situación que se hace, porque fue una sugerencia del Director General de que el Fondo ampliase sus servicios para facilitar la compra de productos que pueden resolver el problema en muchos lugares. Sin embargo esto fue negado por los mismos distinguidos representantes que lo están negando aquí, pero consideramos que la Comisión pidió al Director General que insistiera ante el Fondo para que se reconsidere su posición en vista de las dificultades por que atraviesa.

Consideramos que debe mantenerse de la misma manera que viene en el Informe.

Igualmente el párrafo 21 toma nota con preocupación de la respuesta negativa del Administrador del PNUD. También la Comisión trató este problema en profundidad y reflejó su criterio.

El párrafo 24, en su segunda parte, pide a la FAO que en cooperación con otros organismos apropiados, llevara a cabo estudios nacionales y regionales para obtener una evaluación objetiva del potencial de los países en desarrollo, especialmente de los africanos, para la producción de fertilizantes en el contexto general de su economía agrícola. Esto se analizó, se discutió y se le pidió a la FAO porque es una necesidad independientemente de que podamos hablar ahora de costos y beneficios del Presupuesto; pero esto es una necesidad creciente en el mundo en desarrollo y la FAO está interesada en esa necesidad en la forma en que se pide aquí.


El párrafo 29, es un párrafo donde se hace un análisis sobre las empresas mixtas y también se analizan las posibilidades sobre los problemas de abastecimiento, y esto no es otra cosa que el resultado de la mala factibilidad de análisis hechas por organismos que hoy son los acreedores y responsables de que no estén produciendo.

En el párrafo 33 se expresaron las delegaciones de América Latina y el Caribe con un análisis muy profundo de los resultados del trabajo que viene realizando como empresa mixta en el sector de los fertilizantes MULTIFERT, que es la primera empresa creada por SELA y que tiene ya once Estados Miembros y llevó a la Comisión a plantear este párrafo en el que se le preveía un próspero futuro. Por lo tanto se consideró que era útil la MULTIFERT, como un elemento de ejemplo en este tipo de empresas.

Ahora hay una serie de párrafos muy importantes que sería bueno o malo repetir; pero cuando las respuestas no dan soluciones, creo que no es malo repetir. Aquí se habló de que no debemos repetir, ¿pero cómo resolver si no repetimos? ¿Quedándonos tan tranquilos cuando no se resuelven los problemas? Hay unas cuestiones muy interesantes planteadas sobre la especialidad de esta Comisión que profundizó en los problemas de secano en las regiones; esta situación que no permite tener agua suficiente ni la fertilización. Sin embargo se pide que se debe extender la ayuda y aumentar la eficacia de los cultivos a fin de obtener variantes de agua. Esta es una cuestión que considero importante para el futuro de la agricultura sobre todo para el Sahel.

En el párrafo 54, la Comisión recomienda a la Secretaría que adopte un enfoque distinto en futuros Informes sobre las actividades relacionadas con los fertilizantes, en particular sobre el Programa de Fertilizantes. Deberían facilitarse más datos sobre la integración de esas actividades dentro de la FAO y en los planes y políticas en general de desarrollo, así como en los Programas de Fomento Agrícola en los países. La Comisión entró a analizar toda una serie de problemas críticamente también, con plena conciencia de que estaba realizando un trabajo profundo, no por arriba, ni superficialmente.

Quiero referirme al párrafo 64 sobre el futuro Programa de Trabajo de la Comisión. Creo que el número 64, da una amplia gama de actividades que debemos mantener en su totalidad porque van a garantizar, en la medida posible, el que los fertilizantes puedan mejorar un poco y repito, que el trabajo es una exposición muy sucinta de una Comisión que es necesaria mientras el problema de los fertilizantes no se resuelva.

CHAIRMAN (Original language Arabic): Where did you get this information that the Commission was going to discontinue its activities? I am sure that it will continue if the Council wishes it to do so.

D.R. GREGORY (Australia): There are one or two points which have been raised in the debate which are probably worth addressing, and also, from the meeting of the Commission itself, the question of the IFS - the International Fertilizer Supply Scheme - has been addressed on a number of occasions during this Council Session. We are not a major contributor now, although when the Scheme began I think we were among the largest contributors, if not the largest. Perhaps it is worth noting that we do not believe that the circumstances are the same as when the Scheme was introduced in relation to supplies and prices. Circumstances have changed, and frankly our own judgment is that there are probably better ways of using our own aid resources. Consequently I am quite happy to support the proposal in paragraph 64 that there should be an examination of the IFS. I believe the study should be fairly wide and should include some analysis of why donors by and large are not attracted to the Scheme. We would of course be happy to contribute our views, Mr President.

With regard to the proposals for the expansion of IMF facilities to encompass fertilizer inputs : Australia has considerable reservations about the introduction of any new commodity specific facilities in the IMF, since we consider that IMF assistance should be made available on the basis of a particular commodity. However, we do not have any objection to a request to the IMF from FAO for a review of the IMF facilities as they relate to the problems of low-income food-deficit countries, and I would mention this in terms of the Fertilizers Commission.

There was also the question concerning fertilizer inputs versus food aid. I suppose there could be benefits in importing fertilizers for food-deficit countries - I think that was a qualification which we looked at. However, I would suggest that there are other choices open to countries than attempting to encourage production through input subsidies, as was raised I think this morning. There are probably more cost-effective ways of encouraging production. I can say that we in Australia speak from experience on these matters, and would suggest that any government giving thought to such proposals should think twice. I think we would give particular prominence to alternative and low-cost alternatives to nitrogen supply, on which Australia's agriculture is based. Simply speaking, we cannot afford the alternatives and we believe that many developing countries with similar ecological circumstances to our own are in the same position.


To this end, I think the Fertilizer Programme of FAO has played an important role, and we believe it will continue to do so. However, we would perhaps like to see a little more comprehensive and quantitative analysis, using concrete examples of success stories - which is the only way, we believe, in which you can effectively demonstrate to government administrations the benefits to be gained by these sorts of prices, where applicable.

The question of fertilizer prices has also been raised, and the fact that these perhaps are not true prices. This is an argument which we have been through at some length. It is claimed that the prices are too high, that they are false prices. On the other hand, we have excess capacity in the industry. We talked about the closing down of capacity, with the likelihood that in the future there would be insufficient capacity to produce fertilizer requirements, and that fertilizer prices at the moment are insufficient to encourage new capacity, so it raises the potential for shortages. We would reiterate our belief that the only cure is to restore the input/output price ratio between fertilizer and agricultural commodity prices, which does reflect the distortion or corruption of international agricultural markets.

Sra. M. FERMIN GOMEZ (Venezuela): Queremos, señor Presidente, expresar primeramente nuestra complacencia por verle a usted presidiendo esta reunion y al mismo tiempo deseamos manifestar que vamos a dar nuestro pleno apoyo al Documento que está en estudio, ya que consideramos que es excelente.

Deberemos, sin embargo, centrar nuestra breve intervención en el párrafo 64, primero para enfatizar nuestro respaldo a la experiencia del proyecto MULTIFERT, que está demostrando cómo una empresa joven de carácter mixto integrada por países en vías de desarrollo puede ser útil y puede realizar una labor bastante apreciable que ha merecido el consenso de apoyo de esta reunion, en beneficio de los otros países en vías de desarrollo.

Al mismo tiempo queremos referirnos también en el párrafo 64, al punto (vi), que se refiere a las medidas necesarias para influir en la eficiencia de muchos de los fertilizantes. Esto lo hacemos preocupados como estamos, no tanto por la importancia de los precios, del consumo y del aumento o disminución de la producción, sino por la preocupación que nos lleva a pensar en el efecto del uso de estos fertilizantes en los consumidores. Nosotros sabemos por experiencia que estos fertilizantes pueden ser arma de dos filos en mano de personas que no están preparadas o que no han sido debidamente instruidas para su uso. Hemos presenciado el caso de agricultores sin mucha experiencia, lamentablemente también sin muchos escrúpulos, que abusan de los fertilizantes para obtener productos que aparecen a la vista muy hermosos, que atraen al consumidor, pero que no son precisamente los mejores frutos para la salud del ser humano.

Por esta razón aprobamos realmente esta caución que se hace en cuanto a la preocupación por la eficiencia del uso de los fertilizantes, a que aludía el delegado del Reino Unido y desde este punto de vista queremos apoyarlo pensando en la salud de la masa consumidora y en la necesidad de instruir o de buscar la manera de que los fertilizantes puedan ser usados con precaución o con medida, de manera que no puedan resultar dañinos.

Es posible que en un ramo como los cereales los fertilizantes puedan valorizar la producción y su resultado pueda ser evaluado como positivo atendiendo especialmente al volumen, a la cantidad de kilos por hectárea, o toneladas por hectárea, porque desde este punto de vista la cosecha está evaluada desde el punto de vista económico, pero hay otros renglones como la agricultura o cultivos frutales en los cuales este uso indiscriminado de fertilizantes no es siempre saludable y así podemos temer no solamente en el fruto en sí, sino también en las consecuencias, por ejemplo, del uso indiscriminado abusivo de estos fertilizantes. En ello se revela, como lo hemos dicho antes, que los resultados del uso de fertilizantes mejoran en volumen, en aumento de la producción, pero no en calidad del producto.

Tratamos de destacar estos puntos por cuanto ello ha dañado la salud de los consumidores de tales productos, aspecto que está muy directamente vinculado a la defensa de la seguridad alimentaria y a la preocupación por la alimentación que concierne a la FAO, y en este sentido al perjuicio que puede derivarse del uso incontrolado, abusivo de los fertilizantes.

Por ejemplo nosotros hemos tenido experiencia en mi país, lamentablemente, de que estos determinados fertilizantes, fundamentalmente químicos, pueden contaminar las aguas de los ríos, acidificar los suelos, no siempre dan los resultados esperados en la obtención de una cosecha eficiente y, por consiguiente, si bien las cosechas pudieran ser positivas ese daño que ellos hacen a los suelos y a las aguas, que son insumos fundamentales para la agricultura, no son realmente positivos. Por eso consideramos, pues, que este párrafo 64 podría ampliarse insistiendo más en el número 6 en cuanto a estas medidas que deben tomarse como precaución extrema para educar a estos agricultores, especialmente a los pequeños agricultores que deben usar los fertilizantes con medida, y tal vez la FAO podía insistir también en el uso y desarrollo de los fertilizantes orgánicos que estamos viendo que reconocemos que son sin duda eficientes aun cuando no lleven la producción a los extremos en que el comerciante o productor aspira para tener un buen resultado en cuanto a su precio.


Especialmente eso quería decir como una sugerencia para alertar en el uso de los fertilizante para beneficio de la salud de los consumidores.

CHAIRMAN (original language Arabic): Thank you very much, Your Excellency - your comments were certainly very much to the point and show that you are well versed in agricultural matters.

F. de MENEZES (Sao Tomé-et-Principe): Permettez-moi de remercier et de féliciter M. Bommer pour le rapport qu'il nous a présenté et féliciter aussi la Commission des engrais pour le résultat de leur dernière réunion qui paraît dans le rapport qui nous est soumis. Les engrais sont nécessaires pour n'importe quelle culture agricole et pour nous, qui parlons aujourd'hui dans toutes les instances internationales de la sécurité alimentaire,il est normal que nous puissions parler des engrais en ce qui concerne les cultures vivrières mais, en ce qui concerne nos pays, les îles de Sao Tomé-et-Principe la culture de rente, qui est celle du cacao, comme nous l'avons déjà déclaré dans plusieurs réunions de cette Organisation, cette culture est la base qui constitue notre pouvoir d'achat pour l'importation des produits destinés à l'alimentation de notre population. Il faut également parler en matière d'engrais pour ce qui concerne les cultures de rente,et mon pays, pour maintenir une production minimale, a toujours eu besoin d'énormément de fertilisants, de pesticides et d'insecticides. Si aujourd'hui nous connaissons la production qui est la nôtre c'est parce que, après notre indépendance, après 1975, les engrais nous ont fait défaut. Nous nous sommes adressés à la Communauté internationale, même à la FAO et en passant je voudrais remercier ici, au nom de mon gouvernement, en tant qu'Ambassadeur auprès de notre Organisation, le gouvernement de l'Autriche pour l'aide qu'il nous a octroyée en 1981-82 suite à la demande que le Directeur général avait-lancée en notre faveur pour quelques centaines de tonnes d'engrais qui ont pu nous parvenir. Ainsi notre agriculture a pu bien marcher pendant l'époque coloniale et même quelques années après l'époque coloniale et elle s'est centrée surtout sur une utilisation maximale des engrais tels que l'urée et les autres produits. Aujourd'hui nous nous trouvons dans une situation très difficile par rapport à la fourniture des engrais. Nous sommes un tout petit pays insulaire, pays moins avancé. Il existe un programme et des actions substantielles qui ont été prônées par les Nations Unies elles-mêmes lors de la Conférence à Paris en 1981 et nous voudrions attirer l'attention du Conseil, de l'Organisation et des pays donateurs sur le cas de pays comme le nôtre, qui n'ont pas les moyens d'une production locale. Nous parlons d'enthousiasmer, d'encourager les pays à produire localement les engrais mais nous n'en avons pas les moyens et ne prétendons pas avoir les moyens de les produire. Nous demandons donc qu'une action précise, encourageante soit faite en faveur de pays comme le mien.

P. ALLEYNE (Trinidad and Tobago): I wish to assure you that we will not be very long. Mr Chairman we also of course wish to thank Dr Bommer for his introduction.

Our delegation wishes to emphasize our full support for the initiatives of the Director-General and to commend the Commission for its work. Mr Chairman, given the importance of fertilizers in virtually all areas of agricultural production, we must all be concerned about the deficiency in donor contributions, more so in the context of those countries whose agriculture is in a crisis situation at this time, and which are the focus of the Rehabilitation thrust. In this regard it is even more alarming to know that the world fertilizer consumption of the major nutrients declined in 1982-83 for the second consecutive year and more specifically, reduced consumption of all or some nutrients in critical areas, worst of all in Africa. Mr Chairman, with particular reference to paragraph 22, fertilizer use at the national level, our delegation wishes to urge FAO to take a comprehensive and incisive look at this area. Our suggestion in this regard reaches beyond the mere quantities available by imports or otherwise. The focus of our thoughts is on the efficiency of use of whatever is available on the farm. We consider this an area for comprehensive review. Of course this relates to in-country recommendations by agronomists and other research scientists in relation to specific crops on specific soils in specific regions, etc. Even where FAO is unable to provide actual physical supplies to countries which may seek assistance Mr Chairman, we suggest that there be available expertise, possibly two or three-man teams, soil chemists, soil surveyors, production specialists, etc. who could go into a country and analyze what is being done by the combination of researchers, agronomists and extension workers: That is to say look at the package of recommendations and see to what extent it is integrated, evaluate the total programme and be in a position to give advice on new directions, new lines of action. Then there could be a monitoring programme even on a sample basis among the countries. In essence Mr Chairman, our suggestion here relates specifically to efficiency of use at the country level. Beyond this specific suggestion, we wish to repeat our endorsement of the work of the Commission.


M. BALLA SY (Sénégal): Je m'excuse de prendre aussi tardivement la parole dans ce débat très intéressant, mais laissez-moi vous dire, Monsieur le Président, que le fait d'être souvent votre voisin m'a permis d'apprécier vos hautes qualités, l'opportunité et le privilège de vous exprimer toute ma satisfaction de vous voir guider nos travaux sur ce point qui est particulièrement important pour nous. Je ne serai pas très long puisque le document lui-même ne l'autorise pas, d'autant qu'il est soumis à notre attention avec les qualités de concision qui font que notre débat ne devrait pas être très long. Une autre raison est que mon pays a eu l'honneur de participer à son élaboration.

Je crois que les délégués des pays qui m'ont précédé ont suffisamment insisté sur l'importance des engrais qui constituent un intrant dynamique mais très rare dans nos pays et qui constituent, hélas, l'un des facteurs limitants de l'accroissement de notre production agricole. Je crois que, si notre objectif est d'aider ces pays confrontés aux difficultés de l'alimentation et de leur permettre de surmonter ces dernières, nous ne pouvons pas ne pas mettre l'accent sur les moyens dynamiques de production comme les intrants en engrais. Aussi voudrais-je réitérer l'appui que mon pays donne au Programme international pour l'approvisionnement en engrais tout en souhaitant que ces ressources puissent être sensiblement accrues même s'il est vrai que nous devrions souhaiter que la FAO renforce ses efforts dans le sens d'une amélioration du fonctionnement de ses institutions. Permettez-moi rapidement d'appuyer certaines dispositions des paragraphes 20 et 21 parce que des pays comme le nôtre ne peuvent pas ne pas se préoccuper de certaines réactions du FMI et même du PNUD face à ce problème sous le seul prétexte que pour le cas, par exemple, du FMI, celui-ci ne doit s'occuper que des problèmes de balance des paiements et je pense que c'est là une position incohérente de vouloir nier que l'achat d'engrais ne peut pas avoir des incidences importantes sur les balances des paiements. Donc je pense qu'il y a des effets induits, indirects sur ces mêmes balances que le FMI a le devoir de regarder avec beaucoup d'attention. Je crois que cette réaction ne saurait nous convenir et en tout cas ne pas nous priver du droit de soutenir avec force l'idée principale de ce paragraphe 20 ainsi que celle émise au paragraphe 21.

Il est également important de souligner les paragraphes 37 et 40 qui traitent du soufre et surtout des perspectives qui sont assez sombres compte tenu de la rareté de cette importante matière et c'est là une occasion pour nous de nous féliciter de certaines actions déjà entreprises au niveau de certains pays dont le mien pour encourager, pour en tout cas promouvoir la fixation biologique de l'azote. Notre pays a abrité un atelier ainsi que d'autres pays africains et je crois qu'il s'agit d'expériences que la FAO doit poursuivre avec autant d'efforts que ceux qu'elle a fournis jusqu'à présent puisqu'il s'agit d'une alternative assez importante pour des pays comme le nôtre.

Les paragraphes 43 et 44 retracent également une certaine inquiétude des pays comme le nôtre, qui concerne d'une part la diminution de l'aide en matière d'engrais et d'autre part le grave problème de la dette extérieure des pays en développement, qui est souvent aggravée par ses importations d'engrais. D'où la nécessité de revenir aux conclusions de l'article 20.

Permettez-moi pour conclure d'appuyer également au nom de mon pays l'article 64, qui donne des orientations très pertinentes que la FAO devrait poursuivre avec les efforts que nous lui connaissons et la détermination dont elle a toujours fait preuve.

En conclusion je pense qu'il n'est même pas utile de se prononcer sur une proposition qui, semble-t-il, voudrait après une neuvième session de notre Commission demander la suppression de celle-ci. Cela d'ailleurs ne pourrait procéder que d'un lapsus que l'auteur de cette déclaration devrait désormais regretter puisque, parler de la nécessité de réhabiliter l'aquaculture dans nos pays, de la nécessité d'accroître la production et dire qu'un organe qui s'occupe de l'étude de ces problèmes afin de les cerner, de voir dans quelle mesure on peut les résoudre avec beaucoup de dynamisme, soutenir une telle idée ne peut procéder que d'un lapsus - qui peut nous arriver à nous tous parce que dans le débat il est toujours difficile de se faire comprendre - et je suis sûr que cela ne peut être mis que sur le compte d'un malentendu et je pense très sincèrement que c'est une question qui devrait être hors de propos au cours de nos débats.

CHAIRMAN: I thought so in fact. Now I think I have to ask if somebody from the members of the Council wants to take the floor. If not, with your permission, 1 give the floor to the Observers.

D.K. YOMAN (Observateur de la Côte d'Ivoire): Ma délégation n'avait pas l'intention d'intervenir sur point compte tenu du fait que la Commission des engrais ouverte à tous les Etats Membres de la FAO qui le désirent avait déjà longuement épluché la question, mais quelques déclarations faites ici cet après-midi nous amènent à vous faire connaître notre position sur l'utilité de l'existence d'une commission séparée chargée des engrais. En effet, ma délégation ne peut accepter que la Commission soit supprimée et intégrée au Comité de l'agriculture. Il s'agit en effet ici d'une question très spécialisée, voire controversée mais les engrais constituent un des intrants les plus importants à notre époque pour réussir une bonne agriculture, performante sur le plan de la productivité agricole.


Ce n'est pas à vous, représentants de l'Arabie Saoudite, que nous donnerons des leçons dans ce domaine. Nous nous rappelons des propos du Directeur général à la Commission des engrais et à d'autres occasions, ici à la FAO, lorsque de retour d'Arabie Saoudite il nous a décrit, chiffres à l'appui, les résultats obtenus par votre pays en matière de production alimentaire.

Certes en Afrique nous n'avons pas des moyens financiers et technologiques susceptibles de nous permettre de recourir à une telle densité d'utilisation des engrais à l'hectare comme en d'autres lieux, non seulement en Arabie Saoudite, mais aussi en Asie et en Amérique latine.

Mais il est urgent et salutaire pour nos pays de dépasser ce taux d'utilisation d'au moins 1 kg à l'hectare pour les engrais.

C'est pourquoi la Côte-d'Ivoire souhaite insister auprès de ce Conseil pour que les initiatives de la FAO dans ce domaine, avec MULTIFERT et autres, et qui passent par une collaboration et un échange de vues bénéfiques par le biais de la Commission des engrais, continuent à faire l'objet de réunions spécialisées et non pas éludées dans le cadre d'un autre comité.

Notre rôle est d'attirer beaucoup plus l'attention de la communauté internationale sur ce lien indispensable qu'il y a entre utilisation des engrais et production alimentaire, afin que les gaspillages actuels dans certains pays prennent fin au profit de nos terres et de nos populations.

Pour terminer, Monsieur le Président, ma délégation voudrait réitérer la position constante qu'elle a adoptée dans cette enceinte, à savoir que nos délibérations engagent tous les organes auxquels elles se rattachent, qu'il s'agisse des comités techniques, des commissions ou du Conseil.

Nous ne cherchons donc pas à rouvrir les débats ou bien à essayer de remettre en selle des questions déjà traitées et qui ont fait l'objet d'un large consensus des organes subsidiaires du Conseil. Certes chacune des délégations représentées aurait fort bien apprécié que ses vues soient toujours reflétées dans les différents rapports que nous élaborons, mais, Monsieur le Président, c'est une chose impossible, vous le savez.

Il est peut-être temps de mettre fin à cette discussion. Je vous remercie.

J.F. NGUEMA-NZE (Observateur du Gabon) : Monsieur le Président, nous sommes très heureux de vous voir présider cette réunion cet après-midi.

Permettez-moi de passer rapidement au point de l'ordre du jour en discussion. Nous pensons, Monsieur le Président, que la seule solution de rentabilisation n'est pas dans la fixation de prix compétitifs des produits agricoles, tel que nous l'avons entendu tout à l'heure. Pour notre part, nous pensons que la rentabilisation de l'utilisation des engrais réside dans le choix des techniques de production, dans la taille des unités de fabrication d'engrais, la gestion de ces unités, l'importance du marché auquel s'adresse la production.

A cela, Monsieur le Président, nous appuyons les observations pertinentes de notre collègue l'Ambassadeur du Venezuela relatives à l'attention qui doit être apportée à la qualité et à la quantité des engrais dans leur utilisation. En effet, une mauvaise utilisation de ceux-ci peut avoir des conséquences néfastes aussi bien pour les cultures que pour la texture et la structure du sol qui les abrite.

Je sais aussi, Monsieur le Président, que lorsqu'un pays fait appel au Fonds monétaire international pour redresser sa situation économique et financière, le Fonds intervient en proposant au pays à redresser un certain nombre de mesures, entre autres l'augmentation de la pression fiscale, la structuration des services administratifs, etc. Le Fonds intervient également pour redresser la balance des paiements du pays qui connaît un sinistre financier et, en dernier recours, Monsieur le Président, et pas le moindre, il s'agit de redresser les structures et l'appareil de production. Dans ce dernier cas, nous pensons que le FMI doit intervenir en ce qui concerne le financement et les achats d'engrais.

C'est pour cela que nous ne pensons pas qu'en faisant intervenir le FMI en matière d'approvisionnement et de production d'engrais soit détourné de ses objectifs ou de son intervention habituelle. Je vous remercie Monsieur le Président.

A. RODRIGUEZ PIRES (Observateur du Cap-Vert) : Le document CL 87/8 est un document qui a respecté la tradition de la Commission. C'est un document parfait.

Monsieur le Président, je ne manquerai pas d'apporter la position de la délégation cap-verdienne. Notre préoccupation en ce qui concerne le paragraphe 21 - et d'ailleurs le Sénégal l'a bien indiqué en ce qui concerne la position de la Banque mondiale - c'est le fait de la réduction


drastique de la contribution des pays donateurs habituels au programme d'engrais de la FAO, programme vital pour la production agro-alimentaire, surtout dans les pays affectés par la sécheresse.

Nous souhaitons tous que la toute-puissance alimentaire soit atteinte dans tous les pays du monde, notamment dans les pays d'Afrique.

Monsieur le Président, je suis tout à fait d'accord avec l'attention que ce document porte à la formation des cadres, car évidemment l'utilisation efficace d'engrais suppose avant tout d'avoir des cadres bien formés, non seulement des cadres universitaires mais de tous les niveaux, de façon à ce que de tels produits soient utilisés de façon très rationnelle.

Je suis tout à fait en accord avec le document sur l'importance du rôle de la formation.

Je tiens également à soutenir ce que vient de dire le représentant de la Côte-d'Ivoire, notamment en ce qui concerne la Commission d'engrais. Pour nous, il serait souhaitable que cette Commission continue d'exister car elle constitue un forum où les techniciens peuvent se réunir et dégager des stratégies claires et cohérentes en ce qui concerne la problématique des engrais.

Je vous remercie Monsieur le Président.

E. BONEV (UNDP): I apologize for taking the floor on this item, but I think I would fail in my duty if I did not make some clarification concerning paragraph 21 of the report of the Commission on Fertilizers, which was reflected in the introductory statement of the Director-General of FAO in his opening remarks when he made some reference to the IMF Managing Director and also to the Administrator of UNDP in regard to assisting the least developed countries in purchasing fertilizers.

Unfortunately, it would be difficult, in an introductory statement, for the Director-General to explain why UNDP was not in a position to finance such a project, or to effect such purchases, in view of the brief nature of such a statement. It was also due to lack of UNDP's presence during the Commission's meeting that we did not have the opportunity to explain at that time. It seems somewhat regrettable that this matter is reflected in the report of the Commission, especially since UNDP and FAO have now been co-operating for the benefit of the developing countries already for more than three decades and FAO is fully aware of the mandate and policies of UNDP which exclude using its resources - no matter convertible or non-convertible currencies, both representing part of the total UNDP resources - for purchasing fertilizers or for other purposes not connected with technical assistance projects in the country or on a regional and global basis. These points should have been explained to the Commission, and I do hope that, in the future, the secretariat will accept this burden, should UNDP be absent, to explain, on our behalf the mandate, policies and procedures whenever it seems necessary.

For your information, 80 percent of the total resources of UNDP are allocated to low-income countries with a ceiling of per capita annual income of $500, and the LDCs are the most favoured among them, but it is not the UNDP Administrator who decides how the resources should be used, but the governments themselves and the Governing Council of UNDP. As I have already mentioned, UNDP's mandate imposes limits and constraints similar to that of the Technical Co-operation Programme of FAO. We are most concerned with the very grave situation of the LDCs, but it should not be forgotten that UNDP is not a banking institution.

In this connection, I would like also to refer to my statement on the previous item regarding a certain dissatisfaction expressed by two delegates in respect of the Office for Projects Execution of UNDP and my subsequent personal meeting with these delegates outside of this conference room, when I explained the principles ruling UNDP and its Office for Projects Execution, but neither of these two delegates could give me any specific example of such an unfortunate case in his own country which I could report to my Headquarters.

CHAIRMAN: It is a very important point and it should be reflected in the report if the member of the Commission asks. This is their report and they reflect it. I appreciate your clarification, but I think Mr West is willing to take the responsability in this matter and take the floor to say something about this.

DEPUTY DIRECTOR-GENERAL:if I did not cover it, then Mr Bommer would have to, and if I do it now it will save him doing it in his own statement.


The Representative of the UNDP made very clear his dissatisfaction with the Director-General's statement on this matter. It is good to hear frank discussion between brother or sister agencies. I have been guilty of it myself in other meetings in the past. But I must say that I do not make it a practice to attribute reasons or motives to the statement of Mr Morse or anybody else when I am in their governing bodies. If I have any comment to make, I make it on the basis of what is said, assuming it has been said for a good reason and not just because of brevity or some interpretation that I might put on it. So I do not think that the Council should take note of the statement by the Representative of UNDP that the Director-General did not give reasons because his statement was too short. It is his affair how long his statement is and why he says things.

In that connection, I would however point out that the paragraph under discussion is not reflecting the Director-General's view, but the Commission's view and it is for the Council to criticize or praise or not the Commission's views and not for the Secretariats of the Organization or other bodies.

A proposition was made but it was not found possible to meet it. The Commission therefore requested the Director-General to explore ways of carrying out this idea. Now we hear it is not within the mandate of the UNDP to respond. We accept that. If it is not within the mandate now, however, it might be put within its mandate by the Governing Council if the matter is put before the Governing Council. Surely, the mandate is not completely immutable for ever, and if what seems to us to be a very good idea, of utilizing currencies which could not otherwise be utilized, could not be exploited, let us look and see if there is some other way because to the Commission, to the Council itself, this is a very important question and the countries need help so let us try and find every possible way of providing that help.

I do not feel that either the Director-General, or the Commission, or the Council should be criticized for discussing this idea or told it is impossible to consider alternatives.

CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Mr West. We have now finished the list.

E. BONEV (UNDP): I would like to explain.

CHAIRMAN: I am not going to open the debate now. If you have a certain point to make more clear please do so now.

E. BONEV (UNDP): I wanted just to say that I did not want what I said to be misinterpreted. I did not blame the Director-General of FAO. I said for the sake of brevity he did not explain the reasons why the Administrator refused. I never blamed the Director-General, and I would like this to be taken note of.

CHAIRMAN: Yes. We will take note of that. I think you are right. But Mr West made himself clear also, and he had the right to say what he said. I did say at the beginning that this was a Report of the Commission, not a report of the Director-General. The Commission has the right to put in what it wants, as does the Director-General. But thank you for this.

D.F.R. BOMMER (Assistant Director-General, Agriculture Department): On behalf of the Director-General, I am very glad to know that after the participation in the debate of 26 delegations, including three or four observers, the Council has endorsed the acceptance of the Report of the Commission. Certain individual Members repeated reservations on particular points, as is reflected in the Report. I say this purposely, otherwise I will be blamed by the delegation of the United States of America for misinterpreting the Report. I would like to say that because apparently there was a misunderstanding. I cited only those paragraphs on which quite clearly the Director-General had been requested to take action by the Commission, which normally I would not have repeated, as I would not have repeated the whole Report with all the. reservations that were made, all the points stated, with a footnote, and so on. This is not normal practice in an introduction but the point is well taken. This was not in any sense violating any opinion expressed in the Report of the Commission.


By the way, we have had a debate already on this so I think it has been repeated, as it has been in. the deliberations of the Commission as such. The delegation of the United States stressed the need for better information. This was supported by a number of other delegations. We said that we will continue to accumulate intelligence on fertilizers, but is is valuable to hear that the regional activities we have in Asia in FADINAP and in the developing countries of Latin America are exactly on the same lines, to improve fertilizer intelligence for the information of Member Countries to improve their bargaining power in the whole fertilizer business.

In the same context, I draw the attention of the delegation of Argentina to the fact that FAO possesses a considerable data bank of fertilizer use data, of various soil types in various countries and the various climates. It is open to any Member Country to use this data bank. At the same time, as mentioned by the delegate of Trinidad and Tobago, it would be the base on which we would be ready today to send to you a commission of experts to look into the country situation, how to better streamline, better formulate fertilizer recommendations based on your own assessments, on figures we have had from all the national bodies available in the world community, and the literature. We shall have to wait for further action from the commission; it is part of our whole work particularly related to the fertilizer programme, and if there is a fertilizer project we are ready to give assistance at any time at the request of Member Governments. This can be used here. We can base our opinion on the expertise, even to challenging the statement of the delegation of the United Kingdom. We are not talking about the massive use of fertilizer in Africa, but about an urgent need to increase fertilizer consumption in Africa. I cannot see how Zimbabwe can be exporting food if they do not use fertilizers, on top of which the African countries can produce their own fertilizer. So why is this? Why are other countries like Tanzania not playing? They are running us into the ground asking for fertilizers. This is not a solution. It is an important part of it but it is not a solution. Even the statement that fertilizers must be used to lift agricultural production is challenged. It is said it depends on how much rain there is. Even in semi-arid regions fertilizers are used. The statement by the delegate of Australia did not tell us how they have to utilize phosphates, they need phosphates otherwise they don't get nitrate, but how can they afford it? We need fertilizers. Please don't let us blind ourselves.

I think the most important country here is China. China is the top country in using organic fertilizer in the traditional way. They have traditional use of all sorts of manure, night soil, what-have-you, the most intelligent and the most developed type of fertilizer use. They use their own nitrogenous fertilizers as well. But at the same time, China has become one of the largest consumers of mineral fertilizers in parallel. Why? Ask China. The answer to the whole question is that you have to put in much effort in improving organic fertilizer use, and you come to the level of China. But you must not believe that we can solve food problems as we see them, including Africa, solely in this way; particularly as we know that a number of organic systems, such as nitrogenous fixation, will not function without other nutrients being supplied - phosphate, sulphur, and so on. "Azola" will not work because it is heavy with phosphate. This no one tells you. It makes you think you will solve with one organic solvent the whole fertilizer question. This we should know about and then we can make the right use of it.

In talking about this subject there is an important statement concerning the endangering of human health by fertilizers. I can challenge this because as a young student, the first thesis I wrote was on this question, comparing all we knew of what had been done in research in the '20s, '30s and '40s, comparing the use of chemical fertilizers and organic fertilizers in human health. And the answer, would you believe? There is no difference. There were the same answers in the United States of America, in Germany, in various countries where there are the same students of research. And this whole question has come up again. It has reappeared. Many things come in waves, just as in agriculture, but the same answer is there. We might say that this problem is absolutely minor, that there are mistakes which can be made but mistakes can be made with everything. A mistake is when you are considering the standing capability of a crop and although the quality may look right, the material may be rotting, and so on. It is a question of misuse. We talk of endangering human health, but there is no scientific evidence whatsoever. On the contrary; normally, those crops fertilized with mineral fertilizer together with organic fertilizer are more balanced, more healthy, and have a higher content of the valuable components such as vitamins, proteins, and so on, than those produced in more primitive conditions.

Pollution is another important question. In Africa, we are talking about increasing fertilizer use from 8 kilograms per hectare; in Britain it is 150 kilograms per hectare, so there is a long way to go. There is some argument in Germany about water pollution. Often the pollution is worse from organic fertilizers being used at the wrong time of year and therefore, you can have a heavy contamination from organic fertilizers and from manure, particularly in intensive livestock raising in European countries when this stuff is being used in the winter season and it percolates down to the groundwater. So it is not always a question of chemical against organic fertilizer. The question is to use the right balance of combined organic and mineral fertilizer.


I did not want to give Council a lecture, but I was challenged by a number of comments that we should not be distracted from our belief in orientation. I underline what the Director-General said that there is a considerable need, but Africa needs much more fertilizer; it needs not only more, but it needs rapid help. Strong support was given in the Commission for fertilizer production and I am glad to say we are discussing with UNIDO and the World Bank how we can arrange means to help African countries to further upgrade their capabilities in fertilizer production, particularly concerning costly plants which are not operating at full capacity. There are also marketing problems. Therefore, MULTIFERT was well received in the Commission as one example and other examples were cooperation in fertilizer use, barter, agreements by ways of getting fertilizer against produce which already happens in some countries - Mexico has done this recently, I think, and other countries do it as well.

I noted with pleasure that Venezuela is to become a Member of MULTIFERT. I had heard that they were not a Member of MULTIFERT, so it will be a pleasure to hear their statement.

Other points were raised which I hope I have covered. Perhaps I was carried away on this one point. But I should underline here that future discussion of the price policy question in the Conference will come back to this very difficult subject of the fertilizer/produce/price relationship and the relationship to overall economic agricultural policy, which for a number of countries is a serious matter.

To find the right solution for each country in the encouragement of the use of a particular fertilizer, in spite of the present price level, is one of the key questions of price inputs or price effects on future fertilizer production.

D.R. GREGORY (Australia): Mr Chairman, I have one technical point. I think Dr Bommer knows the situation very well, but I did not want others to become confused. As is well known, Australia's soils are very poor soils and have a long history of tillage. Many of them are marginal lands in ecological situations that are very akin to those of Africa and the Near East. While it is certainly true that we do need phosphate to stimulate the production of clovers and medics, the use of both phosphate and nitrogen is uneconomic in many situations. Also, I think there are many economies in the use of phosphate such as placing the fertilizer next to the seed, and so on. In many of our agricultural situations on marginal lands we cannot afford to pass over the land more than once, so that the seed is sown and everything is done in one passage. I think this is something to remember. In fact, in many soils that have a phosphate history there is a deep concern to avoid any over-fertilization with phosphates, and in many parts no fertilizer is used because the phosphate history is there. This, of course, requires a rather sophisticated soil testing infrastructure, which I acknowledge, to support this sort of economy. But I think the point is still made that economies are still essential in fertilizer usage for efficient agricultural production.

F. de MENEZES (Sao Tome and Principe): I should also like to thank Dr Bommer for the explanation he gave. I would like to ask Dr Bommer what will be the situation for small island countries. What will be the situation for countries that cannot produce fertilizers? We have been talking about projects to encourage local production of fertilizers. What possibility is there for us, for instance, to have a regional project? I ask myself if we could have a regional project for fertilizer from which Sao Tome could buy fertilizer, of course at a special price, for our crops, which are the same crops as grown on the continent.

CHAIRMAN: This is a highly technical question and I do not think that this is the place to answer it, but I hope that at the next meeting of the Commission you will put this question to them for their answer.


D.F.R. BOMMER (Assistant Director-General, Agriculture Department): It is actually that we try to learn, for instance, from such an arrangement as MULTIFERT, how a number of small countries in Africa can have a similar arrangement in order to be in a position to buy at a lower price in world markets than others. This is why there would never be a recommendation that you should produce your own fertilizer, but rather that you should have a stronger position in the market in order to get fertilizer at a reasonable price. I think this is probably the position. We are working from two directions to do this for African countries, and I hope we will succeed in the future.

CHAIRMAN (original language Arabic): We have finished our discussion on this item. I believe that the summary of the discussions in which we have all participated would include the fact that fertilizer is one of the most important agricultural inputs which should be available to developing countries in order to assist them to increase their agricultural production. This is something on which we all agree.

The majority of the speakers this afternoon referred to the problem of the high world prices for fertilizers and the declining supply which has led to an increase in prices. It has also led, undoubtedly, to a decrease in the use of fertilizers in developing countries, particularly those that suffer from economic crises.

The majority of speakers referred also to the need to encourage investment in order to produce fertilizers locally, which is very commendable.

Speakers have also referred to the importance of the IMF and the need to support this scheme.

Speakers also voiced their support for paragraphs 63 and 64. We hope that this will be undertaken by the Commission in the future. All speakers without exception referred to the important role assumed by the FAO in this field and the need for the Organization to continue in this connection in order to assist developing countries.

I believe that these were the most important points which have been raised in the discussions. The Drafting Committee will undertake their task now and it will be referred back to us.

9. Report of the Sixteenth Session of the Committee on Fisheries (Rome, 22-26 April 1985)
9. Rapport de la seizième session du Comité des pêches (Rome, 22-26 avril 1985)
9. Informe del 16° período de sesiones del Comité de Pesca (Roma, 22-26 de abril de 1985)

J.E. CARROZ (Assistant Director-General, Fisheries Department): The Sixteenth Session of the Committee on Fisheries held last April was an auspicious one, as it was the first session convened after the World Fisheries Conference and 1985 marked the 20th anniversary of the Committee. We had a record attendance, more than one hundred countries and some twenty international organizations. The session was chaired by Mr William Gordon, head of the fisheries administration in the United States, and, at the invitation of the Director-General, H.E. Pedro Ojeda Paullada, Secretary for Fisheries of Mexico and Chairman of the World Fisheries Conference, addressed the Committee as guest of honour.

It is apparent from the discussions and recommendations of the Committee that we benefitted from the momentum generated by the World Fisheries Conference held in 1984.

It seems to me that it is also relevant to mention that, according to preliminary date, total fish catches in 1984 reached an all-time high of 80 million tons. The increase was almost equally distributed between developing and developed countries. In particular, there were increased catches off the Pacific coast of Latin America, due to the recovery of small pelagic stocks after a severe El Niño phenomenon in 1983. There were also higher catches in the world's major fishing nations, Japan, the Soviet Union, China and the United States.

Nevertheless, there is ample evidence that as far as marine fisheries are concerned, catches have been levelling off in the past ten years. We are definitely entering what I would call the era of management. Furthermore, there are indications that a number of stocks, for example in the South Atlantic, are subject to increasing pressure. Hence the need for conservation and management plans, based on stock assessment and continuous monitoring of marine resources. As demand for fish and fishery products continues and will continue to increase, it becomes also necessary to place greater emphasis on the development of inland fisheries and of aquaculture and mariculture, as well as on the reduction of waste, since millions of tons of fish are lost because of poor handling techniques, both at sea and on land.


This situation was recognised by the World Fisheries Conference in its Strategy and Programmes of Action and has been taken fully into account by the Director-General when preparing programme proposals for the fisheries sector.

These two matters, follow-up to the Conference and a review of the Director-General's proposed Summary Programme of Work and Budget for 1986-87 in respect of fisheries, were in fact the main items on the agenda of the Sixteenth Session of the Committee on Fisheries.

The Committee unanimously endorsed the Director-General's strategies. It approved the content and areas of emphasis of the programme proposals, and expressed its satisfaction at the notable net increase in the resources proposed for the Organization in fisheries during the next biennium. 1 am sure that you have considered details of the Committee's views and recommendations in document CL 87/7 before you. I can assure you that we are also taking due note of the remarks which were made during the debate held in the Council on the Summary of Work and Budget, for example by the distinguished representative of Brazil.

As regards the follow-up to the World Fisheries Conference, the Committee reviewed in detail the format, scope and periodicity of progress reports which will be submitted to its future sessions and to those of the governing bodies of FAO on the implementation of the Strategy for Fisheries Management and Development and the Programmes of Action adopted by the Conference.

In this regard, Mr Chairman, and with your permission, I should like to refer briefly to a few points of particular interest.

The first one concerns the decision of the Committee on Fisheries to establish a Sub-Committee on Fish Trade, which will serve as a multilateral framework for consultations on international trade in fishery products, as envisaged by the Strategy and one of the Programmes of Action. Earlier this year, an expert meeting had thoroughly considered this matter, including terms of reference and financial and other implications, but it had left to the Committee the decision on the most-appropriate form for such a mechanism. To be fair, I should say that some countries would have preferred a more ad hoc type of arrangement; they were also concerned about possible duplication of work carried out by OECD and GATT. In this respect, the expert meeting, in which representatives of EEC, GATT, ITC (the International Trade Centre), OECD and UNCTAD participated, had come to the conclusion that the work of FAO in fish trade matters was complementary and not overlapping. We will of course do our best to ensure this. In fact, the terms of reference of the Sub-Committee on Fish Trade make it clear that it will be concerned with technical and economic aspects of international trade in fish and fishery products. In addition to periodically reviewing the situation and outlook of the main fishery commodity markets, it will deal with suitable measures to promote international fish trade and to improve the participation of developing countries in this trade. Its work will be practically oriented. It will aim at identifying fishery commodity development opportunities, including the upgrading of products and the promotion of quality standards.

As regards the implementation of the Programmes of Action, the Committee was unanimous in its appreciation of the support provided by donors, mainly UNDP, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. It seems now very likely that we will reach in 1985 the yearly target of $15 million, and this without counting the assistance received in kind, for example from France, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom, or the activities carried out by countries and organizations on a bilateral basis, but within the framework of the Programmes of Action.

Lastly, Mr Chairman, the Committee also reviewed the measures taken or proposed to implement a number of resolutions adopted by the World Fisheries Conference with regard to specific aspects of fisheries management and development. I would refer in particular to the one concerning the Role of the Fisherman and indicate that the Committee, in a way like your Council in November of last year, was not in a position to support the proclamation of an International Year of the Fishermen and of a World Fisheries Day, in view of the considerable procedural, programme and financial implications. On the other hand, the Committee endorsed the suggestion made by the World Fisheries Conference that the Director-General should be invited to consider adopting "Fishermen and Fishing Communities" as a theme for World Food Day next year. I have pleasure in reporting to you that the Director-General has recently decided to adopt this subject as one of the two themes for the 1986 World Food Day.

CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Mr Carroz, for your introduction. The document is clear and I hope does not require a lengthy debate.


M. FRANCISCI DI BASCHI (Italie): Je voudrais d'abord remercier M. Carroz de la présentation de ce point à l'ordre du jour. Si je vous ai demandé la parole parmi les premiers orateurs c'est que je voudrais faire une déclaration au nom de la Communauté Européenne sur le problème de la pêche. Comme vous le savez, la pêche est du ressort de la Communauté, je me permettrais donc de lire une déclaration au nom de cette Communauté.

"La Communauté Européenne tient à exprimer sa satisfaction d'avoir participé à la seizième session du COFI qui a coïncidé cette année avec le 20ème anniversaire de ce Comité.

"Il y a lieu d'autant plus de se féliciter, qu'au plan de nos relations interinstitutionnelles se confirme un resserrement des liens notamment dans le secteur de la pêche. A cet égard il est à rappeler que comme il a été démontré par la participation de la Communauté à la Conférence mondiale, la Communauté européenne joue un rôle important sur la scène internationale en matière de pêche. Le thème principal du 16éme COFI avait trait aux suites à donner aux décisions ou résolutions de la Conférence Mondiale.

"A cet égard, et comme nous avions déjà eu l'occasion de le souligner lors de la 86ème session du Conseil, nous nous félicitons du succès de la Conférence Mondiale et des objectifs fixés dans la stratégie et les cinq programmes d'action. Il est bon de noter à cette fin que ceci a également été confirmé par le Parlement européen dans une résolution récemment adoptée.

"Concernant la rédaction des rapports à l'intention de la Conférence FAO, nous notons avec satisfaction que ces rapports peuvent également être axés sur les activités conduites hors du cadre de la FAO, notamment par les autres organisations. Nous aurons ainsi l'occasion de présenter en détail notre importante action en matière de pêche, entreprise dans le cadre de la Convention de Lomé, dans les accords de coopération avec des pays en voie de développement, ainsi que dans le cadre des accords de pêche avec des pays tiers.

"Un autre point qui a particulièrement retenu l'attention du 16éme COFI concerne la création d'un cadre multilatéral pour les consultations sur le commerce international des produits de la pêche. La Communauté, qui initialement était en faveur du maintien de cette initiative dans le cadre du COFI lui-même, s'est finalement rangée aux côtés de ceux qui réclamaient la création d'un sous-comité, compte tenu de l'intérêt de nombreux pays, notamment en développement, pour cette demande, étant entendu que les travaux ne devraient pas faire double emploi avec ceux d'autres organisations internationales, telles que le GATT ou la CNUCED.

"Toutefois, qu'il nous soit permis de constater, avec regret une lacune dans le texte du rapport, concernant la participation de la Communauté aux travaux du Sous-Comité. Nous souhaiterions que la Communauté dispose d'un statut d'"observateur privilégié" lui permettant une participation active aux travaux sur la pêche et la politique commerciale, qui sont du ressort de la Communauté Européenne.

"Enfin il est à souligner que la Communauté suivra avec le plus grand intérêt les travaux visant à élaborer un système normalisé de marquage des bateaux, ainsi que l'échange d'informations techniques concernant la protection des animaux marins vis-à-vis des dangers représentés par l'enchevêtrement de fragments de filets de pêche et autres détritus."

A. ABDEL MALEK (Liban) (langue originale en arabe): Merci de m'avoir donné la parole. Je voudrais, avant de parler des pêches, bien clarifier devant le Conseil ma motivation lorsque j'avais demandé de clore la discussion sur le sujet précédent. En effet, j'ai le souci d'épargner nos efforts et notre temps, car nous avons encore beaucoup de choses à discuter et surtout parce que le sujet a été longuement débattu devant le comité concerné et que plusieurs membres ont répété ici ce qu'ils avaient déjà dit au sein du Comité. De plus, le Conseil doit simplement enregistrer ces positions.

Pour ma part, je n'ai émis cette demande de clore la discussion qu'après consultation avec mes collègues. Or j'ai le regret de constater que ces collègues, qui étaient pourtant d'accord au moment où je les avais consultés, se soient déniés, et je déplore que nous ayons dû poursuivre cette discussion beaucoup trop longtemps et que nous soyons très en retard sur notre programme. Je suis l'un des membres du Comité de rédaction, et normalement les autres délégués finissent leurs travaux à 18 heures, tandis que les membres du Comité de rédaction doivent travailler jusqu'à minuit tous les soirs afin de préparer le rapport qu'il faut adopter au plus tard vendredi, dernier jour de cette session.

A présent je retourne à mon propos et je remercie M. Carroz pour l'exposé intéressant qu'il vient de présenter, ce qui ne nous a guère surpris par ailleurs, puisque M. Carroz nous a habitué à la clarté, à la précision, à la perspicacité dans tout ce qu'il a entrepris jusqu'ici.


Monsieur le Président, je voudrais féliciter le Directeur général pour la politique qu'il a adoptée en vue de soutenir les programmes techniques, économiques et sociaux, parmi lesquels le Programme des pêches.

L'augmentation proposée aux ressources de ce programme, c'est-à-dire 3,7 pour cent, ainsi que les nouveaux postes que l'on envisage de créer, tout cela est une preuve éclatante de l'intérêt qu'apporte le Directeur général au Programme des pêches. Nous ne saurions qu'appuyer cet intérêt.

La délégation libanaise appuie totalement tout ce que l'on a dit au sujet du Programme des pêches en aquaculture, car les ressources halieutiques fournissent les protéines nécessaires et sont précieuses dans notre lutte contre la malnutrition.

CHAIRMAN (Original language Arabic): I thank our colleague, the Ambassador of Lebanon, and I agree with what he said at the outset of his statement. I only hope, however, that this will not prompt further reaction. We welcome the activities of the Ambassador of Lebanon, and let us hope that we can forge ahead and that we will not further delay our debate. I thank His Excellency the Ambassador of Lebanon and give the floor to Australia.

D.R. GREGORY (Australia): In order to be brief I will just say the Council does have an important role to play in attempting to focus some of the issues that come from the reports of the Technical Committees; some of which are extremely long.

I would like to also compliment the FAO Secretariat on the extent of the implementation achieved already on the recommendations of the World Fisheries Conference. Australia is already providing assistance in a number of fisheries areas which is consistent with the directions outlined in the Programmes of Action. An important aspect of Australia's development assistance in the area of fisheries is its support for regional organizations such as the Fisheries Agency and South Pacific Commission. Australia will comply fully with the reporting requirements developed by FAO for monitoring the progress on implementation and recommendations of the World Fisheries Conference, but we would urge the Secretariat that this does not become an unwieldy information gathering exercise of limited benefit.

We have no strong views on the question of fishing vessel markets.

We also accept the decision of COFI in favour of the establishment of a sub-committee on fish trade to serve as a multilateral framework for consultations on international trade in fishery products. The work undertaken in other multilateral bodies which have specific areas of competence will help to focus the work of the sub-committee.

With respect to the FAO Fisheries budget for the next biennium, the strategies and priorities were endorsed by the Committee with the recognition, at least by a number of delegations, that such endorsement to the proposed Programme of Activities in the fishery sector was without prejudice to their final position with regard to overall budgetary and financial implications. I think that it is reiterated in paragraph 52.

We reiterate the view expressed at COFI that FAO should not down-grade its fishery management policy work. We regard this as the key to implementation of fisheries development policies. Proper attention to management in the early stages of development we believe will prevent the build-up of excess fishing capacity and ultimately of over-fishing.

Australia regards this aim as one of the key elements of the strategy of fisheries management and an end development agreed to at the World Conference.

Finally, Mr. Chairman, protection of living resources from entanglement is not an important issue in Australian waters as yet, but Australia welcomes FAO interest in the issue.

M. MAZLANB b. JUSOH (Malaysia) : My delegation wishes to express our pleasure at seeing you in the Chair and would also like to compliment Mr. Carroz for his introduction of the document CL 87/7 with which we are fully satisfied.


As highlighted by Mr. Carroz, we do wish to highlight the necessity of extra budgetary funding in the implementation of the Programmes of Action. Activities like stock assessment and management of fisheries need high capital, and it is essential that such funds be identified and committed to these activities. In this respect we are happy to note the generous commitment of some donor countries in the implementation of the Programmes of Action. We greatly appreciate this thought.

As Mr. Carroz himself said, we have entered into an era of management. We cannot agree more with him. We wish to emphasize the importance of fisheries management as part of the Programme of Action. Malaysia has recently passed a new fisheries legislation which incorporates a comprehensive set of management measures to ensure the conservation and rational exploitation of the country's valuable fisheries resources. Given some data available to indicate the level of exploitation that should be pursued, these are inconclusive and need further refinements. Furthermore management techniques need to be constantly reviewed from the point of view of resource availability, social and economic situations. Since the inshore fisheries resources of many developing countries are under heavy exploitation it is essential that FAO maintains a strong emphasis in fisheries management. Thank you very much.

Sra. M. LIZARRAGA SAUCEDO (Mexico): En primer término deseamos expresar nuestra felicitación al Doctor Carroz por la excelente presentación del tema. La información que nos ha presentado respecto al desarrollo mundial de la pesca en su conjunto es muy alentadora, si bien hay un llamamiento a la necesidad de la ordenación de las pesquerías marinas que todos debemos atender.

A finales de este período de nuestro Consejo estaremos celebrando el primer aniversario de la Confer rencia Mundial para la Ordenación y Desarrollo Pesquero, este importante evento que, como lo mencionara nuestro Secretario de Pesca y Presidente de este evento, ha marcado el inicio de un proceso donde la voluntad de cada país y de la Comunidad Internacional en su conjunto y a través de las instituciones especializadas, podrá poner en práctica la estrategia, los cinco programas de acción y las nueve Resoluciones que, junto con los principios emanados de la Convención de las Naciones Unidas sobre el Derecho del Mar, habrán de marcar una nueva era de la pesca en favor de la humanidad.

La delegación mexicana desea felicitar al Director General de la FAO por el impulso que está dando a la instrumentación de los resultados de la Conferencia y expresa su apoyo al informe del 16° período de sesiones del Comité de Pesca, el cual se desarrolló en un ambiente en el que el espíritu de los resultados de la Conferencia Mundial para la Ordenación y Desarrollo de la Pesca estuvieron muy presentes.

Fuimos informados de las medidas complementarias que ya han sido cumplidas y los pasos fundamentales que ya viene dando la FAO como protagonista principal en las tareas para instrumentar la estrategia y programas para la ordenación y desarrollo de la pesca. Estas acciones deberán sumarse a las de los Estados Miembros y la de los Organismos y Organizaciones Internacionales interesados.

En este contexto, la Conferencia dio la encomienda al Director General de que examinara y analizara periódicamente las tendencias en lo que respecta al total de los recursos financieros asignados al sector pesquero e informara sobre el particular al Comité de Pesca y a los Organos Rectores de la FAO, por lo cual se presentó al COFI y fueron aprobadas una serie de sugerencias para la presentación de informes periódicos, el primero de los cuales se presentará el próximo período de la Conferencia y en los sucesivos períodos del COFI. Dichos informes comprenderán no solamente los proyectos ejecutados por la FAO, sino también información sobre las acciones que en el marco de la estrategia y programas de acción realicen los distintos países u otras Organizaciones, lo cual podría lograrse a través de cuestionarios especializados.

Respecto al financiamiento de los programas de acción, nuestra delegación se congratuló de la favorable respuesta del PNUD y de numerosos países donantes que permiten un alto coeficiente de financiamiento extrapresupuestario, como había sido previsto, y si bien une su voz a la de numerosos países que sin menoscabo de aplaudir el apoyo a ciertas regiones con grandes problemas como es el caso de Africa, hace notar el desequilibrio en la asistencia a nuestra región, en donde algunas subregiones requieren de especial asistencia. Esperamos que conforme a lo solicitado, FAO continue sus gestiones en búsqueda de solución a este problema.

Nuestra delegación quiere expresar su especial reconocimiento al Gobierno italiano por haber dado su generoso apoyo financiero al programa especial de acuicultura para América Latina a través del Centro de Pirasunga y de un grupo de centros nacionales, que deberán operar un sistema integrado bajo la coordinación de la FAO y en combinación con COPESCAL y los países miembros. Esto permitirá, junto con la buena voluntad del Gobierno brasileño de contribuir al desarrollo de la acuicultura a través de un sistema de capacitación de recursos humanos.


De otra parte, la delegación mexicana reitera su apoyo al programa y presupuesto del Departamento de Pesca, el cual fue objeto de amplio consenso por los países, quienes lo catalogaron de necesario y realista, ya que vendrá a reforzar áreas de particular interés para los países, ya que reflejaron en un efecto favorable en la utilización racional y conservación de los recursos pesqueros en las aguas marinas y continentales, en el apoyo a las Comunidades Pesqueras, los pescadores artesanales e industriales, así como a los procesos de conservación, transformación y comercialización de los productos de la pesca, el fomento a la acuicultura, la planificación de las inversiones y el mejoramiento de la información y apoyo a las actividades regionales de la FAO.

Finalmente, señor Presidente, la delegación mexicana desea expresar su complacencia por la formali-zación de relaciones de la Organización Latinoamericana para el Desarrollo de la Pesca (OLDEPESCA) con la FAO, que sin duda permitirá coadyuvar al desarrollo de las actividades pesqueras de la región.

S.M. MATIUR RAHMAN (Bangladesh): My delegation would like to thank Dr Carroz for his brilliant and lucid introduction of the report of the Sixteenth Session of the Committee on Fisheries, which is before us for consideration.

As we all know, the Committee met following the historic World Conference on Fisheries Management and Development, and in view of the paramount role of FAO in implementing the strategy and the five Programmes of Action approved by the Conference, the main task of the Committee at this Session was to consider steps required to follow up and put into practical reality the important and far-reaching decisions of the World Fisheries Conference.

My delegation is very pleased to note that in addition to reviewing the progress made in the implementation of the strategy on the Programmes of Action, the Committee also recommended a number of important measures to follow up the implementation of the Programmes of Action adopted by the World Fisheries Conference.

My delegation strongly supports these recommended steps as they will facilitate rapid implementation of the strategy and the Programmes of Action and thereby assist developing countries in increasing fish production and in improving their individual and collective reliance on fisheries.

In this connection special reference may be made regarding the Committee's decision to establish a sub-committee on fish stock to serve as a multilateral forum for consultation between producers/ exporters and consumers/importers on international trade on fishery products.

The progress made in the implementation of the strategy and the Programmes of Action, as mentioned in paragraphs 8 to 29 of the report, is very impressive and encouraging. My delegation would join with the Committee in expressing our sincere appreciation to the Director-General and his dedicated staff for their prompt measures and impressive results achieved in the implementation of the Strategy and Programmes of Action, especially at such a short time since the holding of the World Fisheries Conference.

It is also gratifying to note that the annual requirement of $15 million has been received or committed for implementation of the Programmes of Action in 1985. My delegation, while paying tribute to the donor countries and agencies for their support for the implementation of the Programme of Action for 1985 would also urge on them to continue their assistance in future years. We would also commend the Director-General to continue his efforts to maintain the momentum generated by the World Fisheries Conference.

Turning to my country's fisheries policies and prospects, may I be permitted to mention that in view of the vital contribution of the fisheries sector to our economy, food and nutritional needs, and in view of its future potential, we have been attaching great importance to the development of this sector to our national development programme, and a comprehensive fisheries development programme has been incorporated in our Third Five-Year Plan which will begin from July 1985. The Programme envisaged a substantial increase in fishery products. The Programme includes fresh water fish culture, saline and fresh water shrimp farming, management, conservation, and utilization of open water fisheries, the creation of sanctuaries, research and training. Steps are also being taken to popularize scientific and extensive fish culture practices through extension networks. Schemes are under way for aquaculture development in both sweet and brackish water habitats.

In order to facilitate optimum exploitation of marine fisheries, both off-shore and on-shore, facilities will be provided for the establishment of landing centres, preservation and marketing facilities, motorization of fishing boats and improvement of fishing gear.


Further, in order to improve and ensure the quality of fish and shrimps for export, a scheme for fish inspection and quality control has been taken up. We hope that in accordance with resolution 5 of the Conference necessary technical and financial arrangements will be forthcoming to assist us in implementing our development programme and projects in the fisheries sector during our Third Five-Year Plan.

Further, in view of the importance of the strategy which the Director-General rightly described as a New Charter of World Fisheries and the Programmes of Action as the guidelines on rational management and better use of world fisheries resources, we would welcome the report which the Director-General will submit on the World Fisheries Conference and the progress achieved in implementing the strategy and the Programmes of Action to the forthcoming FAO Conference.

Referring to the Programme of Work of FAO in fisheries during 1986/87, the Bangladesh delegation reiterates its support for the overall strategy and priorities of tne Work Programme and the proposed increase in the resources for fisheries in response to the recommendations of the World Fisheries Conference.

However, our delegation would like to stress that increased attention should also be paid in the fisheries programme to the following sectors that have some relevance to the conditions in Bangladesh, and probably to similarly placed countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Caribbean regions. These are: development and management of flood plain fisheries with appropriate case studies for exchange of experience and information; development of fish feed technology using inexpensive and indigenous raw materials; and a programme of utilization of shrimp by-catch for human consumption or for industrial use.

With these suggestions, my delegation endorses the report for adoption by the Council.

R. MARTINEZ MUÑOZ (Colombia): La delegación de Colombia, señor Presidente, se complace en que usted, distinguido Embajador de Arabia Saudita, presida este importante Foro. Su inteligencia y sagacidad garantizan el mejor éxito de las presentes deliberaciones. Asimismo agradecemos al Sr. Carroz, Jefe del Departamento de Pesca que tan bien trabaja y merece ser reforzado en esta Organización, por su magnífica presentación.

Sobre el Documento en estudio la delegación de Colombia quiere precisar las siguientes observaciones.

Registra con beneplácito la aprobación de la Estrategia para la Ordenación y el Desarrollo de la Pesca diseñada en la Resolución n° 1 de la Conferencia Mundial, en donde conviene destacar las políticas y estrategias nacionales e internacionales de ordenación y desarrollo de la pesca a la luz de la Convención de las Naciones Unidas sobre el Derecho del Mar de 1982.

Relieva la función especial y necesidades de las pesquerías en pequeña escala que representan alrededor de la mitad del abastecimiento mundial de pescado destinado a la alimentación.

La contribución puesta a disposición de la FAO hasta la fecha demuestra que la cantidad y la finalidad de la ayuda para el desarrollo depende de las políticas y prioridades de los donantes. Hay un desequilibrio en los proyectos y programas entre las distintas regiones, que afecta a America Latina y el Caribe y Africa Austral, y precisa que la FAO realice consultas ulteriores con los donantes para subsanar esta anómala situación.

Los informes sobre los progresos en los Programas de Acción deben comprender los realizados fuera del marco de la FAO por los distintos países u otras organizaciones, como la Organización Latinoamericana para el Desarrollo Pesquero y el Organismo de Pesca para el Pacífico Sur.

La delegación de Colombia apoya la decisión de establecer un subcomité sobre el comercio pesquero que serviría de fondo para las consultas sobre los aspectos técnicos y económicos del comercio internacional de pescado y productos pesqueros. Apoya la composición diseñada en el párrafo 48 del Documento.

Por último, la delegación de Colombia apoya en general el Programa de Actividades propuesto en el sector pesquero; ratifica las estrategias y prioridades del Director General y considera que las propuestas están bien equilibradas y reflejan las principales necesidades del desarrollo y ordenación de las pesquerías mundiales. Estima imprescindible la especial promoción de la Cooperación Económica y Técnica entre los países en desarrollo y la satisfacción de las necesidades especiales de los estados insulares pequeños y los países sin litoral. Comparte la satisfacción expresada por el Comité por el notable aumento neto de los recursos propuestos para las actividades de la Organización en materia de pesca en el nuevo bienio 1986-87.


F. de MENEZES (Sao Tomé-et-Principe): Je vous remercie de m'avoir donné la parole maintenant; ne craignez rien, je serai bref. Je n'ai pas l'habitude de préparer mes textes et je réagis aux discussions que nous avons.

Je suis heureux de prendre la parole après le représentant de la Communauté économique européenne. Nous avons un accord avec la Communauté et j'ai été heureux d'entendre M. l'Ambassadeur d'Italie parler au nom de la Communauté.

Je remercie M. Carroz pour le rapport de la Commission des pêches qu'il nous soumet. Malheureusement mon pays n'a pu participer aux travaux de cette Commission; nous ne pouvons pas être partout.

Comme je vous l'ai déjà dit à plusieurs reprises, nous sommes surtout producteurs de cacao mais, Etat insulaire, comme le dit un de mes collègues à Bruxelles, nous sommes "sea locked". Nous avons de l'eau partout et la pêche est une activité très importante chez nous. Si vous connaissiez l'histoire de Sao Tomé-et-Principe, vous sauriez que les dix-septième et dix-huitième siècles ont été l'ère du sucre. Ensuite, nous sommes passés à l'ère du café. Depuis la fin du siècle dernier, nous sommes à l'ère du cacao. Nous souhaiterions qu'à la fin de ce siècle nous soyons à l'ère du cacao et de la pêche qui représente la deuxième activité de nos îles.

Nous voudrions donc appuyer le rapport qui nous est soumis et appuyer également la création d'un sous-comité du commerce des produits de la pêche qui est très important pour nous. Nous espérons pouvoir participer souvent aux travaux de ce sous-comité.

Mais chaque fois les mêmes questions se posent et M. l'Ambassadeur d'Italie l'a très bien dit. Il y a plusieurs organisations qui s'occupent des mêmes choses, et nous nous adressons toujours à la FAO. La FAO est connue dans mon pays plus spécialement pour l'agriculture. On oublie que la pêche existe également au sein de la FAO. Nous avons déjà adressé à la FAO plusieurs requêtes, et je dois dire que l'Organisation a déjà fait différents travaux pour notre pays, mais les choses ne semblent pas tellement avancer. Et je profite, puisque j'ai la parole, au sein de ce Conseil dont nous sommes membres, de l'occasion qui m'est donnée pour demander que l'on fasse davantage.

Nous parlons des accords de pêche. Quand nous nous trouvons devant des partenaires qui veulent discuter avec nous, certainement en toute franchise, il nous manque toujours des techniciens,des experts, pour nous aider dans la conclusion de ces accords. Nous avons des accords de pêche avec la CEE, avec notre ancienne métropole le Portugal, avec l'Espagne, etc. Mais il est temps que des îles comme mon pays puissent un jour avoir la possibilité de faire leur propre pêche en haute mer.

Au paragraphe 62 du rapport il est dit: "... améliorer la capacité des pays en développement de concevoir et de construire- des bateaux pour la pêche en haute mer." J'espère vraiment que ceci ne restera pas lettre morte.

Aujourd'hui des îles comme Sao Tomé-et-Principe connaissent des problèmes pour la capture. Les eaux de nos pays sont exploités abusivement par des bateaux qui utilisent des systèmes détruisant notre patrimoine en matière de pêche. Nous n'avons pas les moyens de contrôler ce genre de choses. Il y a une instance pour discuter ces problèmes, c'est la FAO dont nous sommes membres. Il est dommage que dans les rapports ou les activités de cette Commission on ne parle pas de ces problèmes. Je ne vais pas discuter tous les paramètres que peut comporter un accord de pêche et dire si les pays les respectent ou non et si nous pouvons nous adresser à la FAO pour nous aider à une meilleure surveillance de ces accords, mais je vous laisse ceci comme réflexion.

H. MALTEZ (Panamá): En primer lugar, señor Presidente, permítanos felicitar al Sr. Carroz por su completa y clara presentación de este tema 9.

La pesca constituye un significativo renglón de la actividad económica de Panamá, representando, en promedio, durante los últimos diez años aproximadamente el 28% del Producto Interno Bruto Agropecuario.

Por otra parte, nuestro Gobierno considera que la aportación de la pesca a los objetivos sociales, económicos y nutricionales del país adquieren cada día mayor significado, y se considera que está llamada a desempeñar un rol de vital importancia para el logro de nuestra seguridad alimentaria.

Dentro de este contexto, la delegación de Panamá, considera oportuno referirse brevemente a los resultados del recién celebrado 16 período de sesiones del Comité de Pesca, en el que se trataron temas de gran importancia, tales como las medidas complementarias de la Conferencia Mundial de la FAO sobre Ordenación y Desarrollo Pesqueros, lo mismo que la labor de la FAO en el sector de la pesca durante el bienio 1986-1987.


Respecto al primer tema, destacamos la importancia que nuestro país concede a la recomendación del Consejo anterior en el sentido de que la Conferencia apruebe una resolución especial sobre los resultados de la Conferencia Mundial de Pesca y las actividades complementarias correspondientes. En efecto, nuestra delegación considera que los resultados de esta Conferencia son de primordial importancia para el ordenamiento y el desarrollo de la pesca, dentro de las realidades prácticas relativas a esta actividad, según el nuevo régimen jurídico de los Océanos.

Expresamos una vez más nuestro reconocimiento al apoyo ya proporcionado por los donantes para la ejecución de los Programas de Acción en 1985 y los exhortamos a mantener y superar el impulso que en tal sentido dio la Conferencia Mundial de Pesca.

Para la delegación de Panamá, asimismo, tiene una importancia fundamental el marco para las consultas sobre el comercio internacional de productos pesqueros, razón por la cual damos nuestro apoyo, en esta oportunidad, al Subcomité de Pesca recientemente creado.

Para terminar, señor Presidente, deseamos reafirmar nuestro apoyo, en líneas generales, a las estrategias y prioridades determinadas por el Director General en su Resumen del Programa de Labores y Presupuesto para 1986-87, ya que consideramos que estas propuestas están sumamente equilibradas y vienen a reflejar las principales necesidades de ordenación y desarrollo de la pesca, y se ajustan a las recomendaciones de la Conferencia Mundial de Pesca.

R.D. KAUZLARICH (United States of America): We found that the Session of COFI was a very successful and useful meeting. Particularly we were glad to see that it gave a favourable hearing to the entanglement issue which we found particularly important. On the issue of international trade in fish and fishery products, we took the position at the COFI meeting that the subject should be dealt with under COFI itself rather than setting up a new sub-committee. However, we accepted the majority view that a sub-committee should be established, with the understanding that no additional financial obligations would be incurred as a result.

LI ZHENHUAN(China) (original language Chinese): First of all, I would like to thank Mr Carroz for his excellent introduction of the report which gives us such substantial and up-to-date information on the situation with regard to fisheries.

The 16th Session of COFI was very successful in that the delegates had full discussions on various agenda items. The Report of the 16th Session of COFI was adopted smoothly and the Session achieved its envisaged objectives. We are satisfied with the results.

We support the important measures taken by FAO in fishery management. We agree with the proposal contained in the document to enable the Director-General to obtain knowledge of the impact of the World Conference on Fishery Management and Development and the progress of the follow-up actions. Member countries are requested to submit progress reports. We consider, for the purpose of achieving better results, it is necessary for the FAO Secretariat to design a standard report format as a model for the member countries. In working out the format the Secretariat should take into consideration the concrete conditions in the developing countries and try to make it simple, flexible and feasible. As for Document COFI/85/2, among the five Action Programmes, the question arousing concern is how to provide assistance for fishery development, for this is the guarantee of the implementation of the Strategy. The Integrated Fish Farming Research and Training Centre for Asia and the Pacific in Wuxi, China, jointly set up by UNDP and FAO has achieved gratifying results in disseminating China's experience in fresh water fish culture in developing countries. But according to the decision of UNDP, the Centre will become a self-funding institution after 1984. In order to enable the Centre to continue its operations and play its effective role, the Chinese Government has decided to contribute US$50 000 to cover its expenditure for 1985 and 1986, and will participate as before in activities such as training, research and information collection.

As China is a developing country, its pledge is modest. In doing so, we hope to contribute what we can to strengthening cooperation with FAO and promoting world fishery development.

CHAIRMAN: Thank you for your contribution of $50 000.

M. MOMBOULI (Congo) : Nous aussi nous voulons joindre notre voix à celles qui se sont déjà exprimées pour remercier M. Carroz de la présentation très claire qu'il a faite du document dont nous sommes saisis. Notre délégation étant de celles qui ont eu le privilège de participer activement à la préparation et à la tenue de la Conférence mondiale de la FAO sur l'aménagement et le développement des pêches nous serons extrêmement brefs dans notre présente intervention afférant


à l'examen par notre Conseil du point 9 de son ordre du jour concernant le rapport de la seizième session du Comité des pêches, rapport auquel nous avons également contribué en notre qualité de membre du Comité des pêches.

Notre délégation se félicite de l'important travail de diffusion des résultats de la Conférence sur les pêches abattu par le Secrétariat de la FAO ainsi que par le Président de ladite Conférence, nous avons nommé M. Ojeda Paullada, ministre des pêches du Mexique qui nous a honoré de sa présence à la seizième session du Comité des pêches tenue du 22 au 26 avril dernier, ici même au siège de la FAO et a contribué ainsi à la sensibilisation de la Communauté internationale sur l'importance de cette charte des pêches. Nous sommes solidaires des résultats auxquels ont abouti les travaux de la seizième session du Comité des pêches et appuyons en conséquence le rapport qui en est résulté. Notre délégation accorde une grande importance au suivi de la mise en oeuvre de la stratégie sur l'aménagement et le développement des pêches et elle recommande au Secrétariat d'en rendre compte aux organes directeurs de l'Organisation au moyen de. rapports intérimaires et sur la base d'indicateurs préalablement choisis.

Nous sommes d'avis, avec le Secrétariat et le Comité des pêches de recommander que les évaluations relatives à la stratégie adoptée par la Conférence mondiale des pêches prennent appui sur les huit éléments proposés par le Secrétariat. Nous appuyons les priorités et le budget proposés par le Secrétariat pour le secteur des pêches au cours du biennium prochain.

Nous partageons l'avis du Secrétariat quant à sa proposition suggérant que la stratégie sur l'aménagement et le développement des pêches ainsi que les cinq projets d'action soient appliqués étape par étape et nous exhortons les pays donateurs, les organisations internationales à participer à cette mise en oeuvre. Nous remercions d'avance à cette occasion les pays qui ont manifesté leur intention de contribuer financièrement à la mise en oeuvre desdits programmes d'action.

Les pays en développement parmi lesquels figure le nôtre attendent beaucoup de la réalisation de ces programmes d'action.

Enfin nous aimerions terminer notre brève intervention en disant que nous marquons notre accord avec les propositions du Comité des pêches visant à ce que les délais, la périodicité d'examen des rapports de situation sur l'état d'application de la stratégie des pêches et des cinq programmes d'action qui l'accompagnent soient fixés l'an prochain après évaluation de la situation par le Comité.

R. SEVCOVIC (Czechoslovakia): I would like to congratulate the Assistant Director-General for his excellent introduction. Being a landlocked state, my country is not unfamiliar with the issues of fisheries!

Of course, our country contributes to the development of the world fisheries and to the follow-up to the World Conference on Fisheries in 1984 which concerned the field of freshwater fisheries.

We agree with the Report of the Sixteenth Session of the Committee on Fisheries, especially with the conclusions submitted for the attention of the Council. Management and the development of fisheries has significantly influenced the world food situation and helped to cut down the protein deficit in many developing countries endangered by malnutrition and famine as contained in Resolution 4 of the World Conference.

We also welcome the cooperation established between FAO and UNEP in the field of protection of the fish resources of the seas and rivers, their renewal and measures against increasing pollution of those seas.

We agree that fishermen and their communities should be the theme of the World Food Day 1986. We do not object to the establishment of the World Food Day to be celebrated in June, but we think that the number of festive international days and years within the United Nations is so large that the effectiveness of this form of education and publicity projects is falling. In any case, it would be proper for similar events of FAO to be closely coordinated with the United Nations and other specialist agencies.

In conclusion I would like to draw your attention to centuries of tradition, experience, vast scientific research and practical applications of the effective methods of fish breeding in a number of landlocked countries, including Czechoslovakia. A number of special FAO studies in this field proved the effectiveness of the production of protein per every hectare or freshwater surface, and the World Conference on Fisheries took that into consideration in evaluating new programmes. Czechoslovakia is ready to offer its experts for implementation of UN/FAO/UNDP projects. I refer to the successful activities of our specialists in introducing fish into water basins in Nigeria, Mozambique and other countries within the FAO/UNDP programmes. Czechoslovakia institutions are available for the training of experts and technicians of developing countries. In respect of the freshwater aquaculture in Europe I suppose that it would be appropriate to


consider the possibility of establishing a new European cooperative network in this area without imposing any burden on the regular FAO budget for the next biennium, and similarly in the case of other networks open for developing countries from the European areas. Such networks could help with the transfer of extensive advantages, especially to the African continent.

CHAIRMAN: I am sure that Dr Carroz took note of your experience in this area.

J. MUSHARRAF (Pakistan): Mr Chairman, the Committee on Fisheries at its last meeting discussed matters connected with fisheries and we had the opportunity to express our point of view in considerable detail at that meeting. Therefore, as you have directed, I would merely like to reiterate our support and express our satisfaction for the Strategy and the Programme of Action for fishery management and development, and the FAO programme for the next biennium in support of the Strategy and Action Programme. We find the guidelines and principles embodied in the Strategy and the Programme extremely comprehensive extending its considerations over an extremely wide canvas from the local to the global, from the small fishermen to giant countries, and from the question of sport to the question of survival.

We find the following elements reflected in the various parts of the Strategy as particularly important and worthy of support. We hope that they will be reflected in all future programmes, and we also hope that the reporting system endorsed by the Committee will adequately cover the aspects, some of which cannot be reduced to quantitative terms. The various elements are: for the small scale fishermen and his family the need to monitor and to avoid the possible conflict with the activities of large scale fishermen; the role of fish in removing under-nutrition especially the under-nutrition of women and children, and the role of the World Food Programme in this respect; the development or the improvement of simple processing methods to produce low-cost, high-yield products, high quality products that could be within the budgeting power of the poor sections of the community; the utilization of by-catches or discards; the improvement in the marketing and the avoidance of harvest losses; the importance from the view of the developing countries in stock assessment and, therefore, technical assistance and training, and funds for this purpose. This important point was also mentioned by Sao Tome and Principe about how to create a surveillance system for illicit activities within territorial waters of other fishing countries or private sector sources. Other elements are: how to avoid or reduce trade tied in any way to excess rates, which sometimes has been the practice, and was discussed in the expert consultation; how to create more value in the processing system. This was also one of the items recommended in the technical consultation.

Finally, from a more global point of view and a general point of view there is the development of aquaculture, for example, in Thailand and Malaysia crocodile culture. They are advancing towards various types of culture, including crocodile culture. Another element is training and technology for agriculture and other purposes, and of course, from a global point of view the avoidance of pollution and how to conserve fishery resources, which has been emphasized by the Assistant Director-General in his opening statement.

As an aside I would like to add that it is partly thanks to all of the international efforts and the efforts of the FAO we are now beginning to give fish their due place in terms of importance and the respect which we attach to them. Perhaps since the time that our ancestors left the deep waters for life on land we have never taken too kindly to fish. Even the English language and idiom reflects this. The position in other languages may be the same. In our idiom we invariably seem to bring the fish in whenever something or someone is slippery or slimy or in some way unpleasant or undesirable. We do not give the same treatment to other animals. When we admire someone we say he is a cool cat, what a lion of a man, a sexy kitten. It is quite the contrary for fish. When we are thinking of a greedy, rapacious money lender we call him a loan shark. When we want to mislead someone we throw a red herring. When there is something fraudulent or mysterious in a bad way we call it fishy. When we are caught in a very uncomfortable position we feel like a fish out of water, and we always find ourselves fishing in troubled waters. We never like to fish in untroubled waters. The only time that we have a happy association with sea animals is when we have a whale of a time, but a whale is not a fish. Again, we would say in a fishy way it is a different kettle of fish.

Let us hope that the Committee on Fisheries will, among its other achievements, also be able to reform the English language, take fish out of the deep waters and elevate them to a higher position indeed as well as in word!


HIDAYAT GANDA ATMADJA (Indonesia): First of all I would like to congratulate Dr Carroz for his excellent presentation.

The Strategy for Fishery Management and Development has already passed through several fora of discussion, evaluation and improvement. My delegation is of the view that the substance is sufficiently comprehensive. The application of the principles and guidelines is flexible, not binding and always respects the sovereignty of the countries concerned. Therefore, my delegation supports the implementation of the Strategy.

With regard to the Programmes of Action, which in the implementation seems to be limited by the possibility by obtaining the required funding, my delegation is of the view that one of the possible solutions might be by stimulating and promoting regional and sub-regional cooperation supported by FAO multilateral and bilateral assistance. To strengthen the regional and sub-regional cooperation now might be the proper time to use the services of experts available in the region or sub-region under the auspices of economic and technical cooperation among developing countries. By doing so the funding could be utilized more efficiently.

With respect to the funding problems, my delegation extends its appreciation to the donors who have given or committed contributions for the implementation of the Programmes of Action, as indicated in paragraph 23 of the document.

With regard to the Multilateral Framework for Consultations on International Trade in Fishery Products, my delegation is of the opinion that such a forum would be an important means for promoting market orientation of fisheries development and, in turn, for increasing the income earnings of a country from fish products, and improving the quality of life of the fishermen and fish farmers of the developing countries.

Therefore, my delegation fully endorses the establishment of a sub-committee on fish trade as referred to in paragraph 48 of the document.

In conclusion, my delegation will fully support the work of the Committee and in particular the Report of the Sixteenth Session of the Committee on Fisheries.

R.F. DEARE (United Kingdom): My delegation, like others who have spoken before, wish first to thank and congratulate Mr Carroz for his very lucid and informative introductory statement. My delegation welcomes this report on what was a most interesting and instructive meeting of the Committee on Fisheries. I would like to comment on three particular items. In view of the time I shall be brief, but the brevity of my comments should not be taken as an indication that we attach only passing importance to this subject - the contrary is the case.

First of all, the Programme of the Work for the Fisheries Department is we believe a well-balanced programme which provides an excellent and appropriate response to the recommendations of the 1984 World Fisheries Conference. I agree with my friend from Australia, who said that much has been accomplished in a short time, and I was very glad to hear from Mr Carroz that FAO is likely to reach the target of $15 million for the Programme of Action in 1985. My Government continues to support the Programme of Action by implementing a comprehensive bilateral fisheries research and development programme, and we are always ready and pleased to cooperate with FAO in this. FAO has a crucial role in data collection, analysis, and dissemination of information in this particular sector. We believe that it is uniquely placed to perform this function, which is beyond the capabilities and resources of any other national or international agency. We are therefore sure that all Member States will wish to acknowledge this by giving full support to the system of regular reporting on progress in implementing the Programme of Action.

The last area on which I would like to make a brief comment is in relation to assessment, conservation and management of fish stocks. As Mr Carroz has mentioned in his introductory statement, there is a growing need for international action in this particular area, and this is one point where we believe that FAO alone has a unique ability to give a lead, particularly, as noted in paragraph 58 of the report of the Committee on Fisheries, where stocks transcend the boundaries of exclusive economic zones. My delegation would very much wish to commend the work of FAO in this field.

The meeting rose at 18.30 hours.
La séance est levée à 18.30 heures.
Se levanta la sesión a las 18.30 horas.


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