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

6. Report of the Ninth Session of the Committee on Agriculture (Rome, 23 March-1 April 1987) (continued)
6. Rapport de la neuvième session du Comité de l'agriculture (Rome, 23 mars-1er avril 1987) (suite)
6. Informe del noveno período de sesiones del Comité de Agricultura (Roma, 23 de marzo-lº de abril de 1987 (continuación)

Hans Jorgen KRISTENSEN (Denmark): This brief statement I make on behalf of the Nordic countries--Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

We have studied with interest the report contained in document CL 91/9 and would like to make some comments, first of a general nature on the work and role of COAG, and secondly more specific remarks on parts of the report.

As far as the COAG is concerned, the Nordic countries would like to emphasize that a dialogue which this forum is facilitating is unique. We have high level technical experti-se from most capitals included in delegations, and consequently the feedback into FAO from these deliberations, specifically in COAG, can constitute a stimulating input into our Organization. I would like to state that FAO in our opinion should play a role as the world's ministry of agriculture. We, on our part, look towards FAO to more significantly fulfill that role. In the latter years the discussion on the agricultural sector which in our opinion belongs to a broad technical committee like COAG, has been divided out and is now being discussed in many separate fora of FAO.

As an example I should mention the recent formation of the Commission on Plant Genetic Resources, the Commission on Fertilizers, and to some extent also the Committee on World Food Security. Furthermore, Mr Chairman, we have a feeling that the nutritional aspects of agriculture should receive more attention in COAG, and we have several times over the years tried to underline that, though only with limited success. In our view all aspects of agriculture should be tackled by COAG, perhaps in a practical way with some relevant sub-committees, but assemble it in COAG.

In raising this issue, Mr Chairman, my delegation would hope that it would be received in the same positive and constructive manner in which we see it, namely to take advantage of the high-calibre expertise present at COAG meetings to strengthen the work of COAG and thereby also the functioning of FAO.

Mr Chairman I would now like to turn to a few specific remarks in connection with the document in front of us, and here I shall concentrate on the medium and long term outlook for food and agriculture development. The Nordic delegations have for some time suggested a much more precise setting of priorities, and a more clear definition of medium and longer term goals. We had some very good documentation for the consideration of COAG and also a good debate which to some extent is reflected in the report in front of us. Mr Chairman, we consider that a small but promising start has been made in this field but we want to go much further. Together with the remarks made concerning the strengthening of COAG's working role, we are confident that a debate concerning priorities and goals will continue more openly for the benefit of all Member Nations. Mr Chairman, we shall come back to this matter in connection with the Summary Programme of Work, item 15.


F.T. SUMAYE (Tanzania): On behalf of my delegation may I pass our sincere gratitude to the Committee on Agriculture which sat in Rome and produced document CL 91/9. From the document we can realize that they gave the topic the attention it rightly deserves. On the same line we also congratulate the Deputy Director-General for his accurate and precise presentation of the report.

Mr Chairman, the topic we are discussing is the main stem of our discussion. What we have discussed already are the products, and what we will discuss later will be the branches of agriculture. We therefore do not need to over emphasize the importance of this topic.

Agriculture in the developing countries is plagued with a complex combination of problems which range from complex natural calamities to simple problems that can easily be controlled or eliminated. Some areas have chronic problems of drought while others have problems of floods. Pests and diseases, low yielding varieties, non resistant varieties to diseases, low level scientific research, unavailability for storage facilities, unavailability of resources, low incentives to farmers, ever falling prices of agricultural products, ever increasing prices of manufactured agricultural inputs and machinery are just some of the few problems encountered in this sector. If the agricultural sector is to be developed it has to be a development of the whole system. Single activity or operation improvement, in our opinion, does not serve the purpose. For example, if a farmer gets a tractor he will increase his farm area and the quality of his seed bed. He may plant this area without difficulty as planting is usually a fairly simple operation. However, when it comes to weeding there is no way he can cope with the size of the farm, and likewise harvesting. This is why we say if agriculture is to be improved it has to be a whole system improvement, from seed bed preparation to the ultimate consumer product. This must also reflect an incentive to the producer in the form of product price offered.

Mr Chairman, my delegation would like to emphasize the importance of agriculture in the third world countries and the importance of the small scale farmers. In Tanzania agriculture accounts for more than 75 percent of our foreign exchange earnings, and engage more than 90 percent of the population in the villages. It is therefore imperative that when we are talking of agriculture, we are really talking of the small scale farmer. The importance of the extension service is very vital. We think that instead of establishing large farms it is more effective in terms of production if the small scale individual farmers are helped by making available to them technical assistance, timely inputs and other operational inputs.

We are also giving a lot of encouragement in irrigation, so that in time, dependence on rainfed irrigation gets less and less. Tanzania has about 40 million hectares of arable land out of which 6.2 million hectares, or about 16 percent, is under cultivation, and out of this only about 127 thousand hectares or 27 percent is under irrigation. With this potential, given the right support, we cannot only feed ourselves but also export the surplus to the needy. During 1986/87 Tanzania increased its production of maize and cash crops like cotton and coffee. However, the currents of world pricing was against us because there was an average price fall of about 35 percent in cotton and coffee compared to the previous season. If farmers are to continue with the growing of these crops the government will be forced to heavily subsidize from unavailable resources.

We feel that this meeting could advise and devise a fair deal under international pricing mechanisms so that the developing countries do not suffer from the low prices of the agricultural products, and at the same time again suffer from the ever increasing prices of manufactured goods and inputs from the developed countries.

The area of livestock needs a lot of improvement; research and development of good resistant breeds to the harsh conditions of developing countries is vital as the large numbers of low productive animals are responsible for the depletion of our environment. The animal breeds, once improved, with a good extension system the stocking should easily be achieved. In line with the livestock improvement is the availability of drugs and vaccines to suppress the diseases confronting this sector.

Mr Chairman, may I now on behalf of my delegation comment on some areas of interest from the report. We want to make a general comment on the section on food quality and standards in food security, trade and health; that is paragraphs 153 to 162. In this area, in our opinion, some of the developed countries have not been merciful to the poor countries, especially the trading companies. In some cases expired pesticides and drugs, or pesticides and drugs nearing expiry dates, have been sent to the developing countries. In 1985 the FAO Conference adopted the international code of conduct on the distribution and use of pesticides. These chemicals still find their way into the developing


countries without deterrents by the producers. Some of these chemicals are on the prohibited lists in their own countries. The effects of these chemicals, which we even spray on our green vegetables and fruits, may surface in the subsequent generations.

My delegation wishes also to comment on paragraphs 122 and 123 on the importance of women in agriculture in developing countries. Rural woman, especially in Africa, is a human of burden. She bears the children, does the household activities, cultivates the fields, looks after the animals, fetches water, etc. The list is endless. Improvement in social services will very much lessen the burden on the women. Experience has, however, shown that as improvement is done on the livelihood activities, especially agriculture, the burden generally changes shoulders. As agriculture moves from the hand hoe to the ox cultivation and the tractor cultivation, the man takes over the farming activities. Even in subsequent activities, the woman is relieved due to change in the scale of operation. There has to be a deliberate move to lift the agricultural burden from the woman's shoulder by the improvement of our agriculture. This should go hand in hand with the development of other rural social services.

To conclude, we suggest the following: first, research and updating of studies on important crops and livestock be given priority. Second, where possible irrigation encouragement should be supported. Third, to review and strengthen the International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides, as recommended by the FAO Conference of 1985;fourth, the FAO Secretariat to monitor and publish the names of companies and countries involved in breaches of this code of conduct. Fifth, companies whose products are prohibited in their own countries should be closed down (if they do not produce another allowable product). If they have other permissible products companies should close down the prohibited line. Sixth, projects for women should be given assistance so that the women have more time for more productive activities. Seventh, we join hands with the delegation of Brazil and others in their opinion that the study of roots, tubers and plantains should include bananas. Tanzania is already facing a very critical banana Weevil attack. We would like also to add cassava; we think this crop should be included in the roots and tuber group.

Mr Chairman, my delegation is grateful for the opportunity you have given us to speak on this important subject, and we endorse the report.

Gonzalo BULA HOYOS (Colombia): La delegación de Colombia, Sr. Presidente, rinde homenaje a la forma excelente, eficaz y competente como nuestro amigo el Dr. Bommer, de la República Federal de Alemania presidió el COAG. Igualmente agradecemos la cooperación ofrecida por los dos Vicepresidentes Sres.M. Were, de Kenya y el Embajador Ariza Hidalgo, de Cuba.

Nos ha impresionado muy favorablemente y apoyamos en general la reciente declaración hecha por nuestro colega y amigo de Tanzania, quien hizo importantes consideraciones que, a juicio nuestro, representan la expresión del representante de un país en desarrollo que conoce muy bien y de manera directa los puntos a que se refirió con sencillez y pragmatismo.

En la reunión del COAG varias delegaciones nos referimos a la conveniencia de que el Código Internacional de Conducta para la distribución y utilización de plaguicidas, fuera sometido a vigilancia frecuente sobre su aplicación por parte de los países. Aceptamos las razones que se nos dieron entonces para que no se hubiera presentado un primer informe a esas sesiones del COAG; pero seguimos esperando el informe especial sobre las actividades relacionadas con el Código, Informe que según afirma el párrafo 25 presentará al Consejo en su debido tiempo.

Esa expresión tan vaga de "a su debido tiempo", ¿qué quiere decir? ¿Aún no hay más respuestas de países? ¿Cuántas se han recibido hasta ahora? ¿Está la FAO asistiendo a los gobiernos que no estén en condiciones de hacerlo para que respondan? ¿A qué reunión del Consejo se va a presentar ese informe especial?

Hacemos estas preguntas porque entendemos que en su excelente presentación de esta mañana el Sr. Walton, no obstante la competencia y la inteligencia con que interviene siempre, no se refirió a este asunto que es de gran importancia para nosotros.


La delegación de Colombia ha apreciado mucho el generoso ofrecimiento del grande y poderoso país del Japón, que piensa crear un Fondo fiduciario destinado a ayudar a los Estados Miembros a aplicar el Código. Preguntamos ¿Ya está en marcha ese Fondo Fiduciario y a qué países está asistiendo?

Los representantes de Colombia apreciamos el gran interés y el ánimo positivo con que muchas organizaciones no gubernamentales se vienen interesando por la plena aplicación del Código. Admiramos particularmente las adecuadas y oportunas informaciones que recibimos de la Organización Internacional de Unión de Consumidores, OICU, con sede en Malasia y Países Bajos, dos Estados que conocemos muy bien y cuyas poblaciones suelen actuar con un alto sentido cívico.

Igualmente, también somos testigos del interés que a este respecto han demostrado el Centro de Enlace para el Medio Ambiente, SEMA, y la Fundación Natura, de Quito, Ecuador. Como lo dijo el colega de Tanzania hace poco, se está demostrando que hay muchos plaguicidas prohibidos en los países de origen que han sido exportados a países en desarrollo con grave perjuicio para sus poblaciones. Pensamos que este Consejo debe contribuir a que se evite la prolongación de esos hechos desafortunados.

Pedimos que conste en el Informe,que es imperativo que el Código sea revisado y fortalecido en este año 1987, como recomendó la Conferencia de 1985. Desearíamos que el Informe Especial se presentara al Consejo de noviembre inmediatamente antes de la Conferencia y luego a ésta.

Ojalá que los señores colegas y amigos Bonte-Friedheim y el doctor Brader nos dieran seguridades a este respecto.

Apoyamos los párrafos 45 y 79, sobre la importancia que el COAG concedió a los programas y actividades destinadas a liquidar la pobreza rural. El Presidente de Colombia Virgilio Barco, está empeñado en una intensa campaña por erradicar la pobreza absoluta, no sólo en Colombia, sino en todos los países de América Latina y el Caribe. En abril pasado se reunieron en Argentina los ministros de relaciones Exteriores de Argentina, Brasil, Colombia, México, Panamá,Perú, Uruguay y Venezuela, quienes expresaron su apoyo a la iniciativa del presidenre de la República de Colombia, en el sentido de emprender el Programa intensivo para luchar contra la pobreza absoluta en nuestra región. La cumbre latinoamericana sobre erradicación de pobreza absoluta se realizará en Cartagena (Colombia) con asistencia de Jefes de Estado o sus representantes. Entendemos, y ojalá que el Sr. Rafael Moreno a quien vemos detrás del podio nos lo confirme, que la FAO estuvo representada recientemente en unas actividades relacionadas con esa Conferencia.

Quisiéramos pedir a la FAO que dada la importancia que esto tiene para toda la América Latina y el Caribe, esta Organización aporte todos sus conocimientos y experiencia para la celebración de esa importante cumbre latinoamericana y de, El Caribe y que, naturalmente, el aporte de la FAO sea, como generalmente lo es,positivo y eficaz.

En el párrafo 60 reconocemos el valor y la importancia del Sistema Mundial de Alerta y proponemos que este Consejo pida a la FAO, a los demás organismos y países donantes que asistan a las organizaciones regionales y subregionales y a los países en desarrollo para que puedan establecer sus'propios sistemas de alerta que se revelaron tan útiles particularmente en la crisis africana.

Finalmente, lamentamos que, no obstante, las críticas de algunas delegaciones, entre éstas, la de Colombia, en el párrafo 82 se dé la impresión de que el COAG apoya las dos palabras mágicas, taumatúrgicas, casi demagógicas, contradictorias, de innovación y continuidad; innovación y continuidad, paradójicas entre sí, palabras en las cuales se ha basado el resumen del Programa de Labores y Presupuesto sobre el cual hablaremos en el tema 15.

Boniface N.NDIMANDE (Zimbabwe): I am grateful for the opportunity to make a few comments. My delegation congratulates the Committee on Agriculture for producing this report, which contains some very important recommendations. We take particular note of the points raised in document CL 91/9 under the sub-heading "Improving Productivity of Dryland Areas", especially paragraphs 169 and 172.

In respect of paragraph 169, it is worth noting that in many developing countries there is a serious lack of appropriate technology for peasant farmers. Therefore, there is an urgent need to give priority to applied and adaptive research, especially into agriculture. In Zimbabwe, we are


trying to develop an appropriate technology through farming systems in which all the social economic constraints of the farmer are taken into account.

In respect of paragraph 172, we are also looking into maximizing the utilization of water-harvesting techniques in order to improve production in dryland conditions, while at the same time encouraging the conservation of natural resources.

We would like to draw the attention of the Council to the items discussed under "Other Matters", specifically paragraph 213 on page 28 of the document and refer to the topic, "Economic significance of tobacco and its prospects". Zimbabwe would like to emphasize its support for the recommendation that the FAO should update, broaden and republish its study on the economic significance of tobacco, which was first published in 1983 and which gave substantive evidence of the importance of tobacco on production in some of our economies.

The Zimbabwe delegation recommends that the FAO Commodity Review and Outlook for 1986-87 should be extended in the case of tobacco to contain data on employment and tax revenues generated by tobacco. The tobacco industry is our greatest single employer of labour and earner of foreign exchange. The growth of this crop provides a livelihood for 6 percent of our population and earns nearly a quarter of our foreign exchange.

In asking the FAO to update the economic significance of tobacco and to include data on employment and tax revenue in the tobacco section of this review, one does not wish to put them at loggerheads with the World Health Organization. FAO is not being asked to confront the World Health Organization but merely to reveal in full the true economic facts of tobacco production. Zimbabwe is interested that these facts are made known.

Luka RADOJ ICIC (Yugoslavia): Mr Chairman, the delegation of Yugoslavia considers that the work of the Committee on Agriculture carried out during the 9th Session and its report should receive positive endorsement by this Council. We are going to point out only some of its main conclusions.

My delegation is satisfied with the implementation of FAO's major programme of work in the food and agriculture sector for 1984-86. It is regrettable that we have been forced to make programme adjustments during the biennium mainly due to the shortfall in the 1986 contribution of the largest contributor, which has resulted in a slow-down of activities.

In considering the medium and long-term outlook for food and agricultural development the Committee placed particular stress on the indications of the continuing polarization in the global food system. It appears that the world agriculture situation will not be substantially changed even beyond the end of the century. It is most likely that the chronic surpluses in some regions will continue to be accompanied by higher consumption standards in some regions.

The Yugoslavian delegation welcomes and supports the eight principal long-term goals identified for world agriculture-as a broad framework for FAO orientation in the medium-term endorsed by the Committee. Of course, the goals are highly inter-related,thus indicating the need for simultaneous and more closely coordinated action at all levels if we are to reach the final goal, the elimination of hunger and malnutrition. Obviously, it implies efforts by all countries. The primary responsibility rests with the developing countries which should continue to strengthen the formulation and implemention of food and agricultural development plans. within the framework of their overall national objectives. However, let it be recalled that the success of their efforts depends upon the level of solidarity, a more generous support from the international community, and a better international environment.

In this connection, the Committee rightly placed particular stress on the need to improve the international trade for agricultural commodities.

My delegation supports the conclusion of the Committee to endorse the selection of programme priorities and the means of action proposed in the Summary Programme of Work and Budget for 1988-89. They faithfully reflect a proper balance between the availability of resources and the needs and requirements of Member countries, especially developing countries, as expressed in the Conference, the Council, regional conferences and other international fora.


As to the issue of the high level group of experts to review the long-term goals and strategies of FAO, we have already stated our position very clearly at the last COAG meeting. However, to reflect briefly on the essence of our position, I would say that we do not see any need for the establishment of a high level group. Before any consideration is given to the establishment of a high level group the Conference has to open a very frank debate on the necessity for any review of the activity of FAO. Only if there is a consensus at the Conference that some aspects of FAO's work need to be reviewed should the issue of a high level group be considered as one of the methods for assessing such a review.

Finally, Mr Chairman, our delegation would like to extend its support to the conclusions and recommendations by the Committee on other selected development problems.

Mrs Marasee SURAKUL (Thailand): This item which we are now discussing is a crucial one, especially paragraph 80 of document CL 91/9. My delegation would like to propose that FAO pay more attention to this issue if possible. FAO should cooperate with other related international bodies to find ways and means to eliminate protectionism. My delegation would welcome the goal of eliminating this unfair trading practice as one of the medium-term objectives of FAO. Under "Natural resources" we are quite happy to endorse the content of the text. However, the Thailand delegation feels that in order to maximize the use of natural resources more efficiently and effectively, the extensive area analysis for agro-ecological and socio-economical factors should be thoroughly examined.

With regard to nutrition and rural development, my delegation fully supports the Secretariat's views. However, we would like to see some sub-projects of nutrition be integrated with rural development, particularly in many developing countries such as Thailand where malnutrition and under-nutrition still persist in many rural areas. In Thailand the government has initiated a project of promoting the food crop cultivators in rural schools and encourages the students to use them as food for their lunch in order to reduce the under-nutrition problems.

Finally, my delegation also would like to support the appeal made by the distinguished delegate from Colombia, referring to paragraph 25-the Code of Conduct in the Distribution and Use of Pesticides. We hope that this topic will be further discussed in the next Council.

These are all of our comments and suggestions. We hope they will be of some benefit to the meeting and Secretariat. My delegation also endorses this document.

Esau S.S. NEBWE (Zambia): Let me prefix my brief remarks on this report by commending Dr Walton for his excellent presentation of the subject matter. I am quite sure that distinguished delegates share my delegation's appreciation of the conciseness of the report and its analysis of this important subject that we are discussing.

Zambia in general endorses the main recommendations contained in the report before us. However, my delegation would like to make a few pertinent observations on the report.

The Committee on Agriculture has clearly indicated in its report that food production in developing countries, especially in Africa, is lagging behind population growth. As a result of this asymmetry between food production and population growth, developing countries are experiencing persistent famine, poverty and economic stagnation. Although developing countries know what ought to be done to address the situation, these countries are handicapped in translating their novel ideas into effective and practical programmes of action.

There are a number of serious constraints which ought to be seriously considered and addressed in order to enable the developing countries to break the vicious circle in food production, particularly in Africa. The majority of the African Member States of our organization are relatively young, having attained independence either in the late 1950s or early 1960s. Indeed,, quite a number


of them have attained independence in the recent past. In a number of cases these countries attained independence with a relatively limited number of professionally and technically experienced people. In the case of my country, for instance, we had hardly 100 university graduates at the time of independence in 1964. Availability of skilled and experienced manpower still poses a major constraint in the development, of our economy, and agriculture in particular.

In order to address the problem of manpower availability in developing countries it is, therefore, imperative that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations continue to provide technical assistance to these countries with intensity. Zambia, does not, therefore, support the proposal that the Technical Cooperation Programme of FAO should be scaled down at this point in time when efforts in other areas of food and agriculture production are being intensified. In this regard, my delegation would like to appeal to our colleagues from developed countries to appreciate the fact that Member States of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations are at different levels of economic development and that their problem of inadequate manpower cannot be generalized. Zambia may, however, consider favourably a review of the nature that the future Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) should take. In this regard my delegation would be amenable to a proposal whereby more and more local skills if available could be utilized in project implementation in order to accelerate technology and skill transfer. It is in this context that my delegation welcomes the decision taken by FAO to mount, as reported in paragraph 66, a five-year training programme in agricultural policy formulation, planning and implementation for sub-Saharan Africa.

My delegation, Mr Chairman would also like to recommend that all future aided agricultural projects should have a strong training and human resource development component as opposed to the traditional and conventional counterpart component approach.

So much then on the problem of scarcity of manpower in developing counties. The other problem which developing countries face is that to which this Council has made reference during its deliberations. This is the problem of balance of payments and the debt burden.

The balance of payments problems has, by and large, been caused be low export earnings as a result of depressed prices for primary exportable products of developing countries. My delegation regrets to say that in certain cases prices of primary commodities of developing countries have been depressed on the international markets by deliberate manipulation by some countries. There is no guarantee that these malpractices will come to an end in the foreseeable future because of vested interests in the perpetuation of these malpractices by certain countries.

In order to assist developing countries in addressing the balance of payments problem and debt servicing burden in relation to agricultural development the International Community should: (a) consider seriously and urgently converting loan obligations of developing countries into grants as their scope to service such loans is very limited; and (b) open a new chapter by extending fresh financial resources to developing countries on grant and/or on concessional terms.

While the main thrust of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations programme of action in developing countries should be on production of adequate supplies of staples, mainly by small scale farmers, FAO should also intensify its assistance to developing countries for production of exotic crops for export. Indeed, FAO should encourage developing countries to break into new grounds of agricultural development for which they have economic advantage for production of exportable agricultural commodities such as, in the case of Zambia, tobacco, cotton, cashew-nuts, groundnuts, tea and coffee.

If I may make specific reference to tobacco, my delegation like our Zimbabwean brothers is of the view that very little has been done by FAO since 1983 when a publication on the "Economic Significance of Tobacco" was produced. My delegation supports the recommendation that FAO should review and update the booklet referred to in paragraph 213 of the report of the Committee on Agriculture. Furthermore, my delegation would like to propose that the subject, "Economic Significance of tobacco and its prospects" should be one of the three agenda items which should be included for discussion at the 10th Session of the Committee on Agriculture.


I would now like to touch on the role of women in agricultural development. It is an accepted fact that over the years women have played a significant role in agriculture the world over. It is therefore not surprising that the role of women in agriculture and rural development has been taken for granted especially, I regret to say, by the men-folk. My delegation endorses the now accepted principle that women's contribution to agricultural development could be enhanced by accessing appropriate technology and other factors of production to them on suitable terms and conditions. This should include extension of title deeds to land to female farmers in their own right, be they married or single.

As regards appropriate technology transfer in so far as it relates to the participation of women in economic development, my delegation endorses the recommendation in paragraph 38. However, it is my delegation's view that access to technology for production of energy such as biogas from agricultural waste should not be fettered by very stiff financing terms and conditions for women in developing countries.

It may be of interest to some delegates to note that Zambia has recently commissioned a pilot scheme on biogas. It is obviously too early to talk of the success of this scheme. However, Zambia would be more than prepared to share its experiences with interested member states, particularly those from our sub-region.

Another subject of tremendous importance to Zambia is that of irrigation. As I indicated in my remarks on Monday, my country has been one of the many African countries which have experienced intermittent drought for a number of years. It is also true that during years of exceptional rains, my country has experienced flooding which has culminated in national disasters such as that experienced in the 1977/78 season. Indeed, during such years rain water has flowed begging into the Indian Ocean!

My country is in the process of addressing the issue of water conservation through a deliberate national irrigation scheme. In this regard we are planning to embark on a deliberate programme of constructing dams and weirs, not only for human consumption but also for irrigated agriculture and pasture for livestock.

My delegation would, therefore, like to appeal to the international community and FAO in particular for material and financial assistance in order to accelerate the realisation of this noble objective. Coupled with this objective, there will be an intensive soil conservation and afforestation programme to which I referred in my earlier remarks two days ago.

Let me conclude my remarks by addressing one other important issue concerning pesticides, parti-cularly with regard to their usage. It is now almost two years since this Council and the Conference adopted the International Code of Conduct on the distribution and use of pesticides. Although FAO has not yet submitted a progress report on the implementation of this code, there is ample evidence that the code has been violated. Dangerous pesticides are being sold in developing countries, in many instances without labels or with labels but without adequate instructions on how such pesticides should be used. A study by the International Office for Asia and the Pacific revealed that pesticides and drugs banned in their countries of origin were being freely sold in developing countries.

In the light of these revelations, my delegation now proposes that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations should take the following measures: (a) review, as a matter of urgency, the progress on the implementation of the pesticide code and report accordingly at the 92nd Session meeting of this Council; (b) advise national governments on the need to incorporate the code in their respective national legislations.

Above all, Mr Chairman, my delegation is of the view that the time is ripe for the inclusion of the "prior informed consent" phrase in the pesticide code and that consideration be given to making the code mandatory as soon as possible.

With those few remarks, I would like to thank you, Mr Chairman, for giving my delegation the floor to speak on this very important subject.


Dato' Seri Mohd. KhaliL HUSSEIN (Malaysia): The Malaysian delegation would like to congratulate the Secretariat and the Committee on Agriculture for having provided this report and is grateful to Mr Walton for his introduction. Since agriculture is the biggest component of the technical programme, taking over a total of nearly US$159 million of the technical and economic programme proposed for 1988 and 1989, understandably great attention will have to be focused on this Committee's report.

The Malaysian delegation is pleased to say that we are generally satisfied with the recommendations of the Committee as we feel the Committee has come up with a proposal which faithfully adheres to the wishes of governments and that the important programmes have been given the correct emphasis. We are also satisfied with the implementation of the programme in the present biennium.

Due to the diverse requirements of the different regions of the world, it must have been an extremely difficult task for the Secretariat to come up with a balanced programme which could satisfy all interested countries. This fact should be given due attention by all members of the Council.

As far as Malaysia is concerned, most of the major emphasis satisfies our needs, and we believe that the needs of most other developing countries have been carefully addressed. We are particularly happy with the inclusion in paragraph 26 of the programmes for the mechanization and modernization of agriculture which is our main strategy for increasing agricultural production in Malaysia.

Under the medium and long-term outputs, we reiterate our strong and undivided support for the need to improve the international trading environment for agricultural activities. My delegation need not elaborate on this point as we adequately stressed it in our first intervention. We are, nevertheless, hopeful that the political will of the developed countries will not falter and call upon them to live up to their declarations in dismantling non-tariff trade barriers and subsidies. The elimination of policies of protectionism undoubtedly will have a very strong bearing on the recovery of Africa and the third world countries. The call for compliance with the standards set up by the Codex Alimentarius Commission made by this Committee is very important and should be taken up seriously by member countries. It is important that the quality standards of products should be acceptably high to ensure the health of consumers and for the betterment of agricultural products as a whole. The attention drawn to the need to ensure the safe use of food additives, the safe level of pesticide residues, food contaminants and other safety practices is appropriate and very well highlighted in this report.

Relating to this is the call for the better utilization of natural resources on a sustainable basis without environment degradation. This programme under natural resources has always generated strong support. In our eagerness to produce more we should not make the mistake of destroying our resource base. Degradation of water quality due to excessive use of phosphorous and nitrogen as nutrients should be avoided. The detrimental effects of human and industrial activities must be controlled.

On the same line, we wish to underline the problem of the improper use of pesticides which is very widespread in the developing countries. The code of conduct on pesticides, which was endorsed by the twenty-third Conference in 1985, should be given high priority by all countries. Admittedly, due to the short time since this endorsement and the implementation of the code, information about the implementation may be still be scanty and inadequate for this session of the Council to deliberate. However, we still strongly believe that due to malpractices, inadequate knowledge and capabilities of developing countries in the use of pesticides, the concept of prior informed consent should be introduced into the code.

It should be noted that even in the United States alone as many as one thousand new chemicals are being introduced annually while up to 60,000 chemicals are marketed. With this kind of range of products available, it is important that importing countries-especially of the third world-should be informed of the dangers of the chemicals that they are importing.

We sincerely hope that the Council will deliberate again on this issue as soon as information is adequate.

The section on the effect of land tenure and fragmentation of farm holdings as documented in the report is very interesting indeed. Generally, we do agree with the conclusions made by the Committee whereby wider distribution of land would result in higher output and solve the problem of landless-ness. Nevertheless, the situation may vary widely from country to country. Whilst the conclusion is believed to be applicable to many developing countries, we feel that in our own context it may


not be applicable in the sense that many of these small-scale holdings may be too small to be subdivided further and may not be able to support family units. In fact, we are moving towards bringing together smallholdings in many estates which could allow the introduction of more efficient management and better and better technology. The policy is based on the difficulty of retaining the labour force in rural areas and on continuing urban migration. This is all well and good if the country as a whole can provide alternative industries. Despite some setbacks recently due to the economic recession, these alternatives are still available in our country and the option for us is still very much open to modernizing agriculture through bigger holdings, better management, improved technology, while providing the surplus labour force with other alternative employment in the manufacturing and industrial sector.

As a balance, however, our government is also setting up light industries in rural areas which may prevent or reduce the detrimental effect of the population drift to the urban areas.

On the recommendation of the Committee to improve production of roots, tubers and plantains, my delegation supports the call for increased work in this area. Increased production of these commodities would undoubtedly be a positive factor in ensuring the food security of famine-prone Africa, Asia and Latin America. With that, the Malaysian delegation endorses the report of the Committee on Agriculture.

Temel ISKIT (Turkey): I shall be quite brief since the Turkish delegation at the last COAG meeting, had ample opportunity to contribute to the meeting and comment and make known its views under every point of the agenda of that meeting. I shall only make a general comment concerning the last COAG meeting and dwell on certain specific points afterwards.

First, a general comment. We deem that the last Committee meeting was a very positive and constructive one, and it was a very important meeting because during this meeting we had the first opportunity to discuss a portion, but a most important portion, of the budget and programme proposals for the coming biennium. I underline the word "positive" because it was in this meeting that the dialogue between the Secretariat and the attending member countries was enhanced, especially concerning the future work of our Organization on such points as priority setting and long term and medium term strategies. My delegation wished to really underline this point.

Coming to the specific points, first, on paragraph 34 of the report on the proposal of my delegation, there is a suggestion that an early warning system under FAO auspices in respect to outbreaks of animal diseases be developed in the Near East. We are confident that the Secretariat will soon put this suggestion into practice and put forward certain proposals on how to establish such an early warning system, which has our full support and which is vital to the countries of the emergent regions in particular.

My second point concerns paragraph 112 which deals with the praiseworthy and quick response of FAO following the Chernobyl disaster concerning devising international standards to be applied on food trade in particular. In this paragraph, of course, it is suggested that the coordination and cooperation between FAO and the International Atomic Energy Agency be initiated, which was already done, and be reinforced. We would suggest also that the cooperation and coordination which we also know is ongoing with WHO should be really enhanced so that these standards can be set up as soon as possible. The time is running out. Our wish was that internationally recognised standards in food trade be adopted as soon as possible so as to avoid trade distortions, especially in Europe. But since the work which was carried out up to now has not done away with standards accepted at the governmental level we are still having difficulties in intra-European trade and even in other regions concerning food exports and imports. We would suggest that this cooperation should be enhanced and its results be given as soon as possible so as to have an inter-governmental meeting which will take a decision at this point.

The third point concerns the very important subject of improving productivity of dryland areas, which was the subject of extensive discussion at the last COAG. There also attention was drawn by Mr Bonte-Friedheim to certain errors made by Turkey in putting into practice certain methods. But as we had said then, we have learned from our errors, and as we did during COAG, we repeat our invitation to all countries interested to share our experience in this area, our experience which has the solid basis of error.


Finally, we endorse the suggestion made by Zimbabwe to expand the study on tobacco so that this study includes the implications concerning employment and tax revenues. We also share the anxieties and criticisms expressed by many delegations concerning the application of the Code of Conduct by many countries. We share these concerns, and we, on our part, wish that something be done to enhance this implementation.

It goes without saying that my delegation endorses fully the report of the last COAG.

Georges EGAL (France): La delegation française n'a pas l'intention d'intervenir longuement sur ce point de l'Ordre du jour. La raison n'en est pas que le sujet traité ne mérite pas un débat approfondi, bien au contraire, mais ce débat a déjà eu lieu au sein du Comité de l'agriculture et ma délégation y a pris part avec un très vif intérêt. Je reviendrai d'ailleurs sur ce point à la fin de mon intervention.

Le Conseil, en prenant connaissance du rapport du Comité de l'agriculture a, me semble-t-il, deux tâches à accomplir. La première consiste à se préoccuper des suites concrètes qu'il convient de donner aux avis et suggestions formulés par le Comité de l'agriculture et rappelés de manière précise dans les toutes premières pages du document CL 91/9. Ma délégation ne reprendra pas dans le détail ces différents points à ce stade du débat, considérant que c'est surtout dans le cadre de l'examen du programme et budget pour le prochain biennium qu'il conviendra de prendre en compte les résultats des travaux du Comité de l'agriculture.

La seconde tâche relevant du Conseil concernant le Comité comme d'ailleurs les autres comités de l’OΑΑ, consiste à lui donner des orientations pour son travail futur dans le cadre de son mandat et compte tenu des priorités de l'Organisation; c'est bien entendu à la Conférence qu'il appartiendra de fixer ces priorités.

Le Comité de l'agriculture pour sa part, a évoqué 5 thèmes principaux qui figurent au paragraphe 213 de son rapport. Sans anticiper sur les conclusions de nos débats et les décisions de la Conférence, la délégation française considère qu'une priorité particulière devrait être accordée à deux de ces thèmes: l'amélioration de la distribution et de la commercialisation régionale des produits agricoles, la participation de la population au développement agricole et rural.

Enfin, la délégation française a écouté avec intérêt les déclarations d'autres délégations qui ont souhaité plus de rigueur et une plus grande économie de moyens dans les travaux des divers comités de l'Organisation. Comment ne pas partager un tel souhait au moment où les contraintes financières que vous savez deviennent de plus en plus sévères? La délégation française ne considère pas pour autant qu'il soit nécessaire de mettre en place un nouveau comité pour faire face à cette situation nouvelle. Elle estime au contraire que nous avons là toutes les raisons de chercher à renforcer l'efficacité des comités actuels en évitant, bien entendu, les doubles emplois mais surtout, en concentrant les efforts sur les actions prioritaires définies par la Conférence.

Joachim WINKEL (Germany, Federal Republic of): My delegation welcomes the report of the ninth session of the Committee on Agriculture which contains a wealth of information and important guidelines for our future work, in particular in the 1988/89 biennium. The world results achieved by the Committee on Agriculture are shared by us to a large extent. I will only make a few brief remarks on the questions referred to in the document related to the Programme of Work and Budget 1988/89, since these questions will still be discussed in detail under agenda items 15 and 17. We stated at the ninth session of the Committee on Agriculture that the priorities were rightly set in the Programme of Work and that we particularly welcome the strengthening of the technical and economic programmes at the cost of the budget estimates for administration and personnel. However, having studied the document in detail, we feel that further savings are possible and necessary in view of the financial situation facing our Organization without having to neglect priority programmes. We will come back to this item under agenda item 15.

We share a conviction expressed in paragraph 154 that food quality and standards are of decisive importance for food security, trade and health. We see here a common interest of the international community, also with regard to facilitating trade under technical aspects. Let me add here a few


words about the Code of Conduct on Pesticides. My country takes the question of pesticides exports to developing countries very, very seriously. The Federal Republic of Germany belongs to those few countries which already incorporated the FAO Code of Conduct on Pesticides into their own national legislation, thus making this Code obligatory according to our national plant protection code. We thus, I think, already fulfil the demand of the distinguished delegate of Zambia. Some delegations propose to submit proposals for amendment of the Code to the Conference. I must say we cannot agree with these proposals. We made good experiences with the text of the Code as it now stands. In our view, legal provisions should be given time to gain their own appropriate meaning within legislation before amending them hastily. We are therefore of the opinion that amending the code now would be much too early and at that stage unnecessary.

The improvement of drylands as quoted in paragraph 165 and following also means in our opinion a substantial additional production potential for many developing countries which has to be utilized on a priority basis in view of continued food shortages in many drylands.

We support what is stated in paras 182 and following concerning land tenure farming systems with regard to agricultural development. Of special importance seems to us to avoid a further fragmentation of land tenure. It is also our view that the same rights have to be given to women within the framework of land tenure.

Roots, tubers and plantains are also, in our opinion, of centraL importance for food and food security in tropical and subtropical regions, as stated in paragraph 192. Greater attention deserve the processing, storage and marketing of these crops to create the basic requirements for production increases.

My delegation considers document CL 91/9 as a whole to be balanced, well founded and informative. Let me, Sir, thank in this connection Dr Bonte-Friedheim and Dr Islam for the good preparation of this session. Likewise let me thank their staff and the Secretariat, and of course in addition I also thank Dr Bommer, who so ably chaired the ninth COAG session-allow me to say that even though being a compatriot of his. We heard that the Committee on Agriculture will also in the future further strengthen its role as an important adviser to the Organization in all fields of agriculture techniques by the participation and intensive dialogue of experienced experts from all over the world. We will take our share in this work, Mr Chairman.

M.M. SIDDIQULLAH (Bangladesh): Thank you Mr Chairman for givine me the floor. I congratulate the chairman and the members of the Committee on Agriculture for focusing the attention of the world community on several very important issues bearing on agricultural production. We endorse this report. Mr Chairman, I wish to take this opportunity to clarify the position of Bangladesh in respect of some of the areas covered by the Committee.

Bangladesh is well known for its rivers, rains and flood. What is less known is that we are not free from the problem of dry land. In the north west of the country we have this problem affecting quite a number of districts. Rainfall in this area is dependable only for 3 months. The area involved represents about 10 percent of the net cropped area. About 600,000 households are involved. The population affected is about 5.3 million. Crop intensity in this area is only 117 percent as against the national intensity of 155 percent. That sets out the importance of the problem for a small food deficit country like Bangladesh.

In order to make this area more productive, a centre for dry land research is to be established. Through research we have to develop drought resistant crops, and then introduce them at the farmers' level. The available surface water and the underground water require to be managed, exploited and harnessed to the need for higher productivity. Only thus can this problem be overcome. In order to achieve this we need technical and financial assistance from FAO and other UN agencies.

Mr Chairman, I wish to take this opportunity to draw the attention of this Council to the land reform that the Bangladesh Government has introduced recently. Two most important elements of


this reform bearing on the productivity are: Legal recognition of the right of share cropper subtenant on land and the determination of his share at two thirds of the product, and the second element is the freezing of the acquisition of land by individuals at a maximum ceiling. These measures are going to have a favourable effect on the productivity of land. We have undertaken the implementation of these measures with right earnestness. Mr Chairman, we hope for the continued support of the international community in our struggle against hunger.

Mr Chairman, On the question of food quality and standard, we fully subscribe to the spirit involved in this field. Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution is the designated national focal point for coordination of our national efforts in this regard with the FAO and the World Health Organization. We have introduced quality control in the export of our frozen food, and we are taking measures to strengthen our laboratories and also reform our laws in this regard. It is also proposed that standards should be introduced, particularly in the field of the frozen food sector through the improvement of conditions and self discipline within the processing factories.

Mr Chairman,Insofar as the domestic market is concerned, it is difficult to enforce codes of quality and standards in a poor country with the vast majority of people suffering from malnutrition and starvation. However, we are working on legislation to incorporate within our legal system the modern laws formulated in this regard.

John R. GOLDSACK (United Kingdom): Thank you Mr Chairman. The UK delegation finds the report as a whole an accurate record of the proceedings of the 9th Session of COAG. There are, however, two important points which, although recorded in the main text, are not included in the summary of matters requiring the attention of Council.

The first concerns the fact that due to the late circulation of the Summary Programme of Work and Budget a number of delegations were obliged to reserve their position. The second point concerns the suggestion originally made at the last Conference and Council Sessions, and recorded at paragraph 77 of the report, that a high level group be established to review the long term goals and strategies of our Organization. We feel that this important suggestion should have been mentioned in the summary since the Committee recognized the matter could not be resolved within its mandate, but, and I quote from paragraph 77 of the report: "Could be pursued within the Council and Conference".

During this debate there have been some suggestions that there should be major changes in the FAO Code of Conduct for pesticides. Member States are aware that there will be a report to the Conference on the operation of the Code. The Code was the subject of lengthy and detailed technical discussion prior to its adoption by the Conference. Mr Chairman, we consider that it is premature to suggest any major changes to the Code in advance of the report of the first two years of its operation. We also consider that because of the nature of the code, any changes should first be discussed in detail in technical working parties before they are formulated as proposals to change the text of the Code.

If I may, Mr Chairman, I should like to refer to a more general point concerning the COAG meetings. The Committee on Agriculture has an important function in guiding FAO on the technical content of our programmes. My delegation has observed over the past few sessions of COAG that there has been a decline in the number of practicing and technical delegates attending from capitals. If we are to receive up-to-date opinion and expert guidance it is important that delegations should retain what I might term 'practioners of the art'. I know that the Secretariat are conscious of the need for professional representation at COAG. I therefore appeal to my fellow delegates to ensure, through the composition of their delegations to COAG, that the high quality of technical discussion to which we have become accustomed-and which we enjoyed in the 9th Session, I might add-is maintained in the future.

K.R. HIGHAM (Canada): Thank you Mr Chairman. We too have only a very brief intervention to make. We do not consider this discussion as a mini COAG by any stretch of the imagination, and the report itself certainly reflects most of the points made by the Canadian delegation to that meeting.


We were a little disappointed, as were some other delegations I think, that the summary of the report did not reflect some of the ideas in paragraphs 74, 75, 77, 79, though the point concerning the high level group for review was one of those. We think the question of a review is certainly timely, and probably that a healthy self inflicted criticism-not a self-criticism so much as a self inflicted criticism-has been skipped over, and we think it is time again to look at it more carefully.

The only other point I think I have that has not been covered well already is just to comment on the request for an update of the study on tobacco. We would of course, as tobacco producers of declining importance in Canada, be interested in the results of such a study or update. I would just mention that our own work on this industry recently has pointed to the need for retraction of that industry, and that has been one of the difficult parts of Canadian agricultural adjustment process which is underway now to try and ensure that our production matches effective market demand. In any case the additional information would always be useful in that connexion, and in fact we may be able to contribute to some of the work that would involve, assuming of course that we have the resources to do so.

C. SRINIVASA SASTRY (India): The Indian delegation participated in the Ninth Session of COAG held in Rome in March/April 1987. Our delegation was also associated with the Drafting Committee of COAG. In view of this, we would not like to take much of the time of the Council highlighting the recommendations of COAG. That has been done very ably and succinctly in the earlier session when Mr. Walton, the Deputy Director-General, introduced the report of COAG.

Among the various recommendations we would urge special attention be devoted to those on improving productivity in dryland areas. May I specially draw the attention of this Council to paragraph 178 on page 23 in which COAG recommended that "... FAO take the initiative in coordinating TCDC activities for drylands development..." COAG also stressed the role of South-South cooperation and regional coordination. As recommended by COAG we do hope that the importance of this type of development will be reflected in the FAO Programme of Work and Budget.

In his remarks, the Deputy Director-General referred to the subject of nutrition and the work of the Codex Committee. We would submit the recommendations of COAG on the role of food quality and standards in food security, trade and health also deserve to be supported.

While on the subject, may I mention that at an intergovernmental meeting held in December 1985 it was agreed that the Codex Committee might also go into the question of evolving reasonable standards for animal food items. We find that some of the importing countries have laid down very high and rigid standards relating to the permissibility of aflatoxins in animal foods which could be imported into those countries. There are no uniform processes accepted for the elimination of the toxic elements. The Indian delegation urges that Codex evolves a uniform and reasonable, permissible standard of aflatoxins in oilcake as well as agreeing processes that can be adopted for the elimination of the toxic elements.

With those observations we endorse the report of COAG for adoption and acceptance by the Council.

Ngama MAPELA (Zaïre): Pour commencer, nous voudrions remercier le Directeur Général adjoint pour la présentation du rapport qui est soumis à notre examen.

Nous voudrions aussi, comme d'autres délégations l'ont fait avant nous, apporter notre plein appui au rapport de la neuvième session du Comité de l'agriculture

Nous appuyons le contenu du paragraphe 12 et nous exprimons notre satisfaction sur le fait que le Comité de l'agriculture a noté l'accroissement des ressources allouées par le PNUD et souligné le role catalytique joué par le Programme de coopération technique.

Etant donné la grande expérience acquise par la FAO dans la solution des problèmes qui se posent aux pays en développement, notamment en matière d'agriculture, ma délégation encourage tous les pays donateurs et toutes les organisations internationales à continuer à utiliser au maximum les services


de la FAO pour l'exécution des projets de développement qu'ils co-financent. C'est ainsi que nous félicitons le gouvernement italien et tous les pays donateurs pour leur contribution au titre du fonds fiduciaire.

Bien que notre pays soit concerné, nous partageons l'inquiétude exprimée par le Comité de l'agriculture au sujet des arriérés des contributions au budget de la FAO, et nous appuyons par conséquent l'appel lancé aux pays membres de s'acquitter promptement de leurs obligations.

Nous apportons notre plein appui à ce qui est dit au paragraphe 14: "La FAO offre un cadre exceptionnel pour examiner sur le plan international les implications des études au niveau des politiques et les problèmes relatifs à la politique agricole en général."

Ma délégation voudrait souligner l'importance qu'il convient d'accorder au programme international d'approvisionnement en engrais et appuie le paragraphe 17 qui traite de cette question. Nous demandons que des moyens appropriés soient mis à la disposition de la FAO pour renforcer ce programme.

Nous souscrivons au contenu du paragraphe 20 en ce qui concerne le programme visant à poursuivre la mise au point et l'utilisation des nouvelles cultures et variétés à potentiel de production plus élevé et mieux adaptées aux conditions agro-écologiques.

Notre appui va également à ce qui est dit dans les paragraphes 28 et 29. Tout en appuyant le paragraphe 26, ma délégation souhaiterait que l'aide de la FAO aux pays membres dans le domaine de l'élaboration des politiques et stratégies générales de mécanisation agricole puisse insister sur l'aspect de la traction animale comme technologie intermédiaire.

Nous appuyons fermement ce qui est dit au paragraphe 37 sur les activités intéressant la production animale et nous nous félicitons du role que joue la FAO pour favoriser la coopération technique entre pays en développement dans ce secteur.

Nous appuyons l'importance qui est donnée dans le paragraphe 39 à la nécessité de renforcer les systèmes nationaux de recherche agricole.

Ma délégation félicite et encourage la FAO à aller de l'avant pour aider les pays en développement à concevoir et mettre en place un système de crédit agricole qui soit accessible à tous les petits agriculteurs. Nous appuyons de ce fait le paragraphe 52.

Notre appui concerne également les paragraphes 54 et suivants où l'on souligne la nécessité de promouvoir les cultures vivrières autochtones.

Ce matin, lorsque nous examinions le rapport du Comité de la sécurité alimentaire mondiale, ma délégation est intervenue pour rappeler le rôle de chef de file que la FAO doit toujours jouer au sein du système des Nations Unies chaque fois que l'on aborde des questions relatives à l'alimentation et à l'agriculture. C'est pour cette raison que ma délégation appuie sans réserve ce qui est dit au paragraphe 147 où il est demandé à la FAO de jouer désormais un role plus important lors des négociations commerciales multilatérales de l'Accord général sur les tarifs douaniers et le commerce.

Nous appuyons toutes les propositions demandant que la FAO aide les pays membres à mettre à jour la législation et les règlements sur les aliments pour qu'ils tiennent compte des travaux de la Commission du Codex Alimentarius, et nous encourageons de même la FAO à aider les pays en développement en ce qui concerne une meilleure application du Code de conduite sur l'utilisation des pesticides.

Nous voulons apporter notre appui à ce qui a été dit par notre voisin, le délégué de la Yougoslavie, concernant la nécessité ou non de créer un groupe de travail.

Avant de terminer ma déclaration, ma délégation souscrit au paragraphe 204 sur le rôle des femmes sur la production et nous faisons nôtre l'idée exprimée dans le paragraphe 210.

Je m'arrête ici pour le moment, mais ma délégation se réserve le droit de reprendre la parole sur ce point ultérieurement si elle le juge nécessaire.


E. Wayne DENNEY (United States of America): Mr Walton very succinctly characterized what transpired during COAG. To repeat all our interventions there would indeed be wasteful. We stand by those comments. The United States of America accepts the COAG report.

During COAG, our delegation did not comment on proposals offered by several members to form a high-level expert advisory group. Paragraph 77 of the COAG report invites Council to further address this proposal. Having given it considerable thought since that time, the United States agrees that a relatively small group of independent, senior-level, non-administration-driven experts could provide useful advice for FAO on short, medium and long-term priority setting efforts, on efficiency of meetings, etc.

During COAG we mentioned several activities which should be accorded high and low priorities in preparing the next biennial Programme of Work and Budget. We will amplify and supplement both lists during agenda item 15. The United States encourages close coordination with other Organizations within the United Nations system and with CGIAR centres. We continue to commend FAO for striving for closer interaction between FAO headquarters, regional offices and country offices. The United States is encouraged by indications that changes in scheduling might alleviate the traditional problem of late submission of the Programme of Work and Budget document in future COAG sessions and it is also encouraged that a process has commenced which will result in better integration of long-term objectives and short-term priorities.

Finally, we are somewhat surprised to hear so many countries referring to the Code of Conduct on Distribution and Use of Pesticides. We do not recall hearing so many references to it during COAG. Successful negotiation of the Code for many years resulted in its being universally adopted at the last Conference. After publication, it was distributed to member governments a little more than a year ago. We believe that any proposed change to the Code should be discussed in detail at COAG or some other technical body which convenes well in advance of the Conference. Thus, we cannot support continuation of any amendment to the Code at this time.

E.P. ALLEYNE (Trinidad and Tobago): Mr Chairman, The delegation of Trinidad and Tobago wishes to indicate its appreciation for the excellent work executed by the Committee on Agriculture as represented in document CL 91/9. Our delegation particularly endorses some specific aspects of the report and wishes to comment on those aspects.

We support fully the major programme on training for both field personnel and farmers and fishermen, and all those engaged in the production process, including women. There is need, however, to monitor, to evaluate the effectiveness of much of what goes on within the title of training within countries. In this regard we urge an adequacy of resources and particular attention to the training of trainees. In this context, we also wish to compliment the FAO on its networking programme. We are specially supportive of the proposals on water conservation and application to agriculture development, especially small-scale agriculture. In many countries we believe that too much and too often emphasis is given to massive water storage programmes when small-scale projects within limited areas can be very effective, especially where high rainfall prevails, even if over limited periods.

The matter of farming systems cannot be over-emphasized, especially if we say that we are giving due attention to small agriculture operators. In this regard acceptable and workable recommendations on mixed cropping have proved to be very significant.

We add our voice to that of Tanzania on the subject of bananas in the context of the programme on roots, tubers and plantains. In some countries, bananas are used much more extensively and are very often less expensive. We also urge a further look at other traditional crops, for example, the Amaranthus or "bhaji", which most recently have been projected as a highly nutritious food and one that is highly cultivated.

Of course, all of this means appropriate work on research and development programmes, including work on post-harvest losses and, of course, plant breeding.

Our delegation has a particular interest in the proposals on promotional activities with farm organizations. It is an important thrust in my government's present reorganization arrangements for agriculture development and we suggest that action in this area be linked with existing or planned institutional arrangements for action of any kind. Some of the existing arrangements and procedure's are often not supportive, especially in terms of the time lag for giving life and vigour to the successful establishment of effective procedure groups.


Mr Chairman, a word on nutrition, especially with information and surveillance systems. Changing economic circumstances, including the increasing level of unemployment, declining incomes of both farmer and non-farmer, and rising food prices, at times all in concert, demand that the net be cast wide in the search for disadvantaged groups, urban, suburban and rural. This is in part an aspect of the general dimension of food security.

In paragraph 126 the document makes reference to the problem of imported cereals. The phenomenon of implanted taste in the national context can exist in relation to other items of food and there can be resistance even when all the evidence indicates that there are available substitutes that can be locally produced and often are more nutritious.

On the question of agrarian reform, giving it the broadest possible interpretation and tenure, our delegation has no doubt that this problem can occupy the experts of FAO for quite some time. In most instances we have no difficulty in getting historians and sociologists to analyse issues and write reports. However, in the context of a democratic tradition and in the absence of a wealthy treasury it can be difficult to decide on acceptable procedures for the peaceful transfer of lands between various groups. Implementable institutional strategies for change can remain elusive for quite some time.

There cannot be any lack of support for the application of resources on pest and disease control. Trinidad and Tobago must add its voice to the problem of the sale and promotion of banned pesticides from the developed countries in the developing countries. The existing situation is creating a problem of human security both now and in the future. This matter calls for active cooperation between various international organizations including the WHO. The FAO must play a leading role in assisting the international community, especially the developing countries, in their struggle against the ill effects of this very serious problem.

Mr Chairman, The report presented to us by the Committee on Agriculture and also by the Committee on Food Security is a clear demonstration of the continuing review and analysis of the problems that face the world, which FAO must face in terms of its responsibility for food and the future of mankind, indeed, its goals and strategies both now and in the long term.

Against this background my delegation does not understand the basis for any additional in-depth review of FAO. The content of these reports, the nature of the debate, do not in the opinion of this delegation indicate the need for the kind of action suggested, especially when there is a general conclusion that in spite of serious financial constraints we have witnessed one of the most effective periods of management of the Organization.

Finally, our delegation endorses the report and hopes most sincerely that it will be read in detail by the appropriate people in all member countries at the highest level and that we will be able to meet, as our capacities may permit, our contributions and responsibilities to the FAO.

LE PRESIDENT: Avant de donner la parole au prochain orateur, je voudrais dire qu'il y a déjà eu 20 interventions. Il en reste 7 provenant de délégués et 3 provenant d'observateurs.

Je voudrais également dire que notre séance va se prolonger car il reste d'autres points à l'ordre du jour d'aujourd'hui: le point relatif à l'étude de faisabilité sur l'élargissement de l'aide en nature et, peut-être, celui relatif aux ressources phytogénétiques.

Je voudrais donc savoir si nous pouvons considérer comme close la liste des orateurs de manière à rester dans les temps que nous nous sommes assignés.

Salim SARRAF (Liban) (langue originale arabe): La délégation du Liban voudrait, à son tour, remercier le Directeur général adjoint de sa présentation du rapport du Comité de l'agriculture.

Vous avez souhaité que nous soyons brefs. Je ne vais donc pas aborder les détails, d'autant plus que la délégation de mon pays a participé aux travaux du Comité de l'agriculture et du Comité de rédaction


et qu'elle est tout à fait d'accord avec le contenu du document CL 91/9. Cependant, après avoir écouté certains délégués, je pense qu'il faudrait préciser certaines questions et mettre les points sur les i.

Bien sûr, nous respectons la liberté d'expression des délégués qui participent à cette réunion. Toutefois, nous voudrions mentionner une proposition qui, nous semble-t-il, vise à créer un comité d'experts de haut niveau afin d'évaluer les études, de délimiter les priorités et de préciser les politiques à long terme. Nous nous demandons si cela n'est pas de la responsabilité des comités spécialisés qui existent actuellement. Ces comités, de par leur compétence, sont habilités à discuter de ces problèmes. La création d'un tel comité n'aboutirait-elle pas au double emploi que certains veulent éviter? La création d'un tel comité avait déjà été évoquée lors de la réunion du Comité de l'agriculture, et la majorité des membres avait alors décidé qu'il n'était pas utile d'aborder ce problème dans le cadre des travaux du Comité de l'agriculture et que nous pourrions l'examiner lors des travaux du Conseil ou de la Conférence. Cependant, si l'on veut aborder ce problème ici, il faut le faire selon le règlement, à savoir demander l'inscription de ce point à l'ordre du jour en respectant la procédure et les délais prévus, ce qui n'a pas été fait. C'est pour cette raison que nous considérons que ce point ne fait pas partie de l'ordre du jour.

Paul R. Bryden (Australia): Mr Chairman, My delegation is pleased to endorse the report of COAG in document CL 91/9. I wish to raise three points reflected in the report and one not in the report.

As mentioned in paragraph 77 of the report, several members of COAG spoke of the desirability of establishing a small, independent, high-level group to assist us in considering the future direction of the Organization. My delegation continues to see value in that suggestion. Indeed, as mentioned in our intervention on item 5, for our part we are confident that such a review as carried out some years ago would be of considerable help to members and our Secretariat in helping ensure that our Organization is well placed to meet the demands and challenges ahead. We appreciate that some delegations have other views, but would encourage the wider membership to consider the merits of such an approach.

Mention has been made of the Code on Pesticides. My government attaches importance to the code. However, in the view of my delegation proposal to amendments to a technical code should be looked at by. technical committees. In any case it would be desirable to await the outcome of the Conference's consideration of the expected report on the first two years of operation of the code.

The third point relates to paragraphs 80 and 146 of the COAG report regarding protectionism and structural food surpluses. My delegation supports the sentiments expressed by the distinguished delegate of Thailand and continues to feel that this issue should be regarded as one of more immediate concern rather than as one for medium or longer-term consideration.

Regarding the matter that is not in the report, I wish briefly to refer to the discussion on improving productivity of dryland areas, notably paragraph 173 regarding the need to mount campaigns to plant trees for fuelwood and supplementary forage. In the view of my delegation an important and in many cases critical aspect of the programme relates to soil conservation and erosion control. In many cases tree planting programmes have that aspect as a collateral aim. In other cases, including many areas of my country, tree planting is undertaken on a planned and extensive scale in order to protect one of our most precious national resources, our top soil. I think it is worth while calling the attention of Members to this additional positive aspect of tree planting programmes.

Adel Helmi EL SARKI (Egypt) (original language Arabic): Ever since the creation of COAG my country has been keenly participating in its sessions because its recommendations and decisions pave the way for the preparation of an effective programme for FAO in the field of food and agriculture.

The decisions of the 9th Session included in document CL 91/9 are a true reflection of the various opinions expressed in the meeting. That is precisely why we have supported the report.


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We were gratified to see that the FAO programme for 1984-86 highlighted mainly increasing production through the provision of training facilities and the exchange of research data as well as the carrying out of regional studies within technical cooperation as mentioned in paragraphs 15-67.

In order to have a clear opinion about any subject, we should have the necessary data. We should also have enough time to study them. Therefore, according to what was mentioned in paragraphs 68 to 72-related to the medium and long-term outlook for food and agricultural development and the Summary of the Programme of Work and Budget for 1988/1989, as well as the ways and means of implementing the programme of work in the next biennium-the documents related to these topics should be distributed in time.

The delegation of my country thinks it would be appropriate if we drew benefit from food surpluses in developed countries and used them for emergency operations in food deficit countries, be it within FAO's programmes or the WFP programmes, to do away with structural imbalances in food as is mentioned in paragraph 78.

At the same time we should appeal to the developing countries to overcome this food structural problem which would be possible only through the adoption of appropriate and rational agricultural policies in order to increase agricultural production as well as having more supportive action on the part of the international community as a whole to control pollution, diseases and pests and improve the international trade in agricultural commodities. The main programme related to agriculture for 1988/89 aims at limiting hunger and malnutrition as well as addressing food security among the rural communities, as was mentioned in paragraph 79, and the selection of appropriate programmes reflecting member countries’ needs, as was mentioned in paragraph 81, and attaching due importance to the human component because it is one of the most important factors in increasing production and in achieving economic and social prosperity.

We would also like to say that the mid-term goals for the various sub-programmes in the programme of agriculture have concentrated on the increase in production and productivity through the limitation of the deterioration of natural resources, the rational and effective use of soil and water resources, the development of crop production techniques, the control of diseases and pests, the buttressing of veterinary services to put an end to animal disease, wider exchange in research activity, the utilization of scientific means to forecast catastrophes, and the creation of appropriate economic and social conditions to increase agricultural production and nutritional awareness. Food quality control and appropriate levels of safety seem to be very important.

The delegation of my country studied the problem of improving the productivity of dry lands as well as the effect of tenure and fragmentation of farm holdings on agricultural development. We agree with all the recommendations adopted in both fields especially within the support activities for improving dryland areas-paragraph 178-as well as what was mentioned in paragraph 187 on the consolidation of holdings. It would be better to highlight the importance to be given to roots and tubers. We need to increase the productivity of these crops and we should also give women a more prominent role in their production.

We agree with what is mentioned in paragraph 194 related to the preparation of national and regional action programmes to increase the production, the manufacture and the marketing of these crops.

We agree with what is stated in paragraphs 211 to 214, as well as on the agenda for our forthcoming meeting.

Srta. Rosamaría VILLARELLO (México). Aunque mi delegación ya le había felicitado quisiera, por ser esta la primera vez que tomo la palabra, hacerlo en lo que a mí corresponda, así como felicitar en nombre de la delegación de México al Dr Walton por la excelente presentación del tema, y conforme a su propuesta únicamente señalaré, en forma marginal, algunos aspectos relativos al programa de presupuesto, reservándonos volver a hacerlo cuando tratemos el punto 15 del Programa.

También quiero lamentar, como ya lo hicieron otras delegaciones, que la distribución algo tardía del documento facilitase a algunos países argumentar una posición que los pone, de hecho, al margen del consenso tenido por la mayoría del Comité en apoyo al Programa de Labores y Presupuesto 1988/89.


Quisiera agrupar los puntos 4 y 5 del Informe en uno solo, destacando en estos puntos que, en términos reales, no sólo no había aumentos en el Programa y Presupuesto de Agricultura, sino que éste ha registrado recortes importantes.

Rechazamos la aplicación, por parte de ciertos países, de medidas financieras restrictivas que castigan la asistencia técnica y la coordinación de los esfuerzos multilaterales para el desarrollo agrícola.

Queremos hacer notar la poca importancia que se asignó al fomento de la cooperación Sur-Sur; a la vez apoyamos a la Comisión de Recursos Fitogenéticos y se llamó a la Dirección General para que se amplíe el apoyo a esta Comisión.

Coincidimos en la importancia de promover los cultivos autóctonos y la investigación para incrementar su productividad.

Insistimos en la necesidad de estudiar la posibilidad de crear un Comité pecuario que pueda centralizar y dar mayor coherencia a la acción de la FAO en esta actividad. Cabe señalar que la propuesta de creación de este Comité la presentamos en la Conferencia Regional celebrada en agosto de 1986 en Barbados.

Propusimos que en la próxima reunión del COAG se incorpore un tema sobre bioticuoiogía y otras tec nologías de punta, para su aplicación en los países en desarrollo.

Apoyamos ampliamente los trabajos que lleva a cabo la FAO, respecto al estudio y plan de acción para América Latina.

En relación con el punto 6, manifestamos la oposición de México al uso de las normas de calidad y vigilancia como sistemas de protección disfrazados y llama la atención a la FAO a mantenerse vigilante para detectar los casos en que tales prácticas desleales se produzcan.

Solicitamos una mayor atención sobre la contaminación de alimentos por desechos industriales y nucleares.

México le da gran importancia al papel del Códex Alimentario para apoyar a los países en el manteni miento de la calidad de los productos alimenticios, tanto para consumo interno como para propiciar las exportaciones y se congratula de que se haya aprobado la operación en México del grupo especial para hortalizas y frutas.

Asimismo compartimos y apoyamos los elementos relativos a medidas y estudios que el Departamento de Nutrición de la FAO y sus trabajos conjuntos con la OMS que fueron aprobados en el seno del Comité de Agricultura.

Respecto al punto 7: Aumento de la productividad de las zonas de tierras secas, quisiéramos destacar que rechazamos la concepción de que la principal limitante para incrementar la productividad, en las zonas de tierras secas, fuera el "exceso de población" y que, por lo tanto, la alternativa principal sea el traslado masivo de población y su reducción relativa a través del control natal.

Afirmamos que la pérdida del equilibrio entre población y recursos naturales, ha sido originada por la explotación irracional de estos últimos, así como por la escasez de los recursos canalizados para la investigación y el desarrollo de tecnología apropiados para esas zonas.

Respaldamos el planteamiento de impulsar acciones nacionales y regionales tendientes a la planeación y ordenación de cuencas hidrológicas, dentro de un esquema integrado de desarrollo.

Finalmente para recordar que el IX Congreso Forestal Mundial aportó una serie de materiales valiosos para la prevención de la desertificación, causada por la explotación de los bosques para la obtención de leña o la apertura de nuevas zonas de pastoreo.

En cuanto al punto 8: Efectos del régimen de tenencia de la tierra y fragmentación de las explotaciones agrícolas sobre el desarrollo agrario, quisiera apuntar que en el documento se coincidió en el sentido de que el desarrollo debía ser entendido como un proceso conjunto de crecimiento y equidad.


Afirmamos que las políticas de desarrollo agrícola emprendidas por los países en desarrollo, así como sus logros en construcciones de infraestructura rural y de promoción del bienestar de la pobla ción rural, hoy estaban seriamente amenazados por las políticas contraccionistas de impuestos para el pago de la deuda externa.

Propusimos que la FAO inicie un análisis de los efectos que, la depresión y el peso de la deuda externa, genera en ta estructura agraria de los países subdesarrollados.

En cuanto al punto 9: Estrategias y Requisitos para mejorar la Producción de raíces, tubérculos y plátanos de cocinar, apoyamos los trabajos que la FAO impulsa para fomentar la producción de estos productos autóctonos, como una alternativa para alcanzar un nivel satisfactorio de seguridad alimentaria en diferentes países de Africa, Asia y América Latina.

Mencionamos que en México la producción de yuca por ejemplo está considerada como un proyecto estratégico, y que mi Gobierno actualmente impulsa investigaciones para la producción industrial de harina de yuca, que permite introducirlas como pienso, a fin de sustituir importaciones y lograr un mejor nivel de autosuficiencias alimentarias.

En este aspecto quisiera referirme concretamente a la producción de raíces, tubérculos y plantas, referido también en el punto IV del documento del Comité de Seguridad Alimentaria, en donde podríamos convenir que la importancia de raíces, tubérculos y plátanos tienen para la seguridad alimentaria en las regiones de los países en desarrollo es una opción necesaria para contrarrestar la desnu trición en estas regiones a partir de un aprovechamiento del potencial productivo y de una dependen Cia menor de los granos, cuyos excedentes existen básicamente en los países desarrollados.

En México estos cultivos no han sido reemplazados por los cereales, su producción ha sido con la demanda en el mercado, y, por el contrario, la papa puede reemplazar inclusive a los mismos cereales en el futuro por ser cultivos muy rentables.

En resumen, Sr. Presidente, reitero la posición presentada por mi delegación esta mañana, en el sentido de que dentro de lo que significa la seguridad alimentaria, tenemos que destacar la importancia intrínseca de estos productos. La sociedad de la mayoría de los países del mundo han vivido y se han nutrido por cientos de miles de años gracias a la producción autóctona.

Por otra parte, quisiera exhortar el papel que la mujer campesina ha desempeñado en las labores del campo como parte fundamental e indisoluble del proceso de desarrollo de la agricultura, reconocimien to que solicitamos como un deber dejar asentada en nuestros trabajos.

Quisiera también señalar que en el tema anterior, o sea dentro del tema de Seguridad Alimentaria, nos referimos a nuestras opiniones sobre la incongruencia inoportuna de la creación de un grupo de alto nivel; pero lo volveremos a tratar en el tema del Comité de Agricultura, debido a que el informe ahora analizado refleja el poco peso y el rechazo que se hizo de este proyecto durante los trabajos del Comité de Agricultura.

Leopoldo ARIZA HIDALGO (Cuba): Queremos primeramente, Sr. Presidente, saludar a la secretaría por la presentación de este documento, resumen del Comité de Agricultura pasado. Queremos también saludar al Sr. Walton por la presentación, objetiva y sintética que hizo, y además debemos también hacer un reconocimiento a la labor del Sr. Bommer,quien por su experiencia y conocimiento pleno de los mecanismos de trabajo de la FAO dirigió admirablemente como Presidente el Comité de Agricultura que estamos analizando.

También haciendo justicia apreciamos la paciencia del profesor Islam y del Sr. Bonte-Friedheim que en todo momento estuvo atento a una discusión muy profunda y amplia en este Comité de Agricultura y que con esta forma de trabajo de grupo logró el objetivo de llevar adelante un gran informe.

Nosotros consideramos, Sr. Presidente, nuestra delegación, nuestro país considera todo aquello que se relaciona con el análisis causas y consecuencias de esa situación y perspectivas agrarias de gran importancia porque, como un país eminentemente agrario, nuestra delegación estuvo asistida


por el Director Tecnico del Ministerio de Agricultura. Queremos también poner en evidencia en este Comité que las discusiones no fueron sencillas, no fueron tampoco mera retórica, hubo discusiones fuertes y profundas, hubo discrepancias porque estamos en el seno de un organismo multilateral y todos los criterios valen. De esta forma creemos que el COAG resultó ser uno de los Comité de Agri cultura más combativos y más profundos de los últimos tiempos, ya que se discutieron temas muy interesantes; por lo que nuestra delegación quiere adelantar que apoya en todas sus partes el informe del Comité de Agricultura en este 91 período de sesiones del Consejo.

Queremos sencillamente hacer alguna referencia de lo que este documento,de tanta extensión, que recoge resumidamente una discusión y que da la medida de la importancia que todas las delegaciones dieron a los temas que se trataron.

El COAG estuvo de acuerdo con la evaluación de las tendencias a largo plazo contenidas en el documento, e hizo particular hincapié en los indicios de un nuevo desequilibrio en el sistema alimentario mundial con excedentes, en algunos paísesy algunas escaseces crónicas en otros, y en la amenaza que representa para el medio ambiente la contaminación y la degradación de los recursos naturales. Este fue uno de los párrafos que nosotros consideramos y unas de las discusiones más ricas dentro del COAG. Asimismo se ratificaron los 8 objetivos principales, si bien la importancia relativa de los δ objetivos variaba según los países y las regiones, su alcance era suficientemente universal como para proporcionar el marco básico para los objetivos y programas de labores a plazo medio, párrafo 79.

Este COAG también como dice el informe, hizo hincapié en la necesidad de mejorar el ambiente comercial internacional para los productos agrícolas en la importancia de que se examine el comercio agrícola durante la ronda de negociaciones comerciales multilaterales, organizada en Punta del Este bajo los auspicios del Acuerdo General sobre Aranceles Aduaneros.

El COAG puede inclusive en forma, diríamos ligera y poco automática, tratar de evitar que se generen discusiones y símiles en el marco del Comité de Agricultura, pero el Comité de Agricultura constituye el corazón de estas organizaciones, y del corazón tienen que salir muchos canales de riesgo y tienen que entrar también muchas aortas principales para que el cuerpo camine.

Y no podemos, creemos que hay razones inteligentes para exigir en el contexto de un Comité de esta envergadura, limitarnos específicamente a sembrar y a recoger, ya que ese acto de sembrar y recoger cosechas necesita de muchas implicaciones, necesita de la interdependencia socioeconómico financiera y, por qué no política. Todo tiene un contexto.

Este Comité de Agricultura ratificó las prioridades de la Organización en cuanto a los medios de acción y consideró que era esencial mejorar los sistemas de información y reforzar las bases de datos para que la Organización pudiera responder a las necesidades de los Estados Miembros, que cada vez son más numerosos, en lo tocante al análisis de las políticas y el asesoramiento, y a la ejecución de programas de desarrollo.

Si nos damos cuenta de estas cuestiones que son expuestas en 215 párrafos, nos podemos dar cuenta también de la importancia de la discusión que suscitó este Comité de Agricultura. Aquí se ha hablado de cuestiones muy importantes y nosotros coincidimos completamente con los colegas que han expresado la importancia del Códex. Para nosotros el Códex es un trabajo prioritario. Nuestro país representó la coordinación regional de América Latina en los dos últimos períodos anteriores y nuestro país ya prepara la participación de la próxima reunión del Códex.

El Ministro Ramón Dalías, Ministro del Comité de Alta Normalización, atiende directamente en nuestro país el Código Alimentario porque para nuestro país el Códex Alimentarius representa la garantía real de la determinación de la calidad de las normas en los alimentos y de la seguridad alimentaria, el comercio y la salud.

Para nuestro país la salud y la seguridad alimentaria son fundamentales porque nosotros no basamos nuestra filosofía en intereses individuales, sino en intereses sociales. La salud es una cuestión social de nuestro país y el Códex garantiza que podamos, realmente dentro de nuestro contexto, llevar adelante el trabajo.

En los puntos que discutimos en el Comité de Agricultura se puso de manifiesto la importancia de las actividades de este Programa Conjunto FAO/OMS sobre Normas Alimentarias para eliminar los


obstáculos no arancelarios al comercio internacional, para fomentar la protección de los consumidores en el sector de la calidad e inocuidades en los alimentos. Creo que esto es muy importante que lo tengamos presente.

También se subrayó la necesidad de actualizar la legislación y los reglamentos alimentarios para que abarcara la labor de la producción del Codex Alimentarius.

En este punto queremos entrar a considerar lo que algunos colegas han hablado sobre el Código de Conducta de Plaguicidas. Realmente, hemos sido testigos de excepción, junto con otros colegas, aquí, durante tres o cuatro años desde que surgió la idea del Código, las cinco o seis versiones de este Código, seis o cinco versiones que fueron pasando por un tamiz flexibilizante y que, en función de buscar una solución, los países del tercer mundo, aun conscientes de la necesidad de su reforzamiento, aceptamos en principio para poner en movimiento algo que fuera ya una serie de medidas, unas medidas que nos permitieran conocer hasta qué punto estamos controlando los problemas de la calidad y las normas alimentarias, por lo que coincidimos y nos unimos a las delegaciones que han solicitado se produzca un informe.

No estamos planteando aquí hacer una evaluación, creemos que es necesario hacer un primer informe de FAO; se puede analizar si lo incluimos para el próximo Consejo, para el próximo COAG, pero hay que hacer ya un informe y le voy a decir por qué, Sr.Presidente: el Código se está incumpliendo ya en muchos países, por muchas empresas que participaron activamente aquí en la labor flexibilizante del Codex, de la primera versión del Códex.

Tenemos pruebas que no es posible repartir a todos, pero creo que están al alcance de.tpdos. Estas pruebas provienen de una organización no gubernamental cuya sede está-Centro de Enlace para el Medio Ambiente-en Nairobi, Kenya. Esta organización no gubernamental se llama Centro de Enlace para el Medio Ambiente (CEMA).

Este es un informe inmediato que hicieron en junio de 1987 en algunos cuantos países, tanto latinoamericanos como africanos y asiáticos, y con pruebas gráficas de los anuncios, gráficas de los anuncios, sencillamente dando los nombres y exponiendo el afiche que algunos cuantos productos considerados por la OMS de altamente y regularmente peligrosos distribuidos en forma muy ligeramente comerciales, sin hacer ningún tipo de advertencia de la peligrosidad.

Aquí hay fotografías inclusive de muchachos jugando con los envases,aquí hay fotografías de los campesinos sin ningún tipo de indumentaria técnica apropiada, aquí hay inclusive algo muy interesante: por ejemplo, en la India se infringen los artículos 11.1.7 y 11.1.13 del Código FAO ya que no incitan al usuario a que lea la etiqueta no fijando su atención en los símbolos y frases de advertencia. Además el aviso de SEARLE (arriba a la izquierda) y el de HINDUSTAN CIBA-GEIGY (abajo a la izquierda) aseveran la eficacia de los productos sin pruebas, lo cual infringe el artículo 11.1.10. Los productos Crotón (arriba izquierda) y NUVACROM (abajo izquierda) contienen monocrotophos el cual es clasificado como "altamente riesgoso" por la OMS. HILDAM (Arriba derecha) contiene endosulfan el cual ha sido prohibido o severamente restringido en 23 países y está clasificado como "riesgoso" por la OMS.

Esto está llegando a todos los países; se encuentra en la India, aquí están las fotografías de ello. Aquí hay un calendario de Dupont de 1987 que hace propaganda a ocho pesticidas y muestra a una mujer fumigando sin usar ningún equipo protector. La pobre compañera tiene una cara muy bella y la utilizan específicamente para que el impresionismo de la propaganda fuera más asequible. El calendario no contiene frases de advertencia y no estimula la lectura cuidadosa de las etiquetas. Pero, además, este aviso promociona Curaterr de Bayer, (el cual contiene un 3 por ciento de carbofurán clasificado como "moderadamente peligroso"). Pero lo más importante es que se dice que los ganadores que puedan obtener una motocicleta (primer premio), televisiones en color (segundo premio), tocacintas (tercer premio), o estampillas de ahorros a los que compren este producto.

Sencillamente, estamos cayendo en la insensibilidad comercial, sencillamente, productos prohibidos por la OMS que están distribuidos.

Yo no quiero cansar a nuestros colegas del Consejo, pero hay un centenar de pruebas aquí: en Colombia, en Brasil, en Filipinas, en la India, en Pakistán, en Tailandia. Creo que esto demuestra que es necesario que tomemos aquí una resolución referente a hacer un análisis. No pedimos un análisis de cumplimiento, porque no creo que todas estas empresas sean incumplidoras ni creo que todas las


empresas sean incumplidoras. Hay empresas incumplidoras, que hay que señalarlo, y habrá empresas incumplidoras que habrá que reconocerlo, pero creo que estamos a punto de comenzar para que este Código de Conducta empiece a jugar un papel activo. Eso es lo que pedimos sencillamente.

Nosotros, independientemente de eso, creemos que es peor para las empresas que esto se difunda a que nosotros internamente hagamos un análisis y lo circulemos para que ellos tomen conciencia de la situación o le hagan saber a sus empresarios, a sus promotores, a sus agentes de venta toda esta gama general que a veces están específicamente nada más por su salario y por las ganancias comerciales, que tienen que cumplir porque viven en un mundo que tiene que organizarse, que no puede vivir en la anarquía individualista del interés especialmente privado. Creemos que eso hay que hacerlo. Por lo tanto, me uno a los colegas que han planteado que analicemos esta situación con vistas a que el Código de Plaguicidas tenga una utilización real.

Para terminar queremos expresar que este COAG también analizó con bastante profundidad los problemas de la productividad en zonas de tierra seca. Recomendó que la conservación del suelo se organizara sobre la base de cuencas hidrográficas y que se diera alta prioridad a la recogida del agua y al aprovechamiento más eficaz de los recursos hídricos. 0 sea, que se hiciera un análisis práctico; no caigamos en la retórica, es posible que se hiciera esa retórica también. Nadie puede evitar estos deslices de retórica, pero este COAG fue ejemplo de análisis profundo y de discrepancia, inclusive esta delegación discrepó fuertemente con el Dr. Islam y con el Sr. Bonte-Friedheim en algunos puntos de los documentos que han presentado y a los cuales llegamos a análisis de convención.

Subrayó también este COAG la necesidad de dar prioridad a la investigación aplicada; investigación-aplicada quiere decir investigación que se lleve a la tierra, no investigación teorética para dar órdenes y aumentos salariales a los investigadores para producir un tomate cuadrado; lo que queremos tener es. bastante tomate, no un tomate cuadrado que se puede obtener con una biotecnología-que hay que tener cuidado ahora con utilizar la biotecnología como un juguete de invenciones afiebradas-. Lo que hay que buscar es que haya producción para los millones de hambrientos. Eso es lo que nosotros consideramos que es una investigación aplicada a que haya producción.

Hay una cuestión muy importante para nuestra delegación: efectos del régimen de tenencia de la tierra y la fragmentación. Este fue un punto muy discutido, fundamental y profundamente analizado. El Comité estuvo de acuerdo en que una distribución más amplia de la tierra llevaría a un aumento de la producción, de los ingresos y del empleo de los sectores pobres en las zonas rurales, a condición de que se realizaran cambios complementarios en la estructura del servicio de apoyo, en los sistemas de insumos, en las tecnologías que se basaban en las necesidades, capacitadas y recursos de los pequeños agricultores. Este fue un análisis muy interesante. Ahora, a esto hay que ponerle apellido porque estos diagnósticos los venimos haciendo hace 30 años, pero, ¿quién le ha puesto el cascabel al gato? No sabemos todavía quien lo ha puesto.

Aquí es donde nosotros introducimos, aunque se nos diga que estamos politizando, que es necesario entrar a analizar el nuevo orden económico que nos pueda sustentar estructuras que permitan hacer esto, porque en muchos de nuestros países hay intereses, muchos, pero hay también intereses en contra de que se haga esto. Entonces, los intereses, cuando están señalados con signo de dólar, son más poderosos que los intereses de las buenas intenciones.

Se recomendó también, se instó a los países y a la FAO a que realizaran nuevas investigaciones acerca de los derechos de acceso a la tierra a mujeres, un punto muy discutido también y muy analizado, y creemos que fue una gran idea de la FAO introducir el temario en el COAG, que fue la estrategia y los requisitos para mejorar la producción de raíces, tubérculos y plátanos de cocinar.

Este Comité subrayó la necesidad de mejorar la producción de esos cultivos en vista de su efectiva y potencial contribución a la autosuficiencia nacional en alimentos, particularmente en las regiones tropicales, donde muchos de estos cultivos son suficientes, y convino en que debían continuarse los estudios sobre muchas especies tradicionales de raíces menos conocidas. Aquí juegan un papel fundamental los recursos fitogenéticos y la Comisión Fitogenética para individualizar muchas variedades que hoy están subutilizadas y que tienen posibilidades de acuerdo con estudios de suelo, con estudios de clima, de acuerdo con estudios, inclusive, de fuerzas de trabajo o no, y pueden ser útiles.


Nosotros queremos finalizar para no cansarles, diciéndoles que, independientemente de todo este análisis, siempre queda un descontento poco generalizado porque no se comprende cómo, en la medida en que penetra la técnica en el mundo, en que la ciencia y la maquinaria penetra en los campos, se amplían las fronteras del hambre y de la miseria; eso no se entiende, y va a ser más difícil hacerles entender a los campesinos que tienen otro modelo de pensar diferente al nuestro. ¿Cómo vamos a ver el deficiente crecimiento de la producción agropecuaria? ¿Cómo se mantiene la concentración de la tierra y se concentra la técnica también en las mismas pocas manos que detentan las mayores y mejores tierras? Esto crea un descontento en la discusión porque esto no pudo definirse así. Todo esto rebasa ya el ámbito de la discusión académica. Nos parece necesario documentar la existencia de un grave problema agrario.

Existen graves problemas agrarios hoy en nuestros países e inclusive está viéndose arribar ya a los países desarrollados por problemas internos de su estructura. Creemos que urge averiguar sus características para que no nos sorprenda la situación que tenemos hoy. Vamos a empezar a averiguar las características del problema agrario que se nos viene encima.

Los obstáculos ¿cuáles son y hasta qué punto la estructura agraria ha frenado el desarrollo agrícola en general y cómo pueden cambiarse estas relaciones? Por esta situación, no creemos realmente que asesores o grupos independientes-que no sé de qué grupo van a ser independientes, porque no creo que ningún ser humano, por lo menos ningún funcionario que esté representando aquí-sean independientes de nada. Todos tenemos una línea. Además, ¿por qué queremos pedir una independencia? ¿Quiere decir que no confiamos en que la representatividad gubernamental que está sentada aquí pueda llevar seriamente a cabo los análisis? No entendemos eso de seguir fraccionando, por un lado nos queremos unir y por otro nos queremos fraccionar; ya es este el tercer Comité o Grupo Asesor que nos están queriendo plantear, sin mucho análisis. Yo, por lo menos, estoy dispuesto a oír todos los planteamientos y todas las propuestas que se quieran hacer, pero no creo que pueda rebasarse la estructura de este Comité con planteamientos fuera de tiempo.

No creo que, por muy alto nivel que tenga este grupo, se puedan resolver estos problemas que no son problemas eminentemente administrativos.

La diversidad, Señor Presidente, la diversidad de pensamiento que hay en estos eventos multilaterales que con esfuerzo civilizado tratamos de unificar sin presiones, tratamos de llegar a la utilización de todos aquellos criterios que permitan unirnos para, colectivamente, multilateralmente, resolver los problemas de la humanidad; creo que deben privar sobre los intereses egoístas, individuales. Podemos llevar adelante de esa forma este 91°Consejo y aprobar en todas sus partes este gran documento del Comité de Agricultura.

Giulio Cesare GARAGUSO (Italie): Monsieur le Président, je serai très bref pour ne pas contribuer à retarder la clôture de la séance, et parce que nous avons déjà eu l'occasion de participer de manière approfondie aux débats au sein du COAG d'autant plus que nous en avons eu une synthèse très claire et efficace par le rapporteur que je voudrais féliciter. Le document est excellent et nous l'approuvons dans son ensemble.

Nous avons remarqué avec satisfaction, et nous en remercions les auteurs, que le rapport a souligné en particulier la position de l'Italie en tant que bailleur de fonds à titre fiduciaire. Je voudrais remercier aussi le délégué du Zań©re pour les aimables expressions qu'il a eues à ce sujet.

Le rapport a souligné aussi l'expérience FAO/Italie très positive pour ce qui a trait au développement rural intégré-nous avons toujours appuyé cette vision globale du développement et en particulier du développement rural; l'expérience également très positive et favorable à l'Italie ayant trait à la protection de ressources génétiques animales, et en particulier la collaboration FAO/Italie pour l'institution de la FAO/Bull Semen Bank. C'est un programme, bien que connaissant de petites difficultés d'exécution dans les domaines sanitaire et douanier, qui a démarré et qui marche.

Pour ce qui a trait aux activités futures, je voudrais souligner trois points:

Premièrement, la nécessité de garder un degré suffisant de flexibilité dans les programmes pour faire face à des circonstances et des contingences imprévues.


Deuxièmement la nécessité de donner une impulsion et une expansion à tout ce qui a trait à la recherche et à la formation dans le domaine agricole-formation pour la recherche, formation de formateurs en particulier.

Troisièmement, parmi les thèmes proposés au paragraphe 213 du document CL 91/9, je voudrais souligner tout particulièrement la participation de la population au développement agricole et rural. C'est un sujet qui est pour nous d'une importance primordiale et qui est d'ailleurs de plus en plus débattu dans toute la famille des institutions de 1 ONU qui s'occupent du développement économique et social. L'on ne saurait suffisamment répéter que développement veut dire, avant tout et après tout, mobilisation des ressources humaines et participation de toutes les couches de la population qui sont intéressées au développement économique et social. Bénéficiaires et acteurs du développement coïncident. 11 ne faut jamais oublier-et cela est surtout vrai en agriculture-que chez la plupart des populations qui travaillent dans l'agriculture, ce sont en grande partie les femmes qui le font. J'ai passé quatre ans et demi au Mozambique et l'on sait bien que, dans ce pays, 80 pour cent de la population est dans l'agriculture et qu'une grande fraction de cette population est constituée par les femmes. Nous attachons beaucoup d'importance à cet aspect du développement: femmes dans le développement, développement des femmes. Dans la toute récente loi que j'ai mentionnée l'autre jour, nous avons même disposé qu'il y aura, à la Direction générale pour la coopération et le développement, un bureau particulier compétent pour toutes les questions touchant le développement des femmes. Nous sommes donc d'accord avec tout programme d'activités de la FAO dans ce domaine, notamment, par le truchement d'organisations telles que le mouvement coopératif international. Je ne sais pas si le représentant de l'Alliance coopérative internationale, qui est observateur dans cette salle, voudra bien intervenir à ce sujet. De toute façon, je me devais de souligner ce point.

Igor MARINCEK (Suisse): Monsieur le Président, je vous remercie de nous donner la parole à cette heure tardive. J'aimerais parler de deux points:

D'abord, je voudrais remercier M. Walton de sa brillante présentation de ce point de l'ordre du jour. Ma délégation partage son avis selon lequel les actions sur le terrain de la FAO sont la suite logique des activités de conseiller en matière de politique de notre Organisation. Nous aimerions même tourner cette phrase et souligner qu'à notre avis, en matière de politique, les conseils devraient précéder autant que possible les activités techniques de la FAO dans un pays donné, afin d'aider à préparer un cadre favorable à celles-ci.

Deuxièmement, j'aimerais rappeler que ma délégation a pris la parole lors de la dernière session du COAG pour souligner l'importance qu'elle attache au dialogue à l'intérieur des pays entre gouvernements d'une part et organisations paysannes de l'autre

De l'avis de ma délégation, la réalisation des huit grands objectifs de l'agriculture mondiale-lesquels nous soutenons-nécessite, en première instance, un cadre favorable au développement à l'intérieur de chaque pays. Ce cadre serait fourni par la mise en oeuvre d'une bonne politique agricole et rurale dans chaque pays. Cette politique doit inciter à la production et elle doit être capable de mobiliser les ressources locales, tant humaines que matérielles. Pour être réaliste, et donc acceptée par les populations, une politique agricole doit être basée sur le dialogue et une coopération étroite entre les gouvernements, d'une part, et les organisations paysannes, de l'autre. Pour favoriser ce genre de dialogue, nous suggérons de considérer une meilleure intégration des milieux paysans dans notre Organisation, par exemple, par la création d'un comité pour les organisations paysannes qui ferait rapport au Conseil. La création d'un comité au sein de l'Organisation constituerait sans doute un encouragement important pour les organisations paysannes dans le monde entier. Elle montrerait clairement que nous prenons leur voix au sérieux.

Rappelons-nous qu'avec l’adoption,en 1979 du Programme d'action de la Conférence sur la réforme agraire et le développement rural, appelé également Charte paysanne, nous avons déjà adopté en sorte un code de conduite pour la coopération entre gouvernements, d'une part, et organisations paysannes, d'autre part, pour l'élaboration et l'application de toute politique agricole. Il s'agit maintenant de donner une suite pratique à ce programme d'action. Nous proposons donc que la création d'un comité pour les organisations paysannes soit examinée par le groupe d'experts de haut niveau qui, comme nous le souhaitons, sera établi à la prochaine Conférence.


Hermann REDL (Observer for Austria): Having listened to your recommendation, Mr. Chairman, I shall try to be very brief. Document CL 91/9 reflects the results of the Ninth Session of the Committee on Agriculture. The medium-and long-term development of food and agriculture is undoubtedly to be seen in the light of the Chernobyl accident as well as the pollution of air, soil and water. It would be too simple to think that such tasks are carried out by other United Nations agencies. The pollution of air, soil and water and their implications are serious problems which will have to be faced in future. After the Chernobyl accident the problem of the rate of damage both in agriculture and forestry seems to be particularly topical.

Education and training as an element of rural development deserves our full support. Agricultural extension work should be strengthened in future. The protection of the soil also deserves our full attention. The protection of the environment should be included in the activities of FAO in close cooperation with other United Nations agencies.

Concerning future activities, especially the possible topics as laid down in paragraph 213 of the document in front of us, I would like to underline that we support the people's participation in agricultural and rural development, in environmental aspects of agricultural development, biotechnology, agriculture and energy, and rural development.

With reference to the FAO Commodity Review and Out look, Austria, like other speakers, would very much appreciate it if the data on employment and tax revenue in the tobacco industry could be included in this report. The updating of the FAO publication published in 1983, The Economic Significance of Tobacco, would also be appreciated.

Giuseppe VASTA (Observateur de l'OCDE): Monsieur le Président, je vous remercie d'avoir bien voulu me donner la parole malgré l'heure tardive.

Je désire féliciter et remercier M.Walton pour son excellente présentation du rapport du COAG et le Secrétariat pour la qualité de ce document.

Parmi les questions traitées au sein de la 9ème session du Comité de l'agriculture, encore une fois, le problème de la malnutrition m'a touché. Cette question revient souvent, et à juste titre, comme un leitmotiv mais, malheureusement, son importance ne reçoit pas toujours la juste considération qu'elle mérite.

En effet, si du point de vue physio-biologique, nous sommes ce que nous mangeons, des erreurs dans l'alimentation, surtout celle des enfants, peuvent causer de terribles maladies avec, entre autres, des dégâts irréversibles au niveau du cerveau et du système nerveux en général.

Cette matière mérite donc toute priorité et il ne faut pas se préoccuper de le répéter car "repetita iuvant".

Le problème de la malnutrition est complexe. Il ne s'agit pas seulement de se préoccuper de la quantité mais surtout de la qualité des aliments, de leur contenu en principes nutritifs essentiels, de leur hygiène, de leur état de conservation, etc. D'où la nécessité d'une sérieuse éducation alimentaire, d'une surveillance en profondeur et de l'application des normes qui existent mais ne sont pas toujours respectées.

A ce sujet, je me permets d'attirer l'attention sur les normes qui concernent aussi les fruits et légumes et les emballages.

Le paragraphe 131 du rapport met en évidence l'encouragement donné par le COAG à la FAO pour coopérer avec l'OCDE au sujet de la normalisation des fruits et légumes et des emballages. Tout pays membre de la FAO peutparticiper aux travaux de l'OCDE en matière de normalisation. Ceux qui s'occupent de l'éducation dans le domaine de la nutrition doivent être considérés comme de vrais missionnaires car ils prêchent de grandes vérités que la science met à notre disposition.

L'indifférence à l'égard de ce problème n'est pas admissible et doit être considérée, là où elle existe, comme l'un des péchés les plus graves de l'humanité.

J'espère vivement que la FAO pourra réaliser des progrès dans ce secteur avec l'aide des moyens dont elle dispose, en renforçant l'éducation, la formation et la vulgarisation.


Surtout, n'oublions pas que la maladie et la mort peuvent être causées soit par la sous-alimentation, soit par la suralimentation. A ce sujet, je ne prolongerai pas mon intervention mais j'aime à répéter l'aphorisme latin: "intelligenti pauca".

Mrs Sarojini RENGAM (Observer for the International Organization of Consumers' Unions): My Organization is a federation of consumer organizations dedicated to the protection and promotion of consumer rights worldwide through information exchange, research and education activities. It is an independent, non-profit foundation which links the activities of some 150 consumer organizations in over 50 countries.

I wish to relate my brief remarks to the International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides referred to in the Report of the Ninth Session on the Committee on Agriculture CL 91/9, page 4. My Organization has been actively involved in the development of the existing Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides. By ethological extension of this effort, once the Code was adopted we embarked on monitoring its implementation as endorsed in Articles 1.6 and 12.3 of the Code.

As part of this effort IOCU produced a monitoring guide, "Pesticide Problems, a Citizen's Action Guide to the International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides." The guide makes the Code more accessible to NGOs and helps them monitor its implementation. The guide has been used extensively both by IOCU and the Environment Liaison Centre in Nairobi as the basis for monitoring the implementation of the Code, which we have made available to the FAO delegates and the Secretariat.

The monitoring actually has taken place in 12 developing countries and so far the results show clearly that the Code has not been implemented fully, and that many of the Articles of the Code have been infringed.

We, therefore, support the views of the delegations of Colombia, Tanzania, Zambia and Cuba that the Code be reviewed and strengthened this year as recommended at the 23rd Session of the FAO Conference, and we further support the recommendations of the delegation of Zambia and Malaysia that prior informed consent be reinstated in the Code as a means of helping the importing countries deal with the influx of dangerous pesticides and that the FAO Code be made mandatory by the incorporation of its provisions into national legislation as soon as possible with special attention being given to Articles 7.1 7.2 and 7.5. In the interim while national legislation is pending the pesticide industry should take much more seriously its responsibilities under the FAO Code by phasing out the distribution and sale of the most hazardous products in market areas where they cannot possibly be used safely.

LE PRESIDENT: Je voudrais annoncer aux membres du Conseil que le délégué des Philippines, en raison d'un contretemps, a accepté que sa déclaration soit incluse au procès-verbal. Cela sera donc fait.

Horacio CARANDANG (Philippines): The Philippine Delegation has participated in the COAG session and endorses the recommendations of the report.

The Philippine Delegation supports the view by many delegations among them Tanzania, Colombia, Cuba, that a review of the implementation of the Code on Pesticides is now necessary. The Philippine Delegation appreciates the fact that the ADG of the Agriculture Department agreed during the last COAG session that the matter will be included in the agenda of the Council session before the Conference. As the report of the Conference indicated, the review would include the possible inclusion of PIC on the Code.


But more important than a report on the implementation, the Council should call on countries to implement the Code on Pesticides. The report of the NGOs on the implementation of the Code in some countries show that some steps are being undertaken by some countries to pass national legislation implementing various provisions of the Code. But more needs to be done. Numerous violations of the Code have been reported. In any case the Philippine Delegation believes that the Council and FAO should exert every effort to make the Code known so that countries can take the appropriate steps to implement it.1/

DEPUTY DIRECTOR-GENERAL: May I first deal with one small procedural point before passing the microphone to my colleagues to deal with the substantive questions.

A few speakers expressed disappointment that the summary at the beginning of the report of COAG did not include certain points, which they then recalled. I would like to explain that the section headed "Matters requiring the attention of the Council", has always been limited to questions on which the COAG Committee as a whole expressed a view or a recommendation. It has not been the practice to include in this section a reflection of points raised by one group of countries or one member of COAG or another.

I think that the most important single point that was mentioned was the fact that due to the late receipt of the document on the Summary Programme of Work and Budget some members of COAG had not been able to express definitively their government's views on the recommended priorities and programmes. In COAG itself, in a spirit of conciliation, a form of words was adopted in certain paragraphs of the report, "The Committee in general endorsed", etc. That wording has been faithfully reflected in the summary at the beginning of "Matters requiring the attention of the Council", and we believe that the use of the exact words would adequately convey the agreement that was reached on this matter in COAG itself.

Nurul ISLAM (Assistant Director-General, Economic and Social Policy Department): I have very few queries to respond to. Firstly, on the question of FAO's future work on tobacco, two suggestions have been made. The first was that FAO should update the earlier study on tobacco and, secondly, that the Commodity Review and Outlook 1986/87 should include information on tobacco, especially as a contribution to employment and government revenues.

The 1986/87 edition of the annual commodity review and outlook is already at the printers. Therefore, it would be difficult to extend its coverage to tobacco at this stage. We shall, however, do our best to include such data as employment and tax revenues in succeeding issues.

Secondly, we have already started work on preparation of projections and assessments of prospects of land, supply and trade in tobacco. We hope that this assessment can also be included in next year's commodity outlook and review.

Thirdly, as requested by several delegates at the COAG meeting as well as in this Council, we are planning to update the 1983 report on the economic significance of tobacco as part of our plans for 1988.

The question was raised about FAO's involvement in the programme for the elimination of absolute poverty in Latin America launched by the President of Colombia. I would like to inform the Council that FAO was represented in the preparatory Ministerial meeting held in Colombia last week, and FAO offered to assist in the preparation for the summit in areas of its own competence.

On the question of toxins in food raised by the distinguished delegate from India, I would like to inform the Council that the March 1987 meeting of the Codex Committee on Food Additives discussed the problem of aflatoxins in food and feeds, and it will be further discussed in the next meeting in June of the Codex Alimentarius Commission. Interim levels have been recommended by the Codex Committee on

1/ Statement inserted in the Verbatim records on request


Food Additives, as well as the need for uniform methods of analysis on detoxification at the FAO/WHO/UNEP Second International Conference on microtoxins will discuss current methodological research on this matter this month to provide up-to-date advice on this and to give further research suggestions for possible methods of detoxification. The Conference papers, report and subsequent follow-up will provide guidance. We also hope to give project assistance in this area.

Lastly, on the matter of safe limits for radionuclides I have already reported to the Council yesterday on the current state of progress in this matter. We are actively cooperating with the WHO in this matter. Before the safe limits can be recommended to the Codex Commission WHO needs to complete its ongoing work on the dietary pattern in order to calculate the permissible levels in diet as consumed. On the completion of that work later this year it is hoped that the FAO and WHO will meetat end of the year jointly to recommend safe limits, which would first be adopted by the World Health Assembly and then submitted to the Codex Alimentarius. However, I would like to inform the Council that in the meanwhile the FAO recommended safe levels are being used by a number of countries since they are the only limits so far internationally available.

C.H. BONTE-FRIEDHEIM (Assistant Director-General, Agriculture Department): There were a number of comments made during the discussion and a number of questions were raised on the discussion in COAG.

First of all, I would like to state that during the COAG discussion the delegate of the Philippines made a request to the FAO Secretariat to put before the Council this year a report on the implementation of the Code of Conduct. At that time the Secretariat of FAO promised to prepare such a report, and I repeat here that the Secretariat will stick to that promise and have the report at the next meeting of the Council. At that time also it was stated that we were not certain how much information would be available and whether the information would be sufficient for a complete report. We still have some doubts, but the promise is there.

In answer to the questions raised by Colombia, so far FAO has received sixty replies on the question, ten of them received only last week.

The second question asked by Colombia was in regard to the Trust Fund from Japan. I can say that the Trust Fund is still under discussion and it will concern in particular the countries of Asia. However, for Africa FAO is developing a UNDP-financed regional project.

The third question was regarding the request from countries for assistance from FAO. There have been more than 25 requests received from countries for different types of assistance. Some of these requests were for assistance on how to implement the specific position of the Code. Others were on how to implement the Code within the national laws. So far FAO has prepared three TCP projects to assist in the implementation.

With regard to the Code, I can also inform the Council that we are aware of the very useful role played by a number of NGOs, and within FAO we are looking into ways and means of how to involve NGOs in the follow-up work, including the monitoring of the Code.

There was a question from Turkey with regard to a possible early warning system in respect of outbreaks of animal diseases. A draft has been prepared and is under discussion, and will be submitted very soon to the authorities in Turkey.

Mr Chairman, I would like to thank those countries that offered to share their experience on a TCDC basis, especially Zambia with regard to biogas, which is of great importance to FAO, Turkey with regard to drylands, and Canada with regard to their study on tobacco. We from the Secretariat enjoyed the many favourable comments and explanations with regard to some of the technical papers discussed at COAG. We have noted the wish of a number of countries to include in all further studies bananas together with roots, tubers and plantains. Finally, I would like to thank those countries that have indicated some of the technical papers to be discussed at the next COAG meeting.


LE PRESIDENT: Pour clore ce débat très intéressant, je voudrais pour ma part signaler que le Conseil dans son ensemble s'est félicité de la qualité du travail accompli par le Comité de l'agriculture et du rapport qui a été présenté par ce Comité qui, si j'ai bien compris, a reçu une large adhésion de la part du Conseil, notamment en ce qui concerne les huit objectifs principaux qui doivent sous-tendre le développement de l'agriculture mondiale.

Quelques délégués ont souligné l'importance de ce comité, l'impact de ses travaux sur la stratégie à moyen et à long terme de la FAO et ont suggéré le renforcement de ce comité qui est au centre des réflexions sur les activités de la FAO.

En ce qui concerne les points qui semblent avoir retenu spécialement l'attention de Messieurs les Délégués, on peut signaler 1 ' intérêt attaché à une application du code de conduite approuvé par la Conférence générale de 1985 de la FAO, ainsi qu'au renforcement, dans le cadre des activités de la FAO, des aspects nutritionnels; ceci a retenu l'attention de nombreux délégués: fixation des normes, surveillance des produits alimentaires, Codex Alimentarius, etc.

Dans les points soulignés ce matin et cet après-midi par le Canada, il faut noter le rôle de la femme dans le développement agricole et dans l'agriculture qui semble être un dénominateur commun à beaucoup d'interventions auquel on demande à la FAO d'accorder une attention particulière.

Enfin, je crois que de nombreux délégués ont signalé l'intérêt attaché à l'accroissement de la productivité dans les régions sèches par le biais d'une conservation judicieuse des eaux et du sol, ainsi que par le biais d'actions intégrées dans le cadre d'un développement rural qui fasse participer la population agricole et rurale au développement car toute action de développement est une action collective à laquelle doit participer la population avant toute autre structure.

Je crois que nous ne pouvons que nous féliciter de ce rapport du Comité de l'agriculture suivre l'application, de manière à pouvoir renforcer, après réflexions approfondies, les. activités de la FAO dans l'avenir.

The meeting rose at 18 hours
La séance est levée à 18 heures
Se levanta la sesión a las 18 horas

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