December 1996




Fourteenth Session

Rome, 7-11 April 1997, Red Room



1.Election of Chairman and Vice-Chairmen

2.Adoption of Agenda and Timetable for the Session


3.    Review of FAO Programmes in the Food and Agricultural Sector in the Light of the Outcome of the World Food Summit

The Committee on Agriculture, in accordance with its terms of reference, is to review the implementation of the Programme of Work of the Organization in areas falling within its competence. The Committee also has been traditionally invited to provide its views to assist in the preparation of the Organization-wide Medium-term Plan and the next Programme of Work and Budget.

Within the limitations of size requested by Governing Bodies to reduce meeting costs and eliminate undue duplication, the documentation will seek to provide the Committee with selective information on salient achievements in implementing the present Programme of Work and Budget 1996-97, Programmes 2.1, 2.2 and 2.5. As regards future activities, the medium-term priority framework, in particular taking account of the outcome of the World Food Summit, and appropriate extracts of the Summary programme of Work and Budget 1998-99, will also be presented to facilitate the task of the Committee in making its recommendations.


4.    Management of Livestock Resources

The paper examines the socio-economic contribution of livestock in a changing development context, its potential to contribute to meeting the demand for food from a growing human, and increasingly urban, population, and highlights the critical issues and conflicts that need to be addressed. The trend towards more specialization of livestock production systems, greater productionefficiency and the increasing importance of monogastric (poultry and pigs) production is already being seen. The paper presents a model of the direction of livestock development which highlights critical areas for intervention.

A forward-looking, pro-active, focus primarily on food security through livestock production is proposed, without losing sight of the need to sustain and develop livestock production in agricultural systems that are under threat and pressure. A number of clearly defined "thrusts" with quantifiable benefits, and that concentrate on efficient resource management, are presented for FAO to assist member countries develop their potential for livestock development. This would be achieved through adopting a holistic 'systems' approach, technology development, and by providing countries with a rational basis for decision-making through improved access to information and guidelines for policy development. Linkages would be developed within FAO, with international agencies such as ILRI, and with potential international donors. COAG's guidance will be sought on the proposed focus and approach, the issues raised and their implications for FAO's work.


5.    Rural Development with Particular Emphasis on Land Tenure and Off-Farm Income

The phenomenon of the dynamic relationship between land tenure change and off-farm employment is placed within its historical context, illustrated with case studies. Particular attention is given to the on-going economic and political liberalization and market economy development of the present decade, also reflected in the changing gender and age structure of agricultural populations. Data are given on the changing character of labour and factor markets, on where off-farm labourers are working, on remittances and investments, and how these are reflected in land tenure and land resource use.

The paper then presents a new model where farming is increasingly becoming a part-time, diversified business enterprise that maximises household income in marginal economic situations. It also demonstrates adaptive strategies developed by rural populations for increasing capacity through income diversification, including spontaneous changes in land tenure to accommodate these new strategies.

In conclusion an assessment of off-farm employment on rural development and food security is presented. Among the issues addressed are: (1) Effect of off-farm employment on agricultural growth; (2) increasing land tenure flexibility and developments in land tenure reform and Land Information Systems (LIS); and (3) Future and on-going FAO initiatives concerning the relationship between labour and resource markets.


6.    Review of Standards for Plant Quarantine Harmonization

Two Standards, Guidelines for Surveillance and Export Certification System, will be submitted to COAG for recommendation for adoption through Council to Conference. One additional Standard, Requirements for the Establishment of Pest Free Production Sites, has been sent to countries for comments and, if possible, will be submitted to COAG.

7.    Revision of the International Plant Protection Convention

A Government Consultation will be held from 13-17 January 1997 at FAO, Rome, to discuss the draft text of the revised Convention. If agreement on the revised text is reached at this Consultation it will be submitted to COAG for comment and recommendation for adoption throughCouncil to Conference. If agreement is not reached on a text, COAG will be asked to review developments.


8.    Recommendations of the Ad Hoc Group of Experts on Animal Genetic Resources

COAG will be asked to consider in detail recommendations by the Ad Hoc Group of Experts to prepare the future work of the Animal Genetic Resources Intergovernmental Technical Working Group of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA), as requested by the Twenty-eighth Session of the Conference (November 1995) and the Third Extraordinary Session of the CGRFA (December 1996).

9. Other Business

10. Date and Place of Next Session


11. Adoption of Report