February 1997




Fourteenth Session

Rome, 7-11 April 1997, Red Room




Item 3 of the Provisional Agenda






Programme 2.1.1 Natural Resources 7-16

Programme 2.1.2 Crops 17-21

Programme 2.1.3 Livestock 22-25

Programme 2.1.4 Agricultural Support Systems 26-31

Programme 2.1.5 Agricultural Applications of Isotopes and Biotechnology 32-33


Programme 2.2.1 Nutrition 34-39

Programme 2.2.2 Food and Agricultural Information 40-50

Programme 2.2.3 Agriculture and Economic Development Analysis 51-55

Programme 2.2.4 Food and Agricultural Policy 56-60


Programme 2.5.1 Technology Development and Transfer 61-64

Programme 2.5.2 Women in Development and People's Participation 65-69

Programme 2.5.3 Rural Development and Land Tenure 70-72

Programme 2.5.4 Environmental Information Management 73

Programme 2.5.5 Coordination and Promotion of Sustainable Development 74

Programme 2.5.6 Food Production in Support of Food Security in LIFDCs 75-79


(i) Major Programme 3.1: Policy Assistance 80-86

(ii) Major Programme 3.2: Support to Investment 87-90

(iii) Major Programme 3.3: Field Operations 91-97




Natural Resources 108-114

Crops 115-121

Livestock 122-135

Agricultural Support Systems 136-143

Agricultural Applications of Isotopes and Biotechnology 144


Nutrition 145-150

Food and Agricultural Information 151-152

WAICENT 153-155

AGRIS, CARIS 156-157

Agriculture and Economic Development Analysis 158-163

Food and Agricultural Policy 164-169

Policy Assistance 170-172


Research, Extension and Training 173

Women and Population 174-176

Rural Development 177



1.The Committee on Agriculture is responsible for reviewing achievements under the technical activities falling under its mandate, which are now spread over three Major Programmes of the Organization: 2.1. Agricultural Production and Support Systems, 2.2. Food and Agriculture Policy and Development and 2.5. Contributions to Sustainable Development and Special Programme Thrusts. Conference and Council receive two major documents, the Programme Implementation Report and the Programme Evaluation Report which have Organization-wide coverage. To avoid unnecessary duplication, the present document reports, on a selective basis, on major achievements under the above Major Programmes to facilitate the Committee's task in advising the Council on progress made in implementation, including eventual problems encountered during this process.

2.There were a number of special circumstances affecting programme implementation in the 1996-97 biennium. In the first instance, at its last session in October 1995, the Conference approved an overall budget level for the present biennium of US $650 million against the zero-growth proposals in the Programme of Work and Budget document totalling nearly US $707 million, entailing the need to identify reductions worth US $57 million. Adjustments to the Programme of Work and Budget were considered and approved by the Programme and Finance Committees at their joint meeting in May 1996, as mandated by the Conference itself. The larger part of the required reductions was met by efficiency savings - not affecting the substance of the programme - and cuts under non-technical areas. However, limited cuts also had to be made to technical and economic activities.

3.As the implementation plan included reductions in the overall number of posts, some of which were encumbered and generally outside technical departments, no budgetary provision was made for the associated separation costs; rather the Programme and Finance Committees approved a strategy whereby the savings arising from the larger number of vacant posts at the commencement of the biennium would be applied to this purpose to the extent necessary.

4.It is inevitable that such vacant posts will have an impact upon programme implementation. In the case of the programmes covered by this document, over 16 percent of Regular Programme professional HQ posts were vacant at 1 January 1996. Where possible, the programmes affected by such vacancies are being maintained through the efforts of colleagues supported by additional resources for consultants and other human resource contracts. Thus, while there may be some delays, it is still expected that the programme will be substantially implemented and the approved budget of US $650 million fully committed within the biennium.

5.Furthermore, the full impact of the organizational measures approved by the Council at its Hundred-and-sixth Session of May-June 1994 is being felt as regards decentralized locations, with the five new sub-regional offices now established in Harare, Samoa, Barbados, Budapest and Tunis, and strengthened technical teams in the Regional Offices. Action is under way in early 1997 to fill the remaining vacant posts. Decentralization of operations staff is effective as regards the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (RAP), whereas the other operations groups will be deployed in their respective regions in a phased manner aiming at completion of the transfers of professional posts by the end of 1997.

6.The programmes covered in the present report have been re-examined in the context of preparations of proposals for the Medium-term Plan 1998-2003 and the Programme of Work and Budget 1998-99 (cf. following section on medium-term perspectives and Supplement covering proposals for the Summary Programme of Work and Budget 1998-99). One major aspect is to take account of and duly reflect follow-up requirements to the Declaration and Plan of Action adopted by the World Food Summit.



Programme 2.1.1 Natural Resources

Sub-programmes: and Water Resources Assessment Use and Land Use Planning Nutrition Development and Management Development, Management and Conservation Management, Conservation and Reclamation

7.In the implementation of planned activities, this programme also had to cope with high priority demands, for instance linked to support of the Special Programme on Food Security, especially its water component, and more generally the formulation and backstopping of an active field programme, overstretching available human capacities and financial resources. Requirements for inter-divisional and inter-agency work under are placing high pressures on staff on established posts, leading to excessive reliance at present on APO resources. It may be noted that the achievement of objectives under plant nutrition management is negatively affected by insufficient expertise in the decentralized structures.

8.The World Soil Map on CD-ROM was released under, with new supporting material and interpretations; the Multilingual Soil Database was upgraded and reissued. A land resources database for ten East African countries was developed under the SOTER (soils&terrain database) programme. Two versions of the Crop Environment database (ECOCROP) were released on Internet. The AQUASTAT water resources database was completed for Africa and the Near East, and is being finalized for Asia and the Pacific. Agro-Ecological Zones (AEZ) Guidelines and an updated, user-friendly training version of the AEZ software (Kenya case) were issued. Several regional workshops on AEZ methodology were held.

9.The methodological basis for the Integrated Planning and Management of Land Resources was ensured through issuance of two publications and draft manual sections. Support in the implementation of UNCED/Agenda 21, Chapter 10, was provided to countries and the Task Manager's report prepared.

10.The major conclusions of an expert consultation on Integrated Plant Nutrition Systems (IPNS), were summarized and circulated. Methodologies were developed and applied in several field projects and an Asian network for monitoring plant nutrition management on rice started. Methodology for experimentation and data interpretation in IPNS is being formulated. Case studies on national plant nutrition strategies and fertilizer policies were published. Agronomic and economic results from farmers' associations for crop fertilization were synthesized for an expert consultation.

11.Guidelines on Water Policy Reviews and Reforms were completed jointly with UNDP and the WB. A GIS-based river basin planning model is being developed. Water-use efficiency was promoted through use of computerized tools for crop-water assessment (CROPWAT) and scheme management (SIMIS), application of low-cost, efficient irrigation technologies and training programmes for farmers and irrigation technicians.

12.A medium-term programme on water pollution and environmental effects of irrigation was developed. Guidelines on the Control of Water Pollution from Agriculture were prepared.

13.Active coordination with other partners to promote integrated water development - as in the Global Water Partnership, the ACC Subcommittee on Water, and the Global Freshwater Assessment, certainly would require increasing resources.

14.For the Special Programme on Food Security (SPFS), detailed guidelines were developed for its water development component, an initiative was launched for irrigation technology transfer from Asian to African countries, and water programmes were defined and backstopped in more than 15 projects.

15.Continued support to the International Scheme for the Conservation and Rehabilitation of African Lands (ISCRAL) was provided. Similar regional schemes for Asia and the Pacific (CLASP) and Latin America and the Caribbean (CORTALC) were finalized. Both schemes led to new tools for more efficient soil and water conservation policies, including proven methods from the joint BerneUniversity-FAO-UNEP World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT). The reactivated Asia Soil Conservation Network for the humid tropics stimulated regional and national participation in WOCAT. The CORTALC strategy contributed to preparations for several national soil conservation schemes in the LAC region.

16.Capacity building and support to soil management and conservation networks continued, and several workshops and training courses on soil management and rehabilitation were held. Initial links were established between IPM and Integrated Soil and Nutrient Management programmes.

Programme 2.1.2 Crops

Sub-programmes: and Management of Plant Genetic Resources Management and Diversification and Planting Material Development Protection and Management of Grasslands and Forage Crops

17.Major activities were the on-going intergovernmental negotiations to revise the International Undertaking on PGR in harmony with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) (Resolution C7/93), and the convening of the Fourth International Technical Conference on PGR (Leipzig, Germany, 17-23 June 1996), which considered the first Report on the State of the World's PGR and adopted the Global Plan of Action (GPA) for the Conservation and Sustainable Utilization of PGR and the Leipzig Declaration. The World Information and Early Warning System promoted a worldwide information exchange network to better collect the biodata on PGR conservation and use by countries. Activities of crop-related networks were promoted to preserve and use crop-genetic diversity for food and agriculture.

18.Main activities under were:

*    Two new publication series on crop production: FAO Rice Information, a multi-divisional effort, to promote improved and sustainable rice production, and Integrated Crop Management which addresses primarily crop and grassland production systems of the tropics and subtropics, such as the Brazilian Cerrados.

*    Culminating three years' work by FAO and IITA, a multi-institutional consortium involving 11 countries in West and Central Africa for sustainable development of the favourable savanna ecologies became operational.

*    A new International Task Force on Hybrid Rice was created in collaboration with IRRI to expedite the diffusion of appropriate technologies for developing countries.

*    Agro-ecological crop diversification work included the first TCP project for altitude tolerant oil palm (ATOP) introduction to Malawi. The impact on edible oil and vitamin A deficit is expected to be highly significant with a possible spread to other Central and East African countries

*    Networking expanded from newsletters (Sesame and Safflower, ICMAP) to supporting Interactive Regional Information Systems (IRISs), e.g. the MEDUSA network on Identification, Conservation and Use of Wild Plants in the Mediterranean Region, highly relevant to follow up on GPA/PGR. In 1997 this thrust to support umbrella organizations will be expanded to global systems. A new publication on coconut management will be published in 1997 as well as one on jojoba production in Arabic.

19.    Work under

*    Assisted member countries to build up national and sub-regional seed security systems in regions prone to natural disasters, and assisted in improving on-farm seed production and storage in Africa, particularly for small subsistence farmers.

*    Released and updated seed technology manuals and video films; provided broad information on 200 000 varieties of 4 000 important food crops, lists of seed sources, seed processing equipment; published the World Seed Review.

*    Promoted the formulation and implementation of regional and national seed policies and programmes.

20.Crop Protection activities included:

*    Revision of the International Plant Protection Convention, with completion expected in 1997. Two new International Phytosanitary Standards were developed.

*    In Asia, land border quarantine issues were reviewed. A list of pests of quarantine significance in Southern Africa was prepared. Assistance was given in developing an FAO/South Pacific Commission Plant Protection Information System in the Pacific, accessible through Internet.

*    Intergovernmental Negotiations for an Internationally Legally Binding Instrument for the application of the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade were organized with UNEP. A report on the second questionnaire on implementation of the International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides was published. The FAO/WHO Joint Meeting on Pesticides evaluated some 40 new compounds and made recommendations on Residue Levels.

*    Information was collected on stocks of obsolete pesticides in 35 African and 5 Near East countries and a major pesticide disposal operation (in co-operation with KWF, Germany) was completed in Yemen. Guidelines on disposal, prevention of accumulation, and storage and stock management have also been published, jointly with WHO and UNEP.

*    Assistance was provided to control newly-introduced pests, like water hyacinth in Africa, cotton boll weevil in Latin America, pink mealy bug in the Caribbean, brown peach aphid in Yemen, and citrus leaf miner in the Near East.

*    New regional IPM activities were developed on vegetables and cotton in Asia, the Asian IPM experience was also extended to Africa and Latin America. An IPM facility was initiated with WB, UNDP and UNEP to promote and provide standards for IPM implementation.

*    The desert locust situation was kept under continuous observation. Coordination and assistance were provided for locust operations, particularly in Mauritania and around the Red Sea area. Environmental studies on the effects of locust control continued, while economic studies started.

*    The initial emphasis of the Emergency Prevention System (EMPRES) aims at improving early warning, early reaction and research on the desert locust. A programme to strengthen and support national capabilities and sub-regional co-ordination was begun in the countries around the Red Sea, where desert locust plagues often originate.

*    Survey activities to strengthen early warning were supported, training on surveys provided and communications modernized. To enable early reaction, essential equipment and spare parts were supplied and assistance given to contingency planning and training on aerial control. A considerable part of EMPRES resources was used to extend the programme to West Africa and support surveys there. In Southwest Asia joint border surveys, training and improvement of communication were carried out. Several donors now provide support to EMPRES and other have indicated that they will support the programme in future.

21.Under emphasis was on:

*     Enhancing Food Security - two projects in North Africa approved to monitor and promote rehabilitation and conservation of natural resources and upgrade productivity of rangelands.

*    Promoting diversification and maintenance of biodiversity in difficult environments in Latin America. Use and selection of highly productive Prosopis varieties supported through TCP in Brazil.

*    Integration of fodder/pasture with tree crops, particularly coconuts.

*    Promoting fodder tree germplasm exchange, planning training courses on local seed production.

*    Survey of pastoral systems and utilization options for natural grassland systems through TCDC approaches.

*    Studies on utilization of conserved fodders for year-round livestock feeding.

Programme 2.1.3 Livestock

Sub-programmes: Information Systems, Policy and Planning and Intensive Production and Supply Systems Farming Systems and Extensive Grazing Systems Animal Genetic Diversity Animal Diseases

22.Two important changes have taken place in the past two years:

*    A move away from a discipline-oriented programme structure to a more focused interdisciplinary production systems' approach, integrating activities both between and within groups, and a shift towards a normative focus in all six Sub-programmes.

*    The regrouping of two services dealing with production and processing into one to encourage further interaction between complementary disciplines and strengthen the impact of the Programme on productivity, sustainability and human resource development.

23.Animal health and animal production technologies are targeted towards intensifying livestock production and facilitating optimal use of resources, with a market-orientation to provide high-value food products at low cost. Similarly, the animal health support services have been refocused into four main thrusts, namely infectious transboundary animal diseases, insect vector (tsetse, ticks) and vector-borne diseases (trypanosomiasis, theileriosis, babesiosis, anaplasmosis), productivity limiting diseases, and the creation of an enabling environment for the veterinary services structures. More specifically, work has been designed to:

*    Utilize the scope for intensification in grazing systems through integrated animal production and health strategies and re-establish the balance between livestock production and natural resources.

*    Facilitate adaptation of new animal production and health technologies and strategies to mixed farming systems as these systems grow and specialize in many parts of the world, while counteracting resource degradation and poverty. Programme delivery here includes production systems analysis and the development of intensification strategies for high-potential agro-ecological settings. Particular attention has been paid to short cycle, small livestock because of their potential to contribute to food security in LIFDCs.

*    "De-industrialize" urban land-detached livestock production systems so as to develop regional crop-livestock integration and foster higher production efficiencies, including public health issues such as developing feed and food safety guidelines for the Codex Alimentarius (e.g. to address issues such as BSE).

24.In addition, a rational basis for decision-making through specialized information systems on animal health, animal genetic resources, feeds and production systems, through sectoral policy and planning frameworks and advice on services and institutional development is being addressed. A comprehensive study on interactions between livestock and the environment was finalized, and the design of a generic global livestock information system has been outlined.

25.The Livestock Programme now explicitly focuses on food production, poverty alleviation, resource conservation and public health, in compliance with member countries' objectives. Priorities have been set for prevention and progressive control of transboundary animal diseases, particularly the objective of global rinderpest eradication by the year 2010, while developing through EMPRES the prime elements of early warning, early reaction and co-ordination for epidemic diseases. A global strategy for the management of farm animal genetic resources is being developed, encompassing an information and early warning system, networks for both in-situ development and ex-situ conservation, and a country-based global physical and virtual structure. Work started on an intergovernmental component for animals as the first step in the agenda of the broadened Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture in line with Agenda 21 of UNCED and in harmony with the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Programme 2.1.4 Agricultural Support Systems

Sub-programmes: Systems Development Engineering Management and Agricultural Industries Finance

26.Major achievements include the development of innovative methodologies for farming systems development for improved Food Security for use by researchers, extension workers and policy analysts, documented in the FAO Farm Systems Management Series. An Electronic Conference andFAO/GTZ Workshop are identifying critical issues and future priorities. Pathbreaking research is being conducted on the relationship between farming systems development and HIV/AIDS in Africa, and onchocerciasis in Western Africa. Research on better methods of micro-macro linkages continues, including improving farming systems data for policy makers and developing computerized software. Work has begun on incorporating environmental aspects into farm accounts, and on the farm-level valuation of biodiversity.

27.Major outputs under include: information on private farm machinery supply chains, guidelines and standards for pesticide application equipment and agricultural mechanization strategy formulation; compilation of global shipment figures of agricultural tractors; and analyses of the impact of farm power availability on Food Security. In 1997 emphasis is being given to a global assessment of farm power availability and requirements.

28.Integration of PFL work into the former Agro-Industries Service has broadened the scope of activities to consolidate and build upon those undertaken under engineering. Emphasis has been given to normative activities with a firm focus upon Food Security, including establishment of an international database centred on post-production, encompassing the development of methodologies for the analysis of food production from farm to consumer, and the collation, analysis and diffusion of information.

29.The important contribution of Food and Agro-industries as a means of generating wealth, as a source of income and of employment has been reflected in the RP priorities. Support to the private sector is a feature of programmes on apiculture and sericulture, fibres industries, with an R&D investigation into the functional properties of the less common starches and the use of membrane technologies. Innovative technologies associated with bio-fermentation, food irradiation, the use of agro- and agro-industrial wastes and the production of energy from sustainable resources, continue to form the basis of the information produced and disseminated.

30.Marketing activities focused on improving the efficiency of marketing systems, the role of the private sector and the provision by governments of enabling and facilitating policies and services. An evaluation of market information services was published. The legal framework for competitive marketing was reviewed. Issues related to improving urban food marketing systems were studied and a sub-regional seminar, Dakar, Senegal, April 1997, is to develop planning methodologies and improvement strategies. Guidelines on the management of Strategic Grain Reserves were published.

31.Rural Finance activities focused on: (i) policy and procedure development to strengthen institutions delivery of financial services to grassroots rural areas; (ii) lowering costs of banking through the computerized FAO MicroBanking System (end 1996: 850 installations, 22 countries); (iii) identifying the financing needs of farmers for food production and of market participants to promote productivity raising investments.

Programme 2.1.5 Agricultural Applications of Isotopes and Biotechnology

Sub-programmes: to Improvement of Crop and Livestock Productivity to Crop Protection and Control of Animal Diseases to Consumer and Environmental Protection and Reduction of Food Losses

32.Significant progress was made in developing and applying nuclear technology to agriculture, including modern biotechnologies such as molecular methods and monoclonal antibodies. The value of these methods in plant mutation breeding, IPM using the sterile insect technique (SIT) and diagnostic tests for animal diseases, is clear from recent successes:

*    Releasing new varieties of food and industrial crops in Latin America, Asia and Africa.

*    Eradicating the Mediterranean fruit fly from Southern Chile and the high levels of control being achieved in Argentina and Guatemala using genetic sexing strains developed at the FAO/IAEA Seibersdorf Laboratory. Eradication of the tsetse fly from Zanzibar is expected by end-1997.

*    The widespread application of immunoassay diagnostic tests in Africa, Asia and the Middle East for rinderpest eradication in support of EMPRES and of similar tests for FMD, CBPP and trypanosomiasis in Latin America, Asia and Africa.

33.Preparatory activities were essentially completed for a Training and Reference Centre on Food and Pesticides Control. Activities in support of national food control programmes will commence bythe end of 1997 when refurbishment of existing laboratories is completed using extrabudgetary resources.


Programme 2.2.1 Nutrition

Sub-programmes: and Nutrition Assessment Programmes Control and Consumer Protection Policy at Country Level FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme (Codex Alimentarius)

34.Monitoring the nutritional situation at country, regional and global levels continued. Nutrition Country Profiles were updated on the basis of data regularly collected and entered into a Nutrition Data Bank and widely distributed. Major progress was achieved in establishing a global nutrition monitoring system on the nature, extent, magnitude and severity of nutritional problems and how they are changing over time. To improve the reliability of monitoring, the Sub-programme is in the process of updating scientific knowledge regarding nutrient requirements and strengthening the capacity of countries for updating food composition tables.

35.Expert consultations were conducted on the Preparation and Use of Food-based Dietary Guidelines, and on Nutrition Education for the Public, a sub-regional workshop on Improving Food Supplies and Nutrition through Processing and Preservation of Fruits and Vegetables, and a national workshop on Control of Micronutrient Deficiencies. Ten publications and reports were produced, and a study conducted on the "Impact of Armed Conflict on the Nutritional Situation of Children." A participatory approach has been applied to developing a major donor funded project for improving household food security. Major publications include:

*    Sorghum and millets in human nutrition

*    Human nutrition in the developing world (in press)

*    Preparation and use of food-based dietary guidelines

*    Get the Best from your Food (nutrition education package) 

36.Activities under included the assessment of food control systems and services, and the promotion of enhanced food quality and safety systems along the food chain through development of guidelines and training of government personnel and the food processing industry. Training packages were prepared for the Codex Code of Practice - General Principles of Food Hygiene and the Guidelines for the Application of the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) System, Food Inspection, Food Laboratory Management and Import/Export Food Inspection and Certification. Expert consultations were held on: The Application of Risk Analysis to Food Standards Issues, Food Allergies, Food Fortification; Technology and Quality Control, and Biotechnology and Food Safety.

37.Activities under nutrition policy at country level concentrated on supporting the implementation of National Plans of Action for Nutrition, established by most countries as a follow-up to the International Conference on Nutrition. This includes the preparation of guidelines on the formulation and implementation of nutrition programmes and projects, guidelines on the incorporation of nutrition objectives in agricultural research programmes, and an analysis of lessons drawn from experiences in improving nutrition in order to improve effectiveness of interventions. Activities under this heading and those of food and nutrition assessment in particular have been undertaken in close collaboration with Centres of Excellence and NGOs and in association with Regional and Sub-Regional Offices.

38.Codex Alimentarius work continued to establish international standards for food quality and safety for use by governments and the WTO in the context of the Uruguay Round Agreements on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (the SPS Agreement) and on Technical Barriers to Trade (the TBT Agreement).

39.Liaison was maintained with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Committee and national workshops were conducted on Codex standards and the WTO Agreements, and on strengthening national Codex Committees and Contact Points. In cooperation with WAICENT, the full text of the Codex Alimentarius standards and codes was issued on CD-ROM.

Programme 2.2.2 Food and Agricultural Information

Sub-programmes: Processing and Analysis Development Agricultural Information Centre (WAICENT) Situation and Outlook Information and Early Warning Systems, CARIS and Field Documentation Activities

40.Under work continued on the compilation, processing and analysis of the statistical series (and preparation of key indicators) pertaining to: agricultural production and trade; food supply/consumption; agricultural inputs (fertilizers, farm machinery etc.); land use; prices and external assistance to agriculture; and agricultural population and labour force. These have been disseminated electronically through the Internet, diskettes and tapes and through publications such as Production, Trade and Fertilizer Yearbooks, the Quarterly Bulletin of Agricultural Statistics and other ad hoc statistical bulletins. The main analytical or methodological outputs were:

*    Completion of The Sixth World Food Survey and a special poster entitled Mapping Undernutrition presenting for the first time country level estimates of the prevalence of undernutrition (see also work under Food and Nutrition Assessment);

*    Completion of a publication on Food Balance Sheets 1992-94, covering all countries;

*    Completion of the Handbook on Economic Accounts for Food and Agriculture, consistent with the revised UN System of National Accounts (SNA);

*    Completion of revised estimates and projections of agricultural population and labour force, 1950-2010;

*    Contributions to technical meetings in the UN fora relating to environmental indicators/accounting.

41.Two training workshops (National Demonstration Centres) were organized in collaboration with the Regional and Sub-regional offices in Africa on the preparation of (a) economic accounts for food and agriculture, and (b) supply/utilization accounts and food balance sheets.

42.Thirty new statistics field projects, including support to China's first Census of Agriculture, were formulated and implemented under Support was provided to statistical components in an additional 50 field projects. Training programmes in the form of National Demonstration Centres (NDCs) have been conducted in Morocco, Philippines, and El Salvador on the Census of Agriculture, that for El Salvador in cooperation with SDWW to include gender statistics. An NDC was held in Cambodia on Current Agricultural Systems, and in Costa Rica on Multiple Frame Sampling. All NDCs included participants from nearby countries. Three new methodological publications have been produced: (1) Multiple Frame Agricultural Surveys; (2) Programme for the World Census of Agriculture 2000; (3) Conducting Agricultural Census and Surveys.

43.WAICENT provides internal and external users with the most comprehensive information on global food and agriculture through a coherent corporate database in a cost-effective manner. The programme continues to support the statistical and textual products of FAO through assistance to producers (in the areas of methodology and quality control), managers (through state of the art technical support) and disseminators (through various media, including Internet). The programme will continue and increase support to national statistical offices in the future by providing technological and methodological support in the use of national statistics for local policy decisions.

44.Under the monitoring and assessment of agricultural commodity and trade developments has been extended to cover commodities for which market information is generally lacking, or for those commodities offering diversified trade opportunities particularly for developing countries, such as tropical fruits and environmentally-friendly diversified fibre products. With more advanced information technology available, assessments of the current commodity situation and outlook, including the review of global agricultural trade contained in the Commodity Market Review, have been placed on Internet under the FAO Home Page.

45.Following the conclusion of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations, the medium-term projections for agricultural commodities published in 1994 were revised to take account of the possible impact the Round could have on trade to the year 2000.

46.The Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS) continued to act as the only comprehensive international source of data and analysis of current and prospective food supply/demand situations in all countries of the world, and to discharge its mandate of providing early warnings of imminent food crises to ensure timely interventions in countries affected by natural and/or man-made disasters. The analysis of food aid emergency requests from governments was further refined. The flow of data, particularly from low-income food-deficit countries was improved and increased numbers of Crop and Food Supply Assessment Missions were mounted to ensure effective monitoring of food security situation for vulnerable countries. Since 1995, GIEWS has intensified its monitoring of the food situation in countries of Eastern Europe and the former USSR. In Africa, GIEWS has focused on the food situation in the Horn of Africa, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and the Great Lakes Region where its reports have stressed the need for contingency planning, given the extreme volatility of the situation.

47.The System also made substantial progress in the development of the GIEWS Workstation, a tool now used for analysis of a country's food supply situation, and in promoting the development of risk maps for selected countries. Electronic dissemination of the System's reports was expanded.

48.Under participation in the AGRIS (International Information System for the Agricultural Sciences and Technology) network has increased to 158 national and 29 international and regional centres. In 1995 the database had a record input of almost 170 000 records; by September 1996 the input stood at about 120 000 references. Total references have now surpassed 2.6 million. Publication of the printed Agrindex was discontinued in January 1996, but the data remain available on CD-ROM disks which are distributed free to participating centres. Development of a new microcomputer-based processing system is underway with the Multilingual Thesaurus Maintenance being implemented in 1996 and other modules scheduled for 1997.

49.By end-1996 participation in CARIS (Current Agricultural Research Information System) had increased to 131 national and 17 international and regional centres. A new CD-ROM, containing data entered in CARIS through June 1996, also includes the SIS database produced by SPAAR (Special Programme for African Agricultural Research). The complete CARIS database is now searchable through FAO's Web site. A third edition of the multi-lingual AGROVOC thesaurus, used for indexing of both AGRIS and CARIS data, was printed and distributed at the beginning of 1996.

50.National agricultural information centres and systems continued to be assisted through projects aimed at strengthening national capabilities to collect, store and disseminate information produced by/or available in the countries themselves, in addition to improving their access to relevant information available abroad.

Programme 2.2.3 Agriculture and Economic Development Analysis

Sub-programmes: Agricultural Development in Economic Development Projects Analysis

51.Under the SOFA annual report was published with special chapters in 1995 and 1996 covering respectively: "Agricultural Trade: Entering a New Era?" and "Food Security: Some Macroeconomic Dimensions." Publication of the "Country Tables" was discontinued after 1995 as the SOFA data diskette generates country tables. The Network for Agricultural Policy Research and Development (NAP) for the CEEC and CIS countries continues with 60 members and varied activities. Monographs on economies in transition and on sugar policy were published.

52.A research programme on "The Role of Agriculture in Countries in Transition" has begun under After discussions with counterpart research teams, preparation of an extended proposal/workplan and an empirical framework is under way. A collaborative research with University of California-Berkely including training staff in economy-wide modelling relevant to adjustment issues, was carried out. A paper on "Agricultural Surplus and the Role of Agriculture in Economic Development" is being prepared as a result.

53.A symposium on "The Economics of Valuation of the Conservation of Plant Genetic Resources for Agriculture" was organized with the University of Rome, May 1996. Papers were prepared on "Economic Instruments for Environmental Policy in Agriculture", and on "Economic Development-Based Policies for In-Situ Conservation of Genetic Diversity in Agriculture". The proceedings of thesymposium are currently under preparation. Specialized methodological advice was supplied to design a model for assessing the benefits and costs of desert locust management.

54.A research project on "Farm-Non-Farm Linkages and the Role of Off-Farm Income on Farm Households" has begun with case studies in Africa and Latin America. A paper on "Relating Farm-non-farm Linkages, Rural Non-Farm Employment, and Intermediate City Development" is currently under way. Several other papers were published under the Economic and Social Department series.

55.Under since the creation of the Food Security and Agricultural Projects Analysis Service, analytical work has begun on guidelines for cost/impact assessment and project design for agricultural relief and rehabilitation interventions; revisions on "Guidelines for Policy Analysis" have been undertaken for publication in 1997.

Programme 2.2.4 Food and Agricultural Policy

Sub-programmes: Perspective Studies Policies and Trade Food Security Analysis

56.The period under review saw the completion of the manuscript World Agriculture: Towards 2010, An FAO Study for co-publication in English, French and Spanish by FAO and external publishers. The document International Agricultural Adjustment: Eighth Progress Report (C95/18) was prepared, and discussed at the 1995 Conference. Two of the Technical Background Documents for the World Food Summit (Food, agriculture and food security: developments since the World Food Conference and prospects and Assessment of feasible progress in food security) were also prepared.

57.New procedures were introduced under for more effective functioning of the Intergovernmental Commodity Groups. The IGGs, which provide the major FAO fora for producer/consumer consultations covering commodity production, marketing and trade issues, undertook reviews of the impact of the Uruguay Round Agreements on their commodities. An International Consultation on Tropical Fruits was convened in Malaysia, July 1996. A programme of work for this important group of commodities was identified, and is now being started.

58.Technical assistance, mainly on Uruguay Round follow-up, was provided to a large number of developing countries through national and regional consultations. This assistance, in collaboration with Regional Offices, the WB and WTO, has covered a series of issues of importance to developing countries, particularly food importing countries. A number of other special analytical studies have been undertaken, including market access for non-traditional crops; tariff escalation, impact on preferential arrangements of the Uruguay Round; international price instability; price transmission; and commodity-environment studies.

59.The Consultative Sub-Committee on Surplus Disposal carried out its normal activities on food aid transactions and undertook a revision of its Catalogue of Transactions to bring it into line with Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture.

60.Major accomplishments under included preparation of the Rome Declaration on World Food Security and the World Food Summit Plan of Action; contributions to the technical documents series for the WFS; support to the conceptual revision of the framework paper for the Special Programme on Food Security (SPFS); preparation of framework paper for constraints analysis under the Special Programme on Food Security (SPFS); finalization of an analytical review and updating of the indicator for safe level of global cereal stocks as a food security reserve; initiation of analytical work on hunger mapping; consolidation of lessons learned from field programme support to early warning and food security information systems, especially in Eastern and Southern Africa and South and Southeast Asia; preparation of a strategy for development of integrated food security databases and information systems for the SADC and IGADD sub-regions; evaluation of the effects of CFA devaluation on food security in the short and medium-term in West Africa; preparation of a medium-term food security strategy for the ECOWAS sub-region; and support to participatory food security planning and formulation of national food security strategies in Central America.


Programme 2.5.1 Technology Development and Transfer

Sub-programmes: and Technology Development Cooperation and Coordination, Extension and Training for Development

61.Research and Technology Policy and Planning work encompassed normative activities and advisory support to member countries, including revision of the 1992 Guidelines for preparation of the National Agricultural Research Masterplan. An Agricultural Research Institute Management Manual is being prepared and a study of the Role of Universities in selected NARS in the Near East and North Africa Region has been completed. A major study started in cooperation with SPAAR on the impact of foreign assistance on the institutional development of NARS. An International Workshop on Technology Assessment and Transfer is being prepared and a comparative analysis of NARS in the Near East and North Africa has begun in cooperation with ICARDA, AARINENA and CIHEAM.

62.International research cooperation and coordination has been supported by the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), to which FAO provides the secretariat, with financial support from other sponsors. CGIAR's priorities and strategies have been reviewed, and Centre programmes and budget proposals for 1998-1003 outlined. Six regular meetings of TAC have been conducted.

63.The Agricultural Education and Extension Service and the Development Support Communication Branch are now merged into the Extension, Education and Communication Service. Achievements include the assessment of the application of Electronic Information Systems in SARD; the application of Distance Learning in SARD, and the adoption of participatory extension approaches for resource-poor men, women and young farmers.

64.Appropriate communication tools such as rural radio and multi-media communication and extension methodologies have been demonstrated, principally in Africa and Latin America. Case studies on participatory curriculum development in agricultural education as well as the modular approach to environmental education and population education were intensified. The application of Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP) surveys was expanded from Asia to Africa. Advisory and technical assistance activities currently extend to 80-100 member countries involving backstopping missions, staff training and information support.

Programme 2.5.2 Women in Development and People's Participation

Sub-programmes: in Agriculture and Rural Development and Sustainable Development's Participation

65.Within the framework of the FAO Plan of Action for Women in Development (1996-2001) adopted by the 1995 Conference, and the Platform of Action of the Fourth World Conference on Women, activities undertaken have included: mainstreaming of WID/gender concerns throughout FAO's work; highlighting of gender issues in food security and preparation of position papers on cross-sectoral issues in sustainable development, people's participation, poverty alleviation, population and gender. Member countries have been assisted in implementing the Beijing Platform for Action through research and policy advice and technical support.

66.Other activities have included: Development of a Socio-Economic and Gender Analysis (SEAGA) Training Programme and development of a conceptual framework for socio-economic and gender analysis for use in sustainable development programming; advice, technical support and publications aimed at increasing women's access to production services, information and technology, marketing, etc.; increasing women's participation and decision-making in various networks and organizational structures and creating/strengthening women's associations.

67.Under population programmes focused on implementation of aspects of the Cairo Population Programme of Action within FAO's mandate and on research on inter-relations between population factors and food security and sustainable development. A number of research papers were prepared and widely disseminated.

68.Following an expert group meeting on Food Production and Population Growth, Rome, July 1966, held with UNFPA assistance, WFS Technical Document 4 "Food Requirements and PopulationGrowth" was prepared, highlighting the characteristics and magnitude of population challenges to Food Security.

69.Sub-Programme focuses on institutional settings favouring consultation and partnership amongst different actors and the state. Major initiatives are activities on restructuring of cooperatives in CEEC, CIS and Asia and on building civil organizations.

Programme 2.5.3 Rural Development and Land Tenure

Sub-programmes: Tenure and Settlement Development

70.Activities have been organized into five major thrusts: (i) institutional reconversion; (ii) dynamic of land markets; (iii) civil society institutions; (iv) land tenure regimes; (v) antipoverty strategies.

71.Sub-Programme focuses on the constraints and performances of different types of tenure regimes and on the role of rural land markets and their linkages with labour and capital market. Major initiatives are the joint network on market-assisted land reform with World Bank and IFAD, studies on lease markets and dynamics of land markets in selected countries in Asia, Latin America and the CEEC, a world data base on land-related conflicts and the role and dynamics of land tenure in peri-urban agriculture.

72.Under Sub-Programme emphasis is on decentralization and local institutions-building and access to assets (productive, organizational, human) as a major ingredient of anti-poverty strategies. Main initiatives relate to the joint programme World Bank/IFAD/FAO on decentralization experiences and lessons, the development of participatory approaches and a comparative study on linkages between farm/off-farm income activities.

Programme 2.5.4 Environmental Information Management

73.The focus is on developing methodologies, tools and norms for natural resource assessment at local, national and regional levels. Significant achievements include: (i) Classification and legend standards for the establishment of harmonized data-bases and maps on land cover, (ii) Norms for simplified topomaps and recommendations for common projection systems in Africa, (iii) Publication of ten-day and monthly information statements on vegetation status and rainfall distribution for GIEWS, (iv) Development of new crop modelling techniques and yield forecasting methodologies, (v) Development of GIS databases on water, soils and other natural resources parameters; and (vi) Prototype development of a Digital Atlas on agriculture, fisheries, forestry.

Programme 2.5.5 Coordination and Promotion of Sustainable Development

74.Emphasis is on: (i) Sustainable development of small islands, critical agro-ecosystems and marginal lands, (ii) Development of guidelines on energy use and disposal of wastes, (iii) Articulation of indicators for sustainable development and land quality, (iv) Methodologies for environmental impact assessment, (v) Development of criteria and tools for Environmental Information Systems and decision making, and (vi) Coordination of FAO's responsibilities arising from UNCED, Agenda 21 and UN Conventions on Biodiversity, Desertification and Climate change.

Programme 2.5.6 Food Production in Support of Food Security in LIFDCs

75.The Special Programme is currently under implementation in 15 countries: Bolivia, Burkina Faso, China, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Kenya, Mauritania, Nepal, Niger, Papua New Guinea, Senegal, Tanzania and Zambia. The end of cropping season reports received to-date show significant yield increases in crops under demonstrations.

76.Exploratory and programme identification missions were fielded to Mali, Albania, Angola, Mozambique, India, Bangladesh and Mongolia. Programme formulation for Albania, Angola and Mozambique is already completed and implementation is expected to start soon. Programme formulation for Mali is proceeding on schedule, and will commence soon for India and Bangladesh. All the above-mentioned missions, except for Mongolia, have been funded by extra-budgetary resources, in the expectation that Pilot Phase activities in this second round of countries will also be partially or fully funded by the same sources.

77.Joint FAO/Donor Governments review missions were also fielded to on-going programmes in Senegal, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Bolivia and Burkina Faso, resulting in agreements with the concerned donors on funding the remaining Pilot Phase activities in Senegal, Eritrea and Ethiopia; a similar agreement is expected to be reached soon for the Programme in Bolivia and Burkina Faso.

78.A new initiative, South-South Cooperation within the framework of the SPFS, was launched during the year with the objective of allowing recipient countries to benefit from the experience and expertise of more advanced developing countries. While the South-South Cooperation agreement between Senegal and Vietnam has been concluded, negotiations are continuing on similar agreements between Burkina Faso and India, Ethiopia and Mali and China; Bolivia and Brazil, and the African Lusophone countries and Brazil.

79.A number of documents, advisory notes and guidelines have been prepared and made available to the national teams to assist them in implementation of the programme. The guidelines for constraints analysis and resolution are being finalized.


(i) Major Programme 3.1: Policy Assistance

Programme 3.1.1 General Coordination and Support

Sub-programmes: of Policy Assistance and Agricultural Policy Training

80.Policy Advisory Bureaux/Policy Advisory Units (PAB/PAU) were established for all regions except North Africa and the South Pacific, including the preparation of internal methodological guidelines and selection of incumbents. Assistance was given to decentralized structures and contributions provided to the SPFS (developing constraint analysis), to the WFS follow-up (preparing country strategy papers), and to rehabilitation support to countries following natural or man-made catastrophes.

81.Training materials were prepared and disseminated to regional and national training institutions. Two training manuals on the impact of macro and sector policies on food security and the implication of the Uruguay Round Agreement on domestic policies were prepared. Materials were also produced on the integration of sustainability and social issues into agricultural policy and planning, planning tools, case studies on agricultural investment project planning, and training materials on decentralized and sector planning. Regional workshops were organized in the Near East and Asia aimed at strengthening institutional capacity in the above fields. Several countries were assisted through technical backstopping to in-service training projects and programmes.

Programme 3.1.2 Policy Assistance to Various Regions

Sub-programmes: and Pacific America and Caribbean East

82.Africa: Policy assistance was provided to the preparation of agricultural sector reviews (Angola, Guinea Bissau, Rwanda) and long-term strategies for agricultural development (Congo, Guinea Bissau, Comoros, Lesotho, Cape Verde, Namibia). Assistance was also provided in specific fields (rice policies in West Africa and Madagascar; impact of the devaluation of the CFA Franc; effects of the GATT agreement on exports in Ethiopia) and to the preparation of national position papers for the WFS. Programming activities were also undertaken to strengthen FAO's technical assistance in various countries.

83.Asia and Pacific: The activities included a review of the food and agricultural situation and perspectives and an assessment of sustainable food security issues and challenges for both the region and the sub-region as a whole. Sector reviews were carried out for Laos, Vietnam, and Bangladesh. Policy and programme support for sustainable agriculture was completed for the Philippines. Constraint analysis was carried out for FAO Special Programme in Nepal. Economic and sector profiles and draft agricultural development strategies were prepared for ten countries.

84.Latin America and Caribbean: Assistance was essentially given to governments of the region to face the changes in the macro-economic context and trade liberalization, following the Uruguay Round agreements, and regional trade agreements such as CARICOM and MERCOSUR. Efforts werealso made to provide authorities with an analysis of recent experiences on new instruments for agricultural policy. Country sector reviews were developed to establish a framework for programming technical assistance requirements.

85.Near East: Assistance was provided to Sudan, Lebanon, Yemen, Jordan, Egypt and Tunisia in terms of policy advice and strengthening capacity building in policy analysis (training workshops, preparation of training manuals, case studies, expert consultations, and organizing training seminars). Support to programme development and programming missions were also major activities undertaken in Iraq and Yemen. Other major activities included support to regional networks and commissions and participation in key policy seminars. Various countries were also assisted in the preparation of Strategy for National Agricultural Development - Horizon 2010.

86.Europe: Policy assistance focused mainly on agricultural and trade policy reforms, development of strategies for agricultural development and agricultural sector reviews (Croatia, Turkey, Slovak Republic, Estonia, Bulgaria), strengthening of agricultural policy analysis and management of ministries of agriculture and food (Albania, Turkey), and assessment of structural problems related to the agricultural sector (Georgia). Economic and sector profiles were prepared for eight Eastern European countries and former Soviet Union republics.

(ii) Major Programme 3.2: Support to Investment

Programme 3.2.1 FAO/WORLD Bank Cooperative Programme

Programme 3.2.2 Investment Support Programme

87.A range of services is provided aimed at increasing the flow of investment into agriculture and rural development, and at enhancing investment performance. Work on project formulation has focused primarily on agricultural investment identification and preparation. These 'bankable' investment projects range from national agricultural services support to irrigated horticulture development.

88.Both in project preparation and other work, emphasis has been given to the building of local commitment and ownership, preparing national institutions for their role in project implementation, evaluating sociological factors such as gender issues, assessing environmental impact, and addressing poverty.

89.Project preparation is funded on a cost-sharing basis with financing partner institutions. Under the FAO/World Bank Cooperative Programme, for example, the World Bank funds 75 percent of costs and the remainder is covered by the Regular Programme. The cost-sharing formula varies according to the financing institution in question. At present FAO has operative partnerships with 20 different institutions. At least a small portion of virtually every TCI project, thus, is funded under the Regular Programme.

90.In 1995, some 31 projects were approved, mobilizing total investments of US $3.391 billion, US $2.021 billion of that in external loans. The corresponding figures for 1996 were: 41 projects, mobilizing total investments of US $2.465 billion, US $1.485 billion of that in external loans.

(iii) Major Programme 3.3: Field Operations

91.A major structural reorganization took place in the last biennium, including the establishment of the Technical Cooperation Department (TC) to serve as the hub of FAO's development activities for its members, covering policy advisory services, investment, mobilization of extra-budgetary resources, implementation of field operations, including emergency effort, and cooperation with multi/bilateral agencies, the private sector and NGOs. The Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Operation Division (TCO) combines operational units formerly associated with the AG, FI and FO Departments and is responsible for the management of the entire field programme cycle, from formulation through implementation and closure. Decentralization of TCO began with the transfer of staff to Bangkok in 1996 which is expected to be completed to other Regional Offices by the end of 1997.

92.Implementation of the Field Programme in the Agriculture Sector continues to call for programme development support, based on thorough reviews of agricultural performance, and on strategies and on policy instruments needed to reach sustainable and equitable growth. In particular, the emphasis of the Field Programme is on natural resources, crops and livestock in the agricultural production programme, on information analysis and agricultural policy in the agricultural policy anddevelopment programme, and finally, on crop protection and livestock productivity as contributions to the sustainable development programme.

93.A major change has occurred with respect to funding for the Agriculture Field Programme. UNDP's new successor support costs arrangements continue to be felt as national execution becomes increasingly the preferred way of implementing field projects and programmes. This factor significantly reduced the number and overall budget of projects executed by FAO and caused the decrease in delivery of projects funded by UNDP in this sector in 1996 as compared to delivery in 1995 by US $9 million, from US $43 million to US $34 million.

94.The delivery of projects in the Agricultural Sector under Trust Fund resources has also decreased by US $8 million, from US $96 million in 1995 to US $88 million in 1996. These projects are funded by donors through the Government Cooperation Programme (GCP), mainly by the Netherlands, Italy, Denmark, Belgium, Japan, EC, France, Australia, Norway and Switzerland. Other multilateral donors such as GEF, UNSO, and also the recipient countries themselves by means of UTFs, have made important contributions.

95.The delivery in 1996 related to Agricultural Production and Support Systems (Major Programme 2.1) totalled US $108 million, a 14 percent decrease as compared to delivery in 1995. The largest share of this decline was for projects under UNDP funding which decreased by 25 percent. While the share of projects under Trust Funds has also decreased by 15 percent, those funded by the Regular Programme budget through the Technical Cooperation Programme has slightly increased by 3 percent. 96.In relation to Food and Agricultural Policy and Development (Major Programme 2.2), the total delivery in 1996 decreased to US $16 million from US $18 million a year earlier, which is a 13 percent decrease. While the delivery of projects under UNDP funding remained almost at the same level of US $3 million, and under Trust Funds increased by 10 percent, TCP delivery has significantly decreased by 40 percent from US $7 million to US $4 million.

97.Contribution to Sustainable Development and Special Programme Thrusts (Major Programme 2.5), involved 263 field projects in operation in 1996. This is a 10 percent increase as compared to the 238 projects in operation in 1995. In monetary terms these projects have delivered US $26 million in 1996 and US $25 million in 1995. This increase in delivery reflects a 21 percent decrease (from US $7 million in 1995 to US $6 million in 1996) under UNDP, but a 16 percent increase in the delivery under Trust Funds (from US $14 million in 1995 to US $16 million in 1996).



98.This Fourteenth Session of COAG takes place after the World Food Summit held in November 1996. The major programmes of agriculture production and support systems, food and agriculture policy and development and contributions to sustainable development and special programme thrusts, which fall under the purview of COAG, are much influenced by the Summit's outcome. The medium-term framework for these major programmes needs to be re-examined and priorities reshaped, as appropriate, in this light. The next Programme of Work and Budget 1998-99 will further contribute to this reshaping process.

99.It may be recalled that the medium-term perspectives document presented to COAG at its Thirteenth Session in 1995 addressed the following 'central issues'(1): poverty alleviation, food security and nutrition; improving human capital and participatory processes, raising and sustaining production; improving the assessment and monitoring, rehabilitation and development of abiotic and biotic natural resources; and agricultural trade. It also considered the key mechanisms for discharging the Organizations's mandate in the medium-term: improving policy analysis and policy advisory services; improving information collection and dissemination and improving FAO as a forum for negotiations. All of these were reviewed in the context of the extensive process of restructuring and reform launched by the Council at its May-June 1994 Session.

100.The post-Summit period is adding a number of important dimensions. Firstly, there is a wider appreciation of the links between food security and sustainable agriculture and rural development (SARD). SARD is essential for food security in the longer term and, conversely, without immediateand enhanced attention to food security, the objectives of SARD will not be fully attained. Therefore, the concepts of 'sustainable food security' and 'sustainable intensification' of food production as a means to that end are now widely accepted.

101.The WFS recognized that vigorous agricultural and rural development remained central to the new food-security oriented development paradigm, simply because poverty is so pervasive in rural situations in low-income countries. Yet off-farm employment opportunities in rural areas are also recognized as being key to poverty alleviation countering the traditional drift of the rural poor to the cities to produce a new generation of urban poor. Therefore attention has to be paid to downstream activities of marketing, processing and distribution as well as the upstream considerations of input supply or the partial substitution of inputs by more integrated and labour intensive farming systems.

102.It is also more widely realized that 'capital' needs to be viewed in a holistic way. In the face of rising and changing pressures of demand for food and agricultural products, it is impossible to maintain the natural resource base unchanged but there are trade-offs in between the different forms of natural and man-made or owned capital. Thus, apart from the natural resource capital of land, water and biological diversity, there are other forms of capital to be considered: human (indigenous knowledge, education, communications, better health); institutional (participatory and empowering groups, decentralized decision-making); infrastructural (traditional such as rural roads and market places, but also non-traditional such as electronic communications and renewable energy sources); and social (enhancing the status of the poor as decision makers and architects of their own futures, as curators of natural resources). So, if the Summit's Plan of Action and its commitments are to make a tangible impact, the post-Summit development paradigm is concerned less with growth of national income (GDP) itself but with enhanced food security, reduced poverty, more people's participation, more equity and more decentralized decision-making, while maintaining as far as possible the integrity of the natural resource base.

103.At the same time, the concept of 'sustainable food security' - that is, developing sustainable and secure food production and consumption patterns, still confronts persisting problems of:

*    growing and changing demands of increased populations and linked to rising urbanization;

*    a shrinking and degrading natural resource base;

*    growing social and income disparities and rising unemployment;

*    pressures arising from the increased liberalization of trade and the globalization of national economies.

104.FAO's post-WFS work programme within the major technical and economic programmes must aim to support in the medium-term what has been described elsewhere as a 'New Agricultural Model'(2). This new model of agriculture is based on the following perceptions:

*    it is an extended agriculture that goes beyond primary production, but is linked both vertically and horizontally to other economic activities and so demanding effective and efficient services;

*    it is an agriculture based on knowledge and human capital, demanding emphasis on human capacity building;

*   a newly contractual agriculture that promotes innovative partnerships and alliances among the different production agents, private contracts and links the business community with farmers' groups;

*    a flexible agriculture focusing on linked markets (land-labour, labour-credit, land-credit, etc.) recognizing that the reality of most households in typical farming environments is akin to a small multisectoral firm, demanding more than traditional monosectoral policy approaches;

*    an agriculture responsive to the feminization of rural activities, on and off the farm, with tasks often concentrated in the hands of women, demanding the appropriate focusing of policies and services (credit, extension, farm power) on their particular needs;

*    a sustainable agriculture in which resource use, protection and conservation are integrated, demanding new technological approaches that accommodates its diversity, supports small-scale farm production and guarantees sustainable development;

*   an agriculture to match an increasingly urbanized world which offers opportunities for improving nutrition, earning income and recycling urban solid and liquid wastes through agricultural activities;

*   a globalized agriculture reflecting the rapid globalization of trade, capital and information flows and the impacts of competition through trade, international finance and ever-widening access to information.

105.The above perceptions of what comprises a new agricultural model, could be interpreted as leading to the following three major programme thrusts:

(i)        Promoting desirable changes in overall socio-economic and sectoral policies, providing the 'enabling environment' that will stimulate the intensification of production and increased investment in agricultural and related activities in rural areas. Doing so will require not only the provision of analytically solid and appropriate policy advice at the country level, but also supportive normative work in evaluating policy options and developing new tools and analysis. The 'enabling environment' also includes enhancing the ability to seize trading and funding opportunities offered by trade liberalization and the globalization of trade and capital flows. This thrust would be particularly relevant to ES and TC Departments.

(ii)    Increasing the efficiency, diversity, integration, output and profitability of the major food systems from the producers to the consumers, at the national or regional levels, while reducing vulnerability to adverse external factors. This thrust, of relevance particularly to AG Department, would involve the production and post-harvest environments and the natural resources on which they are based.

(iii)    Building institutional and human resource capacity with particular regard to access to resources (natural, financial and information), to developing people's participation in the development process, to alleviating poverty and to sustainable development. This would be the particular but not exclusive task of the SD Department.

106.Besides tailored policy advice under the leadership of TC Department (TCA Division), with appropriate inputs from the technical departments, the investment-related work carried out by the Investment Centre (TCI) in cooperation with the latter departments will need to be pursued actively.

107.The following discussion, by main technical programme headings, attempts to translate these forward-looking perceptions and thrusts into concrete work activities over the medium term.


Natural Resources

108.The Natural Resources Sub-programme is designed to serve the central objectives of food security and sustainable agricultural development and intensification.

109.In support of WFS Commitment Three, the programme will support the establishment of sustainable and diverse land use and production systems and natural resource plans through the development of information bases and assessment methods and participatory methods for planning and management of land and water resources. It will support national efforts to identify appropriate techniques from other areas with similar agro-ecological conditions and facilitate their application.

110.Jointly with partners including government, WB, CGIAR and other research centres and industry associations, it will contribute to the promotion of crop productivity through integrated plant nutrition systems and fertility improvements in cropped soils. It will also help develop policies and programmes encouraging such technologies.

111.The programme will work towards soil and water conservation and reclamation or rehabilitation of degraded land and water resources through support in developing national and regional strategies and policies, and techniques for soil and water management. This will help counter degradation and contribute to rehabilitation in fragile, ecologically stressed or poorly endowed areas.

112.In view of the critical role of water development, efficient water use at field and scheme level, small-scale and low-cost irrigation development, sound water policies and water information systems, integrated river basin planning, avoidance of salinity build-up in irrigated areas and water qualitycontrol will be promoted. The work on a land and water resources information system will provide part of the scientific basis for such policies, for the application of appropriate methods and techniques, and for the economic analysis needed to facilitate investments in land development and water control.

113.In support of WFS Commitments One, Two and Five, the conservation and sustainable efficient use of land and water resources and plant nutrient inputs will be promoted. The programme will also contribute to information and mapping systems on food security and vulnerability through the development of a multi-scale land and water resources information system linked with data on soil fertility and plant nutrients. Jointly with the plant production programme, it will expand the information base on crop environmental requirements.

114.As approved by the Programme Committee, this programme is presently conducting a pilot experiment aiming at a more integrated, objective- and output-oriented structure of time-delimited projects, with some continuous service agreements. This experiment will be subsequently extended to all technical programmes. For the medium-term 1998-2003, the Natural Resources Programme will address five groups of objectives and beneficiaries through projects requiring joint expertise in water, soils and plant nutrition, one less broad project and some continuing services as outlined below.

*    Soil, water and plant nutrition management at farm level - through the promotion of low-cost technologies increasing water-use efficiency and the development and application, through training, of diagnostic and decision-support tools for integrated soil, water and plant nutrient management.

*    Sustainable management of land and water resources and plant nutrients in communities and small watersheds will be addressed through farmers' organizations and the identification and promotion of sustainable land use systems; improved water management techniques in specific resource-poor areas; and through improving farmers' access to plant nutrients and knowledge on their application.

*    Support to the development of national strategies and policies for sustainable use and management of land, water and plant nutrient resources - through water policy and its reform; integrated river basin management and the development and dissemination of a comprehensive framework for the assessment of sustainable production potentials; strengthening countries' capacities to articulate fertilizer policies that aim at efficient fertilizer supply and use, in order to meet goals of agricultural intensification.

*    Addressing special problems - through development and dissemination of readily usable methods for assessment, management and reclamation of problem lands, salinity control and management of soil and water quality, including wastewater re-use.

*    The systematic development of increasingly linked land, water and plant nutrition information systems on, e.g., land potentials, water availability and quality, plant nutrient sources, etc. These, together with information on population and social, economic and infrastructural aspects, will assist the mapping of food security and vulnerability as well as, for example, analysing the scope for crop diversification.

*    Addressing the specific needs of irrigation system managers and water resource planners - through tools and methods to improve the performance of irrigation systems. The work will be conducted in close cooperation with partners working together in the Global Water Partnership, CGIAR centres and national irrigation agencies.


(i)Overall Strategy

115.    *    Increased Production Efficiency: through activities that range from crop management/integrated pest management and use of improved varieties to more productive systems.  

    *    Resource Management for Stable Production: achieved through early warning and early control of devastating transboundary pests, promoting the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources, developing appropriate cropping systems and plant protection systems that take effects on the environment and human health fully into account.

    *    Information Management to Accelerate Change: accelerating the flow of information from research centres to farmers' field, as well as facilitating the access to information by policy makers.    

    *    Technical Policy Advice: through providing a forum for national policy makers to become aware of technological opportunities and constraints and assist in development and implementation of appropriate policies, international agreements, codes, standards and guidelines.

(ii)Conservation and Management of Plant Genetic Resources

116.Efforts will concentrate on follow-up to, and implementation of, the Global Plan of Action (GPA) for the Conservation and Sustainable Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (PGRFA), adopted at the Fourth International Technical Conference on PGRFA. The FAO Global System on PGRFA, in particular, will promote synergy and provide technical advice for the implementation of GPA to a wide variety of stake-holders (UN agencies; CGIAR; International Associations; NARS; NGOs; and private sector).

117.Increased attention will be given to gathering, analyzing and disseminating information through the World Information and Early Warning System on PGRFA and assisting countries, as appropriate, to develop projects and programmes within the framework of the GPA. Priority activities will include: *    Strengthening the FAO Global System on PGRFA and developing technical and policy issues for the sustainable conservation and utilization of PGRFA, including the elaboration and development of international agreements, such as the revised International Undertaking.

*    Managing and coordinating the periodic updating of the FAO Report on the State of the World's Plant Genetic Resources and rolling Global Plan of Action and to guide its implementation.

*    Managing the International Network of Ex Situ Collections under the auspices of FAO to promote and support the in situ conservation and dynamic on-farm management of PGRFA, in close collaboration with farming communities, women's' organizations and NGOs.

*    Developing and strengthening crop-specific regional and global networks dealing with the conservation and utilisation of PGRFA.

*    Preparing guidelines and plans for systematic germplasm regeneration, to build strong national programmes to support institution- and capacity-building activities. through provision of training and education programmes, and technical services to members within the framework of the GPA.

(iii)Seed and Planting Material Development

118.Activities will concentrate on three major issues: development of appropriate national and regional seed production policies; introduction and transfer of appropriate improved seed production technologies to developing countries, and formulation of agreed seed security strategies and mechanisms to mitigate the effects of calamities and rehabilitate agricultural production.

*    Within the framework of the FAO Special Action Programme on Sustainable Seed Production and Development, guidance in strengthening programmes and policies for sustainable seed and planting material production and in building-up national seed production and supply systems.

*    To encourage the balanced development of all components of the seed industry (formal and informal), including seed quality control norms, seed legislation, variety protection and plant breeders' rights, and training programmes for the introduction of new technologies.

*    Promoting seed security schemes in regions prone to calamities, which cause frequent significant shortfalls in seed and planting material.

*    Developing an appropriate forecasting mechanism as part of the World Information and Early Warning System to assist smallholders in marginal and remote areas to improve on-farm seed-production and seed-conservation technologies.

(iv)Crop Management and Diversification

119.Introducing improved food and industrial crop production technologies, including new initiatives for enhancing sustainable production of commodities well adapted to important agro-ecological zones. Development of perennial and mixed crop production systems as well as suitable croppingtechnologies to increase productive potential and maintain the natural resource base in critical environments, including mountain areas and semi-arid ecologies. Priority activities will include:

*    Addressing the particular needs of the subsistence agriculture sector through efforts to stimulate and catalyse applied agronomic research and breeding programmes, in partnership with NARS and selected IARCs. Home gardens will also be promoted to increase production and consumption of horticultural staples.

*    Providing guidance to member countries for developing suitable policies and production strategies to assure the supply of safe and healthy fresh produce for rapidly expanding urban populations, through specialized intensive production, small-scale market gardening in peri-urban greenbelts, and urban agriculture.

*    Programming to promote technology transfer towards and within LIFDCs in the production of major horticultural and industrial commodity crops.

*    Developing, with partners such as Unesco and CIMMYT, modern information systems on crops and their management, crop diversity promotion, the promotion of priority crop research (including plant biotechnology advances) and the improvement and utilization of traditional and under-utilized crop species.

*    Focusing by the International Rice Commission (IRC), with appropriate partners, on promotion of new appropriate technologies such as hybrid rice; promotion in Africa of rice for inland valley swamps; promoting the "Thriving with Rice" concept; analysis of rice production systems stability in Asia; and the development of global rice information systems. IRC sessions will be held in 1998 and 2002.

(v)Development and Management of Grasslands and Forage Crops

120.Emphasis will be on support to fodder production in high potential areas as well as to the maintenance of biodiversity and enhanced utilization of new plant resources in difficult ecologies. Assistance in the management of natural grazing land for livestock production and environmental protection will continue. The programme will maintain links with various universities, international and national organizations and UN agencies. Priority activities will include:

*    Training and the transfer to small and medium scale farmers of technologies suited to particular conditions and production systems. Studies of pasture/crop systems to maximise feed and food production and improve soil fertility.

*    Local level seed production for forage and fodder species, evaluation of genetic material and exchange of information between climatically analogous areas, and better utilization of fodder trees.

*    Fodder production for meat and especially milk production in and around peri-urban areas and the development of appropriate information systems and tools

(vi)Plant Protection

121.The aim is to ensure effective prevention and progressive control of plant pests in a manner that is safe to human health and the environment, to protect agricultural production and facilitate international trade. Close working relations will be maintained with UN agencies and other international agencies, Regional Plant Protection Organizations and CGIAR Institutes. Priority activities will include:

*    In the framework of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), new Plant Health Standards will be developed to facilitate trade in plants and plant products and their international traffic, and for the movement of germplasm.

*    The Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides will be updated and monitoring of its implementation will continue, including information exchange through the PIC procedure. Recommendations will continue to be made on maximum pesticide residues in food, based on good agricultural practice. Technical assistance will include obsolete pesticide disposal.

*    Activities to support IPM implementation will promote new pest control methods that are less harmful to human health and the environment, with emphasis on biological control and other naturally occurring control mechanisms. It will also support IPM implementation through technical assistance projects and through the IPM Facility.

*    The Desert Locust Information System will exchange and analyse information on desert locust populations and ecology. The EMPRES programme will support early warning and early reaction to the Desert Locust in the Central Region and extend its activities to strengthening the Desert Locust management in West and Northwest Africa and Southwest Asia and, gradually, to other transboundary plant pests.


122.The overall strategic objective is to position livestock in development so as to optimize its contribution to sustainable food security. Livestock are a critical component of food security through income generation, food supply and as a provider of inputs to crop agriculture. Thus, focus is primarily on food security by promoting the potential that livestock offer for income generation and food production. Increased food security can be achieved by encouraging producers to increase food supply through improved efficiencies in production and resource utilization and appropriate processing and storage.

123.The focus on sustainable food security in the livestock programme would be achieved through:

*    an 'integrated production systems' approach that takes a holistic view of livestock production systems both within the individual farm unit and in the wider farming system or agro-ecological context;

*    a recognition of the importance of integration throughout the production and supply chain from the basic resources to producer and onto the consumer, especially given the perishable nature of animal products;

*    a technology perspective that aims at overcoming major production, clinical and sub-clinical disease, processing and distribution constraints, through more efficient resource utilisation;

*    providing member countries with a rational basis for planning livestock development through access to improved information and guidelines on policy and technology development;

*    Reducing risks to food security posed by transboundary animal diseases through the early warning, early reaction and co-ordination components of EMPRES;

*    developing the global management strategy for farm animal genetic resources with a focus on conservation and effective utilisation.

124.Animal Production and health technologies will be targeted on enhanced production of animals and animal products facilitating optimal use of land and animal resources and reducing risks to livestock and food supply through progressive control and eradication of animal diseases.

(i)The Sectoral Perspective: Information, Policy and Planning

125.A major constraint to rational decision-making is the lack of information on animal feed and genetic resources, production systems and products, and animal health. Resource monitoring and disease surveillance and risk analysis are critical and will be expanded. Feed/livestock linkages will be a new focus for data collection and analysis, to be integrated with general land use data. Likewise, production systems and disease mapping and analysis will become a strategic component, utilizing existing GIS techniques. Furthermore, the information system on Domestic Animal Diversity (DAD-IS) will assist the management of animal genetic resources.

126.Policy advice on institutional development focusing on standards and veterinary legislation, education and training, and services for resource management will be emphasized.

(ii)System-Wide Integration: The Production Systems Thrusts

127.Integrated animal production and health strategies will help to re-establish the balance between livestock production and natural resources and to utilize the scope for intensification of grazing systems. Technology transfer will allow livestock a role in farming systems to grow and specialize in high-potential agro-ecological settings while counteracting resource degradation and poverty. For the urban land-detached livestock production systems, approaches for regional crop-livestock integration will be developed and higher production efficiencies fostered. This integrated systems approach offers wide opportunities for enhanced collaboration with the international research centres and major funding and donor agencies.

128.For peri-urban and intensive production systems, balanced livestock distribution, efficient resource use, waste prevention and conversion into feed, animal health and veterinary public health in areas of high animal and human population densities are promoted. An area-wide integration of crop and livestock activities as a means of optimizing overall agricultural and economic benefit istargeted. Efficient product supply through improved handling, processing, storage and marketing of meat and dairy products, and animal nutrition and feeding, are key components. Application of technologies for waste conversion and better utilization of by-products will reduce resource requirements and the environmental impact of waste.

129.For mixed farming systems, strategies will be developed to optimize livestock's contribution in high potential agricultural areas, with good or developing market access. The adaptation of new animal production and health technologies will be enhanced through integration of crop and livestock activities for increased productivity and output of animal products. In contrast, in areas of high population pressures, opportunities will be sought to adapt and sustain the positive role of livestock in agriculture.

130.The thrust in pastoral and extensive grazing systems seeks to utilize the scope for intensification by combining animal production and health strategies, while maintaining the integrity of the natural resource base. A major component is to develop strategies and methods to increase sustainable livestock productivity from grazing in high potential areas, particularly in Latin America, but also in parts of higher rainfall areas of sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. The second thrust will focus on optimizing resource management in pastoral systems in low rainfall areas, particularly in Africa and the Near East. Here, strategies will be developed that aim at sustaining the livelihood of pastoral people while preventing natural resource degradation.

(iii)The Global Programme on Domestic Animal Genetic Diversity

131.Animal genetic resources will be considered by the broadened Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture in harmony with the Convention on Biological Diversity. FAO will lead the development of the Global Strategy for the Management of Farm Animal Genetic Resources and its implementation by the necessary broad spectrum of stakeholders under an Initiative for Domestic Animal Diversity (iDAD). Decision-making on animal breed use, development and conservation will be upgraded by developing technical guidelines. The dissemination and use of this information and other key data will be through country-based networks of trained cadres and a virtual communications and information system.

132.Development of adapted animal genetic resources for the major farming production environments, and the conservation of unique resources at risk, must both receive focus, as well as the development and use of biotechnological tools for expanded, cost-effective characterization, improvement and effective utilization of farm animal diversity. A network of genomebanks and repositories of last resort based on an agreed strategy will begin for the many resources at risk. Policy development for animal genetic resources and a Global Plan of Action will be considered by the CGRFA.

(iv)Transboundary Animal Diseases

133.This medium-term proposal projects the prevention and progressive control of transboundary animal diseases, and reiterates the objective of global Rinderpest eradication by the 2010. Work will progressively evolve towards removing uncertainties on possible sources for rinderpest worldwide by enhancing the early warning component of EMPRES. A network is to be established involving Liaison Officers at national level as well as a regional focus. A system for international response to disease emergencies will be developed.

134.It is envisaged that, by the end of this medium term period, about two-thirds of the countries in the programme will have been declared free from rinderpest. Countries will be encouraged to adopt the OIE approach to disease control and will be assisted to put in place national contingency plans. Strategies for global eradication of CBPP will be evolved so that a programme can be in place during the medium term period. Strategies for regionally based co-ordinated programmes for FMD control will be evolved.

135.A common strategy for transboundary disease will be to develop mapping and epidemiologically- based forecasting systems to aid disease control management decisions. Elements dealing with infectious diseases, other than priority diseases under EMPRES, will focus on those diseases which impair the productivity of short cycle animal species, particularly in LIFDCs.

Agricultural Support Systems

(i)Farming Systems Approach to Development (FSD)

136.Rapid improvements in food security depend on better knowledge of farm-household systems. The strategy of this sub-programme is to improve methods of analysis and information relating to farm-household systems in different agro-ecological zones, in partnership with agricultural research and development institutions in FAO Member Countries. Activities will be concentrated at three system levels:

*    Refine, at the farm-household system level, participatory and systems analytical methods (including vulnerability assessment) under the Farming Systems Approach to Development (FSD), supporting better evaluation of improved technologies, support systems and policy incentives and, ultimately, increased food production. Undertake multi-disciplinary analyses of selected sustainably intensified farming systems in different agro-ecological zones.

*    Develop, at the farm resource and enterprise level, analysis methods for the valuation and management of farm resources including biodiversity, supporting more efficient resource use. Strengthen farm data systems. Improve technology assessment methods.

*    Provide support for the policy and planning level through improved analytical methods and information about micro-macro linkages between, for example, farm-household systems and structural adjustment.

*    Maintain links with selected innovative regional programmes to facilitate information acquisition and field testing of new methods.

(ii)Agricultural Engineering

137.Agricultural engineering will emphasize activities which support efforts to increase food production, food security and farm incomes, reduction of food losses, as well as activities which address environmental and social issues. Governments will be assisted to formulate basic national agricultural engineering policies and strategies prior to the formulation of programmes and projects. Environmental and health concerns of UNCED Agenda 21 will be addressed.

138.The main thrust on sub-sector policy and strategy issues will address factors which distort the agricultural engineering sub-sector, concentrating on strategies which lead to the development of sustainable supply chains down to farmer level for engineering inputs and thus addressing the main issues of lack of farm power and transfer of technologies. Appropriate attention will be given to developing the private sector. Even in areas of apparent abundant labour, shortages of seasonal rural labour exist. Increased power resources will be needed to increase productivity and reduce costs of production, by making available better selections and utilization of engineering inputs. Technical leadership will be provided for the preparation of projects involving the restructuring of agriculture where the main approach will be to use inputs and investments to develop a sustainable private and commercial sector, instead of concentrating on delivery of inputs only. Work will be continued on application technology for biochemical crop protection materials in order to reduce adverse environmental and health effects. Attention will be given to the alleviation of soil degradation through environmentally sound land preparation techniques. Activities related to farm buildings will be resumed if staff resources become available.

(iii)Agro-Industries and Post-Harvest Management

139.The increased efficiency, diversity and economic effectiveness of integrated food chains is a critical area of focus. The extensive nature of the post-production sector and the close functional linkages between production, harvesting, storage, transformation, transport, retailing and the consumer require a comprehensive understanding of the role and needs of producers, distributors, manufacturers and markets. Small-scale commercial developments are an effective and sustainable route to food and income security. Recognition of this and of the role of the private sector within agro-industrial development is implicit in the strategic approach. It will be based upon detailed analyses of functional constraints (technical, economic and infrastructure), in situ, followed by the development and promotion of technologies, policies and training designed to overcome these limitations. As private entrepreneurs are directly involved in the various operations of this food chain, technical assistance will be directed at their specific needs.

(iv)Agricultural Marketing

140.Improved marketing efficiency is recognized as a key component for achieving sustainable food security. Appropriate marketing structures are also a precondition for crop diversification and greater utilization of non-traditional foodstuffs.

141.Increasing populations and rising urbanization will require improved efficiency and reliability in marketing. Work will focus on assisting member countries to develop policies and strategies to improve the performance of marketing systems for both inputs and outputs, and promoting and facilitating investment by the private sector. Increasing urbanization will require improved rural-urban linkages and the development of improved market information. Establishment and improvement of urban and rural markets and related rural infrastructure, which can improve access and availability to basic foods, is a further essential activity.

(v)Rural Finance

142.Activities will promote improved availability of financial services in support of investment in agriculture, especially food production and related support services. Principally, this will be through policy advice provided to member governments, with particular attention to the specialized area of harmonizing financial and agricultural sector policies, but specific SPFS credit inputs will also be involved. Developing more efficient operational procedures and systems for financial institutions will enable increasing numbers of rural people to be reached, especially food producers, through increased access to agricultural production credit. Improved banking access will also assist the private sector to provide services in support of food production, transformation and distribution.

143.Computerization in rural banks will continue, based on the highly successful programme of the FAO MicroBanking System. FAO will continue its support to the World Bank, World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), Women's World Banking, UNCDF, GTZ and SIDA, in assisting them to introduce the FAO MicroBanking System into their projects. Changes to farming systems to increase production alter the risk profile of both borrowing farmers and lending institutions. The management of such risk will be addressed.

Agricultural Applications of Isotopes and Biotechnology

144.The Programme will assist national agricultural research systems and food control infrastructures in member countries to exploit nuclear, molecular and biotechnological methods for achieving sustainable improvements in crop and livestock productivity and food quality and safety. Emphasis will be given to training and to the evaluation of new technologies through global and regional research networks, in collaboration with relevant IARCs of the CGIAR system, and their implementation through field projects. Activities are directed towards a number of WFS strategic objectives including: promotion of integrated soil, water and nutrient management, genetic enhancement of neglected crops and local genotypes in marginal and stress prone areas, area-wide integrated management of crop pests and livestock diseases and standardized diagnostic tests for monitoring and surveillance of livestock diseases covered by EMPRES. In the area of food quality and safety, the focus will be on coordinating training and quality assurance programmes for analytical laboratories which support national efforts to implement Codex standards on food contaminants.



(i)Nutrition Assessment and Monitoring

145.The effective implementation of the WFS Plan of Action will require improved access to timely and reliable information on the nutritional status of populations and, especially, socio-economically vulnerable groups and their location. The aim is to establish a Global Household Food Security and Nutrition Monitoring System on the nature, extent, magnitude and severity of nutritional problems and how they are changing over time, and seek to strengthen national nutritional surveillance and monitoring activities. The global monitoring system will be based on food insecurity and vulnerability information supplied by national institutions and with the contribution of NGOs, focusing primarily on the poor, women, children and members of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. This activity will contribute to the mapping systems that FAO will establish in collaboration with WHO and WFP in countries most vulnerable to food and nutritional emergencies, as recommended by the World Food Summit.

146.Improved methodologies for assessing and analyzing dietary intakes and nutritional well-being at local and national levels will be promoted, including rapid dietary assessment methodologies and improving the availability and use of food composition data. Efforts to provide up-dated information and recommendations on nutrient requirements will be pursued.

(ii)Nutrition Programmes

147.To achieve the WFS-established goal of the consumption of nutritionally adequate diets by all, building of national capacities will be assisted in order to promote participatory, community-based action to expand, diversify and preserve local food supplies and improve their year-round accessibility; promote better household food security; provide appropriate dietary guidance; and implement effective nutrition education and training activities. Attention will also be given to improving the nutritional benefits of emergency relief and rehabilitation efforts.

(iii)Food Control and Consumer Protection

148.To ensure the quality and safety of food for domestic consumption and to satisfy the requirements of international trade in food as recommended by the WFS Plan of Action, member countries will be assisted in strengthening national food control infrastructures. In the area of food quality control and food safety, emphasis will be given to developing and promoting appropriate quality and safety assurance programmes at all levels of the food chain; assessing the magnitude and geographical location of major food contamination problems, particularly from environmental sources; holding expert consultations to strengthen relevant science-based advice to member countries, to the Codex Alimentarius Commission, and to the World Trade Organization.

(iv)Policy Analysis and Policy Advisory Services in Nutrition

149.The aim is to support efforts to strengthen governments' capacity to formulate and review national plans, programmes and strategies with a view to achieving food security and nutrition objectives consistent with the ICN Plan of Action for Nutrition and the WFS commitments. Emphasis will be given to promoting actions to secure people's access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food for an active and healthy life.

(v)Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme (Codex Alimentarius)

150.The Codex Alimentarius Commission will continue to establish international standards for food quality and food safety for use by members, and by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in the context of the Uruguay Round Agreements on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (the SPS Agreement) and on Technical Barriers to Trade (the TBT Agreement). FAO will also continue programmes to strengthen the national Codex Committees and Contact Points.

Food and Agricultural Information

(i)Statistical Processing and Analysis

151.The compilation, processing, analysis and dissemination of a wide range of food and agricultural statistics, and their regular review and improvement, will remain the major component of this area of work. It includes (a) the maintenance of up-to-date and internationally comparable data series pertaining to agricultural production and trade, food supply/consumption, land use, agricultural inputs and prices, and agricultural population/labour force; and (b) preparation of food balance sheets, economic accounts for agriculture, and indicators/studies relating to food supply, food inadequacy/ undernutrition and environmental concerns. While focusing on these activities, particular attention will be given to:

*    Contributing to the co-ordinated efforts towards the implementation of food insecurity and vulnerability information and mapping system as envisaged in the WFS Plan of Action.

*    Improving the quality and reliability of the basic statistics within the framework of supply utilization accounts for agricultural commodities.

*    Contributing to the development of data/estimates relating to investment in agriculture as contained in the WFS Plan of Action.

*    Training of nationals of developing countries in the processing and analysis of data for the preparation of food balance sheets, economic accounts in agriculture and indicators of the food and nutrition situation.

(ii)Statistical Development

152.In close co-operation with other units and activities, work will concentrate on developing and improving national agricultural statistical systems, mainly to:

*    Improve the quality and timeliness of agricultural statistics at the national level; develop improved statistical methodologies.

*    Develop the skills base for collecting, processing, disseminating and analyzing agricultural data from censuses and surveys.

*    Improve data storage and access.

*    Promote the Programme for the World Census of Agriculture (WCA); undertake methodological reviews and disseminate national census data.

*    Respond to requests for technical assistance.

*    Participate in statistical statutory bodies.


153.The focus will be on the consolidation of WAICENT as a unique source of information and data of world-wide interest, through the development and expansion of FAO's bibliographic, textual, hypermedia, statistical and numerical databases and data banks, as well as through the enhancement of FAO's INTERNET and INTRANET electronic information services. Emphasis will be placed on cost-effective electronic document production, storage and retrieval services and on information dissemination and delivery.

(i)Commodity Situation and Outlook

154.FAO will continue to attach high priority to the monitoring and analysis of agricultural commodity trade and policy developments to assist countries, especially developing countries, to enhance their participation in commodity markets and improve their food security. Emphasis will be on intensified monitoring and informing members of developments in world food prices and stocks as called for by the WFS; and on strengthening information systems for non-traditional export commodities; providing technical advice to developing countries regarding international and regional market opportunities for both traditional and diversified products; and strengthening the export performance of LIFDCs as a means of improving their capacities to meet essential food import needs.

(i)Food Information and Early Warning Systems

155.The main thrusts of GIEWS work in the medium-term will be on follow-up activities to the WFS to contribute to the fulfilment of the objectives of Commitments Five and Seven of the WFS Plan of Action; the expansion of commodity coverage to foods, other than cereals, in countries where they form an important part of the diet; improving the flow of data from countries and regions vulnerable to food emergencies; improving methodologies of crop/food assessments and further development of the GIEWS computerized workstation.


156.AGRIS/CARIS will continue to develop as the world's largest multilingual information cooperative network. Emphasis will be placed on developing new methods to achieve a more comprehensive and cost-effective coverage of national data while providing wider access to AGRIS and CARIS data via the INTERNET and on CD-ROM.

157.The David Lubin Memorial Library will continue to implement the new electronic and on-line information services, including an Integrated Library Management System, as part of the Virtual Library Project. These include desktop access to the Library's catalogues of literature collected from around the world, and to FAO documents. The catalogues will serve as the index and link to access full text documents for electronic delivery at Headquarters, Regional and Sub-regional offices as well as the field offices.

Agriculture and Economic Development Analysis

(i)Comparative Agricultural Development

158.Publication of SOFA remains the highest priority. Over the past three to four years SOFA has been reoriented to become a more useful publication as a reference document for policy analysts and students as well as for policy makers and the interested public. Other priorities include moving the secretariat services for the Network for Agricultural Policy Research and Development for the CEEC and CIS countries to SEUR and continuing work on values and beliefs affecting agricultural policy and on policy delivery systems.

(i)Agriculture in Economic Development

159.Work will address critical policy issues raised in the WFS Plan of Action. Achievement of food security, in both its access and availability dimensions, depends critically on agricultural performance which, in turn, is a function of the overall environment in which agriculture operates. As economies "open up" and internal and external barriers to economic activity and individual initiative fall, the mutual influences between agriculture and its socio-economic and natural resource environment are strengthened. This environment includes (a) the macro-economic dimensions, (b) agriculture's linkages to other sectors, (c) the overall and sector-specific institutional framework, and (c) theresource base of agriculture, including genetic diversity. A thorough analysis of these dimensions and the changing character of the linkages between them and the agricultural and rural sectors is essential for assessing agriculture's contribution to achieving food security and for designing appropriate interventions - at all levels - for agricultural growth and (especially rural) poverty alleviation

160.Adjustment, Transition and the Development of Agriculture in The Economy: A number of developing and transitional economies are undergoing deep macro-economic, institutional and market reforms which have both short-term and long-term implications for food security. The WFS Plan of Action (especially Commitment One) recognizes both the importance of agriculture for food security as well as the importance of an overall economic and institutional policy framework conducive to food security. An analysis of agriculture/non-agriculture interactions in a general equilibrium framework will be performed, with initial emphasis on issues pertaining to the reform and transition situation. Such analysis will lead to policy conclusions for managing the agricultural transformation process. The programme of analysis of agricultural investment in relation to sources of growth and agriculture-based strategies will start in 1997, including appropriate methodological developments.

161.Economics of Sustainable Agriculture and the Environment: The WFS Plan of Action stresses the importance to sustainable agriculture of addressing the connection between agricultural activities and degradation of agricultural resources. Methodological and empirical issues in non-market valuation will be examined in the context of the economics of the valuation and conservation of genetic resources in agriculture, including the economic costs of losses of genetic resources, methods for assessing willingness to pay to prevent such losses and the economic analysis of farm management practices that contribute to preserving bio-diversity in agriculture. Work has begun to develop a methodology for measuring the environmental impacts of economic policy in developing countries in an economy-wide framework.

162.Economics of Poverty in Agriculture and Rural Development: Poverty alleviation in rural areas and the achievement of food security in the face of population growth and the limited possibilities for expansion of the resource base, depend critically on the ability of agricultural growth to create opportunities for off-farm (especially in rural areas) employment and incomes through linkages to upstream and downstream activities. This has priority in Commitment Two of the WFS Plan of Action. The on-going programme on farm/non-farm linkages and farm household income diversification is based on country case studies from all regions, and aims at deriving policy lessons for rural development and poverty alleviation strategies, combining agricultural development with the creation of off-farm income diversification opportunities and a capacity to benefit from these.

(ii)Agricultural Projects Analysis

163.In view of the increasing importance of FAO's agricultural relief and rehabilitation activities, responding to the increase in the number and magnitude of food emergencies linked to a breakdown in food production systems in affected areas, a major set of activities will be related to establishing a solid methodological base for FAO's field operations in the field of emergency response and agricultural rehabilitation, and its widespread dissemination and use. This work will contribute to the follow-up of the implementation of the actions set forth under Commitment Five of the WFS Plan of Action, to prevent and/or to prepare for emergencies in ways that encourage recovery, rehabilitation, development and a capacity to satisfy future needs.

Food and Agricultural Policy

(i)Global Perspective Studies

164.The overriding medium-term priority is to maintain and enhance FAO's in-house capacity to assess global issues of a perspective nature related to food security, such as the future global food production capacity, in order to be able to assess individual countries' food security situations and strategies in a global context.

165.Addressing some fundamental issues of food security and sustainability (e.g., climate change, natural resource scarcities, development of technology) requires global perspective analyses of 30 plus years. Subject to feasibility, serious consideration will be given to undertaking analytical work to produce such a long-term global perspective study.

(ii)Commodity Policy and Trade

166.Trade was recognized by the WFS as a key element in achieving sustainable food security. Efforts will be stepped up to meet the challenges and utilize the opportunities arising from the newpost-Uruguay Round international trade framework. Technical assistance will be provided to help developing countries prepare for future rounds of multilateral negotiations, to ensure that these countries are well informed and equal partners in the process.

167.FAO's network of intergovernmental commodity groups (IGGs) will assist member countries in formulating appropriate national trade and environmental policies conducive to sustainable food security. Under the auspices of the IGGs, efforts will be pursued to promote financial and technical assistance to commodity development, diversification and promotion activities, particularly in LIFDCs. Increasing emphasis will be given to monitoring and analysing the impact of technical developments and environmental measures on commodity trade.

168.The above activities will be undertaken in close cooperation with other international organizations including the Bretton Woods Institutions, UNCTAD, the CFC and others.

(iii)World Food Security Analysis

169.Follow-up to the WFS will require a major effort in developing and implementing a simple but useful system for monitoring actions taken at all levels to live up to the Commitments contained in the Plan of Action, and a set of verifiable indicators for monitoring the impact of actions taken on food security. Under this sub-programme, support to the successful implementation of activities of the Special Programme for Food Security in all LIFDCs will also constitute a medium-term priority.

Policy Assistance

170.Policy work within the purview of the TC Department will be undertaken through the decentralized structures. It will consist of preparation of agricultural sector reviews and policy assistance provided in specific areas such as food security, commodities, sub-regional groups, and trade in liaison with the appropriate technical units. It is expected that increasingly programming activities will aim at strengthening FAO's technical assistance in member countries.

171.Training activities will continue, aiming at strengthening individual and institutional capacities in agricultural policy analysis from the perspectives of the macro-economic environment, international trading regimes, environmental and social issues, as well as in agricultural project planning and decentralized and sector planning.

172.The Investment Centre Division, in its work on agricultural investment identification and preparation, will continue to emphasize the building of local commitment and ownership. Social issues such as gender and poverty, as well as environmental factors, will receive increased emphasis in the project identification and appraisal process.


Research, Extension and Training

173.Four main thrusts are envisaged for sustainable food security and sustainable agricultural and rural development (SARD):

(i)         Research and Technology Development will focus on the implementation of the Rome Declaration on World Food Security and the World Food Summit Plan of Action. Within this framework, the major thrust would be capacity building of the National Agricultural Research Systems of member countries. This will be addressed through technology assessment and transfer initiatives, research and technology policy and planning advice, strengthening organization and management of NARS and active support to the Global Agricultural Research Partnership.

(ii)     International Research Cooperation and Coordination will provide scientific, technical and administrative support to the multi-agency Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of the CGIAR, of which FAO is co-sponsor. The focus will be on food security and sustainable agricultural production issues and linkages with NARS.

(iii)     Extension, Education and Communication is being re-oriented to support the relevant priority action lines of the WFS Plan of Action and Agenda 21. Agricultural Education will focus on developing teaching programmes related to sustainable food security and SARD though residential and distance learning programmes and policies that use agricultural education institutions as community learning centres. Agricultural Extension and Training will focus on policies, strategies and programmes which will enhance transfer of available knowledge and technologies on sustainable food production and address the large coverage and resource problems of extension, particularly in the LIFDCs. Communication fordevelopment would be directed to policies and programmes which will enhance rural people's access (particularly the physically and socially isolated and illiterate) to information, using cost-effective media such as rural radio, multi-media and electronic information systems.

(iv)     Environmental and natural resources management will be the focal point for matters relating to the environment, energy, natural resources information and monitoring, agrometeorology and the promotion of ecotechnologies which are relevant to the seven sets of objectives in the WFS Plan of Action and to FAO's commitments to UNCED's Agenda 21. The major thrusts will consist of:

*    Environmental data and monitoring;

*    Environmental analysis and natural resources management assistance; and

*    Environmental policy and coordination services.

Women and Population

174.Within the framework of the World Food Summit, the Fourth World Conference on Women and the International Conference on Population and Development, work will focus on two major themes: women in agriculture and rural development; and population dynamics in SARD.

175.Priority actions in the major area of Women in Agriculture and Rural Development will include: (a) coordination of the implementation of the FAO Plan of Action on Women in Development (1996-2001) and assistance to members and FAO technical divisions in mainstreaming gender issues in the regular and field programmes; (b) policy advice and assistance in formulation of programmes and projects; (c) enhancement of household food security and socio-economic well-being of the rural population through home economics and food and nutrition advisory assistance; (d) assistance in enhancing women's role in environmental and sustainable development issues; (e) monitoring and statistical data processing of women in agricultural and rural development and (f) strengthening collaboration with NGOs and international institutions.

176.Population Programmes will increase research and assistance to members in identifying the interrelationship between population factors, the bio-physical environment and socio-economic and cultural factors as seen from a sustainable development perspective. Population dynamics, including factors such as growth, migration and HIV/AIDS and their impact on agricultural productivity and sustainability, will be given due attention.

Rural Development

177.Activities will reflect the reform of organizational structures during 1996, and be undertaken within the framework of the World Food Summit Plan of Action:

*    Institutional reconversion and decentralization (of power) through comparative analysis in member countries undergoing these processes of change.

*    Dynamics of rural land markets in countries undergoing political and economic liberalization, their linkages with capital and labour markets and their implications on agricultural production and food security.

*    Inclusion of civil society institutions in the decision-making process that affects the effectiveness of people's participation. Focus will be given to defining the relationship between private and public sectors of society in terms of provision of services and capacity building of civil society institutions for decision- and policy-making.

*    Provision of advice and assistance to governments on the comparative costs and benefits of different tenure forms according to local and national contexts and their relationship to agricultural production and food security.

*    Studies and advice to member countries on improving decision-making processes at the household level in matters of access and utilization of productive assets as a component of poverty alleviation strategies.

*    Studies, analysis and advice to member countries on risk management strategies of the rural poor in farm and non-farm production enterprises to increase availability and access to food and other basic needs as means of rural poverty alleviation and reducing food insecurity.



AARINENA Association of Agricultural Research Institutions in the Near East and North Africa

ACC Administrative Committee on Coordination

AEZ Agro-Ecological Zoning

AG Agriculture Department

AGRIS International Information System for the Agricultural Science and Technology (FAO)

AGROVOC Multilingual Thesaurus of Agricultural Terminology (FAO/CEC)

APO Associate Professional Officer

AQUASTAT   Computerized data base on various aspects of the water balance and on irrigation and the environmental impact of water resources development

ATOP Altitude Tolerant Oil Palm

BSE Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

CARICOM Caribbean Community

CARIS Current Agricultural Research Information System (FAO)

CBD Convention on Biological Diversity

CBPP Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia

CD-ROM Compact Disk-Read Only Memory

CEEC Central and Eastern European Countries

CFC Common Fund for Commodities

CGIAR Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research

CIHEAM International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies

CIMMYT International Centre for Maize and Wheat Improvement

CIS Commonwealth of Independent States

CLASP Conservation of Lands in Asia and the Pacific

CORTALC Conservación y Rehabilitación de Tierras en América Latina y el Caribe (Conservation and rehabilitation of lands in Latin America and the Caribbean)

CROPWAT Computer programme on crop water requirements (FAO)

DAD-IS Global Information System for Domestic Animal Diversity (FAO)

EC European Community

ECOWAS Economic Community on West African States

EMPRES    Emergency Prevention System for Transboundary Animal and Plant Pests and Diseases (FAO)

ES Economic and Social Department

FI Fisheries Department

FMD Foot and Mouth Disease

FO Forestry Department

FSD Farming Systems Approach to Development

GATT General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade

GCP FAO/Government Cooperative Programme

GDP Gross Domestic Product

GEF Global Environment Facility

GIEWS Global Information and Early Warning System for Food and Agriculture (FAO)

GIS Geographic Information System (FAO)

GPA Global Plan of Action

GTZ Deutsche Gesellschaft fùr Technische Zusammenarbeit (German Agency for Technical Cooperation)

HACCP Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point

HQ Headquarters

IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency

IARCs International Agricultural Research Services (CGIAR)

ICARDA    International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas

ICMAP International Council for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants

ICN International Conference on Nutrition

iDAD Initiative for Domestic Animal Diversity

IFA International Fertilizer Industry Association

IFAD International Fund for Agricultural Development

IFDC International Fertilizer Development Center

IGADD Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development

IGG Intergovernmental Group

IITA International Institute of Tropical Agriculture

IPM Integrated Pest Management

IPNS Integrated Plant Nutrition Systems (FAO)

IPPC International Plant Protection Convention (FAO)

IRC International Rice Commission (FAO)

IRIS Interactive Regional Information System

IRRI International Rice Research Institute

ISCRAL International Scheme for the Conservation and Rehabilitation of African Lands (FAO)

KAP Knowledge, Attitude and Practice

KWF Kreditanstalt fùr Wiederaufbau (Germany) (Bank for Reconstruction)

LIFDC Low Income Food Deficit Country

MEDUSA    Network on Identification, Conservation and Use of Wild Plants in the Mediterranean Region

MERCOSUR Southern Common Market

NAP Network for Agricultural Policy Research and Development

NARS National Agricultural Research System (CGIAR)

NDC National Demonstration Centre

NGO Non-Governmental Organization

OIE International Office of Epizootics

PAB Policy Advisory Bureaux (FAO)

PAU Policy Advisory Units (FAO)

PFL Prevention of Food Losses

PGR Plant Genetic Resources

PGRFA Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

PIC Prior Informed Consent

R&D Research and Development

RP Regular Programme (FAO)

SADC Southern African Development Community

SARD Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development

SD Sustainable Development Department

SDWW Women in Development Service

SEAGA Socio-Economic and Gender Analysis

SEUR Sub-Regional Office for Central and Eastern Europe

SIDA Swedish International Development Authority

SIMIS Scheme Irrigation Management Information System (FAO)

SIS SPAAR Information System

SIT Sterile Insect Technique

SNA UN System of National Accounts

SOFA State of Food and Agriculture (FAO)

SOTER Soils and Terrain Database

SPAAR Special Programme for African Agricultural Research

SPFS Special Programme on Food Security (FAO)

SPS Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures

TAC Technical Advisory Committee (CGIAR/FAO)

TBT Technical Barriers to Trade

TC Technical Cooperation Department

TCA Policy Assistance Division

TCDC Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries

TCI Investment Centre Division

TCO Field Operations Division

TCP Technical Cooperation Programme (FAO)

UN United Nations

UNCDF United Nations Capital Development Fund

UNCED United Nations Conference on Environment and Development

UNCTAD United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

UNDP United Nations Development Programme

UNEP United Nations Environment Programme

Unesco United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

UNFPA United Nations Fund for Population Activities

UNSO United Nations Sudano-Sahelian Office

UTF Unilateral Trust Fund

WAICENT World Agricultural Information Centre

WB World Bank

WCA World Census of Agriculture

WFP World Food Programme

WFS World Food Summit

WHO World Health Organization

WID Women in Development

WOCAT World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies

WOCCU World Council of Credit Unions

WTO World Trade Organization



(1) COAG/97/4, February 1995.

(2) See Rural Development with Particular Emphasis on Land Tenure and Off-farm Income, COAG/97/5.