Creation of a
general policy framework
Action plan: areas for concentrating efforts
The general strategy proposed for ICPF/SARD rests on two main points:
The strategy comprises three basic objectives:
In arid, semi-arid and dry subhumid zones, the particular position of farmers at the quasi-subsistence level calls for the following options:
decentralization by devolving more responsibility to local level and by encouraging communities to take the initiative instead of relying on autocratic administration;
granting clearly defined rights concerning resource use;
easing pressure on natural resources by undertaking work to improve, rehabilitate and conserve resources in order to be able to use them more productively, such as:
applying technologies that meet the need for sustainability, in order to ease pressure in areas where the population is particularly high, by:
The action plan has a number of elements.
Sectorial and subsectorial analysis and policy advice. This is the uppermost level, where the results of the whole agricultural sector or subsector analyses are refined into a set of policy parameters for consideration by national decision-makers. Such advisory work takes into account existing or planned national development strategies, together with available or potential resources, and identifies gaps in these national strategies in order to make them sufficiently comprehensive to deliver the desired benefits.
Planning and programming assistance. Within the whole range of FAO activities in this field, three areas of critical importance are identified:
Integrated rural development. This has two major levels:
Conservation and rational use of critical natural resources for sustainable development. This includes land, water, and plant and animal genetic resources.
Safe use of key inputs and technologies. This addresses essentially two areas:
This action plan, approved by the Hundred-andSecond Session of the FAO Council in November 1992, will be implemented through the activities of Special Action Programmes (SAPs) currently being restructured by FAO.
On first analysis, the SAPs would be the following:
One of the main objectives in grouping activities under a Special Action Programme is to enable FAO to use its capabilities fully and to attract sufficient funding for maximum impact. Such an arrangement also meets the increased coherence called for by the donor community; donors prefer to work with a programme approach rather than disconnected ad hoc projects. This should catalyse financial support for the programmes.
Finally, the emergence of ICPF/SARD and the related SAPs undoubtedly contributes to giving them a clear identity and will encourage the interagency cooperation and coordination that FAO is actively seeking.