VI. Activities and programmes of the organization
A. Programme of work and Budget 1978-79
B. Review of Field Programmes
C. Medium-term objectives
D. Technical Cooperation Among Developing Countries in the Field of Agriculture and Food
E. United Nations/FAO world food programme
F. Relations and consultations with International organizations
G. Review of Arrangements for the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development
A. Programme of work and Budget 1978-79
Overall policy issues
Presentation of the Programme of Work and Budget 1978-79
Chapter 1: General Policy and Direction
Chapter 2: Technical and economic programmes
Chapter 3: Development support programmes
Chapter 4: Technical cooperation programme
Chapter 5 : Support services
Level of the Budget
69. The Conference recalled that at its Eighteenth Session it had adopted unanimously Resolution 16/75. This had requested the Director-General to review the programmes, structures and policies of the Organization in the light of the Conference's deliberations. Foremost among the concerns of the Conference had been the implementation of a New International Economic Order, the urgent and concrete requirements of all Member Nations, the pressing needs of developing countries, steps towards an appropriate decentralization of FAO and the use of national institutions.
70. In the Director-General's Review presented to the Council in July 1976, he had proposed a new dimension and a new orientation to the work of the Organization. The Council had fully endorsed the Director-General's integrated set of proposals, including a much greater emphasis on investment, the establishment of a Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP), emphasis on decentralization at the country level, and the concurrent concentration on practical, short term activities and reduction in meetings, documents and Headquarters posts. The subsequent Regional Conferences had also endorsed the new policies and programmes in a series of Declarations. At its Seventy-First Session in June 1977, the Council had expressed general support for the summary Programme of Work and Budget for 1978-79 which it considered had consolidated and extended the new policies it had approved in July 1976. The Programme and Finance Committees and the Council had then reviewed the full Programme of Work and Budget, and confirmed that it fully reflected the new policies.
Overall policy issues
71. The Conference endorsed the main lines of the new orientation of FAO as approved by the Council at its Sixty-Ninth Session and fully reflected in the Programme of Work and Budget. It agreed that the Director-General's proposals had fully responded to Resolution 16/75 and noted with satisfaction that the overall thrust of the proposals was to make the Organization more field-oriented and more responsive to the needs of its members and FAO's resources were now being mobilized to concentrate on the highest priority: to conquer hunger and malnutrition among the rural poor.
72. With this in mind, the Conference strongly supported the recurrent theme in the Programme of Work and Budget of the need to remove constraints to increased production and the associated needs for investment, training, credit, processing, marketing, improved seeds, reduction of food losses, research, appropriate technology and other inputs. The new dimensions of FAO, particularly the TCP and other steps towards decentralization at the country level, would give it the means to realize these aims and to make a substantial contribution to the reduction of poverty and the achievement of the objectives of the New International Economic Order in the field of food and agriculture, particularly in the most seriously affected and least developed countries.
73. In this connexion it was noted that, although the proportion of Regular Programme expenditure in Chapter 2 was slightly lower, the overall percentage of expenditure, including TCP and investment for technical, economic and other substantive activities would increase, while expenditure for policy direction and support services would decrease.
74. The Conference concurred with the now evolving process of decentralization, under the Regular Programme, to the regional and country levels and welcomed the fact that the proportion of expenditures in regions and countries would increase from 16 percent to 29 percent, compared to 1974-75.
75. This would be achieved by the proposed reduction of staff at Headquarters, the increase in the Regional Offices, the plans for FAO Representatives, and the emphasis on action programmes at the country level, particularly through the TCP, the increase in investment programmer, and intensified use of national institutions. In this connexion, the Conference noted with appreciation the additional information provided by the Director-General on decentralization to the country level and the Regional Offices. It welcomed the evolutionary approach with the objective that each level of the FAO structure would be mutually supportive in the interest of maximum operational efficiency and economy. The Conference therefore hoped that Regional Offices would play their full role in supporting and backstopping FAO Representatives and country level activities. It stressed, however, that the reduction in bureaucracy at Headquarters should not lead to the building-up of an alternative bureaucracy at the regional and country levels. A number of delegations, however, opposed the simultaneous strengthening of the regional and the country offices. In this respect they recalled that the Council, in agreeing with the proposals on decentralization submitted by the Director-General to its Sixty Ninth Session in July 1976, had "agreed that the most effective way of implementing decentralization was to upgrade the quality and strength of FAO representation at the country level rather than to expand Regional Offices."
76. The Conference welcomed the Director-General's innovations in the methods of work, particularly the reduction in Headquarters' posts and the consequent reduction from 77 percent to 62 percent in the proportion of expenditures for staff since 1974-75. Consequently, more of the budget would be devoted to direct assistance to Member Nations, including the use of national institutions.
77. Strong support was expressed for the greater use proposed of consultants and national institutions; and it stressed that the maximum use be made of the consultancy services and the national institutions available in developing countries. It was further suggested that FAO's policy on the use of national institutions be reviewed in depth by the Programme Committee during the forthcoming biennium.
78. Concern was expressed by some delegations about the proposed increase in travel but it was generally recognized that an increase was needed in order to maximize the increased field and country orientation of the Organization. In this connexion, it was however noted that in order to cover certain unbudgeted programme elements the Director-General already intended to adjust allocations for travel.
79. The Conference noted with approval that the Director-General had kept the proposals for organizational changes to a minimum and endorsed the changes proposed with respect to the consolidation of fertilizer activities, the transfers of the Evaluation Service, the Research Development Centre, and the Remote Sensing Unit and the minor changes in the Investment Centre and the Fisheries Department.
80. The Conference also welcomed the further reduction in meetings, excluding training courses, and in documentation, while stressing that it was also important to maintain the quality, relevance and language balance of meetings and documents. It was suggested that this could be a suitable subject for future review by the Programme Committee.
81. The Conference reiterated its continuing concern over the timely receipt of documents for meetings and the need to schedule meetings with this in mind, and requested action towards improvement.
82. The Conference noted that the figures for extra-budgetary funds contained in the Programme of Work and Budget were only projections but that while some optimism about the Trust Fund situation was justified, especially in view of the creation of the Special Account for the Prevention of Food Losses, the outlook for the level of FAO/UNDP activities was less encouraging. This appeared to be due mainly to slowness in new project allocations which was bound to affect adversely the level of future delivery. It was also a matter of concern that FAO's share of allocations in the first part of 1977 had fallen from the normal level of around 30 percent to only approximately 24 percent. The Conference hoped that the level of UNDP-funded activities would soon be restored.
Presentation of the Programme of Work and Budget 1978-79
83. The Conference expressed its satisfaction with the new programme structure and the significant innovations in the concise and comprehensive presentation of the Programme of Work and Budget. It particularly appreciated the three main dimensions of the presentation by programme, by region, and by organizational unit. It was now also possible, for the first time, to see at a glance FAO's entire programme, under all sources of funds. The programme tables, in presenting the resources by sub-programme, fund, region and unit, were welcomed. The inclusion of the medium-term outlook at the major programme level provided the broader perspective within which the biennial proposals could be assessed.
84. It was noted with satisfaction that the Director-General had applied the principles of zero-based budgeting in preparing the Programme of Work and Budget and that he intended to continue to improve both the methods of programme formulation and the presentation of the document along the lines now established.
Chapter 1: General Policy and Direction
85. The Conference welcomed the introduction of a Regular Programme Evaluation System as approved by the Council at its Seventieth Session. It agreed that the main purpose of evaluation should be to help improve future programmer and lead to more selective use of the human and financial resources of the Organization in the light of circumstances and urgent needs. It noted that evaluation should focus on the effectiveness of programmer in achieving the major goals of the Organization, such as improving nutrition for specific groups of people.
86. It was stressed that the evaluation should be objective and independent. It was noted in this connexion that the Joint Inspection Unit would also provide a source of external evaluation.
87. It was noted that the Review of Field Programmes would continue to be prepared separately for the time being. However, it was hoped that eventually it might be possible to combine it with the Regular Programme evaluation report to the Conference, particularly in view of the need to ensure that the inter-relationship of the Field and Regular Programmes was an important feature of the new approach. Where appropriate, evaluation studies should cover related parts of both Field and Regular Programmes.
88. The Conference also noted that the Programme Committee's review of programmer would continue on its present basis for the time being but the possibility of combining this with reviews of evaluation reports would be considered at a later stage in the light of experience.
Chapter 2: Technical and economic programmes
Programme 2.1.1 - Natural resources
89. The Conference welcomed the integration of fertilizer activities, including the International Fertilizer Supply Scheme in the new Fertilizer and Plant Nutrition Service. It also noted the decision of the Council that the Commission on Fertilizers be placed on a permanent basis, with revised terms of reference. It hoped that the Commission would be able to make progress in ensuring a regular and timely supply of data on production, prices and trade to the Member Nations. The Conference also endorsed the recommendation of the Seventy Second Session of the Council regarding FAO pursuing work related to price stabilization, with particular reference to the option proposal.
90. A number of other elements of this programme were stressed by various delegates. These included (a) the use of non-traditional energy resources which would not upset the biological cycle, (b) the need for further study on the problem of recycling organic wastes particularly in Asia and the Far East, (c) the necessity for the rehabilitation and improvement of existing irrigation schemes and for the survey of irrigation potential to concentrate on local problems, (d) the need for an integrated approach to land use planning, and (e) more attention to farming systems in the wet tropics. In connexion with point (e) above, particular attention was drawn to the waste of natural resources in many rainfed agricultural systems, particularly on sloping terrains. With increasing population pressure, the regeneration period in traditional shifting cultivation systems was becoming too short to maintain a soil and water equilibrium. This problem, together with more intensive cultivation combined with lack of adequate inputs, was leading to the degradation of natural resources.
91. The Conference appreciated the high priority given to the improvement of productivity in low rainfall areas over recent years, noting that the Committee on Agriculture had reviewed case studies and been kept informed of dryland farming programmes in several countries.
92. It also noted that this priority would be maintained in 1978-79 and that, inter alia, five national workshops end a regional workshop would be held on rainfed crop production and farm management for small farmers in Asia and the Far East.
Programme 2.1.2 - Crops
93. The Conference welcomed the concentration on the two main priorities on which the greatest impact could be made, namely seeds and post-harvest losses. It commended the emphasis on the use of appropriate cropping methods and on the production and utilization of quality seed and planting materials and agreed to the proposed strengthening of the Seed Improvement and Development Programme. This programme could, given sufficient resources, provide immediate and direct benefits to small farmers in many countries and could thus be a clear and practical expression of the new field and action orientation of FAO. The Conference accordingly adopted the following Resolution:
Seed improvement and development programme (SIDP)
Recalling Resolution XII of the World Food Conference recommending that international efforts in relation to the FAO programme for the improvement and development of seeds be strengthened in order to promote further national seed production and utilization efforts, both for domestic use and export, including the training of technical and managerial manpower;
Noting also the recommendations of previous FAO Conferences on the need to strengthen FAO's assistance in seed programme development;
Appreciating the previous efforts of the Food and Agriculture Organization in concert with other members of the United Nations system and bilateral donors in providing effective assistance to 32 countries resulting in the production of more than 200 000 tons of quality seeds; the training of over 400 technicians, field workers and seed technologists and the identification of aid-packages and requirements;
Welcoming the agreements reached at both the Conference on International Economic Cooperation and the Third Session of the United Nations World Food Council, as now confirmed by the General Assembly of the United Nations, on the need to provide "that the developing countries be supported through bilateral programmes or contributions on a voluntary basis to the FAO Seed Industry Development Programme in an amount of at least US $20 million";
Considering that the addition of such a volume of resources for the implementation of seed production and supply projects including seed reserves, aimed at having a visible impact at village level, would cover an additional 20 - 25 developing countries, mostly Least Developed (LDs) and Most Seriously Affected Countries (MSAs) and thereby would permit several hundred thousands of small farmers in developing countries to benefit more rapidly from the considerable national and international efforts in crop research and plant breeding;
2. Appeals to Member Nations to contribute to the FAO Seed Improvement and Development Programme in an amount of at least US $20 million and appeals also to intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to contribute to the Programmer
3. Requests the Director-General to make appropriate preparations for actively seeking voluntary contributions for implementation of projects within national seed programmer;
4. Requests Member Nations to take further active steps in introducing policies and measures for the production, storage, quality control, distribution, marketing, promotion and training of farmers in the utilization of quality seeds, which could be financed under the Programmer
5. Calls upon the Council, through the Committee on Agriculture, to keep progress under review.
(Adopted 1 December 1977)
94. The Conference agreed with the provision of increased Regular Programme resources for the necessary technical backstopping and logistic support for post-harvest losses activities. However, while supporting this increased priority for post-harvest losses, some members were concerned lest this should result in a lessening of support for other crop protection activities, particularly the use of pesticides.
95. Further international coordination in the field of registration of pesticides by governments was considered desirable. Pesticides remained the basis of an effective pest control system and should be used in the most effective and economical way. This might best be achieved in some cases by integrated pesticide use with natural control factors, cultural practices, host-plant resistance and other means. Due attention should therefore be given to integrated pest control management systems, to schemes for regulating pesticide use, and to the collection of data on the safe and efficient use of pesticides. It was also suggested that there should be an increase in manpower for pesticide activities in Headquarters. The Conference noted that provision was made for these activities under this programme and that the FAO/UNEP Cooperative Global Programme for the Development and Application of Integrated Pest Control in Agriculture would continue to develop and implement field projects.
96. Other aspects of this programme emphasized by delegates included genetic resource development and conservation, particularly in pulses and horticultural and vegetable crops, the need for work on storage and structures to concentrate on assistance to small farmers, oil palm research, and research on cropping patterns in small-holder and subsistence farming. Since pulses provide an important source of protein to many developing countries, the need was stressed of strengthening FAO activities in this regard, and as a first step a study both on genetic breakthroughs and on improved crop practices. was requested.
97. The Conference emphasized the importance of the food and agricultural products processing industries. Concern was expressed on the need for adequate implementation of the last Conference Resolution 12/75, Development of Food and Agricultural Products Processing Industries, on this subject. The hope was expressed that in the implementation of the current Programme of Work and Budget, this area of work will receive due emphasis and that in the next Programme of Work and Budget the resources of this sub-programme will be adequately augmented.
Programme 2.1.3 - Livestock
98. The Conference endorsed the importance of the International Meat Development Scheme (IMDS) and the International Scheme for the Coordination of Dairy Development (ISCDD). It noted that for both schemes there was a core staff at Headquarters funded under the Regular Programme, while additional Headquarters staff were provided from extra-budgetary funds. The major use of the substantial extra-budgetary funds under both schemes was however for field projects in developing countries for the promotion of meat and milk development.
99. The Conference observed that external funding of projects identified by missions carried out under the IMDS and ISCDD had fallen short of expectations. It noted that in future countries requesting assistance under these schemes would be urged to play a more active part in the fund-seeking effort, and potential donor countries and agencies would be involved at as early a stage as possible in the development of projects. Since it would not be possible to continue the development work which had already been achieved in a large number of countries without substantial extra-budgetary funds, the Conference expressed satisfaction with the expected continuation of extra-budgetary funding in 1978-79 and hoped that additional funds would be forthcoming from countries or agencies other than those which already make significant contributions.
100. The Conference noted that comprehensive training in animal production, animal health and meat and milk processing, strongly supported by extra-budgetary funds, would continue. It underlined the importance of this activity, recognizing that, as in other sectors. lack of skilled manpower remained one of the most serious constraints to development.
101. The Conference recognized the serious constraint to animal production, and also to general agricultural development, imposed by the widespread occurrence of animal trypanosomiasis in Africa. It noted that, while it was extremely difficult to estimate the potential increase in the number of cattle in areas cleared of tsetse, it was believed that the estimate of 120 million head was not unrealistic. It supported the proposals for the development of the Programme for the Control of African Animal Trypanosomiasis and stressed the importance of the role of FAO as a coordinating agency for the projects launched by governments and often supported by bilateral and multilateral assistance agencies. It emphasized the importance of FAO as a forum for the elaboration of a plan which would embrace all the affected areas of the African continent and requested the Director-General to continue his efforts to prepare and submit such a plan. Strong support was also given to the proposals set out for improved control of ticks and tick-borne diseases.
102. The importance was stressed of expanding work on the breeding of animals for resistance to disease and particularly to parasites. In this connexion the Conference noted with satisfaction the work which had been launched by FAO in conjunction with UNEP and the International Livestock Development Centre for Africa on trypano-tolerant cattle which constituted an important resource, particularly in those areas of West Africa where tsetse control was difficult.
103. A number of delegations referred to the contribution made by FAO and its European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease to the control of foot-and-mouth disease in Europe and it was hoped that research and field activities would continue to be supported.
Programme 2.1.4 - Research
104. The Conference agreed with the emphasis of this programme on assisting countries in building strong national research capabilities ensuring application of research results through extension and field delivery services. The Conference considered that FAO could also make a significant contribution in promoting technical cooperation among developing countries in this field by (a) promoting cooperation in research among developing countries, with developed country institutions and with regional and international agricultural research centres, and (b) stimulating research contracts to national institutions in developing countries by international and bilateral donor agencies as an additional means of strengthening national research capabilities.
105. It noted with satisfaction that this work would be closely integrated with the programmes of substantive divisions through transfer of the Research Development Centre to the Agriculture Department and the existing Inter-Departmental Working Group on Agricultural Research and its Applications chaired by the Assistant Director-General, Agriculture Department.
106. Concern was expressed about the proposal to set up an International Service for National Agricultural Research presented to the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), and it was stressed that FAO was fully experienced and equipped to provide assistance to national agricultural research. FAO would continue to work to ensure that the essential link between research, extension and production was maintained. The Conference therefore urged the CGIAR to take full account of FAO's role and capacity in its consideration of the proposal.
Programme 2.1.5- Rural Development
107. The Conference agreed that owing to the appointment of a high level advisory committee as recommended by the Council, enlargement of scope of the Conference to cover rural development in its broadest aspects, the addition of further languages, the preparation and holding of a preparatory meeting, and the need to mobilize interest and participation, it was necessary to devote more resources to the preparation of the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development. It was recognized that even with these additions the total cost would still compare very favourably with the cost of other world conferences recently held or planned for the near future.
108. The Conference agreed that the field of credit provided a good example of the Organization's efforts to promote self-reliance, to encourage the use of national and regional institutions, and to facilitate technical cooperation among developing countries. FAO was assisting in the establishment of Regional Agricultural Credit Associations: the FAO Scheme for Agricultural Credit Development (SACRED) could be instrumental in mobilizing technical and financial assistance to strengthen national agricultural credit institutions. It was however suggested that regional agricultural credit associations should be encouraged to become self-reliant in the shortest possible time. While a beginning had been made in using national institutions, both governmental and non-governmental, and while both intra- and inter-regional exchanges of experience were being fostered, there was need to further intensify efforts in this regard. The Conference recommended that experience in this field should be emulated in other fields so as to use the full potential of the developing countries' own capacities.
109. With respect to rural development in general, the Conference agreed with the focus on rural poverty and basic needs as an additional dimension of all FAO programmer. It welcomed the assumption by FAO of the lead agency role in this field and hoped that the UN and the Specialized Agencies concerned would actively cooperate with FAO with a view to evolving practical action. It also endorsed the establishment of the Centre for Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific.
110. There was some concern that work on cooperatives appeared to have been de-emphasized. It was noted that work on cooperatives had previously been identified under a separate subprogramme, but was now included under sub-programme 126.96.36.199 Rural Institutions and Employment, and that the Cooperative Group was still clearly identifiable in the Organization Chart on page 262 of the Programme of Work and Budget. There was also a change in emphasis towards more action at the country level by abolishing a post at Headquarters and eliminating publications and meetings and by replacing these by additional resources for work with national institutions on small farmers' production cooperatives. While appreciating these adjustments, it was stressed that a higher priority should be given to the work on cooperatives.
111. The Conference underlined the importance of local marketing which should receive considerable attention in the work on subsistence producers' participation in marketing systems and through specific village level marketing activities, using both Regular Programme and extra-budgetary resources.
112. The Conference endorsed the high priority given to training. It noted that training was an integral part of all the substantive programmes and supported the establishment of a focal point to coordinate training activities. It was felt that more information on this aspect of all the various programmes would be helpful in the future.
113. The Conference noted that population activities were not considered as a separate programme under the Regular Programme but as components of a number of programmes and subprogrammes, such as those for education, training and extension, agricultural and rural institutions, food and nutrition, etc. The cost of these components was of the order of $400 000 per annum. The bulk of the resources for population activities was financed by UNFPA allocations of about $2 million per annum.
114. The increased emphasis on the role of women in all aspects of rural development was particularly welcome and merited especial attention of FAO.
Programme 2.1.6 - Nutrition
115. As regards the reduction in the Programme of Work and Budget, it was noted that this was owing to the reallocation of the resources of regional offices away from general nutrition studies and towards support to countries' efforts to increase food production. The Headquarters provision had not been reduced but a considerable shift had also taken place at Headquarters by streamlining administrative activities to allow more resources to be concentrated on applied nutrition, nutrition assessment and surveillance, intervention and training as well as the new inter-agency responsibilities assumed by FAO.
116. There was considerable concern that FAO's activities in nutrition should be strengthened and that budgetary provision should be increased to a point adequate to support a strong programme.
117. The need was stressed for a quick and reliable methodology to assess the impact of all FAO's policies and programmes on the nutrition status of low-income consumers in developing countries. It was noted that each nutrition activity in the field contained a built-in evaluation which provided feed-back information for improving project efficiency and for measuring the impact on the target population. This was particularly the case for projects carried out on behalf of WFP and feeding programmes for vulnerable groups. Furthermore, nutrition surveillance systems were being tested in cooperation with WHO and UNICEF to assess the impact of agricultural development plans on the nutrition of the rural poor. These systems aimed not only at monitoring changes in the nutrition situation of population groups more exposed to hunger and malnutrition, but also at foreseeing impending food shortages to prevent deterioration of nutritional status. As soon as sufficient information would be available, a progress report would be submitted to the ACC Sub-Committee on Nutrition and also to the next session of the Ad Hoc Committee on Food and Nutrition Policies in March 1978.
118. While several delegations recognized the usefulness of the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme, the Conference agreed that the programme should concentrate more on the needs and concerns of developing countries. This had been considered by the Executive Committee of the Codex Alimentarius Commission at its last session and would be considered by the Commission at its next session in April 1978. The outcome would be reported by the Director-General to the Autumn Session of the Council in 1978 and to the Conference in 1979.
119. It was suggested that this programme should be financed by voluntary contributions rather than by the Regular Programme so that more resources under the nutrition programme could be devoted to solving food problems in developing countries.
Programme 2.1.7 - Food and agricultural information and analysis
120. Several delegations expressed their support for the Food Information System and for the continuation of FAO's provision of overall statistical information. Attention was drawn to the relatively limited extra-budgetary resources for this programme, particularly since poorer countries could not afford comprehensive information systems, and to the need for statistics relating to poverty-oriented programmes.
Programme 2.1.8 - Food and agricultural policy
121. The Conference reiterated its support for the International Undertaking on World Food Security and welcomed the progress in the Food Security Assistance Scheme. In this connexion it was felt that more priority could be given to projects to strengthen national production capacities and to coordinating aid to national food security projects.
122. Several delegations supported the "Agriculture Towards 2000 " project not only as FAO's response to United Nations system-wide activities in support of the Third Development Decade but also as a broad framework for FAO's own policy development. Others however cautioned lest too much reliance should be placed on long-term projections.
123. The Conference welcomed the reduced emphasis in this programme on country perspective and theoretical studies and the increased emphasis on training and assistance in the formulation of investment projects.
124. The Conference endorsed FAO's assistance in commodity policy at the country level and the assistance being given to the UNCTAD Integrated Programme on Commodities. It was realized that this required substantial resources which could be reassessed after the completion of the preliminary phase of the UNCTAD programme. Caution was recommended against undertaking too many studies, which could delay decisions both in UNCTAD and in the FAO Intergovernmental Groups.
Major Programme 2.2 - Fisheries
125. The Conference supported the programme for fisheries. In particular. attention was drawn to the importance of inland fisheries and the potential in aquaculture. It was noted that FAO's own resources had been supplemented by extra-budgetary funds, chiefly from UNDP, which were being utilized through the FAO/UNDP Aquaculture Development and Coordination Programme, regional projects and national projects. The inland fisheries commissions of Africa and Latin America had also been activated and the member countries had started to show a greater interest in inland fisheries. In addition, FAO in cooperation with UNDP, had been organizing training programmes. It was felt that FAO should continue to develop these activities vigorously.
126. It was however observed that present annual world production from aquaculture. was around 10 million tons compared to 60 million tons from marine fisheries, taking into account that most marine resources were not fully exploited. It was therefore necessary to devote more resources to marine fisheries on which, apart from the big commercial fisheries, about five million small-scale/artisanal fishermen depended.
127. The Conference noted that a major thrust of the fisheries programmes was to increase the availability of fish for consumption as food. The proposed Fish Utilization and Marketing Service would pay particular attention to this, with emphasis on small pelagic fish, which was the main harvest of small fishermen. The development and improvement of small-scale fisheries at the local level was also an important aspect of the programmer.
128. It was noted that in keeping with the policy of decentralization the regional fishery bodies were being called upon to play a more active role in stimulating interest in fishery development activities, in providing fore for discussion of common problems and for technical cooperation among developing countries, and in the coordination of national fishery policies. The Conference noted with satisfaction that several regional fishery bodies had taken steps to amend their constitutions to enable them to play this role more effectively, which was particularly necessary in view of the changes in the ocean regime.
129. The Conference generally agreed with the reduction in resources for and the streamlining of the fishery policy and information programmes in order to provide more resources for increasing the capacity of countries to develop and utilize their fish resources. The efficiency of the data and information collection and analyses activities would also be increased under the new Fisheries Information Programme aimed to improve countries' data collection and analyses capabilities. These shifts were agreed as an appropriate response to the more urgent needs the fisheries programmes were expected to meet in the future with the changes in the ocean regime.
130. The Conference endorsed the special attention FAO had been and would be giving to help developing countries adapt to the new situations arising from changes in the regime of the seas. The Conference urged that assistance should be given particularly to helping countries with extended jurisdictions in exploiting and managing their new resources. This would be a practical expression of the implementation of the New International Economic Order . It was noted that several workshops had been organized in Africa and Asia and missions had been and would be sent to developing countries to advise them on the steps to take, but special effort to mobilize funds to assist countries was needed.
131. The Conference noted that a proposal for the establishment of a Near East Fishery Commission had been agreed by COFI.
132. Attention was drawn to the resource assessment surveys being carried out through FAO/UNDP projects with East Africa and in the Arabian Sea. It was noted with approval that resource assessment surveys would be an important component of a new project for the Red Sea which was being formulated.
Major Programme 2.3 - Forestry
133. The Conference approved the proposals for forestry. It endorsed the emphasis being placed on tropical forestry, small-scale forest industries, the strengthening of local institutions and the closer integration of forestry with overall land use and land development programmer. The importance of training technicians and forest workers and of promoting forest products trade and investment was also stressed.
134. It agreed that workers' training activities should be expanded outside the traditional areas of forest operations, logging and transport, to cover the overall needs of small-scale forest industries for trained manpower. It approved the provision made for the strengthening of national and regional institutions to undertake such training, with FAO in cooperation with ILO, designing and organizing training courses for instructors.
135. Several delegates welcomed the proposed programme, with support from SIDA, on Forestry for Local Community Development which was primarily geared to promote and integrate forestry's contribution to the overall effort to assist the rural poor. It was stressed that unless forest resources were mobilized to contribute more directly to the well-being of the rural people the conservation of the forests as a permanent resource for sustained benefits would be in jeopardy. The programme should have a more comprehensive objective than the production of fuelwood and other small-size wood for the immediate needs of the rural people and include the combined production of food and wood through systems of agri-sylviculture or agro-forestry. In this connexion the need for assistance in reafforestations was emphasized.