Chapter 3: Development support programmes
Major Programme 3.1 - Field programme planning and liaison
136. The Conference endorsed the emphasis on promoting technical cooperation among developing countries under this programme and stressed that this concept should infuse the activities and approaches of all FAO's technical divisions and activities
137. It also agreed to the strengthening of capacity to appraise and monitor field projects. In this connexion it was suggested that information on past projects could be provided on a country basis in order to assist the countries in making appropriate choices when requesting new projects, and with a view to facilitating exchange of experience.
Major Programme 3.2 - Investment
138. The Conference recognized the crucial role of FAO's investment activities in helping countries obtain more funds for agricultural and rural development and in the light of the imminent establishment of IFAD, unanimously recommended that this particular aspect of the Programme of Work and Budget should continue to receive high priority.
139. In addition to the expansion of joint activities with the World Bank and Regional Development Banks, the Conference agreed with the establishment of cooperation with a new range of financing institutions and the assistance now being given directly to governments, on request, for assistance in project formulation. All this work should be carried out in coordination with the other technical programmes of FAO
140. To ensure the effective utilization of FAO's resources, the Conference endorsed the approach of the Director-General which was based upon undertaking project identification and preparation only after investigation of the prospects of financing from national or external sources being available.
141. The need was stressed for continuing to assist national development banks in the formulation and appraisal of projects as was now done under the Bankers Programme. The importance of greater efforts to train national staff in the technique of project formulation was highlighted. While it was noted that investment missions increasingly worked with and through ad-hoc groups of local experts which undertook a substantial amount of the work of project preparation, a more lasting impact on project preparation capacity would be achieved if such groups were established and supported on a continuing basis.
142. In view of the expansion in the scale of activities of the Investment Centre and the establishment of IFAD, it was suggested that the Programme Committee should undertake as soon as possible a review of FAO's investment activities to assess their contribution and effectiveness in securing a transfer of resources to developing countries.
143. The Conference noted that the future of the Consultative Group on Food Production and Investment (CGFPI) was under consideration and that meanwhile the provision under this programme for FAO's contribution had been maintained.
Programme 3.3.3 - Industry cooperative programme
144. The Conference noted the views of the Director-General, shared by the Programme Committee, that the Industry Cooperative Programme should not be part of the structure of FAO. The need for continued cooperation with industry, particularly at the sectoral level, was recognized. This could assist in the transfer of resources, particularly in management and technology, according to the priority needs of developing countries.
145. The Conference supported the intention of the Director-General to examine the Industry Cooperative Programme, further to the report of the Programme Committee, and to propose to the spring session of the Programme Committee and subsequently to the Council ways of securing appropriate cooperation with industry, in particular for the future.
Major Programme 3.4 - FAO Representative
146. The Conference endorsed the Director-General's policy, approved by the Council, of establishing FAO Representative Offices in countries, fully funded by FAO, to replace the previous Senior Agricultural Advisers/Country Representatives which had been funded one-third by FAO and two-thirds by UNDP. It noted that 11 FAO Representatives were already appointed and that seven more agreements had been signed.
147. It welcomed the fact that the implementation of this policy was being carried out in agreement with UNDP and in recognition of the Consensus. All delegations stressed the importance of close coordination being maintained with the UNDP Resident Representatives at the country level. In connexion with the necessary increase in the budget for this purpose it also welcomed the fact that the majority of Member Governments concerned in the 18 agreements already signed were bearing a significant proportion of the cost of the offices.
148. The Conference stressed the need to employ highly competent officers as FAO Representatives with precise terms of reference, clearly defined relationships with Regional Representatives and Headquarters, and experience in project formulation and programming. In this connexion countries which already had FAO Representatives complimented the Director General on his choice of candidates.
149. Concern was expressed at the rate of establishment of FAO Representatives' offices. Some delegates felt that the tempo could be slower. However, experience had shown that it took up to a year from the initial request to the establishment of an office.
150. The Conference hoped that action on the 36 requests still outstanding would be expedited as far as consistent with the need to maintain a high and balanced level of representation, and with the budgetary provision.
Chapter 4: Technical cooperation programme
151. Full support was expressed for the Director-General's New Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP). The Conference noted with satisfaction the substantial achievements obtained, as reflected in the approval of some 190 projects during the short period of one year.
152. Several delegations cited specific examples to underline the way in which the programme had provided support in a quick, and effective manner. It had responded to urgent problems in e way most programmer or sources of funds were unable to do. Recipient countries felt that they could now count or FAO's help when it was urgently needed. The Conference also noted with satisfaction that TCP projects had concentrated proportionately on the LDC and MSA countries. Some delegations advocated an even higher concentration of TCP projects in the least developed countries.
153. The Conference stressed that the TCP should continue to concentrate on small but urgent development problems, use local staff whenever possible, fill essential gaps in government programmes and act as a catalyst for expansion in the overall volume of agricultural development financing. It was also hoped that projects in the "miscellaneous" category could be more specifically defined in future.
154. The need for close coordination with the UNDP Resident Representative at the country level was generally emphasized. Some delegations felt that TCP projects should be included in the UNDP country programming framework. The Conference however agreed that although TCP projects could be complementary to it, inclusion in the UNDP country programming framework would deprive the TCP of its unprogrammed, quick-response and flexible character which made it so welcome and effective. In any case the coordination of external assistance was essentially a function which only the recipient countries themselves could exercise effectively.
155. The Conference welcomed the arrangements made by the Director-General for the independent evaluation of the TCP and looked forward to the report, to be presented to the autumn, 1978, session of the Council.
156. In the light of these considerations, the Conference endorsed the Director-General's intention to consolidate the progress made in the TCP in 1978-79 and approved the modest increase proposed. It adopted the following resolution:
Technical cooperation programme
Recalling the basic mandate given to FAO in Article I.3(a) of its Constitution which provides that "...It shall also be the function of the Organization ... to furnish such technical assistance as governments may request" ;
Recalling the warm welcome given by the 69th Session of the Council to the Director General's proposal for the establishment of a Technical Cooperation Programme within the Organization's Regular Programmer
Noting that the Technical Cooperation Programme became operational or, 1 November 1976 and that, with the approval of nearly 190 projects, very substantial progress had already been achieved in its implementation during a relatively short period of one year;
Noting also that the 72nd Session of the Council expressed general support of the manner in which the Technical Cooperation Programme has enabled the Organization to assist the developing countries in solving critical problems directly and more expeditiously;
Noting likewise the Director-General's decision to carry out an evaluation of the Technical Cooperation Programme and the action already initiated by him in this respect;
2. Welcomes the Director-General's proposed provision to this end in the 1978-79 Programme of Work and Budget;
(Adopted 1 December 1977)
Chapter 5 : Support services
157. The Conference generally approved Supplements 1 and 2 to the Programme of Work and Budget (List of Publications and Meetings for 1978-79) and particularly agreed with the reductions that had been achieved. It also agreed however that it would be advisable to re-examine the practical utility of certain publications and to consider in certain cases the possibility of merging some of them.
158. Nevertheless, the Conference observed a regrettable imbalance in the languages used for meetings. This imbalance was particularly noticeable for category 3 meetings of panels and working groups of experts.
159. The Conference was informed of the instructions given by the Director-General to ensure language balance in the tasks of the Organization and the responsibilities of the Publications Committee in this regard. It renewed its request at its Fourteenth Session 1 to the Council to "entrust the Programme Committee with the task of initial and periodic review of the Organization's language policy and practice ... in the light of applicable criteria; such a review to include specifically the ... classification of conferences and sessions from the point of view of the use of languages", and further requested that the Programme Committee report to the Seventy-Fourth Session of the Council on this matter. The Programme Committee should also examine the questions raised as regards the utility or timeliness of certain publications or meetings.
160. Interest was expressed in the circulation of information material in languages other than those of FAO in order to reach rural populations. The Conference recalled the guiding principles on publications and documents approved by the Council at its Fifty-Fifth Session in 1970 which stated that (a) FAO publications were directed, among others, to " extension level workers, especially in the developing countries " , (b) token subsidies might be given by FAO to assist in publishing FAO material in languages other than the FAO working languages, and (c) the appropriate agencies of the government concerned were the best placed to adapt these documents in order to obtain widespread distribution and to put them within the reach of all interested parties. The Conference was of the opinion that more could be done in this direction and requested the Director-General to respond appropriately to action which the FAO national liaison committees or countries might propose in this connexion.
161. The Conference reiterated the necessity to produce the preparatory documents for meetings of the Organization in good time so that they might be studied by governments prior to the sessions.
162. The Conference in accordance with financial Regulation 6.9 approved the estimate of expenditure to be borne by the Publications Revolving Fund in 1978-79 out of revenue.
163. The Conference welcomed the relative reduction in the combined cost of support and common services and hoped that this would be maintained in the future.
164. The Conference noted the results of the independent evaluation of AGRIS (organized by Unesco at the request of FAO)as summarized in document C 77/27 together with the actions proposed by the Director-General. It also noted the opinions expressed by the Programme Committee and by the Council in this regard.
165. The Conference concurred in principle with the recommendations formulated by the evaluation team and endorsed the Director-General's conclusions and recommendations for action with respect to the AGRIS programme, including his appeal for continued extra-budgetary support. It expressed its appreciation for the results achieved so far, reiterated its support for AGRIS - an international public service which it considered FAO was particularly qualified to organize and coordinate - and requested the active participation of all Member Nations, at a progressively increasing level. This programme had a great potential as a means for the development of national infrastructures in agricultural documentation as well as for the transfer of appropriate technologies, particularly for the benefit of developing countries and for the promotion of technical cooperation amongst these countries.
166. In discussing the AGRIS activities, the Conference made a number of specific recommendations aimed at developing the coverage of the system in volume and subject matter and its optimum utilization by all potential users. These recommendations included:
(b) the desirability of the AGRIS coordinating centre promoting and/or providing appropriate training for national input personnel and for information users;
(c) the need to improve subject categorization to facilitate access to the literature cited, and to develop multilingual glossaries;
(d) the importance of participating countries increasing their coverage of "non-conventional" literature (i.e. literature not normally available through the usual publishing channels) and the possible coverage of information produced by industrial or commercial bodies;
(e) the value of indicating whether the literature cited refers to basic research, applied research or field results;
(f) the importance of ensuring compatibility between AGRIS activities of Level-One type (current awareness service) and of Level-Two type (specialized, selective information) and, for the latter, to ensure cooperation with other existing specialized information systems and services;
(g) the necessity to ensure liaison with and to consult participating countries in the development of the AGRIS activities;
(h) the desirability of a contribution by AGRIS to the forthcoming World Conference on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries and on Science and Technology;
(i) the importance of utilizing and cooperating closely with other information services outside FAO.
167. The Conference noted that the transition from the experimental to the operational stage involved no increase in the staffing of the AGRIS Coordinating Centre.
168. The Conference noted with appreciation the recent substantial increase in the input from the United States of America. It also noted that, besides providing a timely and effective service in publishing and distributing AGRINDEX regularly, APIMONDIA (Bucharest) had also taken the initiative of publishing a cumulative index covering the first three years (1975-1977). The Conference wished to record its appreciation for the part played by APIMONDIA in the AGRIS programme.
169. Many delegations from European countries expressed their desire for the strengthening of FAO activities. in the European region. They wished to underline that work was being concentrated on activities of interest to developing countries not only in Europe but also in bordering regions, who were therefore encouraged to participate further in FAO's activities in Europe. The Conference accordingly adopted the following resolution:
Activities in the european region
Bearing in mind the importance of Europe in the development of world agriculture, and, in particular, its actual and potential contributions to the development of agriculture in developing countries;
Taking into account the great diversity of natural, economic, institutional and social conditions of agriculture in the Region;
Noting the great interest of the member countries of the Region in FAO's European activities, including the European Cooperative Research networks, in which developing countries are participating increasingly;
Recognizing that efforts have been made to concentrate the European activities on issues which are also of interest to the developing countries, particularly those activities which are in line with the Conference Resolution on the use of national institutions;
Confirming the view expressed by the 10th Regional Conference for Europe that a certain level of activities and an appropriate share in the overall FAO programmes should continue to be maintained in the European Region, in particular those activities favouring the developing countries of the Region;
Requests the Director-General to continue, within the provisions of the PWB 1978-79, to develop FAO's activities in Europe, particularly those of interest to developing countries in and outside the Region, and to investigate further possibilities of facilitating the dissemination of agricultural knowledge and experience gained by European activities to developing countries.
(Adopted 1 December 1977)
170. Comments were also made about the balance of resources among regions. It was recognized that since the larger part of the resources was extra-budgetary this issue had to be approached by countries in their programming decisions.
Level of the Budget
171. The Conference noted that since the full Programme of Work and Budget had been published the Director-General had had to take account of two new developments. The first was the increased cost of the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development, which resulted in an addition of $1.2 million net. The second was the strengthening of the lira against the dollar to around 879 compared to the provisional rate used for calculation of the Programme of Work and Budget of 900. At a rate of 879, the budget level became $211.35 million. Considering that on previous occasions the Conference had revalued the budget at the prevailing rate the Director-General had proposed to the Conference a budget level of $211.35 million.
172. The Conference noted that the Director-General already intended to absorb additional programme costs of $800 000 and that a large number of additional activities had been proposed by the Conference. The Conference agreed that more could not be absorbed without endangering the programme which the Conference had endorsed.
173. With respect to the cost increases, the Conference reiterated its approval of full budgeting. It recognized that the carry-forward of -1976-77 cost increases for the full 24 months of the next biennium was unavoidable and that FAO's budget was not related completely nor directly proportionate to the expected annual rate of inflation.
174. Other factors, including non-fire expenditures (now amounting to some 40 percent of the total) had to be considered. Nevertheless, the effect of currency parities had to be taken into account. Thus, the overall rate of cost increases was only 8 percent per annum. In this connexion, the Conference stressed the indispensable need to protect the programme against unbudgeted inflationary costs and currency fluctuations.
175. Some delegations expressed concern with the continuing increases in the budgets of the organizations of the United Nations system. They also considered that the FAO cost increases were too high and that with full budgeting it was not necessary both to adjust the dollar/fire rate and to constitute a special reserve account. A few delegations also made suggestions for possible reductions in order to lower the budget level. The majority, however, did not agree with these suggestions and reiterated that the budget proposals constituted the minimum to meet requirements.
176. The Conference however considered that the Director-General should be given the necessary resources to consolidate the new policies of FAO that the Conference had approved and that these resources should not be devalued to the detriment of member countries. The Conference agreed therefore with the Director-General's proposals of a budget level of $211 350 000 at 879 fire to the US dollar and adopted the following resolutions:
Budgetary appropriations 1978-79
Having considered the Director-General's Programme of Work and Budget and the conclusions of its Commissions,
Approves the Programme of Work proposed by the Director-General for 1978-79;
Resolves that for the financial period 1978-79:
1. Appropriations are voted for the following purposes: $
|Chapter 1 - General Policy and Direction||17 200 000|
|Chapter 2 - Technical and Economic Programmes||95 500 000|
|Chapter 3 - Development Support Programmes||28 560 000|
|Chapter 4 - Technical Cooperation Programme||25 600 000|
|Chapter 5 - Support Services||33 160 000|
|Chapter 6 - Common Services||10 930 000|
|Chapter 7 - Contingencies||400 000|
|Total effective working budget||211 350 000|
|Chapter 8 - Transfer to Tax Equalization Fund||30 800 000|
|Total Appropriations (Gross)||242 150 000|
2. The appropriations (gross) voted in paragraph 1, shall be financed by assessments on Member Nations, after deduction of Miscellaneous Income in the amount of $3 820 000, thus resulting in assessments against Member Nations of $238 330 000.
3. In establishing the actual amounts of contributions to be paid by individual Member Nations, the assessment of each Member Nation shall be reduced by any amount standing to its credit in the Tax Equalization Fund provided that the credit of a Member Nation that levies taxes on the salaries, emoluments and indemnities received from FAO by staff members shall be reduced by the estimated amounts of such taxes to be reimbursed to the staff member by FAO.
4. The contributions due from Member Nations in 1978 and 1979 shall be paid in accordance with the scale adopted by the Conference at its Nineteenth Session, which contributions, after the deduction of amounts standing to the credit of Member Nations in the Tax Equalization Fund, result in net amounts payable totalling US$209 140 000 as set out in Appendix D to this Report.
(Adopted 1 December 1977)
B. Review of Field Programmes
177. The Conference noted with satisfaction that the Review of Field Programmes 1976-77 had maintained the standard set in the preceding biennia. The document, which was much thinner in volume than in the preceding years, still contained a comprehensive, frank and lucid assessment of FAO's field activities and related development issues. The Conference agreed with the Programme Committee that the addition of charts and diagrams in future issues would further enhance the value and impact of this important document by drawing pointed attention to the valuable statistical indicators contained in the Appendix. This was particularly important as this document was not only of value to the Conference but merited even more serious consideration after the Conference by Member Nations, multilateral as well as bilateral aid agencies and FAO itself in reappraising their policies and procedures concerning technical assistance.
178. The Conference welcomed the frank and critical assessment of country and regional projects presented in Chapter Two of the Review. While noting with regret that many of the shortcomings mentioned in the earlier Reviews and in Chapter Two, on Assessment of Field Programmes, still remained, the Conference commended the discussion of possible remedial measures to the attention of the parties concerned. Several delegates pointed out that these shortcomings were not peculiar to FAO, but also characterized projects executed through bilateral and other multilateral agencies. The Conference agreed with the Director General that many of these shortcomings, even failures, were in the nature of the situation which called for aid in the first place. The important thing was to identify, correct and learn from difficulties and to apply the lessons as appropriate. Several delegates drew attention to specific improvements that had already taken place in the orientation and execution of technical cooperation programmes as a result of these assessments.
179. The Conference underlined the pivotal role of the recipient countries and endorsed the trend towards execution of projects by the countries themselves, and greater involvement of national staff and institutions in project management. The Conference urged the Director General to take every possible step to strengthen this trend further so as to ensure that expatriate experts were used only when local experts or institutions were not available to undertake specific tasks. In the choice of expatriate staff, preference should be given to experts from other developing countries as they would be more familiar with socio-economic conditions, constraints and aspirations in the countries of assignment. Many delegations also felt that the recipient countries should be closely associated with the recruitment of experts and selection of equipment, to ensure in the latter case that such considerations as compatibility with the existing equipment and service and spare part facilities were duly taken into account.
180. Concern was expressed about the continued predominance of expenditure on personnel in technical assistance projects. It was felt that further strengthening of the trend towards the use of national experts, short-term consultants and advisory panels should help relieve the situation in this regard.
181. Concern was also expressed that the diversification of sources of supply of equipment for FAO-assisted projects had not reached a point which could include an appropriate share from developing countries. The urgent need was emphasized of making better known the requirements of FAO-assisted projects on a systematic basis, and appropriate modifications in existing procedures, to facilitate cooperation between sources of supply from developing countries and the Organization.
182. Some delegates felt that the assessment of the regional projects in the Near East, given in the Review was somewhat pessimistic. However. it was recognized that the difficulties of getting effective cooperation and coordination lay principally with the parties concerned. The Conference agreed that the results of the review of regional projects in the Near East should be discussed at the FAO Regional Conference for the Near East to be held in September 1978.
183. The Conference noted the problems that had arisen in the programming and implementation of field projects during the current biennium as a result of the 'liquidity crisis' in the UNDP. It was noted that the UNDP financial crisis had revealed weaknesses in management, and especially the lack of an adequate management information system between UNDP and the Executing Agencies. It was urged that FAO cooperate fully in the establishment by UNDP of the new management information system and the Director-General's positive response was welcomed. It was felt however that the concepts of Country Programming and IPF as used by UNDP still provided a useful frame of reference and should not be discarded in the wake of temporary difficulties.
184. There was at the same time general concern with unduly long intervals between the identification of projects and their implementation, resulting in exorbitant cost increases due to inflation. The Conference recognized that such delays did not in most cases originate with FAO. It underlined the need for a reappraisal of current procedures followed in project formulation with a view to speeding up project execution. In this regard, the Conference favoured the granting of greater flexibility to the field staff to ensure that timely adjustments could be introduced in project design and plans of work in consultation with the government agencies directly concerned. This would be compatible with the policy of decentralization endorsed by the Conference.
185. The Conference suggested that in future assessments informed judgements should be made concerning the impact of FAO's field activities on food production and nutritional improvements in the recipient countries. It was also important to Associate the recipient governments and representatives of the donor agencies more actively with these assessments. Some delegates felt that FAO should undertake a comprehensive assessment in selected countries to seek greater insight into the continuing shortcomings noted in technical assistance projects. Specific references were made to the need for identifying and correcting deficiencies in the transfer of skills to local personnel; technical backstopping by FAO Headquarters and Regional Offices; integration of crop-livestock-forestry components where appropriate; and inadequacies of project results and reports for follow-up actions by the recipient governments. The Conference also felt that both FAO and the recipient governments should take concerted measures for linking technical assistance projects to specific national development programmes, and for securing the active participation of the target population in the preparation and execution of rural development projects.
186. The Conference welcomed the comprehensive review of training in agriculture, forestry and fisheries in Chapter Three of the document. It endorsed the general conclusions concerning the framework within which FAO's training activities and programmes were being progressively orientated. The Conference felt however that the concept of training at the grass roots level in the context of FAO's activities deserved further clarification. While it would be difficult for FAO itself to reach large numbers of farmers or other primary producers in the developing countries, who constituted the population at the grass roots level, the Conference agreed with the Programme Committee that one of the criteria for conceiving and later assessing FAO's training activities should be the extent to which its impact would be felt at that level directly or indirectly.
187. The Conference agreed with the Director-General that training should not be seen in isolation from other factors bearing upon development. The effectiveness of training was contingent upon the efficient use of the persons trained and the new skills acquired by them in the context of national development programmes; its effect on the level of productivity and output was conditioned by continuing institutional and material support. The Conference recognized that the slow progress in the transfer of skills noted in the assessment of technical cooperation projects was at least partly due to the absence of continuity in such support.
188. The Conference felt that while emphasis on farm level and vocational training in FAO's activities was in keeping with the current needs of the developing countries, the training of higher level professional staff was still important to most countries. A number of delegates stressed the continuing need of their countries for middle and high-level training, not only in agricultural, fishery and forestry sciences and techniques, but also in management skills. In fact, some delegates felt that in their countries the point had now been reached where insufficiency of management skills was making it difficult to utilize effectively the existing technical and scientific expertise.
189. The heart of the problem was to provide the correct balance of training assistance required to meet each country's individual needs. The Conference therefore agreed that an important task for the future was the identification of the immediate and future needs of individual countries and of practical links between training at various levels. Another was the formulation of a comprehensive framework of training activities for FAO as a whole taking into account the relationship between different specializations, e.g. in the area of farming or cropping systems, agro-forestry, aquaculture, organic recycling, etc. within which programmes could be drawn up by different technical units as a joint undertaking.
190. The Conference noted that though the number of women trainees was rising, their number was still far too small. Moreover, their training by FAO continued to be concentrated in the areas of home economics and nutrition, a situation which failed to recognize the role of women in many countries as major agricultural producers. The Conference therefore urged that every effort be made to correct this imbalance
191. The Conference welcomed the updating and further analysis of the flow and orientation of aid to agriculture as presented in Chapter Four of the Review. It provided a glimpse of the wider context in which FAO's technical cooperation activities were carried out. Several delegates drew pointed attention to sections dealing with the Essence of Rural Development and the Role of External Assistance in Rural Development which dealt with some of the key issues in a succinct and practical manner. Strong reservations were expressed about the contents of paragraphs 4.27 and 4.28 dealing with assistance from OPEC countries; it was felt that the paragraphs presented a misleading picture.
192. The Conference noted with satisfaction the increasing diversification in the sources of funding for FAO's field activities, including the growing association with the several financing institutions for mobilization of investments in agriculture. The addition of the Technical Cooperation Programme during the current biennium and the proposed arrangements with IFAD in the imminent future had added new dimensions to the Organization's capacity to respond to requests for assistance from the developing countries. While noting with satisfaction the expansion of activities under the FAO/Bankers Programme, it was suggested that, consistent with the objectives of the Programme, the criterion of commercial profitability should not be unduly emphasized in the Programme's activities.
193. Representatives of countries which had placed substantial financial resources at the disposal of FAO in Trust Funds for the execution of "multi-bi" projects and programmes expressed satisfaction with these arrangements. It was recognized that these arrangements enabled both the donors and the developing countries to utilize the technical expertise and accumulated experience of FAO in technical cooperation activities.
194. The Conference also welcomed the progressive integration between FAO's Regular Programme and field activities, as brought out in several sections of the Review. It shared the Director General's view that these links would be even stronger and become more visible as the new policies initiated by him bore fruit. This should help FAO to attract larger funds for execution of field programmes in the developing countries.
195. The Conference urged that the present format of the Review, allowing for comprehensive treatment of one or more special subjects in each issue, should continue. In this connexion, it was suggested that while planning the review for the next biennium consideration be given to including special chapters on (a) assessment of progress in the use of national and regional institutions in FAO's activities; (b) rural development projects; and (c) impact of field programmes on food production and improvement of nutritional standards.