Mobilization of Human Resources for Rural Development
327. The Conference agreed that, as a prerequisite for other development action, this area should have the highest priority among the Organization's five Areas of Concentration. Frequent reference was made to the human factor as the key to the development process. Basic restraints to agricultural development were not merely technical, but largely human and institutional.
328. The Conference stressed the inter-related nature of the various aspects of this area and the need for an integrated approach. It was noted that the restructuring of the Rural Institutions Division, the establishment of the special action group in this area of concentration and the interdivisional working groups on education and training and on social problems, all contributed to this integration. This was also the rationale behind FAO's strategy of a selective area approach to integrated rural development.
329. The Conference considered that the background papers for this area should be elaborated into a more detailed strategy which could provide both a frame of reference for FAO's programme, and a useful guideline for national planning and development in this field. Such a strategy must consider the organization and institutional forms essential to economic growth and social progress, as these were inter-dependent aspects of total rural development. It was noted, however, that a blueprint applicable to all situations was not realistic and priorities for action would have to be determined at national levels.
330. Concern was expressed about the danger of a differential rate of growth between the more progressive and the traditional segments of rural society. This growing gap could lead to serious social unrest if not adequately considered in development planning. The Conference, therefore, urged that development programmes give due weight to the needs of the larger masses of the rural population, and emphasized the need to involve the people as broadly as possible in development planning and implementation. To this end it was felt that large-scale financial resources on "soft" terms should be made available to developing countries for the implementation of rural infrastructure.
331. Considerable stress was given to the importance of different kinds of cooperatives and other organizations for farmers and rural people. A number of delegates urged greater effort by FAO in the fields of agrarian reform, cooperatives, farmers' organizations, marketing and credit organizations and similar groups, pointing out that such institutional forms played a key role in both economic growth and social progress. The new joint FAO/ILO/ICA/IFAP/IFPAAW activities for agricultural cooperation in developing countries were strongly endorsed; the Conference urged greater FAO initiative and leadership in this project and noted that new forms of cooperative, farmer, and other rural organizations were being promoted. While FAO had no special budget for the FAO/ILO/ICA/ IFAP/IFPAAW cooperative programme, it had placed a part of its regular resources for staff, travel and facilities at the disposal of this programme and for the establishment of a clearly identified unit. FAO was interested in cooperative relations with farm labour groups, but it was appreciated that their principal relations would be with ILO. The Government of Poland offered to host FAO annual training seminars in this field on the new forms of cooperation in agriculture, if possible in cooperation with the Government of Denmark; and requested FAO to seek further support for such seminars from the UNDP. Reference was also made to the usefulness of the recent FAO/IFAP Regional Seminar-cum-Study Tour on Farmers' Organizations in the Asia and Far East Region. To mobilize human resources FAO should develop relations with all kinds of professional and non-professional societies, associations and federations, organizing congresses, symposia and exhibitions at the national and international level.
332. Several delegates called for FAO leadership in a strong attack on outmoded institutional structures, and gave special emphasis to the need for an accelerated pace in agrarian reform. Where this was necessary it was a sine qua non for the mobilization of human resources for development and this should be reflected in FAO's next programme of work and budget. It was felt that FAO had lost some of the momentum in this field which had been gained by its 1966 World Conference on Agrarian Reform, and there was need for a special effort to regain this initiative. Emphasis should be given to the implementation of the policies and plans proposed by the World Conference. Several delegates cautioned, however, that land reform and settlement should be accompanied by improvements in supporting inputs and services in order to raise productivity. An integrated approach was therefore required in its conception and implementation. Similarly land reform and settlement projects could better achieve their full potential if they were associated with broader agricultural development projects.
333. A number of delegates indicated that problems of nomadic populations were impeding development of the rural areas in particular and their countries as a whole in many parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America. It was thus considered essential for FAO to give this matter greater attention in order to help the countries affected by this problem.
334. Economic incentives, including adequate marketing facilities were recognized as key factors in motivating productive enterprises. The Conference placed particular emphasis on the strengthening of services which provided producers with essential production inputs, credit, market information, consumer goods and other needs. Since both direct and indirect incentive measures were complementary they should be provided in a package form to the farmers if they were to produce the maximum impact. In addition, means should be found for the evaluation of incentive programmes to ensure that the best results were being obtained from the investments and expenditures involved.
335. Several delegates emphasized the continuing need to strengthen applied agricultural research both in the sense of adaptation of promising findings from basic research and also in the investigation of significant problems arising in the field. Sociological and economic research also needed strengthening. In this respect the Conference attached great importance to the intensification of research by the creation of regional institutes orientated toward the solution of practical problems. However, the Conference felt that FAO's role should mainly lie in acting as a communications centre for disseminating research results, in identifying areas and problems which needed to be investigated, and in encouraging existing research centres to take them up. FAO also had a very important role in convincing countries of the importance of agricultural education and extension, and in educating people how to use the knowledge brought to them by their extension services.
336. In this connexion, it was stated that FAO was working with many countries to reorganize and strengthen existing research institutions as well as to organize new ones in cooperation with UNDP and the World Bank. This went considerably beyond a liaison role in research and the Director-General hoped that the Conference would give FAO some leeway in strengthening its role in relation to research. The Organization was not asking for money under the regular programme to perform physical science research but would, nevertheless, like to be in a position through the UNDP and other sources, to exercise an influence and encourage investment in research. Whilst there was considerable support from delegations for this point of view, the Conference nevertheless considered that as far as possible priority should be given to the fuller use of existing institutions before new ones were created.
337. The Conference stressed the important role of extension in bringing to rural people the benefits of research, and improved work methods both on the farm and in the home. Such programmes must reach the whole community and the whole family, including women and youth. New forms of FAO assistance with the training of extension staff were encouraged, and the values of integrated farmer training projects were recognized. The Conference emphasized the gap which often existed as a result of inadequate links between research and extension and considered that rapid improvements in agriculture could often be effected by appropriate and efficient diffusion of technical innovations arising from research. New forms of FAO assistance with the training and extension staff were therefore welcomed, and the value of integrated farmer training projects was recognized and regarded as an essential part of all development projects. The Conference recommended that the Organization's work in information and communications should be extended to include, in addition to farm radio, other communications techniques. One delegation believed that FAO's budget for information activities was inadequate.
338. The Conference urged the strengthening of institutions and programmes of education and training to meet the manpower needs for agricultural and rural development over the next several decades. The importance of education at all levels was stressed and the need to bring farmers into the educational process through scholarships was emphasized by one delegation. FAO had, along with Unesco, a fundamental interest in the adaptation of rural primary education to the practical needs of rural development, the strengthening of agricultural and home economics education in rural secondary schools and the role of higher education in training the manpower needed to staff rapidly expanding agricultural and rural development programmes The Conference endorsed the plans for the World Conference on Agricultural Education, and welcomed the cooperation of Unesco and ILO in this important meeting. Several delegates stressed, however, the value of regional and national training seminars in this field which could be focused on specific local problems.
339. The Conference recognized the importance of rural youth programmes and the more effective involvement of this rapidly expanding segment of the population in rural development. Special attention must be given to the needs of the early school leavers, and to the problem of the excessive exodus of rural youth who would often lack adequate job opportunities. Several delegates referred to the need for out-of-school youth programmes designed to involve youth in development on a more massive scale and at lower unit costs. Every effort should be made by FAO to enlist the help of private and voluntary services in such programmes and to establish new regional centres for rural youth training.
340. The Conference considered the problem of unemployment and underemployment to be of paramount importance, and the central issue of human resource utilization. The Conference urged that special attention be given to vocational training and employment promotion, both in agriculture and in rural non-farm employment areas. Greater attention must be given to the encouragement of rural industries and services. It noted that FAO was vitally interested in unemployment problems and employment promotion within the field of agriculture, and was working closely with ILO on non-farm aspects of rural employment. The Conference recommended continued close collaboration with ILO and other agencies concerned with this important problem. A clear definition of responsibilities should be agreed on between the agencies working in this field to avoid gaps or duplication.
341. The Conference noted the agricultural manpower planning studies which had been undertaken as a part of the Indicative World Plan, and recommended that this aspect of long-term planning for human resource development be continued. It also noted the need expressed by numerous developing countries for assistance with national level staff training programmes and recommended that special training services be developed by FAO to meet this end. The Rural Institutions Division would welcome requests for assistance with national level staff training. While follow-up of regional seminars in the respective member countries was principally the responsibility of those countries, it was equally essential for FAO to initiate follow-up to assess the impact which those seminars had had.
342. The vital significance of proper nutrition and health services to the mobilization of human resources was mentioned by several delegations. The role of applied nutrition programmes and nutrition and health education was recognized as necessary in education and training at all levels as well as in home economics extension programmes. It was also pointed out that nutritional considerations must be taken into account in the development of food production, and that both training and extension programmes should be conducted with this in mind.
343. The importance of work with women and girls was stressed by several delegations. They pointed out the need for stronger programmes in home economics, nutrition, and family life education. The Conference was also reminded of the important role which women play and could play in agricultural work and other productive work in many developing countries if given adequate education and training.
344. Some delegates expressed their concern about FAO's participation in family planning as mentioned in the Basic Study No. 21 prepared for the Second World Food Congress It was reaffirmed that FAO did not, within its mandate on population, assist countries in the establishment of family planning programmes The 1967 FAO Conference did, however, approve the establishment of an educational programme of "Planning for Better Family Living." In response to this mandate, the Home Economics Service had planned a programme that aimed to assist member countries in the development of opportunities for their people to acquire the knowledge, attitudes and motivations needed to make sound plans and decisions about all aspects of family life, including parenthood and family size. In other words, the emphasis was on the total development, planning and management of family resources, so that families could be helped to attain the basic requirements of everyday living - adequate food, housing, clothing, education and decent rural living conditions. Concern was expressed by one delegation at the apparently limited impact of this programme so far and whether budgetary provisions for 1970-71 would be adequate.
345. The Conference considered that both FAO and member governments generally needed to deal with the area of human resource development in a more comprehensive and integrated way, and that this might be facilitated by the establishment of ad hoc agricultural commissions, committees or national workshops.
346. Many delegates were seriously concerned that the Programme of Work and Budget for the next biennium did not place sufficient stress on or provide sufficient manpower for this key area of concentration. Reference was made particularly to the reduction of personnel in Rural Institutions Division, which was felt to have a central role in this field. It was suggested that responsibility for cooperatives and other farm organizations should be allocated to a unit of the division separate from the existing Cooperatives, Credit and Rural Sociology Branch and that the Land Tenure and Agrarian Reform Branch should be up-graded to a service unit. Many delegates requested the Director-General to reconsider the allocation of manpower in this aspect of the Programme of Work and Budget for 1970-71, but were informed that while the Council had indicated the need to emphasize those areas of concentration considered to be of highest priority, the Director-General had in fact very little margin for budget adjustments in this respect. Despite the establishment of six additional Regular Programme posts in Rural Institutions Division (three of which had previously been financed from other funds), and redeployment of staff to the regions, there would nevertheless be an overall reduction of four professional posts in the division. Whilst several delegates expressed disappointment about this, the Conference was informed that this did not mean any change of emphasis in the priority being accorded by the Organization to human resources. The changes had to be seen in relation to the reorganization of FAO as a whole; the Rural Institutions Division was the largest single division and had to contribute to the redeployment and streamlining of FAO like other divisions. The mobilization of human resources in any case cut right across divisional structures and was not solely related to the work of one division.
347. The Director-General nevertheless assured the Conference that he was taking note of the anxiety of member governments to strengthen as far as possible both Rural Institutions Division and the Home Economics Branch. The comments of the Conference concerning the strengthening of the Cooperatives and Land Tenure Branches would be taken into account. It was indicated that every opportunity would be sought to expand work in these fields through support from other sources such as trust funds, UNDP, UNICEF, FFHC, and bilateral programmes similar to the current agreements with Sweden and Denmark. The Conference welcomed such support for activities which could supplement FAO's Regular Programme and was gratified by the increased inter-agency collaboration in this area of work. It strongly urged that further opportunities should be sought for cooperation along these lines in the light of the comprehensive and demanding nature of the task of developing human resources.
Earning and Saving Foreign Exchange
348. The Conference fully endorsed the choice of earning and saving foreign exchange as one of the five Areas of Concentration. Foreign exchange was vital to the developing countries for the import of the capital goods required for their industrial development, and was increasingly required to service their foreign indebtedness. There would also be increasing foreign exchange needs for the import of agricultural inputs, including the fertilizers and other materials required to support the use of high-yielding varieties. In this and other ways, success in this area of concentration was essential for the success of the others.
349. The earning and saving of foreign exchange were really two aspects of making the best use of available resources, although at the present time many developing countries appeared to have more scope for saving than earning foreign exchange. Commodities for which production was to be increased to replace imports should be carefully selected in order to achieve a more productive use of available resources, rather than merely to increase self-sufficiency. Attention should also be devoted to the foreign exchange saving potential of the establishment or expansion of agro-industries in developing countries to produce agricultural requisites. Several delegates emphasized that assistance should be extended to support the efforts of developing countries to build up their industries for input manufacture and for the manufacture of equipment essential to technical assistance projects. FAO should strengthen its activities in this respect and should also be prepared to give advice concerning prices and sources for imported inputs or capital goods.
350. Foreign financial aid could be of considerable help in augmenting the foreign exchange resources of developing countries and this type of assistance required to be greatly expanded. However, the bulk of the foreign exchange resources of these countries was derived from their export earnings, which came mainly from agricultural, fishery, and forest products.
351. Trends in world markets for these products had, with few exceptions, caused great difficulties for the developing countries in obtaining the foreign exchange resources they so urgently needed. In the last few years, despite expansion of world agricultural exports, there had been virtually no increase in the total agricultural export earnings of most of the developing countries because of the drop in prices of many agricultural commodities on world markets. In general the developing countries were faced with a situation in which they had to export more and more in order to pay for the same or even a declining quantity of imports. Their market problems might be increased where the use of high yielding varieties gave rise to export surpluses of cereals. In this respect measures to stimulate demand and to increase consumption, including the development of new end-uses, deserved special attention.
352. The problems of increasing the foreign exchange resources of the developing countries were both urgent and of a very long-term and complex nature. They had been subject to long and intensive study for many years in various international forums, including FAO, UNCTAD and GATT. The Conference reiterated once again the main problems in this area, including those posed by the increasing use of synthetic substitutes, and by tariff and non-tariff barriers limiting the access of developing countries to import markets in developed countries, both as regards their traditional agricultural products as well as processed and semi-processed products. While further studies were needed on these questions, the overriding need was for a change in attitudes and political will in developed countries which would lead to concrete action.
353. The Conference noted that earning and saving foreign exchange raised, on the one hand, problems which lay within the power of an individual country to deal with effectively, and, on the other hand, problems of an international nature which could not be dealt with except by intergovernmental cooperation. It noted with satisfaction FAO's efforts to solve the international problems and welcomed FAO's continued work, together with UNCTAD and GATT, commodity councils and other bodies, to arrive at international commodity agreements, and called for an intensification of such efforts. It also noted with approval that FAO intended to pursue for other commodities through FAO study groups, where appropriate, the less formal type of international arrangements that were proving helpful in the case of jute and hard fibres, and were now proposed for tea.
354. Concerning these international problems, it was recognized that increased imports of agricultural products from developing countries involved difficult structural changes in the developed countries, although in many cases these would lead in the long run to a more economic use of their own productive resources. It was therefore suggested that FAO should study these aspects, which it was noted were to be included in the recently initiated study on sugar policies. It was also suggested that studies should be made of the cross elasticities of demand for competing fats and oils, with particular reference to palm oil exports. More studies of the competition between natural fibres and synthetics were also required.
355. While it was imperative to continue and intensify efforts to solve the international problems involved in earning and saving foreign exchange, the Conference noted that a major element in FAO's proposed strategy for this area of concentration was to devote more attention than in the past to the problems where individual countries could themselves take successful action. This mainly involved assisting them to make the best use of existing export opportunities and to take advantage of opportunities to replace imports of certain products by domestic production taking into account the economic and social criteria relevant to each individual country.
356. Many of FAO's ongoing activities in member countries and at Headquarters were related to earning and saving foreign exchange. This Area of Concentration therefore represented not an extension into new areas of work but a reorientation of ongoing activities, with some shifts in emphasis, to provide a more direct, concentrated and effective attack on the problem. The integration of technical, economic and institutional efforts relating to the production, marketing, processing and utilization of individual commodities, already existing in FAO for fishery and forest products, would be extended as far as possible to agricultural products through an interdivisional approach similar to that used in preparing the IWP. More attention would be paid to problems of earning and saving foreign exchange in assisting countries in their agricultural development planning and in the formulation and appraisal of development projects. It was stressed, however, that earning and saving foreign exchange must be viewed in the context of the overall economy and not just the agricultural sector.
357. The IWP had identified a number of commodities which, in contrast to agricultural products as a whole, offered good prospects for increased export sales to industrialized countries provided that they did not have to contend indefinitely with protectionist policies, import restrictions, subsidies and tariff barriers. These included meat (especially beef), coarse grains, some fishery products, forest products (especially tropical hardwoods) and certain tropical fruits and vegetables. Changing market conditions, however, even for such "growth commodities," emphasized continuing need for up-to-date studies and analyses of market and demand prospects for specific commodities. Several delegates considered that in particular FAO's activities required strengthening in respect of marketing and handling of perishables, especially fruits, vegetables and flowers, since these were not adequately catered for in the areas of concentration.
358. Particular attention was directed to the potential of livestock production as a source of foreign exchange, especially beef production in developing countries. The greatest single impediment to the export of livestock products lay in the incidence of diseases, although advances were being made in their control, particularly in Latin America and Africa. The Conference requested FAO to intensify its efforts in this field and to assist member countries in the establishment of quarantine measures. The Organization should study the health regulations which appear to be impeding meat imports and keep potential exporters informed as to these. The creation and recognition of disease free zones was proposed, and it was noted that this would be closely examined by FAO, in cooperation with other interested bodies, during the coming biennium. In addition to its actions in respect of disease control and the elimination of trade barriers against meat, FAO should strengthen its work on improving local breeds and should continue its appraisal of the world's grassland resources.
359. Emphasis should also be given to the importance of the management and conservation of wildlife both as a source of food in supplementing local supplies of protein and as a valuable earner of foreign exchange through the great attraction of game reserves for tourists. The tourism value of national parks over and above their wildlife aspect was also stressed.
360. Forest products also were one of the most promising commodity groups in the trade of developing countries. The Conference therefore supported the strong emphasis proposed, in the Programme of Work and Budget for 1970-71, on utilization and trade of tropical timber products and on assisting in forest industry development, especially pulp and paper. It welcomed the proposed establishment of a Tropical Timber Bureau, which was being followed up jointly by FAO and the UNCTAD/GATT International Trade Centre. The Conference recognized the possibilities of basing both import saving and exporting forest industries on industrial forest plantations of quick-growing species. The high capital requirements for imported machinery and equipment were nevertheless a constraint on development in this sector. Delegates suggested that a means should be found to finance the purchase of capital goods on easy terms for exploitation of tropical forests and forest products.
361. The Conference welcomed the proposed establishment in the Commodities and Trade Division (with the cooperation of the marketing services) of a centre of initiative for the expansion of activities in export promotion, and for liaison with related activities outside FAO, especially with the UNCTAD/GATT International Trade Centre and the regional trade promotion centres being set up by the United Nations Regional Economic Commissions. It was noted that close coordination and cooperation existed between FAO and the other international organizations active in this and other aspects of international trade, and the Conference emphasized that this should be maintained in order to avoid any duplication. The Conference expressed the hope that adequate funds for travel and consultants would be made available for FAO's export promotion activities.
362. The expansion of trade between developing countries, especially in the context of regional economic integration and trade arrangements, offered important long-term possibilities to improve foreign exchange availabilities. FAO had already provided assistance to some of the efforts to create regional economic and trade arrangements, and the Conference felt that the expansion of such assistance during the next biennium would be very timely. It stressed the need for the harmonization of national plans, and noted that this was to be a main theme of the regional and subregional consultations proposed as part of the follow-up of the IWP. Several delegates requested FAO to give special consideration to the harmonization of national production programmes and the specialization of production among the various countries in order to secure optimal use of the national economic and natural resources.
363. Local processing of crops, livestock, fishery and forestry commodities before export constituted another important possibility for developing countries to increase their foreign exchange earnings, which would be considerably facilitated by reducing the tariff differential between tariffs applied to raw materials and to processed products. The need to ensure that the processed products were of types and qualities suitable for the intended export markets was emphasized. This implied appropriate equipment both for harvesting and processing of crops. Marketing improvements were of particular importance. Developing countries required assistance in establishing effective market research services, and in the development of new products and of new uses for traditional products. More attention should be paid to all aspects of food control and standardization, especially in the development of new products. Other requirements included assistance concerning packaging, and studies of transport costs (especially ocean freight). Bilateral assistance from donor countries interested in additional sources of import supplies was suggested as particularly well suited for assisting developing countries to expand local production and processing. Measures to reduce production costs were also stressed.
364. The diversification of production and exports was an essential feature of the efforts of developing countries to increase their earning and saving of foreign exchange. The Conference recommended that FAO should increase its assistance to countries with their diversification problems. It noted that the Organization was already executing a number of UNDP (SF) projects concerned with diversification, had participated with the International Coffee Organization and the IBRD in a Coffee Diversification Study, and was undertaking field assignments to assist Member Governments with their coffee problems.
365. The Conference noted that, while most of the increased work in this Area of Concentration was to be achieved by the redeployment of existing resources, some modest increases were also requested in the proposed Programme of Work and Budget for 1970-71. It supported these proposed increases, which involved eight professional posts. These included three posts in the Agricultural Services Division, two of them to work on farm management techniques with particular reference to export crops and potential import substitutes, and one on fibres and their industrial uses. In the Commodities and Trade Division, two new posts were proposed in the Sugar, Beverages and Horticultural Crops Service, and one in the Raw Materials and General Commodity Analysis Service. The proposed Forestry Department would include a Forest Industries and Trade Division, and a Pulp and Paper Branch with two additional professional positions.
366. It was noted, however, that in several cases the proposed new posts were offset by posts dropped under the redeployment. Concern was expressed in particular that the resources proposed for the Forestry Department would be insufficient, especially in activities in trade development and industrialization.
367. The Conference noted that FAO's machinery for development planning had been substantially reorganized to meet the needs of the future. A Policy Advisory Bureau (PAB) had been created in the Director-General's Office to work on longer term problems. In this connexion, the PAB would serve as the main agency for agricultural planning in connexion with the United Nations Second Development Decade (DD2) The main problems appeared to lie not so much in integrating FAO's work with that of other agencies, but in obtaining an agreed set of overall targets, economic and social objectives, including those for intellectual investment in education and training.
368. The PAB would in addition devote itself to study and advice to the Director-General on major long-term problems and had been constituted in such a way as to cover most effectively FAO's major fields of activity, both geographically and in terms of disciplines. In addition to the small central staff of PAB, officers experienced in planning work had been also located in the technical and economic divisions, and the whole would provide a means of integrated strategic planning along the lines which had repeatedly been emphasized as necessary by the Conference. The costs would nevertheless be significantly lower than that required over the past two biennia to support the work on IWP.
369. A further important component of FAO's worldwide planning activities was the Commodity Projections; these were also looked on as a continuing long-term effort and provision was being made within the Commodities Division for their updating and revision in the coming year.
370. Links between strategy and tactics, i. e. between long-term planning and more immediate action would be provided through the action groups on the Areas of Concentration, the Steering Committee for which would be chaired by the Director of the PAB, and through the establishment of a system of country files to be maintained by Economic Analysis Division with the help of a new unit in Statistics Division These files would analyse country plans, summarize main statistics, and eventually highlight major problems for further study. Regional desks had been set up in Economic Analysis Division to complement those in Area Service Division, To strengthen Economic Analysis and Statistics Divisions, and the economic and statistical services within the Forestry and Fisheries Departments, ten additional posts were to be established in the 1970-71 Programme of Work and Budget.
371. FAO thus aimed to provide an overall framework within which it would highlight and further study key problems of world importance. It would also continue to assist member countries to meet their country planning requirements, both through the assignment of UNDP/TA planning advisers and other services of the Economic Analysis, Statistics and Commodity Divisions, as well as through the regional representatives and their staffs. Finally, of course, the Development Department, the technical divisions and services and the regional representatives were all available to assist in identifying and preparing specific projects.
372. The Conference recognized FAO's continuing interest in development planning, which it was recognized could play an important role in guiding world agricultural development. The contributions being made in this field, including that to the United Nations Second Development Decade should not be looked on as a static input, but would require review and updating on a permanent basis as an integral part of the planning process. Some concern was expressed that inadequate provision might have been made for strengthening planning activities in divisions not specifically mentioned in the Deputy Director-General's introductory statement. The Conference noted, however, that redeployment of a proportion of IWP staff to divisions was proposed. An experienced planner with a broad technical background would thus become available in each division and this would contribute to integrated planning within the Organization.
373. The Conference considered that a pragmatic approach was necessary to country planning. Many different systems were in use. It was suggested that FAO might consider undertaking an inventory of the type and effectiveness of different methods in use by countries, both as a basis for advice on improvements and for publication of sectoral planning manuals. International support might be enlisted for financing such work.
374. The Conference stressed the need for FAO not only to provide leadership and a focus for international action in development planning, but also to give direct assistance to member countries in national planning. It endorsed proposals in the Programme of Work and Budget for the creation of task forces at the regional level to assist countries in planning, and urged FAO to expedite their establishment. The work of such task forces should be action-oriented, and might, to a considerable extent, be directed toward assisting countries in developing programmes or projects appropriate to national priorities within the five Areas of Concentration The Conference also noted that provision of additional consultant funds had been made, half for use for cooperative projects with the area banks, and half for direct assistance of a short-term nature at the regional representatives discretion. Long-term assistance would continue to be supplied through voluntary funds. FAO was endeavouring to ensure an effective and balanced plan, embracing all United Nations activities in a country. The creation of FAO country representatives, who would act both as a link between member countries, regional offices and Headquarters, and also as an adviser to the UNDP representative, was believed to be a major step in the right direction.
375. The Conference also placed emphasis on the urgent need to establish planning units in developing countries. This applied both to ministries of agriculture and to the establishment of agricultural units in planning ministries. FAO should, therefore, consider not only active participation in planning but also the training of planners as a long-term and continuing function. It should cooperate with other international or bilateral agencies willing to assist in such work.
376. The Conference recognized the complexity of planning for development, whether at the international, regional, or national level. This had been reflected in the divergencies of view concerning the priorities to be adopted within the five Areas of Concentration, in the emphasis which had been placed on their interdependence, and in the reiterated call for an integrated approach to obtain optimum results from the new FAO strategy. The Conference therefore welcomed the continued emphasis being placed by FAO on development planning even though this was not in itself an area of concentration.