326. The Conference welcomed the expansion in the scope and coverage of the Production and Trade Yearbooks and the Monthly bulletin of agricultural economics and statistics, and the progress made in advancing the dates of publication. Various suggestions were made for extending the information published on economic statistics and the Conference requested the Director-General: to examine the possibility of preparing a separate yearbook of economic and social statistics as from 1966-67.
327. The need to publish in French and Spanish methodological studies already prepared in English was stressed. The Conference also hoped that work on area statistics, sampling methods, censuses, aerial photography, crop forecasting, and livestock statistics could be expedited in 1964-65.
e) Crop responses to fertilizers
328. The Conference approved, subject to the availability of funds, the expansion of the Division to carry out work on the response of crops to fertilizers in co-operation with the Land and Water and the Plant Production and Protection Divisions. The Conference requested the Director-General to examine the possibility of extending this work in 1966-67. It also drew attention to the contribution which the work planned for 1964-65 would make to the wider application of improved statistical techniques in agricultural experimentation.
f) Agricultural sector accounts and productivity statistics
329. The Conference supported the proposed expansion of the Division in 1964-65 to carry out further work in the field of agricultural sector accounts. The practical applications of such work in assessing productivity and agricultural development were stressed. The Conference drew attention to the benefits that developing countries would derive from the standardization of agricultural sector account terminology and the investigation of the use of sector accounts data in the formulation of economic policy.
330. Within the framework of the tasks assigned to FAO, it is essential to have available continuous statistics on technological progress in every country of the world, and especially in less developed countries, as a basis on which to plan future work toward a more efficient utilization of the world's natural resources. Such a knowledge is necessary at this point in the Development Decade and the Freedom from Hunger Campaign.
331. The Conference adopted the following resolution:
RESOLUTION No. 19/63
Statistics of technological progress in agriculture
Notes with satisfaction that the budget for 1964-65 for the Statistics Division includes plans gradually to enlarge, though in a small way at first, the information it now publishes by the addition of statistics on the chief means of increasing productivity, starting with information on the use of fertilizers, and
Recommends the Director-General to devote the utmost attention to the work of the Statistics Division directed to recording technological progress throughout the world, and especially in its less developed parts, by gradual incorporation of an increasing volume of information relating to the use of certified seed, fertilizers, pesticides and farm machinery, as well as all other factors which may be considered positive contributors to increased productivity, thus providing a broader basis for the economic analysis of the agricultural sector as a whole.
g) 1970 world census
332. The Conference stressed the importance of the agricultural census in agricultural development planing and in the development of current agricultural statistics. Plans for an early start on the preparations for the 1970 World Census were endorsed. The Conference regretted that some countries had been prevented from participating in the 1960 Census, largely because of financial difficulties. The Conference requested the Director-General to explore, in consultation with the Member Nations, the possibility of creating a voluntary Census Fund by means of which it would be possible to give financial aid to such countries as requested it in order to carry out agricultural censuses and to report on the matter to the Thirteenth Session of the Conference.
333. The Conference adopted the following resolution:
RESOLUTION No. 20/63
Creation of a Census Fund
Noting that the Near East Commission on Agricultural Statistics and the African Commission on Agricultural Statistics have pointed out that lack of funds was one of the main reasons why many countries had not participated in the World Agricultural Census of 1960,
Recognizing that a similar situation exists 60th in Latin America and in the Far East where several countries have not carried out an agricultural census because of economic difficulties, and
Noting further that the Statistics Advisory Committee at its first session proposed the establishment of a Census Fund in order to assist such countries financially in carrying out an agricultural census,
Requests the Director-General to explore, in consultation with the Member Nations, the possibility of creating a Census Fund by' means of which it would be possible to give financial aid to such countries as required it in order to carry out agricultural censuses, and to report on this matter to the next session of the Conference: and
Requests the Council to appoint a Working Party' of member countries to advise the Director-General.
h) Food consumption statistics
334. The Conference supported proposals to promote and develop quantitative data on the level and patterns of food consumption data in co-operation with Nutrition Division. The present inadequacy of such data was stressed and the need for training centers and seminars, and the dissemination of information on methodology was emphasized. The Conference stressed the need for a regional food consumption adviser in the Near East region and expressed the hope that the Director-General would be able to make provision for such an appointment in 1966-67. Meantime, the Conference requested the Director-General to investigate the possibility of financing such a post from other sources in 1964-65.
335. The Conference recognized the importance of methodological studies both as a means of spreading knowledge of improved statistical techniques and of training staff in member countries.
336. The Conference recognized the importance of measures to train statisticians in the developing countries. Various methods of intensifying the training program were suggested. In particular, the Conference drew attention to the value of training centers, seminars and fellowships. It was important to extend the briefing of experts on questions of standardization of agricultural statistics and arrangements should be made for the exchange of information by experts working in the field. The Conference considered that training activities should be intensified and it approved, subject to the availability of funds, the establishment of regional advisers in agricultural statistical training in Africa and in the Near East in 1964-65.
C. Department of public relations and legal affairs
a) Agricultural information services
337. The Conference expressed satisfaction with the work of the Public Information Service during 1962-63 and approved the program of work for the ensuing biennium. Several delegations emphasized, however, that they would be unable to support all the increases envisaged in that program of work.
338. The Conference recognized the need to set up a public relations and distribution unit and to strengthen the regional information activities on condition that:
(b) in view of the unlimited scope in the field of information, the Public Information Service would concentrate on a number of selected key objectives, and in particular in the sectors of agricultural information, as emphasized by the Conference in its discussion.
339. The Conference recommended the creation of a film library to promote the exchange of films of agricultural interest among member countries. It noted with satisfaction the offer made by certain delegations to supply FAO with copies of agricultural films free of charge.
340. The Conference supported the undertaking of a study of the possibilities of publishing an FAO magazine directed to the educated public all over the world: noting the impossibility to obtain the additional funds for such a study, the Conference expressed the hope that the Director-General would be able to find the resources to undertake during the current biennium preparatory studies and contacts enabling him to submit appropriate proposals, accompanied by an estimate of the expenses involved, to the Thirteenth Session of the Conference.
341. In order to keep governments and national FAO committees currently informed of the development and orientation of FAO's activities and of the results achieved, the Conference recommended investigation of the possibility of issuing a periodic information bulletin containing news and facts about FAO's over-all activities.
342. The Conference recommended a general streamlining of both technical and general FAO publications through proper planning and coordination with a view to achieving the maximum diffusion of appropriate facts and information among all sectors of public opinion and interested technicians at minimum cost.
343. The Conference stressed the need for making a more extensive use of the vast amount of technical information collected by FAO. It was deemed highly desirable to make it widely available in a suitable form to member countries and technicians, if possible in conjunction with Library plans for the establishment of a documentation center.
a) Agricultural information services
344. The Conference had before it the Report of the Thirty-Ninth Session of the Council and the Report of its Technical Committee on Information and Publications concerning the development of a program to assist governments in establishing agricultural information services or to improve existing services, as recommended by the Conference at its Eleventh Session and by the FAO regional conferences in 1962.
345. The Conference was informed that budgetary implications had excluded the initiation before 1964 of a long-term program on the development of agricultural information services, as it had recommended in 1961. However, it noted with satisfaction that the Director-General had found it possible to implement in part the rural broadcasting aspect of the program with the sponsorship of the Australian and New Zealand FFHC Committees. Thanks to the generous support of Australia and New Zealand, a seminar on farm broadcasting had been held in Cairo for Near East countries, and a similar seminar was to be held in New Delhi early in 1964 for Far Eastern countries.
346. The Conference approved the two regional seminars and the two national seminars proposed under the Regular Program for 1964-65. It hoped that governments would support the FAO action by taking advantage of these seminars and by making arrangements of, their own for training specialists in agricultural information. It also expressed the hope that other national FFHC committees would follow the Australian and New Zealand initiative by sponsoring similar seminars and training centers. In this connection the Conference noted with satisfaction that some national administrations had already taken follow-up action on the Cairo seminar.
347. It was requested that, taking into account the survey carried out by the European Commission on Agriculture in 19 countries of the European region, the Organization should undertake and publish studies of agricultural information services, particularly with a view to helping developing countries to plan or improve their own services. The Conference also emphasized the importance of conducting preliminary studies to ascertain the need of individual Member Nations in relation to existing conditions and of taking regional and national environment into account in planning seminars or training centers.
348. In conclusion, the Conference decided that high priority should be given to helping Member Governments to strengthen their agricultural information services and approved the proposed program of work put forward by the Council for the implementation of the request made by the Conference at its Eleventh Session.
349. The Conference commended the work of the Publications Service during 1962-63 and paid a warm tribute to Mr. Duncan Wall, the Director of the Service, who would be retiring before the Thirteenth Session of the Conference, for the outstanding work he had done.
350. The Conference approved the plan of work for the ensuing biennium, including the strengthening of the translation and distribution units and the further expansion of modernization and mechanization especially in the Composition and Internal Printing Units and the Distribution and Sales Section.
351. The Conference stressed that adequate documentation is indispensable to the Organization's work through meetings and reports, and that FAO's publications are a necessary means of carrying on its program, in many cases being the end result of a program or project. The publications especially are a main means of reflecting the problems, programs and progress of the Organization to wide circles of technicians, leaders and the general public.
352. The Conference requested that the closest attention be given to timeliness, optimum quality in the three official languages equally, and the most effective distribution. It noted that the achievement of these objectives, in the processes for which it is responsible, is the principal aim of the Publications Service.
353. The Conference reiterated the recommendation of its Eleventh Session that every effort should be made by the secretariat, and also by official bodies of the Organization, to prepare all documents and publications in the most concise form, in the interests of economy, greater timeliness, and greater usefulness to readers.
354. The Conference emphasized the importance of focusing the publishing effort as a matter of priority of high-quality publications connected with FAO's key activities, technical, economic and social. The excellence of such publications should permit print runs sufficient to ensure a wider circulation.
355. The Conference recommended that Member Governments should carefully review their internal distribution of FAO documents and publications and the use made of them. In this connection, it drew attention to the fact that the use of the quota of publications need not be restricted to ministries, and emphasized the usefulness of providing them to libraries, universities, research institutes and important scientific, economic and legislative bodies.
356. The Conference requested that the Quarterly List of FAO Documentation, service of which is available to Member Governments on request, should be expanded to include publications issued, as well as main documents. This would give governments a convenient list of available publications between the issues of the biennial Catalogue of Publications, and provide a means of checking the publications and main documents issued against the possibility of supplies miscarrying in transit.
357. The Conference expressed great satisfaction at the success with which the Legislation Research Branch had completed a particularly heavy program of work.
358. The Conference approved the Branch's program of work for 1964-65.
359. The Conference recommended that the Branch should continue to translate and disseminate legislative texts, giving an appropriate place to legislation on food standards and the use of food additives and pesticides.
360. The Conference expressed the view that increasing importance should be attached to assistance to developing countries in the preparation of legislative texts, particularly in connection with the reform of agrarian structures and with subjects of general interest such as pesticides, reafforestation, certain aspects of fisheries, foodstuffs and public market hygiene.
361. With regard to studies in comparative law, the Conference stressed that emphasis should be given to a limited number of particularly important subjects as, for example, the conservation of natural resources in its broadest sense.
362. The Conference expressed its conviction that by following the recommendations set out above, the Branch could continue to aid and advise Member Nations and the Technical Divisions of the Organization in an increasingly active manner. Attention was called to the services such advice could render to field work carried out, for instance, under the Expanded Program of Technical Assistance and the United Nations Special Fund.
363. The Conference, having noted the work of the Library during 1962-63, expressed satisfaction with the important results achieved in spite of difficulties in recruitment, work interruptions in vacant posts, and lack of space. The Conference was favorably impressed by the purposeful manner in which library services were conducted.
364. The Conference approved the program of work for 1964-65.
365. The Conference, having noted the conclusions of the 1959 and 1963 reports of the Library Consultant (c 59/11 and c 63/IN/2) recommended that they be taken into consideration.
366. The Conference felt that the Library was an important element in defining and applying FAO policy. It was essential that the services available in the Library should be made better known. Information in this respect should reach not only Member Governments but also specialists and even the leaders of the agricultural communities.
367. In order to enable the Library to fulfill its proper role, a resolute effort should be made to remove the obstacles which prevented it from fully exercising its functions.
368. The Conference, therefore, recommended that the following measures be taken:
(b) Equitable geographical distribution of posts should be observed. Should difficulties arise, posts should be filled on a temporary basis with the best available candidates.
(c) All possible facilities should be used for the employment of suitable temporary personnel to offset disruptions caused by work cessations in clerical posts.
B. Pursuant to the Consultant's proposal, library students should be hired as trainees for emergency filling of clerical posts, a policy applied with success by libraries in all parts of the world.
369. The Conference supported the initiative of making technical report literature issued by FAO and by other international organizations more effectively and readily usable, which it was planned to do in the framework of a new FAO documentation center. The Conference commended this plan, and hoped that it would be possible to study its implementation.
D. Regional activities
370. While endorsing the study to be undertaken by the Program Committee, the conclusion of which would be examined by the Council, the Conference approved the Director-General's proposals for strengthening the activities of the regional offices during 1964-65. It considered that the strengthening of regional activities was consistent with the policy laid down by the Conference at its previous sessions. The regional offices serve as important links between FAO Headquarters and member countries and their importance has increased with the rapid expansion of the various assistance programs such as the Expanded Program of Technical Assistance, the United Nations Special Fund, joint FAO/UNICEF projects, World Food Program, and the Freedom from Hunger Campaign.
371. The Conference recognized that the strengthening of the regional structure of FAO through a reasonable number of outposted technical officers, when carefully selected, keeping in mind the particular requirements of the regions, provides a service to member countries which complements that of the Headquarters staff. The members of regional staff, being located in a region for a considerable period and spending a good deal of time visiting individual countries, are in a better position to know the specific problems of the region and, in particular, the requirements and problems of the individual countries. Such continuous experience in a region enables them to help keep countries in touch with the most important part of the knowledge accumulated at Headquarters, and to bring to officials of individual countries knowledge of what other countries in the same region are doing with similar problems. This cross-fertilization of ideas and experiences within the region is a valuable addition to what can be done either at FAO Headquarters or even within each country.
372. The Conference further recognized that such strengthening was especially and urgently needed in Africa where many countries had recently achieved independence and become Members of this Organization, and where the number of technical officers stationed in the region is still small by comparison with the other regions. The need for more limited selective expansion of the regional staff in Latin America, Asia and the Far East, and the Near East was also recognized.
373. In this connection the Conference carefully considered the views of the Program Committee (Seventh Session, May 1963). While agreeing that a thorough evaluation of the regional structure of the Organization by the Program Committee was desirable, the Conference considered that the proposed regional strengthening should not be deferred until the results of such evaluation were known, as this would delay by two years the provision of the additional technical staff at the regional level needed by Member Governments in developing regions.
374. The Conference noted the request of the Latin-American countries to add to the proposed Program of Work and Budget for 1964-65 provision for two posts of agricultural economists for the Joint FAO/ECLA Agriculture Division, one of whom would be especially charged with the integration program in Central America, and the other with co-operation with the integration program of LAFTA (Latin American Free-Trade Association). It authorized the inclusion of these posts in the Program of Work and Budget for 1964-65, subject to the availability of funds.
375. The Conference adopted the following resolution:
RESOLUTION No. 21/63
Creation of two new posts in Latin America for economic integration programs
Bearing in mind the major importance for the countries of Latin America of the economic integration programs currently under way, particularly those relating to Central America and the member countries of the Latin American Free-Trade Association,
Conscious of the fact that trade in agricultural commodities represents a considerable proportion of the total trade within the above-mentioned economically integrated bloc of countries and that the implementation of treaties in force among them in the matter of such agricultural commodities calls for the adoption of measures requiring preliminary studies of a complicated nature,
Considering that it is essential for the countries of Latin America to have the continuing technical assistance of FAO in conducting such studies and also by way of ensuring that the measures adopted shall increase trade and lead to the harmonization of agricultural development policies, and
Considering further that the assistance hitherto given by FAO in this connection, chiefly through the Joint FAO/ECLA Agriculture Division, has proved inadequate due to insufficient staff in that Division, it having been necessary, in consequence, to strengthen the same,
Resolves to create two new posts in the Joint FAO/ECLA Agriculture Division, with a view to providing technical assistance to the executive secretariats of the Latin American Free-Trade Association and of the Central American Economic Integration Scheme, respectively, in all matters relating to the agricultural sector to the extent that the latter has a bearing on economic integration programs.
E. Implementation of Africa survey
376. The Conference endorsed the Director-General's proposals for implementation of the Africa Survey. It noted with approval the establishment of an Africa Advisory Committee to ensure the maintenance of an integrated approach.
377. Strong support was expressed for the Director-General's action in reorienting his Program of Work and Budget along the lines of the recommendations of the Africa Survey. It was considered that the Program of Work and Budget with its accent on planning, trade in agricultural products, expansion of production and use of protein-rich foods, and on education and training took account of the needs of African development after independence. Stress was laid on the necessity for rapid action, for the initiation of integrated preinvestment projects of the Mediterranean type to give an effective start to the implementation of the major recommendations of the Africa Survey and to the country surveys, which were an indispensable preliminary in many cases to the selection of spearhead regions. In some cases, a review of certain United Nations Special Fund projects, until then conceived on a purely technical basis, could enable them to be modified and put on a fully integrated basis. Action in the planning and other fields was conceived in the framework of intensive co-operation with other agencies, notably the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, with which important joint projects were being undertaken.
378. The Conference noted the Director-General's intention, as part of the implementation of the African Survey, also to seek to obtain funds outside the regular budget of the Organization for work, in conjunction with the member countries concerned, on the long-term strategy of agricultural development adapted to the different ecological zones in Africa south of the Sahara. The Conference was assured that, while a distinction would be made between such ecological zones, the work would be carried out within the framework of national policies. The results should assist countries in the orientation of their plans toward effective use of their resources as time went on, and in the determination of priorities, but the specific surveys and studies already undertaken or planned would not have to await the results of this longer-term action.
379. The Conference adopted the following resolution:
RESOLUTION No. 22/63
Implementation of the Africa Survey
Noting with satisfaction the Director-General's action in implementation of the recommendations of the Africa Survey and the reorientation of FAO's activities along the lines of the recommendations of this Survey,
Recommends that the Director-General, upon request from member countries, intensify assistance for the preparation of studies of the possibilities of agricultural development within the context of general economic and social development in drawing up long-, medium-and short-term plans;
Recommends that the Director-General should as far as possible render assistance in carrying out preinvestment projects with a view to the establishment of regional development zones, and to this effect consider any appropriate action arising out of the surveys undertaken with Special Fund assistance in the region with a view to strengthening the possibility of their leading to effective investment action;
Recommends that the Director-General inform sources of financial assistance while preinvestment surveys are being initiated to increase the possibilities of their speedy implementation once they are completed;
Recommends that in view of the special situation of African countries as regards technical and economic resources, the counterpart contribution required from governments in international assistance work be left as flexible as possible, as such requirements might discourage governments from requesting from FAO all the assistance they need for the formulation and implementation of their agricultural development plans; and
Requests the Director-General to make every effort to strengthen economic and technical co-operation among countries in the region, to examine the possibility of carrying out specific economic and technical surveys, to promote exchange of information among countries on the experience gained, and in particular to ensure that the experience obtained under the Mediterranean Development Project be also used in the implementation of the Africa Survey, and to this end to intensify FAO's activities in the African region.
F. Special program for agricultural education and training in Africa
380. The Conference approved continuation of the Special Program for Agricultural Education and Training in Africa at the same level as authorized by the Eleventh Session of the Conference. It noted with satisfaction that all phases of the program scheduled for 1962-63 would be completed by the end of the year.
381. The Conference in general supported the activities proposed for 1964-65. It was agreed that the work of the six agricultural education advisors stationed in subregions in Africa, which had already proved valuable in assisting countries with the development and implementation of plans, should be continued. It was noted that their efforts would be directed to helping countries to complete their plans for agricultural training and education, advising on the strengthening of existing facilities, and helping to develop and implement specific programs and projects. Adequate co-ordination at the national level is necessary to ensure that available technical assistance resources are used to the best advantage.
382. Recognizing the desirability of maintaining flexibility in the Program of Work for 1964-65, the Conference recommended that emphasis should be placed on the practical training of middle-grade technicians, and proposed that consideration be given to the continuation of the subregional short-term training courses, which had been a successful feature of the work in the current biennium. It was also suggested that attention should be given to the training of research workers, possibly on a regional basis. The Conference stressed the need for training personnel under the conditions in which they would have to work and of consulting the participating countries on the subjects to be studied in courses and seminars. The Conference noted the proposed activities of the special consultants and suggested that the emphasis of their work should be on stimulating increased national efforts. It was requested that further consideration be given to the proposed Africa-wide meeting of agricultural educators and administrators, since it was felt that the more local type of meeting might prove of greater practical value.
383. The Conference emphasized the importance of raising the quality of teaching staffs and evaluating pedagogical methods. The significance of extension work, supported by reliable research, as a means of training farmers and their families, and the importance of recognizing the training needs of women and their vital role in rural progress were stressed. The Conference mentioned the continuing need for even greater cooperation with the bilateral and international agencies engaged in training Africans and other related activities, and commended the fruitful co-operation, in particular with Unesco and the International Labour Organisation, which had been established during 1962-63.
G. Mediterranean development
384. The Conference was informed of the activities arising out of the Mediterranean Development Project. Of the thirteen development zones in Mediterranean countries, ten were being planned with FAO/UN Special Fund support: a number were being implemented, others were coming into operation, and still others were under active preparation.
385. Taking the Mediterranean area as a whole, four important results had been obtained to date: the introduction of integrated planning methods; the selection of regional development zones; the development of operational procedures for these zones, and the establishment of a continuous link between them. The problems now were to arrange the financing and to carry out the necessary implementation and regionalization.
386. Through the continuous work of the Mediterranean Advisory Committee at FAO Headquarters and meetings such as that held in Madrid/Badajoz and the one scheduled for May 1964 in Nīmes, the experience acquired was being pooled and spread. The outstanding feature that would distinguish the Nīmes meeting from those held at Madrid/Badajoz and Rome would be that it would provide an opportunity for technical discussions with field experts and counterparts and thereby initiate certain new methods for improving the effectiveness of multilateral assistance in accordance with the latest thinking in both FAO and the United Nations Special Fund. Four panels (Economic, Irrigation, Crop and Livestock Production, and Forestry) would be established in which specialists and planners would have an opportunity for a thorough discussion of the technical, social and economic problems encountered, in order more clearly to determine the basic approaches and to exchange ideas. The conclusions of these panels would be brought together and integrated in plenary at the end of the meeting. The latter would also explore the possibilities for financing the implementation of regional plans and projects.
387. Delegations from all the Mediterranean countries and from outside the region participated in the debate. The valuable experience acquired in the execution of the projects was stressed, especially in connection with the harmonization of regional and national development planning, and the combining of short- and long-term considerations in development planning. Emphasis was laid on the need to intensify pursuance of the Project and for that purpose to strengthen the existing FAO machinery. Possibilities for progressive institutionalization of co-operation in the Mediterranean, particularly with respect to financial, research, and commercial problems should be explored and promoted by FAO.
388. A number of countries indicated their interest in participating in the activities under the Project and several new projects were announced. It was pointed out that active participation in the Mediterranean Project comprised countries having initiated spearhead development-zone projects conceived in accordance with the basic approach of the Over-all Report of the Mediterranean Project and thereby falling within the purview of the Mediterranean Advisory Committee.
389. Reference was also made to the need for a more thorough study of export markets for increasing output of Mediterranean agricultural products.
390. The French Government's invitation to hold the next meeting in Nīmes was gratefully accepted. Several delegations expressed the opinion that such meetings should be convened, if possible, at yearly intervals; and in that connection, offers to hold the following meeting in Morocco and Lebanon were noted with appreciation.
391. The Conference adopted the following resolution:
RESOLUTION No. 23/63
Mediterranean Development Project
Taking note with satisfaction of the progress made in the follow-up of the Mediterranean Project and, in particular, in the planning of the spearhead regional development zones,
Considering that several regional development plans are being completed, and that others will soon reach the implementation phase, and
Considering the urgent need at this stage for an exchange of information and joint action by the countries participating in the follow-up of the Project, and for securing financial co-operation for the implementation of the plans,
Welcomes the Director-General's initiative in holding a meeting on these regional development zones in Nīmes in May 1964 to follow on the Madrid/ Badajoz meeting, and in making adequate provision for the purpose of this meeting;
Requests that the Director-General take measures to secure that such meetings be held periodically, and if possible at intervals of one year, and that all measures be taken to assist the Mediterranean countries to implement jointly and severally the recommendations of the Project.