Contents -

I. Reports of the technical committees



N. Reichart (Argentina)

A. Lidtveit (Norway)

Animal production and health - Sir John Ritchie (United Kingdom)
Land and water development - J.S. Patel (India)
Plant production and protection - H.A. Sheybani (Iran)
Atomic energy - K.A. Haines (U.S.A.)

Animal production and health



1. The Technical Committee reviewed the work of the Animal Production and Health Division on a general basis, and recognized that the Division was being called upon to handle increasing demands for technical assistance. The last two years had shown a notable extension of the work of the Division in implementing the instructions of the Conference. This involved a heavy strain on the entire staff in meeting requests in relation to the Expanded Program of Technical Assistance, the United Nations Special Fund, the United Nations Children's Fund, the Freedom from Hunger Campaign and the World Food Program. Certain Regular Program items had had to be deleted or modified because of this substantial over-all increase of workload. In this connection, the Committee noted that it was vitally necessary for professional officers, as part of their duties to the Organization, to be well-informed on current research and scientific literature. In the long term, overwork led to a degree of neglect of this important matter; and this would ultimately have consequences for the efficiency of operations.

2. The Committee examined the proposed program of work for 1964-65 in some detail and in relation to the achievements of the current biennium. Broad approval was given to the proposed program, subject to certain observations as indicated below. The program was considered to be well balanced and the Committee noted with satisfaction that the work of the three Branches was closely integrated.

Expert panels and committees

3. The Committee carried out a detailed examination of the operations of expert panels and committees. It was appreciated that panels provide a satisfactory and economical means of making a high level of technical advice and support in many different fields available to the Organization for the performance of its widely varied functions, and thus reduce the need for specialist staff members. The Committee approved the method of utilizing such panels, noting particularly that the bulk of their work lay in the regular exchange of information by correspondence. Meetings should take place at intervals determined by the value or urgency of the subject matter. It was understood that, while there was no restriction to the number of members on an expert panel, they would be carefully selected and only a limited number of appropriate specialists would usually be invited to any particular meeting. As the emphasis on individual subjects altered, additional specialists could be appointed, since continuing advice must be made available to member countries.

4. The Committee appreciated the fact that the value of such expert panels, whether operated by FAO, alone or jointly with other international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Office of Epizootics (OIE) lay primarily in the provision to member countries of topical information on matters which FAO, considered to be of outstanding importance to the field programs and interests of the Organization. In addition, the opportunity was created for the co-ordination of research, the avoidance of duplication of effort and the exchange of information between scientific specialists. It was further noted that some of the 16 panels operated by the Animal Production and Health Division covered broad fields, for example the zoonoses, while others were concerned with narrow specialized items, for example brucellosis; and it was stressed that the subject matter of any proposed new panels should invariably be closely examined to ensure that it justified the panel approach. The avoidance of undue expenditures in this field must be constantly observed. There was no evidence of misplaced enthusiasm in the establishment of the Division's panels, and it was not considered that the 16 set up during the last 14 years was excessive. It was noted that, in connection with its Regular Program duties, and particularly in relation to panel operations, the Headquarters staff maintained constant contacts with international research institutes throughout the world, receiving their reports and publications regularly and transmitting them to the panels.

5. The Committee was of the opinion, in line with Program Committee suggestions, that some clarification was needed in the international usage of such terms as expert committee, expert panel, advisory group, etc., in order to avoid the understandable confusion which occasionally arose.

6. Various alternatives, including the possibility of intergovernmental meetings, were considered but the consensus of opinion was that the panel system provided the most efficient and economical means of achieving the desired end of rapid dissemination of current information and avoidance of duplication of effort. This was of particular importance to the emerging countries in stimulating progressive development in the general fields of animal production and animal health.

7. The view was expressed that, where consultant groups from panels visited countries on request to provide advice, for example in the field of veterinary education, they should always be assisted and accompanied by an expert thoroughly familiar with the conditions of the country or countries visited. Several delegates expressed the opinion that this should apply to all visiting missions however constituted, since this approach would ensure that maximum use was made of the knowledge and experience of the visiting experts, who would thus be provided with the necessary background knowledge with a minimum of difficulty.

Animal health

8. The Committee noted that, while the 1962-63 biennium had seen a continuation of the work previously outlined and approved, there had been a necessary expansion in many fields and a change of emphasis on certain aspects of disease control. The urgency in regard to the occurrence and spread of diseases in areas where they had previously been of low incidence or completely unknown was again emphasized. The control of emerging diseases is a responsibility for individual countries; FAO's role is to assist them as far as possible. It was again noted that, if the necessary funds were available when disease outbreaks were reported, there was a reasonable chance of their early suppression, for the veterinary services of the countries concerned would then be assured of the necessary equipment, vaccines and expert assistance with the minimum delay. The Committee viewed with concern the continuing emergency created by the widespread incidence in the Near East of SAT type I foot-and-mouth disease and the consequent threat to the livestock industry of Europe and of other parts of the world. At the same time, it noted with approval the substantial support given by the United Kingdom, other European countries, Canada and the European Economic Community, and the channeling of this aid through the existing services of FAO, with the support of OJE: the supplies of equipment and vaccines had undoubtedly helped to prevent the westward spread of the disease to date, but the challenge remained.

9. The Committee noted the efforts being made in other fields of disease control and examined the situation in regard to rinderpest, contagious bovine pleuropneumonia and trypanosomiasis. The view expressed that FAO's activities in these fields could usefully be extended, especially to developing and newly-independent countries. It was particularly desired that FAO, should make further efforts for the control of the tsetse fly in relation to trypanosomiasis. It was noted that the expanding FAO, activities in these fields would include collaboration with national governments, and regional, international and bilateral organizations. It was also noted that the WHO Committee on Trypanosomiasis would now become a joint WHO/FAO body, and that a two-man team representing the respective Organizations would shortly visit the trypanosomiasis areas in Africa to establish priorities of research training and pilot projects.

10. The Committee noted with satisfaction the growth of the veterinary education work, learned that the recommendations formulated by the FAO/WHO Expert Panel on Veterinary Education would be discussed at a meeting in 1964 and noted the recent publication of the World directory of veterinary schools. The emphasis being placed on education and training in this and other animal production disciplines was commendable, and this work should continue to be given the necessary emphasis in the ensuing biennium. The Committee considered the views of the aforementioned panel in regard to the training of veterinarians in animal husbandry, and in this connection referred to the integration of animal husbandry and animal health which is a feature of the operations of the Division.

11. With regard to increased production of proteins, and with particular reference to the Freedom from Hunger Campaign, the Committee considered that greater emphasis must be given to the control of disease generally, including both the spectacular epizootics and the more insidious conditions which in many countries also cause heavy economic losses. It was not desirable for FAO, to undertake the operation of disease control campaigns: FAO's role was to support and strengthen the efforts of individual countries, particularly when the problem is a regional one. Attention was drawn to the importance of work in the general field of livestock infertility, and to the control of diseases associated with breeding. While the Organization was doing a great deal to encourage research and training in this specialized field, certain of the more elaborate practices, such as the transplantation of ova, should be given up, at least for the time being, in order to concentrate on more practical work that offered the possibility of earlier results.

12. The work on diseases of poultry and swine was noted with approval. As the production of poultry and swine was among the more rapid means of increasing the supplies of animal proteins, more emphasis should be given to the control of diseases which particularly affect production. The view was expressed that the services of experts, for example in the field of pathology, were urgently required and should be provided on a longer-term basis than previously.

13. The Committee drew particular attention to the expanding world trade in livestock and livestock products and to the risk of the transference of disease. It was strongly recommended that the Organization and its member countries should closely examine existing import and export practices and urgently consider methods of improving quarantine techniques as well as techniques for earlier detection of infections and parasitic diseases. It was considered that the Organization should provide assistance and advice on a wider scale than previously to enable both exporting and importing countries to prevent the transference of disease across national boundaries. Legislation was necessary in connection with import and export. Quarantine and related considerations should be based on sound biological grounds, and there should be standardization of certification and an effort toward uniformity in all regulatory matters. This would encourage collaboration in international trade. The Committee noted with approval the proposal to convene in 1964 a meeting on basic principles for the control of international traffic in animals and animal products.

Animal production

14. Recognizing that one of the urgent needs of human populations was for proteins of animal origin, and appreciating that the main purpose of the work of the Animal Production Branch was to promote increased availability of animal proteins, the Committee commended the emphasis being given to the intensive production of dairy and beef cattle, poultry sheep and pigs under improved feeding, breeding and management conditions in order to stimulate maximum efficiency in the conversion of animal feeds into human foods. The Committee noted the proposals for additions to the Headquarters professional staff to undertake an expansion of work on pig and beef production, abattoir management, and meat handling.

15. The Committee stressed the need to consider better housing of animals as part of the improvement in animal husbandry techniques which the Branch was furthering.

16. The Committee noted with approval the close liaison maintained with other Divisions and Branches, and in particular with the Animal Health and the Pasture and Fodder Crops Branches. Emphasis was placed upon the need for pasture improvement and fodder production wherever development plans for livestock production are being formulated. The importance to many of the developing countries of the improvement of range and the integration of husbandry with agricultural practices and water management was stressed. The work done in this connection and the plans for the ensuing biennium were endorsed.

17. The Committee again expressed its concern at the duration of expert assignments, with particular reference to those in animal production work. It considered that, in view of the long-term nature of many of the projects, particularly those connected with genetic improvement and developments in nutrition, the duration of expert assignments should be considerably longer than was currently customary. The value of some assignments of less than a year and devoted primarily to survey work was becoming increasingly doubtful. The most valuable technical assistance contributions in this field were made by experts following their own initiative and with sufficient time to train local personnel in the specialized techniques of their particular competence. Special attention should be given by the Organization to this matter in the future.

18. The Committee viewed with some concern the importance attached by many countries to the importation of exotic breeds of livestock, sometimes to the exclusion of the improvement of indigenous stock. The qualities of hardiness and disease resistance of indigenous breeds should be fostered and unless the sophisticated managerial skills necessary for the maintenance of exotic breeds were available, developing countries would be better advised to concentrate on the upgrading of local breeds. Where a program involving the importation of exotic breeds was established, care should be taken to see that expert assistance was available for long enough to ensure not only the importation of superior strains but also to provide for the necessary improvements in breeding techniques, feeding and management as long-term policies. There should be a better understanding of climatic requirements, particularly those related to the heat load from solar energy, which was associated with stress and was not yet receiving the attention it merited.

19. The work on blood group techniques was noted, and the proposals for future activities, particularly in connection with the work of the Panel of Blood Group Scientists, were closely examined. Blood grouping provided an interesting research tool and the Branch was performing a useful function in helping countries working in this field to standardize nomenclature and procedures and to co-ordinate their research activities. The Committee noted the undoubted value of blood grouping for identifying cattle and appreciated the facts that the work of the Panel was conducted mainly by correspondence and that relatively little expenditure was contemplated for the future.

20. The necessity of providing practical incentives to production was examined and the Committee considered that efficient marketing was an essential aspect of all forms of livestock production. Developing countries should pay particular attention to marketing problems, especially where difficulties are created by the alternation of wet and dry seasons. More attention could usefully be given by FAO to marketing investigations. In this connection, mention was made of cattle holding points, stock routes, watering points, means for the disposal of surplus animals and collecting centers for slaughter and refrigeration. The elimination of surplus adult male and the conservation and proper utilization of feed and similar developments relating to improved marketing also required attention. The Committee approved the proposals for increased emphasis on education and training in animal production matters at all levels.

21. Views were expressed - the majority of them favorable concerning the plans for the establishment of further regional posts in the ensuing biennium. The advantages were appreciated of having animal production experts stationed at regional offices where they could co-ordinate the activities of several countries and provide advice and co-operation simultaneously to countries and to bilateral and other agencies. Importance was attached to the fact that considerable savings to FAO frequently resulted from the services of an outposted Headquarters officer. During the current biennium regional experts had demonstrated their effectiveness and countries had expressed their approval of the system. It was understood that the Program Committee would be reviewing the whole question of regional assignments at its next session.

Dairy industry

22. The Committee reviewed the work of the Diary Branch and expressed appreciation of the progress achieved. Much of this progress was due to the special assistance received from UNICEF, Denmark and a number of other countries which had made substantial additional contributions, thus enabling the work on training, education and surveys to be considerably extended. The Committee noted with satisfaction the emphasis placed by the Branch and other members of the Division on the whole question of education, through the extensive use of training centers, both regional and national, the promotion of diploma courses, the preparation of a World Directory of Dairy Schools and the proposed international meeting on dairy education in 1964.

23. The Committee approved the policy of using reconstituted and recombined milk to meet immediate needs where there was a severe protein shortage and, so long as milk production is insufficient, of stimulating local dairy development. Emphasis was placed upon the fact that development in dairying requires an integrated program calling for improved feeding methods, better handling and marketing facilities. Increased importance should be attached by FAO to means of improving the productivity of flocks in countries where goats and sheep were a source of milk for human consumption. Attention should also be given to overcoming certain food taboos such as those that militate against the consumption of goat's milk. The Committee considered the possibilities for dairy development where the livestock population is largely nomadic. It was pointed out that, although there was often great wastage of milk in nomadic flocks and herds, it had sometimes been possible to collect and process milk from nomadic stock and ensure that the skim milk and buttermilk were not wasted, and that sufficient milk was provided for calves to assist animal production and development. FAO should examine means of conserving milk and milk products in periods of overproduction to meet subsequent shortages in the dry seasons. Dairy development in arid and semiarid areas should receive greater attention, both from FAO and from the individual countries concerned.

24. The Committee noted with approval the close collaboration between the Dairy Branch and the Animal Production Branch and also with the Nutrition Division. The greatest importance was attached to work undertaken in co-operation with UNICEF, WHO and the United Nations Special Fund, and also to smaller-scale projects being developed under the World Food Program and the Freedom from Hunger Campaign, and aimed primarily at promoting protein production, stimulating local production of milk by creating realiable outlets, and utilizing surpluses. The necessity for adequate staffing to meet the demands on the Regular Program imposed by expanding joint projects was emphasized.

25. The Committee approved the systematic conduct of surveys, many of which had been completed during the current biennium, and many more of which were planned for the ensuing biennium. The results of such surveys should be made widely known in order to encourage bilateral support for dairy development. One of the important aspects of FAO's work in the dairy field was the provision of such information to countries wishing to establish programs of bilateral aid and also to such bodies as the Colombo Plan. Funds could frequently be found from other sources to implement necessary aspects of productivity programs, as, For example, the construction of buildings and dairies, which could not be undertaken by an international organization such as FAO. The data from these surveys should continue to be made available to all interested countries and to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Development Agency and other bodies prepared to grant loans for development purposes.

26. The activities connected with the Improvement of milk hygiene were approved and the Committee noted with satisfaction the further work proposed for 1964-65, which included a meeting of the joint FAO/WHO Expert Panel on Milk Quality in 1964 in co-operation with the International Dairy Federation. The relationship of milk hygiene to the Codex Alimentarius and the satisfactory progress made with the Code of Principles, to which 57 countries now adhered, were appreciated.

Financing of additional Headquarters staff to deal with UNICEF and other programs ancillary to the Regular Program

27. The Committee, taking note of the continuing and constructive cooperation between FAO and UNICEF, considered the necessity of additional Headquarters and outposted staff, and did not question the need for additional personnel in connection with the expanding program of UNICEF projects. It was stressed that the establishment of such posts was entirely a responsibility of FAO. It was noted that the matter of financing these posts would be discussed later by the Conference. It was indicated that the Conference would be requested by some delegations to ask the Director-General to investigate the possibility of setting up an interagency committee to examine means of solving difficulties of financing the many field programs.


Past activities

28. The Committee expressed its approval of the work of the Division during the current biennium, and appreciated the continuing and long-term nature of a large part of it. This was particularly true in relation to programs concerning livestock breeding and development, the establishment and operation of research centers, and projects on training and education at all levels. The Division was commended for its work in connection with expert panels, many of which were operated jointly with WHO. It was noted that the duration of certain expert assignments was too short to allow for the implementation of a thoroughly satisfactory program: with the exception of certain highly specialized fields where short assignments were feasible, the work of the Division, particularly in relation to animal production activities, could have been considerably improved by increasing the duration of certain individual assignments.

Program of work for the next biennium

29. The balance of the Division's program of work was commended and the interrelationships of the three Branches with the relative emphasis given to various disciplines, were approved. It was also noted with satisfaction that the appropriate liaison with other units within the Organization and with other international and national bodies was firmly established on a continuing basis.

Trends for the future

30. The Committee did not consider that any major shifts of emphasis would be required in the foreseeable future. This, however, should be qualified in the case of diseases intercommunicable between animals and man, and livestock diseases generally, particularly the emerging diseases, which would from time to time need to be given priority of consideration. It was noted with satisfaction that provision was being proposed for this contingency through the establishment of an emergency fund for livestock disease control.


Requests to the Director-General


  • (a) The activities of FAO in rinderpest, contagious bovine pleuropneumonia and trypanosomiasis should be further extended, particularly in developing and newly-independent countries.

    (b) Increased emphasis should be given by FAO to poultry and swine production especially in the developing countries as providing rapid means of increasing the supplies of animal proteins.

    (c) Means should be investigated by which the Organization can provide assistance and advice on a wider scale than previously in all matters connected with the provision of safeguards for member countries against the introduction of animal diseases, and also methods should be investigated of improving quarantine techniques such as those relating to the earlier detection of disease and parasitism.

    (d) FAO should give further attention to the improvement of milk production under adverse conditions of climate and topography, including methods of conserving milk products.

  • Land and water development



    1. The Committee carefully examined the work of the Division as set forth in the Director-General's report on the Work of FAO 1962-63 and in the Program of Work for 1964-65. It noted the considerable increase in the Division's field programs that had taken place during the last biennium. In 1963, the Division was responsible for over 600 expert posts, of which two thirds fell under the United Nations Special Fund Program. The total estimated annual budget amounted to $12 million, of which only $640,000 was provided by the Regular Program. The Headquarters' staff consisted of only 26 officers under the Regular Program (including regional posts) and of 16 under the field programs, mainly United Nations Special Fund (UNSF). The Committee recognized that the Headquarters' staff provided under the field programs was not sufficient to carry out the technical supervision and administrative work required for these programs. It expressed unanimous appreciation of the way in which the heavy workload had been carried.

    2. The Committee expressed concern at the effect of the continuing expansion of the field programs on the Regular Program. It gave broad approval to the program of work for the ensuing biennium subject to certain observations. It recognized the difficulty of limiting the field program applied for by Member Governments and financed by outside funds (UNSF, EPTA, etc). It recognized moreover that the erosion of the Regular Program by the field programs was real, but the two programs were complementary: the Regular Program entailed co-operation with, supervision of and service to the field programs which in turn provided the information, experience and achievement so vitally necessary to accomplish the over-all objectives of the Regular Program. The Committee, therefore, noted the situation under which the Regular Program suffered to some extent but recognized that the overall objectives of FAO were furthered at an accelerated rate.

    3. The Committee recognized the broad and multiple nature and scope of the Division's work and activities. It appreciated that this included not only the fundamental activities of assessing and correlating land and water resources potentialities but also a contribution to the determination of optimum ways of using these resources on a continuing basis. The Committee emphasized that the Division had an important integrating role within the over-all activities of FAO.

    4. On the question of fundamental studies, the Committee welcomed and strongly supported the proposal to adopt a co-ordinated approach to resource appraisal in close working relations with Plant Production and Protection, Forestry and Forest Products, and other Divisions. It agreed that systematic studies of soils, hydrology, climate, topography and vegetation and their interrelationships were essential for determining the most suitable forms of land use. The securing of information on these basic resources would permit the transfer of knowledge from one area to another with much greater confidence, and would bring speedier development and lower costs through improvement in research programs and reduction in the risk of failure.


  • (a) The Committee while reviewing the work of the World Soil Resources Office noted that many countries have a well-organized program of soil surveys and mapping of soils for the benefit of agriculture.

    (b) Some delegates questioned the possibility of duplication between the World Soil Resources Office and the Soil Survey and Fertility Branch, particularly with regard to the correlation of soils, soil surveys and the preparation of soil maps and further indicated that normally these activities would be carried on by the Soil Survey and Fertility Branch. The Committee was assured that there was proper co-ordination to avoid duplication.

    (c) The Committee pointed out that the usefulness of the soil maps depended upon the care and accuracy with which the basic data were gathered and compiled. Some delegates questioned the practical usefulness of soil maps on a 1:5,000,000 scale and agreed with the opinion expressed by the Program Committee in its last report (CL 40/2, p. 20). Other delegates however supported the continuance of the world mapping in view of the benefits that they expected to derive from this work, and stressed that necessary facilities be made available.

    (d) Several delegates considered that the first step should be the development and issuance of regional and country maps and that the preparation of a world map should continue gradually at the present level.

  • 6. The Committee was informed and it agreed that considerable importance should be given to establishing a methodology designed to provide uniform symbols and mapping systems, thus making possible the interpretation of maps on a world-wide basis.

    7. The Committee strongly approved the proposals for an integrated team approach to planning land and water development in selected areas. Many delegates stressed the practical value that small but well-balanced teams could have in assisting governments in land and water development planning and in implementing such plans in strategically located areas. The Committee recognized that the team approach was a logical and practical sequel to the need for integration of the key subject-matter fields for the planning and implementation of land and water development schemes. The Committee therefore accepted the formation of regional teams for the interpretation of the basic studies of resources, to work closer to the field of operations, and to be readily at the disposal of governments. This was not only a practical but also an economical way of operating. A logical outcome of such an approach would be the initiation of pilot projects which could expose the problems and difficulties of agricultural development programs while providing experience and in-service training, especially at the intermediate levels, which is so essential for the implementation of development plans. Views were expressed, the majority of which were favorable, concerning the plans to establish further regional posts in the ensuing biennium, however, some opposition to these proposals was noted. The advantages were appreciated of having Divisional specialists available to co-ordinate work between countries and to serve on teams. It was felt that in some regions the number of regional officers might be inadequate to provide a well-balanced team. It was understood that the Program Committee would be reviewing the whole question of regional activities and assignments at its next session.

    Soil survey and fertility

    8. The Committee firmly supported the work program described for the Coil Survey and Fertility Branch, and recorded its appreciation of the work achieved.

    9. The Committee recognized the fundamental role played by the Branch in its work on agricultural development and expressed approval of the current program and the proposals for the ensuing biennium. Several delegates questioned whether the small increase in expenditure requested would be sufficient to carry out the important work planned for that biennium.

    10. The Committee endorsed the importance attached to soil survey and classification. It approved the intention to give increasing weight to detailed soil surveys for specific development projects and to soil interpretation in the coming biennium. Some delegates underlined the need to organize a training center in aerial photo-interpretation, and the preparation of a publication on this subject, to meet an expanding demand for technical assistance in this aspect of the activities.

    11. The work being accomplished in soil fertility was appreciated. Many delegates emphasized the importance of combining all improved management practices and particularly improved cultivation practices in order to obtain optimum results; and the Committee was informed of the close co-operation maintained with the Plant Production and Protection and other Divisions to that end. The desirability of carrying out simple fertilizer trials on cultivators' fields was discussed but the majority view endorsed the practice of using farmers' land in addition to the experimental stations. In this way the use of fertilizers could be tested under a wide range of conditions. Moreover, this approach offered a form of insurance, in that the interpretation of results is based on conditions and levels of management actually obtaining on the farms. Nevertheless, the Committee emphasized the need to correlate the results of such trials with the work of experimental stations, and with soil survey and soil analysis data so that effective assessment of fertilizer needs could be based on a full knowledge of the soils. The divergent views of different delegates on the relative merits of chemical fertilizers and of organic manures served to illustrate the differing conditions existing in the various countries and emphasized the need for experimental work. Several delegates commented on the expense of chemical fertilizers and on the need to ensure that they can be made available to farmers at the right time, in the right place, and at prices the farmers can afford and which can make their use profitable.

    12. More attention to the management of organic matter in tropical soils was requested by many delegates. The Committee accepted that, while the immediate program did not place much emphasis on this work, it was planned to include it in the long-term soil biology program. Several delegates particularly emphasized the need for more work on grazingland improvement.

    13. Some delegates strongly supported the proposed appointment of the regional soil specialist in Africa. They felt there was a great need for such a man to assist in development planning as indicated in the general statement.

    14. The Committee drew special attention to the need for increased work on soil management. It particularly stressed the importance of work on problems of reclamation of saline and alkaline soils, recognizing that huge areas were already, or were rapidly becoming too salty or too alkaline for efficient agricultural production. Reference was made to the close identity of interest with the Water Resources and Irrigation Branch in this matter. In addition, the Committee urged that more work should be done on soil erosion control and noted proposals to initiate work with the international Society of Soil Science on soil structure.

    Water resources and irrigation

    15. The Committee noted that activities of the Water Resources and Irrigation Branch during 1962-63 had followed the work programs outlined in earlier reports, although there had been an accelerated increase in field activities during the period. The Committee stressed the basic importance of water problems in agricultural development and expressed approval of the achievements of the Branch.

    16. In reviewing the work proposed for the ensuing biennium, several delegates expressed concern at the modest increase in the expenditure proposed for the Branch in view of its heavy responsibilities. To lighten the workload, it was suggested that work leading to some publications might be let out on contract, and it was noted with interest that this was already being done under an agreement between FAO and the University of California.

    17. The Committee stressed the importance of accurate data on surface and underground water resources as a basis for the sound planning of water development. It agreed that FAO should remain active in this field and should pay increased attention to the training of hydrologists, particularly at an intermediate level. A suggestion was made that a regional training center for hydrometrists for the Mediterranean region be established.

    18. The importance of concentrating on projects having specific objectives was stressed in relation to FAO's participation in the Unesco/WHO Hydrological Decade and also to its co-operation with other United Nations agencies and nongovernmental organizations. Liaison with the United Nations Water Resources Development Centre, for example, should first be used to ensure that subjects receiving priority in the United Nations Development Decade Program would be of practical value to newly-emerging nations. Some delegates suggested that the liaison officer might not be needed or, if appointed under this Program, might be stationed only part-time in New York so that he could carry out coordination of FAO's activities with other agencies engaged in the field of water resources development work.

    19. The Committee agreed that water legislation and the international aspects of river basin development should be kept under permanent review and it was noted with interest that FAO was planning to hold a seminar in 1966 on this subject in Africa under the Expanded Program of Technical Assistance (EPTA).

    20. The Committee welcomed the emphasis laid by a number of delegates on the importance of small water development projects such as water supply for livestock and small earth dams. The Committee learned with interest of the proposal to organize a training center on small surface water storage in Africa in 1965, also under EPTA.

    21. Several delegates underlined the importance of proper drainage and the control of salinity and waterlogging in irrigation schemes in arid areas. It noted that the International Source Book now under preparation on this subject in cooperation with Unesco would provide a much-needed synthesis of information in this field. It was agreed that this publication should be complemented by a simple pamphlet drawing the attention of administrators and other policy-makers to the importance of the subject. The Committee welcomed the proposal to hold a seminar in Pakistan on waterlogging and salinity in 1964 under EPTA.

    22. The need to acquaint farmers with proper irrigation techniques through extension services was stressed and the Committee welcomed the proposed publication on irrigation management for the use of field workers and farmers.

    23. The Committee recognized the importance of the problems associated with the sale of irrigation water and indicated that proper pricing could favor good irrigation practices and foster economical use of water. While a questionnaire on current methods of selling water in various countries could provide much useful information, additional observations and experiences should be drawn upon wherever possible to ensure analysis of the problem in the proper perspective.

    24. The Committee approved the suggestion that the proposed cooperation between FAO and WHO should not be limited to the control of bilharziasis and other water-borne diseases but should also cover the use of sewage water for irrigation and the effect its use might have on human and animal health.

    25. Many delegates stressed the need to consider water development and improvement in the techniques of water use as an integral part of agricultural development. They supported the concept of divisional teams including water specialists as described in the general statement above. Some African delegates strongly urged that a water development specialist should be provided in the team proposed for the African region.

    Land use and farm management

    26. In reviewing the work of the Land Use and Farm Management Branch during 1962-63, the Committee emphasized the importance of its activities in relation to improvement of the productivity of agricultural resources.

    27. The Committee endorsed the proposed program, agreed to the importance accorded to land-use planning, and stressed the need for an improved methodology for planning and programing land and water development. It suggested that the preparation of guidelines for resources planning based on successful experiences in many countries would be a valuable contribution.

    28. The Committee considered that the Branch had a special role of integrating the work of other disciplines in planning improvements on farming systems and land use, and pointed out the need for close liaison with other units of the Organization.

    29. Some delegates stressed the importance of watershed management, particularly in countries heavily dependent on irrigation, and requested that information should be made available on successful experiences in organizing effective watershed management programs in various countries in close co-operation with Forestry and Forest Products Division.

    30. Farm management and land-use planning in the orientation of agricultural extension programs were given specia-emphasis by some delegates and the Branch was encouraged to give maximum assistance in association with Rural Institutions and Services Division to member countries in developing extension programs in farm management. The Committee also recognized the need to enlarge extension services to include lending institutions and other organizations servicing agriculture.

    31. The Committee recognized the value of the team approach in dealing with land and water development projects and appreciated the significance of regionally based agricultural production economists in such teams. In this connection it was pointed out that strong technical support from the Branch would be essential.

    Agricultural engineering

    32. The Committee warmly commended the Agricultural Engineering Branch on its current activities and approved its program of work for 1964-65.

    33. The Committee endorsed the emphasis placed on farm power and machinery and advocated as much additional research as possible on the development of equipment suitable for small farms. Investigations into suitable types of equipment for group use also received strong support. The Committee endorsed the view that no sharp division could be made between activities relating to small farm tools and animal-operated equipment on the one hand and powered equipment on the other. The most harmonious and economic combinations of equipment, whether powered or not, should be chosen to suit the local conditions.

    34. The importance of training for all levels of staff associated with mechanization was emphasized by the Committee. It also stressed the vital importance of ensuring that the introduction of machinery is backed by adequate repair facilities, the provision of the right spare parts, and training in safety measures.

    35. The Committee showed special interest in the savings which could be made by better storage, in problems of the provision of such storage, and in rural planning and housing in connection with land settlement schemes. In this regard standards of housing, water supply, and sanitation should be planned with full recognition of modern human needs and dignity. In this connection, the Committee supported the proposed post at Headquarters for a specialist in farm structures who should pay special attention to these problems.

    36. The Committee, in approving the program in the field of agricultural processing, stressed both the importance and the urgency of developing rural industries as a sound step toward industrialization. These industries provide a means of alleviating rural employment situations, of bridging the gap between seasonal agricultural activities and of promoting the development of isolated areas. The Committee endorsed the emphasis on the selection and perfecting of cheap equipment for small plants, and stressed the importance of teamwork to ensure effective handling of agricultural products at the farm and through storage and processing to the market.

    37. The co-operation developed between the Branch and various research institutes was appreciated and encouraged. Particular interest was shown in the work being done on the utilization of sun and wind and methane gas as sources of energy as well as for special processing purposes such as the dehydration of fruits and vegetables. Work on problems of processing cashew nuts provided another example of cooperation with research institutes.

    38. The preparation of formal and informal publications in all fields of agricultural engineering and processing was regarded by the Committee as the most important phase of the Regular Program work and the Branch was commended for its effective dissemination of information through its bulletins. Particular attention should be given to publications on agricultural mechanization, especially in relation to the integration of crops and livestock and the introduction of subsurface tillage practices.

    39. The Committee agreed that a transition from incidental aid to systematic planning was a desirable future trend and that further progress in the urgent task of agricultural industrialization could be expected from close association with the United Nations Industrial Development Centre.


    Past activities

    40. Although there had been some erosion of Regular Program activities as a result of the expansion in the field program, the work has progressed vigorously and harmoniously. The field programs also contributed to the over-all objectives of the Regular Program by providing information and experience of great value to most countries. The Division had carried out a heavy program in a very satisfactory manner.

    Program of work for the ensuing biennium

    41. The Committee generally approved the proposed program of work.

    42. The regional team approach to land and water development planning was sound. The concomitant encouragement of area development projects incorporating a number of key farming practices and supporting services in selected strategic areas was logical and highly promising. Such projects would have multiple values including demonstration, provision of experience and in-service training of staff, especially at the intermediate level, which are so essential to agricultural development.

    43. Adequate stress was being laid on the interaction of the effect of improved agricultural practices, and the importance of combining the use of fertilizers with other measures of good husbandry was fully appreciated.

    Trends for the future

    44. While the Committee agreed to the Division's program in general, it considered that minor shifts in emphasis could be made with advantage to the program. Thus it concluded:

  • (a) that more attention should be given to soil management, organic matter, biology and structure, particularly in relation to grazing lands and the soils of the tropics; and

    (b) that there were gaps in expertise that could limit the effectiveness of regional planning teams.

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