Utilization of agricultural surpluses
59. A detailed account of the Conference recommendations concerning the proposed multilateral food program is given in paragraphs 35 et seq. In taking note of the observations presented on the subject in paragraph 33 of the Report of the Thirty -Fourth Session of the Committee on Commodity Problems (CCP), the Conference found that a number of these observations also applied to the wider field of bilateral programs of food utilization and might require further study. The Conference asked CCP to continue to keep these matters under review.
FAO Principles of Surplus Disposal and Guiding Lines
60. The Conference noted with satisfaction that the action undertaken by the Director-General in accordance with its Resolution No. 11/59 on the operation and adequacy of the FAO Principles of Surplus Disposal and Guiding Lines had the effect of increasing to 48 the number of Member Nations formally accepting the Principles. The Conference requested the Director-General again to invite Member Nations and particularly those that joined the Organization at the current session, to signify their agreement to adhere to the FAO Principles and to take the Guiding Lines into account when entering into surplus disposal transactions.
National food reserves - Periodic CCP review of governmental plans and arrangements
61. The Conference, at its Tenth Session, requested CCP to undertake factual periodic reviews on the subject of national food reserves. The Conference now noted that the Committee had initiated such activity on the basis of information received from governments concerning plans and arrangements for the establishment, maintenance or enlargement of national food reserves, particularly in member countries in process of development. The Conference agreed that this enquiry might be of considerable practical benefit to the food supply and economic progress of member countries, particularly those in process of development, and expressed its desire to see it continued.
Reserves of concentrated feeding-stuffs
62. The Conference was concerned that the frequent occurrence of drought in some areas of the world not only caused sudden fluctuations of food supplies but also endangered the maintenance of the current level of livestock production and jeopardized its balanced growth. These areas were also those in which the deficiency of animal proteins in the diet was most acute. Since such a deficiency was the direct consequence of difficulties in livestock raising and in particular of the lack of food concentrates, the building up of reserves of feeding-stuffs, such as feedgrains, would help considerably to prevent losses of livestock in periods of drought and thus improve supplies of livestock products. The Conference therefore considered that, in arrangements to be set up under the surplus utilization program, attention should be given to the possibility of establishing such reserves of feeding-stuffs and requested the Director-General to take the necessary steps in close collaboration with the governments concerned.
Activities of the Consultative Subcommittee on Surplus Disposal
63. The Conference considered that the Consultative Subcommittee on Surplus Disposal had provided a satisfactory forum for intergovernmental consultation on surplus utilization programs and for the study of certain problems related to surplus utilization, with particular reference to the need for such programs to be in conformity with the FAO Principles of Surplus Disposal and Guiding Lines. The Conference agreed that these activities should be continued.
Guiding principles for national agricultural price stabilization and support policies
64. The Conference considered the final draft of a set of Guiding Principles on agricultural price stabilization and support policies with special reference to the need to minimize adverse effects on international trade (Appendix C to this report). These Guiding Principles had been prepared by a panel of experts in pursuance of a resolution of the Ninth Session of the Conference and had been referred by its Tenth Session to CCP for further examination.
65. It was noted that a revised draft of the original Principles had been circulated by CCP to all Member Governments for comment and that the comments received had been taken into account in the final draft submitted through the Council to the current Conference Session for final adoption. The Council had urged governments to give careful attention to the text of the Principles prior to this session so as to be prepared to take a definite position on them.
66. Appreciation was expressed of the work carried out by CCP and its special drafting groups in clarifying and sharpening the Guiding Principles and in embodying into them the comments submitted by Member Governments. Although the Principles were inevitably in some degree a compromise between conflicting views, they provided valuable criteria for use by governments in formulating or modifying their agricultural and marketing policies and should go far toward ensuring effectiveness in price support measures and in preventing harmful repercussions on the production and trade of other countries. If adopted, they would constitute a further important step toward an internationally approved code of principles, and would provide a basis for discussion of agricultural support and related problems in CCP and in other international discussions.
67. A considerable number of delegations expressed their readiness to accept the final draft of the Principles. A few small amendments were suggested, notably for the inclusion in paragraph II.3 (a) of a reference to the importance, in fixing agricultural price levels, of taking into account their possible inflationary effects. The Conference, while noting these suggestions, considered that, in view of the detailed consideration which had already been given to the Guiding Principles and the large measure of common agreement that had been reached, they should at this stage be accepted or rejected as they stood. As experience was gained, however, it might be desirable to develop them further and to incorporate some additional considerations.
68. The Conference adopted the following resolution:
RESOLUTION No. 3/61
Guiding Principles for national agricultural price stabilization and support policies
Reaffirming its belief in the value of agreed Guiding Principles on agricultural price stabilization and support policies for use by Member Governments in establishing or reviewing their policies in this field in order to ensure that such policies will be effective in achieving their objectives, but with minimum adverse repercussions on the pattern of production and trade of other countries, and
Taking note that the Guiding Principles as set out in Appendix D of the report of the Thirty -Fourth Session of the Committee on Commodity Problems and annexed to the report of this session of the Conference, incorporate the final revision of the Committee, arrived at after full discussions and taking into account the comments received on an earlier draft which was circulated to all Member Governments,
Endorses the Guiding Principles for national agricultural price stabilization and support policies with special reference to the need to minimize adverse effects on international trade as an important further step in the field of international co-operation;
Commends them to the serious attention of all Member Governments in establishing or reviewing their policies;
Requests the Director-General to circulate as soon as possible the Guiding Principles in printed form to all Member Governments; and
Invites Member Governments to inform the Director-General in advance of the Thirty -Ninth Session of the Council of FAO in 1962 whether they are prepared to accept these Guiding Principles.
National and international commodity arrangements
69. The Conference was impressed with the outstanding importance of effective action on international commodity trade problems and in particular with the need for ensuring stable and remunerative export returns, especially for all those developing countries whose economies depend so largely on export returns.
70. The Conference drew the attention of governments to the following points stressed by the Committee on Commodity Problems (CCP) concerning international commodity policies and arrangements and their close link with the need for improved coordination of national policies:
"The exploration of the desirability and feasibility of international commodity agreements, based primarily on a commodity-by-commodity approach, but also the essentially complementary character of such an approach with other measures, both national and international.
"The need for the harmonization of national policies as an important condition for any more fundamental solution of problems of instability in commodity markets.
"The importance of high and stable levels of income being maintained in major importing countries.
"The importance in the economies of primary exporting countries of an adequate inflow of external resources for which the adoption of internal anticyclical measures in these countries did not provide a substitute.
"The fact that national and international commodity stabilization measures were inextricably bound up with each other.
"The importance of structural imbalances and underlying trends, particularly for certain primary products faced with serious competition from synthetics.
"The inevitable limitations of stabilization measures in dealing with basic longer-term trends, because such trends could not be interfered with, though their impact on the economies of producing countries could be mitigated by various means.
"The importance of commodity outlook studies as a contribution to improved planning and policy co-ordination and the resulting advantages attaching to the work of commodity study groups. "2
71. The Conference requested the Director-General to continue to take an active interest in intergovernmental consultations with respect to international commodity agreements or arrangements. Reference was made to consultations on wheat, sugar, butter, coffee, and cocoa.
72. Interest was shown by the Conference in the possible application of techniques of compensatory financing for fluctuations of export earnings from international commodity trade. Whilst note was taken of the technical and other problems involved in such approaches, it was thought desirable that FAO should co-operate in such enquiries as appropriate with particular attention to those techniques having application to individual commodities.
Agricultural commodity aspects of regional economic integration
73. The Council, at its Thirty -Fifth Session in June 1961 had proposed the inclusion in the Conference agenda of an item on regional economic integration, with special reference to agricultural commodities and the European common market. The Conference expressed its appreciation of the factual review presented in document C 61/11 Regional economic integration which, despite the very short time available for its preparation, provided an excellent factual review of developments and proposals in this field. The document was concerned mainly with the proposed measures under consideration in the European Economic Community (EEC) for agricultural commodities and their relation to world agricultural commodity situations, since preparations for economic integration were more advanced in that grouping than in other parts of the world, though developments in Africa and Latin America were also briefly reported upon.
74. The Conference considered that, while developments in the field of economic integration were matters with which other intergovernmental forums were concerned, it was incumbent on FAO to take account of the agricultural commodity aspects of the proposals and of their possible repercussions on the economies of Member Nations in general. The Conference, therefore, requested the Director-General to continue to review and report on such developments.
75. While noting, as explained in the Director-General's review, that EEC's consideration of the measures to be taken was at a preliminary stage, and detailed agricultural policies had still to be formulated, many delegations expressed serious apprehensions about the possible impact that these measures and policies might have on trade in agricultural commodities, and urged Member Nations participating in schemes of regional economic integration to bear constantly in mind the interests of third countries in order that harmful effects on the exports of the latter might be avoided.
76. The Conference resolved as follows:
RESOLUTION No. 4/61
Agricultural commodity aspects of regional economic integrations
Having studied the Report on regional economic integration (C 61/11),
Taking cognizance of the description therein of the preliminary proposals by the European Economic Community (EEC) Commission for a common policy covering agriculture and trade in agricultural commodities, which may be adopted at the common market stage, and for the orientation of the regime of association of overseas countries and territories, also yet to be determined,
Considering the proposed measures in connection with production and trade in agricultural commodities within EEC,
Recalling that the development of world trade is one of the aims of EEC, and
Recognizing that, unless adequate provisions are made, there might be a danger in regional integrations such as this of restricting exports of third countries with harmful effects on the economies of many countries and more so on those of the developing countries,
Invites Member Nations of FAO, and especially those who are also members of the European Economic Community, when dealing with regional integration, to formulate their policies covering agriculture and trade in agricultural commodities in such a manner as not to jeopardize the exports of third countries;
Congratulates the Director-General on the study presented in document C 61/11, particularly with reference to agricultural commodities and the European Common Market; and
Requests him to continue to review and report on developments in the field of regional economic integration.
Future work on commodity problems
77. In considering possible ways of accelerating progress in dealing with the world's main commodity problems, the Conference gave some preliminary consideration to the possibility of a more concerted attack on these problems. The Conference decided that a statement presented to it on behalf of the Director-General on a suggested program should be circulated in full for further consideration by CCP and the Council of possible ways of achieving a concerted attack on commodity problems with due account also being taken of the need for close cooperation with the United Nations and other interested agencies.
Agricultural trade policies and commodity problems
78. The Conference resolved as follows:
RESOLUTION No. 5/61
Agricultural trade policies and commodity problems
Noting with concern the persistent decline in the terms of trade of agricultural commodities and its adverse effects on export earnings, particularly of developing countries,
Stressing the need for expansion and more stable conditions in international trade in agricultural commodities, and
Recognizing at the same time the interest and responsibilities of GATT and other international bodies in the field,
Expresses the hope that governments of industrial countries will increasingly adopt more liberal trade policies and remove as far as possible quantitative restrictions, import duties and internal taxes on agricultural commodities,
Urges governments participating in regional groupings to avoid measures detrimental to the trade of agricultural exporting countries;
Commends the Committee on Commodity Problems (CCP) for its reviews and analysis of international commodity problems;
Requests CCP to continue to keep all developments in the commodity situation under review;
Welcomes the publication of the FAO commodity review and the intention to make it a basic annual document for use by other FAO bodies and other United Nations agencies; and
Invites the Council, aided by CCP, to continue their consideration of strengthening further the work of CCP and its subsidiary groups, particularly by developing a concerted attack on commodity problems, taking into account also the need for close cooperation with United Nations organs, notably the United Nations Commission on International Commodity Trade (CICT) and with appropriate intergovernmental bodies.
Joint Session of the United Nations Commission on International Commodity Trade (CICT) and the Committee on Commodity Problems (CCP)
79. The Conference expressed its satisfaction with the steps taken by the Director-General for the preparation of a joint CICT/CCP session in pursuance of Conference Resolution No. 12/59. The Conference agreed with the agenda prepared jointly by the Director-General and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Other commodity matters
80. In pursuance of FAO Conference Resolutions No. 16/61 (Mediterranean) and No. 6/61 (Africa) and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Resolutions Nos. 25(III) and 29(III), the Conference requested the Director-General:
(a) in connection with follow-up action on the Mediterranean Development Project, to examine the advisability of undertaking studies on trade in Mediterranean commodities in co-operation with the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and other interested international organizations;
(b) in connection with follow-up action on the Africa Survey, to study in co-operation with CCP ways and means of helping the economies of African countries by contributing to a solution of the problems of African export crops, with special reference to the problems of the terms of trade, and to publish the results of such a study, also bearing in mind the importance of these crops to other exporting regions;
(c) to give consideration, in the light of work already planned by him in this connection, to the preparation of studies on national and international stabilization measures for African export crops, with special reference to the role of marketing boards and national stabilization funds, in pursuance of the aforementioned ECA resolutions.
81. The Conference further requested the Director-General to consider the possibility of:
(a) undertaking a study of the world tobacco situation and outlook and to present such a study to CCP for its consideration;
(b) strengthening the study of rice trade problems as part of the work of the Consultative Subcommittee on the Economic Aspects of Rice;
(c) extending work on quality standards and grading, on the lines of work carried out by the Working Party of the FAO Cocoa Study Group, to other export crops of underdeveloped countries.
D. Freedom from hunger campaign (FFHC)
82. The Conference had before it Document C 61/12 Progress of Freedom from Hunger Campaign. The Director-General stressed two aspects: first, the need for governments, especially in developing countries that had not yet done so, to take the initiative of setting up Campaign committees; and, secondly, the importance of using any funds collected for the basic purpose of establishing projects that would help provide some permanent relief from hunger and malnutrition rather than for short-term or emergency activities. In this latter connection, the Director-General had asked leading scientific research institutions throughout the world to give thought to long-term research programs for finding ways of feeding populations - a subject which would also be discussed at the World Food Congress planned for 1963. The Director-General mentioned the help he had received from the Governmental Advisory Committee, the mandate of which expired at the end of the present session, in planning Campaign activities.
83. All delegations warmly supported the Campaign. It was recognized that the Campaign would serve to awaken the world's conscience to hunger, malnutrition and poverty. Emphasis required to be placed on plans and action that point the way to progress, otherwise latent political, social and economic tensions in populations still suffering from lack of food in a world of plenty would be increased. The responsibility for such progress must rest predominantly with the developing countries themselves. At the same time, the whole of the United Nations family should be mobilized to help, since the Campaign is a world responsibility which cannot be shouldered by only a few developed countries.
84. The Conference also recognized that, for the efforts arising out of the Freedom from Hunger Campaign to be fully effective, there was a need for associated activities to improve production and trade policies, to render national planning more effective, to stabilize prices of primary commodities and rural exports and to implement the range of technical and economic improvements discussed in other parts of this report.
85. Considerable value was attached to the voluntary nature of the Campaign. Examples were given by various delegations of voluntary contributions that had already been made by private individuals, firms, foundations and other bodies toward national Freedom from Hunger trust funds, even before organized appeals were undertaken. Beside the 33 member countries that had established national FFHC committees or authorized other committees to act for the Campaign (see Annex I of C 61/12-Sup. 2) 3 it was announced that Austria had formed a national FFHC committee, Afghanistan was in the process of doing so, and in Greece the National FAO Committee would be responsible for the Campaign. in addition, a number of countries had established state, provincial or regional subcommittees. The relationship between the Food for Peace Program in the United States of America and the Freedom from Hunger Campaign was outlined. The objectives of the two programs are parallel, although FFHC aims more at the basic causes of hunger. It is for that reason that in the United States a separate FFHC committee was established but within the Food for Peace Council. It was also noted that a number of countries had taken steps to enable contributions to the Freedom from Hunger Campaign to be exempted from taxation.
86. Several delegations stressed the personalized approach to the public which is necessary in order to win support for FFHC action projects. To obtain the response that is desired, sufficient projects must be developed imaginatively and quickly. It was recognized that, besides the projects developed through and with the help of FAO, many would be planned independently. It was suggested that projects which involve relatively little expense should be given due consideration, e.g. the provision by farm radio forums in Canada of radio receivers to aid extension in individual villages in India. The Conference also welcomed the fertilizer and pesticides programs planned under the Campaign. In this connection, it was made known that the Indian Fertilizer Association was producing for the Campaign a film and a booklet on the better use of fertilizers. Many other examples of projects were given in the documents submitted to the Conference or mentioned by delegations participating in the discussion. It was recognized, however, that project suggestions must take into account the particular circumstances of the recipient country's economy and should lay stress on increased productivity.
87. Special reference was made to three projects to which the Conference drew the attention of appropriate bodies:
(a) Arising out of a resolution at the Fourth Regional Conference for Asia and the Far East seeking exploration of the ways by which fertilizers could be provided on easy terms to needy countries in the region over and above their capacity to import fertilizer commercially, the Director-General called an informal meeting of fertilizer exporting countries, which decided to bring this request to the attention of the Conference in connection with the Freedom from Hunger Campaign. The Conference requested the Director-General to study, within the general framework for economic development, all possible ways by which fertilizer exporting countries might facilitate the movement of fertilizers to needy countries and to report his findings to the next regular sessions of the Program Committee and the Council for appropriate action.
(b) Several delegates drew attention to the need in less developed countries for better farm implements, preferably simplified tools that can be reproduced by village craftsmen, and sought FAO help for this purpose.
(c) The Conference also considered the serious plight of certain nomadic tribes that lack a staple food base. Similar problems are presented by exclusively pastoral populations in semiarid or arid zones. The Conference noted with interest the proposal made by several delegations for the establishment of a Regional Institute for the Arid Zones of the Near East to be financed from the United Nations Special Fund or other sources, to deal with some of the main aspects of these problems.
88. Some delegations emphasized the need for help and advice on projects from FAO. The Conference supported the Director-General's suggestion that countries raising funds might make provision from them to provide experts as a preliminary to the formulation of action projects. The possibility of using volunteers as additional project personnel was also mentioned. Stress was laid on the need for adequate information material in connection with both the action programs themselves and fund raising for common purposes. On the latter aspect, the Conference noted the progress of national stamp plans, the institution of FFHC weeks, the use of programs on Eurovision and other related publicity action to generate public support.
89. The Conference was informed by the Director-General and through Document C 61/12 (and its supplements 1 and 2 of the financial situation of the Campaign and of the Director-General's proposal contained in the Program of work and Budget 196263 for an amount to provide for the central costs of the Campaign. The Conference also took note of Document C 61/3-Sup. 6 containing details of the Director-General's estimates of the total funds requested for administering the Campaign in the biennium 1962-63. The joint report of the Program and finance Committees relevant to the Campaign was before the Conference in Document C 61/3-Sup. 5.
90. The Conference approved the program as recommended by the Director-General.
E. World food congress
91. The Director-General informed the Conference that preliminary work for the World Food Congress had been undertaken within FAO and a preparatory committee would be convened as soon as possible. The Conference noted with appreciation the invitation of the United States Government to hold the World Food Congress in the United States in April/May 1963, as this coincided with the twentieth anniversary of the Hot Springs Conference. It requested the Director-General to consult as soon as feasible with the United States authorities regarding the details of this proposal.
F. World seed campaign
92. Progress made under the World Seed Campaign, as described in the report of the Director-General (C 61/14), was reviewed by the Conference. It was gratified to learn that 79 member countries and dependent territories had participated. Comprehensive reports were presented by various delegations regarding the national and international activities which the respective governments had undertaken in the technical and educational fields, particularly during the World Seed Year 1961. All expressed appreciation for the help provided by the Organization in the preparation and implementation of national action programs.
93. The Conference recognized the valuable assistance provided by many governments, as part of the Campaign, in the form of fellowships, training courses, seminars and study tours in the field of plant breeding and seed production control and distribution under the Expanded Program of Technical Assistance, the Colombo Plan or as direct intergovernmental aid. It also welcomed the support offered by many governments in the form of films, sets of color slides, technical publications and publicity material, for distribution either directly or through the Organization.
94. The Conference approved the Director-General's proposal to convene a technical meeting on seed production control and distribution in Rome early in 1962, with the main objective of evaluating the over-all results of the Campaign and of discussing further action to be taken on seed improvement. The Conference considered that the national and international activities initiated under the Campaign for the production and dissemination of high quality seed of improved crop and tree varieties could be continued as part of the Freedom from Hunger Campaign.
G. Africa survey
95. The Conference had before it document C 61/15 FAO Africa Survey: report on the possibilities of African rural development in relation to economic and social growth. The Director-General in introducing the report referred to the reasons that had led him to undertake this Survey aimed at indicating guidelines for development in tropical Africa. He expressed his thanks to the governments of the region for their co-operation and to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the International Labour Office (ILO) and the other international organizations for their assistance, as a result of which it had been possible for the Survey to examine the possibilities of rural development of the region in the wider context of economic and social development. In view of the urgency of the situation and the desire to meet Conference deadlines, the Survey had been carried out in a very short time. It had not yet been possible to check individual country reports with some of the governments, or some of its conclusions with other United Nations bodies on the problems which were their concern. The comments made by delegates at this session would be taken into account in preparing the final version.
96. The Conference warmly commended the Director-General for the rapid completion of the study and for the quality of its analysis. There was general agreement with its conclusions, though certain countries expressed reservations about specific questions, e.g. the relative emphasis accorded in the report to the public and private sectors in economic development. Although the discussions of fiscal and monetary measures might involve considerations beyond FAO's normal field of competence, it was appreciated that in African countries at their present stage of development the stimulus to economic growth, both in agriculture and in the rest of the economy, was more likely to come from investment in the public sector. It was felt, therefore, that these considerations had a place in a report in which other United Nations agencies had participated and which sought to examine the development of agriculture in its wider context. Some observations were also made on points of detail that required rectification or further consideration before the document was finalized, and some delegations said that they would submit detailed comments in writing. It was repeatedly emphasized that the development of rural economy in Africa had to be seen not merely with reference to technical problems but also in the light of economic and social institutional factors, as had been the case with the Mediterranean Development Project. The Survey l provided a basis both for policies of rural development in the countries concerned, and for the orientation of FAO's work in Africa.
97. Reference was made to the need for vigorous but realistic development programs if the aim of doubling per caput incomes within 15 years was to be attained. The importance was emphasized of adopting solutions specifically adapated to African conditions, particularly for the development of an adequate institutional framework, and the improvement of research, education and extension. In outlining the development problems encountered, several African delegations drew attention to their trade difficulties and the impact of adverse terms of trade. Attention was drawn to the need to consider further the possibility of promoting regional cooperation in support of the development programs of the 33 countries covered in the Survey.
98. Several delegations from countries outside the region also agreed that a substantial effort required to be made to assist the African countries with their development along the general lines of the findings of the Survey, and so help the African people make effective their own will to develop. They outlined the efforts they were making and their plans for further assistance to African countries. Emphasis was laid on the importance of co-ordinating aid programs and of continued co-operation with ECA and other appropriate United Nations agencies.
99. The Conference adopted the following resolution:
RESOLUTION No. 6/61
Noting with satisfaction that the Africa Survey has been carried out in accordance with Resolution No. 3/34 of the Thirty -Fourth Session of the Council of FAO, and
Considering that this Survey, following the approach of the Mediterranean Development Project, defines in a bold and objective manner the essential principles for rational and modern rural development in the context of genera/ economic and social development in Africa,
Congratulates the Director-General for having carried out this important work; and
Expresses its gratitude to the United Nations and its Economic Commission for Africa, to the International Labour Office, and finally to the other organizations for their valuable collaboration;
Invites more specifically all governments of interested countries to study the recommendations and the principles laid down in the Survey with a view to their immediate implementation where appropriate;
Requests the Director-General to pursue, in collaboration with the interested governments, studies in the countries covered by the Survey, for which no special study has as yet been carried out;
Requests further that the Director-General in cooperation with the Committee on Commodity Problems study ways and means of encouraging the development of the African countries, by helping them to solve the problems of the marketing of export agricultural commodities, with special reference to the problems of the terms of trade; and
Invites the Director General to publish the results of such a study;
Expresses the hope that the Director-General when requested by the interested countries and in conjunction with the other United Nations agencies, will assist, where possible, in the co-ordination of technical assistance in the field of agriculture, when it comes from more than one source, provided the parties to technical assistance programs accept such coordination:
Invites the Director-General in co-operation with the United Nations, its Economic Commission for Africa and other United Nations agencies concerned, to undertake on request preinvestment studies, to be financed under the Special Fund of the United Nations or by other appropriate means, for the rapid establishment in particularly favorable areas or zones of interested countries of projects of integrated development which win constitute so many starting points for over-all planning and for the determination of specific measures necessary to ensure future development; and
Impresses on the Director-General the need to draw the attention of the international organizations to the Survey with a view to obtaining financial assistance and co-operation in the speedy implementation of the recommendations for development contained therein.