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VIII. Activities and programs of the organization

A. Introduction
B. Impact of field programs on FAO's regular program
C. Education and training
D. Agricultural planning and programing
E. Co-ordination of work among international agencies
F. Advisory groups
G. Presentation - program of work
H. Agriculture
I. Joint projects - agriculture and forestry
J. Forestry and forest products
K. Fisheries
L. Nutrition
M. Economics
N. Information and publications
O. André Mayer fellowships
P. Regional activities
Q. Interagency relations and consultations - matters arising out of the administrative committee on co-ordination and the economic and social council discussions
R. FAO/UNICEF relations
S. Special program of technical assistance under FAO's regular program
T. Activities arising out of the Mediterranean development project
U. Survey and appraisal of world agriculture, fisheries and forestry resources in relation to needs
V. Technical co-operation programs
W. Special program of agricultural education and training in Africa
X. Reorientation of FAO's activities to strengthen the ability of the organization to give assistance to governments in their agricultural development

A. Introduction

100. The Conference reviewed and approved the activities of the Organization during the biennium 196061 and the proposed Program of Work and Budget for 1962 and 1963. As far as the report of the Eleventh Session was concerned, it was decided to issue the reports of the Technical Committees as appendixes.

101. The Conference devoted special attention to the matters of general concern dealt with in the following paragraphs.

B. Impact of field programs on FAO's regular program

102. The Conference recognized that a shift in the emphasis in the work of the Organization toward field programs had already taken place. This was due to the steadily increasing volume of operational programs arising out of the Expanded Program of Technical Assistance, the United Nations Special Fund Program, FAD/UNICEF Programs, the Freedom from Hunger Campaign and similar aid programs.

103. While endorsing this change and recognizing the practical importance of such field programs to developing countries, the Conference expressed its concern at the adverse effects, in certain areas, of this change on the Regular Program work. The Conference continued to regard the basic activities in the Regular Program as essential to the maintenance of the technical efficiency of the Organization. It recognized that these were matters which the Council would examine while studying the proposals for the reorientation of FAO's activities.

C. Education and training

104. The Conference recognized that the need for agricultural education and training in developing countries in all FAO's fields was a basic one which FAO should stress throughout its program. Even greater attention should be given to training centers and seminars which fulfil a real felt need. FAO's work in education and training should be closely co-ordinated with the work of UNESCO in the field of general education. The Conference also emphasized the need for short-term training of intermediate and lower level personnel and the development of training facilities in the countries themselves. While appreciating also the need for developing higher technical education and training facilities in specialized fields, the Conference stressed the importance of fellowships for training key personnel, teachers in educational institutions and other important supervisory and field staff.

D. Agricultural planning and programing

105. The Conference reiterated its view that economic and social progress in the developing countries can best be ensured if the countries themselves are assisted to greater national effort. One of the basic needs for accelerated progress is the formulation of national development plans, with due emphasis on agricultural development, which must make a substantial contribution to economic growth. The Conference stressed the key role that FAO should play in the agricultural sector in providing assistance to member countries, on request, in the preparation or revision of their agricultural plans, including the establishment of priorities for a program of accelerated and integrated development.

E. Co-ordination of work among international agencies

106. The Conference considered that there was an urgent need for ensuring the best possible results through the combined efforts of international agencies in programs of common interest. It was not enough to avoid duplication of effort: there must be a positive effort to co-ordinate programs so as to achieve maximum effectiveness at minimum cost. The Conference noted with interest FAO's participation in the work of other international organizations and expressed the view that FAO should not fail to invite these other agencies to join in its own programs in order to facilitate the attainment of the objectives mentioned above. The Conference recognized that in joint programs FAO could not always fill the role of co-ordinator but insisted that in its specific fields of competence FAO should always assume leadership.

F. Advisory groups

107. The Conference noted that the Organization continued to rely on advisory groups or panels of experts in dealing with problems in various technical fields. It considered, however, that while this was a useful method of working, care should be taken to ensure that such groups or panels should only be set up for specific purposes and only for the length of time required to accomplish the main purpose, so that they may not develop into permanent bodies. The Conference desired that this matter should be further examined by the Council.

G. Presentation - program of work

108. The Conference took note of suggestions regarding possible changes in the method of presentation of future accountability reports and programs of work and budget. Another suggestion was that, in order to facilitate the work of the Technical Committees of the Conference the program be presented as a whole, including field programs financed from other sources and that an itemized tabulation giving the work content, authorization and documentation be presented for each project listed. The Conference considered that these and other relevant matters were for the Director-General to examine in consultation with the Finance and Program Committees and the FAO Council.


Presentation of Program of Work and Budget


Considering the importance of a balanced Regular Program and the impact on it of projects coming from outside agencies and financed completely or partially by outside funds,

Requests the Director-General in consultation with the Council and the Finance and Program Committees to study the advisability of the presentation of the budget and accounts to the Council and the Conference in such a way that:

(a) the use of Regular Program funds (FAO's own funds) and the use of outside funds by FAO be shown separately,

(b) in the Regular Program Budget a separate allotment be granted to the Regular Program activities as accepted in the Program of Work and a separate allotment be granted to the administration of projects and activities coming from outside agencies and needing partial financing from FAO's own funds,

(c) in case this form of budgeting is found possible, to present the Program of Work and Budget for 196465 in accordance with it.

H. Agriculture

Rural institutions and services
Land and water development
Plant production and protection
Animal production and health
Atomic energy in food and agriculture

Rural institutions and services

Agricultural education and extension

109. The Conference noted the great need for well-trained people for agricultural education and extension work and the consequent need to offer them satisfactory conditions of employment. University-trained specialists were not enough, and middle-level training would be of considerable assistance.

110. Institutional education, extension work and research work should be closely linked and harmonized, priority at first being given to education and extension, with emphasis, however, also on research work in its applied aspects. The extension workers should maintain close contact with research, in order to keep up-to-date and to understand and apply the latest techniques and methods. Since many local problems require to be investigated on the spot, national or regional research institutes should be encouraged. They are also needed to furnish information for development planning.

111. The Conference considered that major emphasis should be placed on the training of extension workers and on assisting the developing countries to organize extension services. It further stressed the potentialities of rural youth activities and suggested that FAO should do more in this field. It welcomed the financial assistance UNICEF had provided for the employment of extension experts and for the development of useful field projects such as family and school gardens and small animal projects. It appreciated the FAD/UNICEF collaboration in a comprehensive nutrition and extension program for the African continent.

112. The Conference requested the Director-General to prepare, to the extent possible, model extension manuals for use by extension workers and school teachers.

113. On the question of possible duplication by UNESCO of FAO's efforts in the field of agricultural education, the Conference noted the continuing consultations between the two agencies with a view not only to avoiding duplication but also to ensuring maximum service to Member Governments at minimum cost. As a result of these consultations, it had been agreed that FAO had primary responsibility for agricultural education as such, while UNESCO assisted in respect of the general educational aspects. This agreement should be strictly observed and governments should give it constant attention to ensure avoidance of duplication of effort.

Organization of agricultural services

114. The Conference recognized that increasing attention needed to be given in many countries to improving the over-all administrative framework of all activities in the broad field of food and agriculture. This work was currently being carried out in the Agricultural Education and Administration Branch. In view of the increasing volume of work in the education and extension field and of the importance attached to work in the organization and administration field, it was proposed to set up a separate Branch to deal with questions of agricultural organization and administration, thus making the distribution of workload more equitable. The proposed new Branch would deal with two broad fields: (a) questions of over-all organizational structure for work in food and agriculture, and (b) problems of organization of agricultural research work.

115. In the field of administrative organization, the Branch would be concerned with the determination of the kind of services required for promoting agriculture, their inter-relationship, the administrative structure required for an integrated approach, and the machinery and procedures for promoting coordination.

116. In the field of research, its concern would be with the organizational aspects, including such matters as the most appropriate structure, facilities, procedures and arrangements for the best design of research activities, the determination of the number, kinds and location of research institutes or experimental units, procedures for relating research programs to national agricultural development plans and the machinery for ensuring an intimate working relationship between research and extension.

117. The establishment of this Branch appeared to separate the work on research from the work on education and extension, but the Conference noted that steps had been taken to ensure co-ordination in the Office of the Director of the Rural Institutions and Services Division.

118. The Conference supported the provision in the 1962-63 program of work for the preparation of two regional publications, one on comparative systems of research organization and another on comparative systems of organization for agricultural development. Governments should be in a position to consider the advantages and disadvantages of various systems when seeking guidance and determining the organization of their own agricultural services.

119. The Conference noted with satisfaction the close working relations established in rendering advice to national governments between FAO and the United Nations through the Division of Public Administration and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).

120. The Conference agreed that inadequate systems of organization and lack of administrative experience were serious barriers to progress in many countries and that all possible assistance should be given to remedy those deficiencies. Certain delegations expressed the view that low priority should be accorded to the expansion of the work undertaken by this new branch and the Conference agreed on the whole to the proposals put forward in the Program of Work and Budget.

Land tenure and settlement

121. The Conference noted that the emphasis in the work on land tenure and settlement had been shifting from regional activities to country projects, which implied an increase in the Headquarters workload, and that henceforth efforts would be concentrated on (a) the strengthening of the intelligence service, (b) the establishment of agrarian research and training institutes, and (c) the development of projects in Asia and Africa: the first and last of these would entail new staff appointments.

122. The Conference welcomed the proposed agrarian research and training institute for Asia and the Far East which it was proposed to set up in the Federation of Malaya, and which, it was hoped, would be supported by the Special Fund. The Conference also supported the proposed land tenure seminar in the Sudan and recognized the urgent need for out-posted land tenure and settlement officers in the Near East and in North Africa to be financed by EPTA or from any other available source.

123. The Conference noted the urgent need for institutional factors such as changes in the land tenure field, to be given attention prior to, or at least simultaneously with, certain technical developments, such as irrigation, soil conservation and land improvement. Unless this was done, the cost of technical developments would be higher, benefits smaller and future agrarian reform more difficult. This was an extremely complex problem which concerned both new and old countries, and if FAO could help Member Governments to solve their land reform problems, in full consideration of all historical and social factors, it would be doing a most valuable service.

124. The Conference took note of the steps taken, in cooperation with the University of Chile, to establish an agrarian research and training institute to cater for the needs of the Latin-American region. It also generally approved the measure of co-operation FAO was offering to the Organization of American States (OAS) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA) in forming agricultural survey teams to assist Latin-American countries in studying the various agricultural problems with particular reference to land reform, and in developing concrete plans for assistance under the Alliance for Progress Program.

Co-operatives, credit and rural sociology

125. The Conference agreed that the new title Cooperatives, Credit and Rural Sociology Branch was an improvement on Rural Welfare Branch, since it expressed more clearly the various aspects with which the Branch should deal. There was justification for including a rural sociologist on the staff.

126. The Conference considered that if the small farmers, who comprised the greater part of rural populations and stood in the greatest need of aid, were to obtain assistance in good time, they should be organized in groups, such as co-operatives. It also agreed that FAO should continue to study all forms of joint undertaking in agriculture and not merely the traditional types of co-operatives including those in which state initiative is combined with private action.

127. Where governments would for some years be promoting co-operatives by providing trained supervisory staff and financial aid, the Conference urged that care should be taken to ensure that such encouragement of co-operatives did not stifle the growth of self-reliance.

128. The Conference welcomed the information provided regarding the " Spare-time Production for Gain " scheme and requested that enquiries be extended with a view to ascertaining development possibilities in this area, and that, in accordance with the findings, one or two pilot projects be undertaken.

129. The Conference noted with satisfaction the efforts made to promote supervised agricultural credit schemes, combined with co-operatives. Financial aid provided by the government along with the necessary technical advice could best be channelled through local associations such as co-operatives or credit unions.

130. It was recognized that technological progress alone did not necessarily lead to rural welfare and the Conference recommended that FAO should continue to pay special attention to the human aspects of rural development programs in line with Conference Resolution No. 14/59, which relates to the need to strengthen this part of FAO's work.

131. The Conference also urged that the close relationship between the economic, technical and social factors in rural life should be carefully borne in mind and close collaboration exercised in this respect both within the Organization and with other agencies.

Land and water development

132. The Conference reviewed the work of the Organization on land and water development in 1960-61 and expressed satisfaction with the large field program undertaken. Taking note of the steady increase in field activities the Conference recognized that further expansion in the field program could be expected in the coming years. In order to ensure effective execution of basic Regular Program activities - particular stress being laid on the organization of national and regional training centers in soil survey and fertilization, water resources development and irrigation, land use and farm management and agricultural engineering and processing - the Conference agreed to the proposed strengthening of staff of the Division. Noting with approval that provision had been made in the 1962-63 program of work for extra staff in the Near Fast and the Far East regions, the Conference recommended that efforts should also be made to provide funds from any appropriate source, including regional Expanded Program of Technical Assistance (EPTA) funds, for activities in the African and Latin-American regions.

Soil survey and fertility

133. The Conference noted with approval the increasing demands for assistance in soil survey, fertility and soil management and expressed satisfaction with the greater emphasis on projects for rational use of soil resources under EPTA, the United Nations Special Fund and the Freedom from Hunger Campaign. It supported the emphasis on large scale fertilizer trials and demonstrations, especially those on cultivators' fields. The Conference also considered that sufficient emphasis should be laid on other important crop production methods and noted with satisfaction the interdivisional co-operation in this respect. The Conference urged that FAO should try by appropriate measures to have more attention given to soil micro-elements and soil biology factors. Greater concentration of effort was required in tropical and subtropical regions, since the knowledge acquired in the temperate zones was not necessarily applicable there. The work done in Africa by the Inter-African Bureau of Soils (BIS) and other bodies of the Commission for Technical Co-operation in Africa South of the Sahara (CCTA) should be taken into consideration.

134. The Conference agreed that soil surveys, soil maps and the work on the correlation of soil classification systems should be carried out with due regard to the practical purposes of farm planning, determining land-use capabilities and establishing cropping systems and suitable crop production practices. It recognized the potential usefulness of the joint FAD/UNESCO project for the production of a soil map of the world at a suitable scale. The Conference felt that, although this project would have to be developed at a slower pace than was originally planned, the work should be expedited as much as available funds would permit. The publication of existing regional soil maps should be encouraged as a first step toward a world soil map.

Water resources and irrigation

135. The Conference noted that the Regular Program in this field had suffered particularly from the exceptionally heavy workload imposed by the United Nations Special Fund but that improvements were expected in the 1962-63 biennium.

136. Special attention should be given to technical methods of ensuring more efficient use of water by (a) comprehensive studies of irrigation including its economic aspects; (b) improvement of irrigation and drainage methods and small irrigation schemes using gravity and pumped water; (c) the training of local specialists and farmers in techniques of irrigation; (d) the use of brackish water for irrigation and prevention of salinization of soils; (e) the provision of extension services to ensure that farmers take full advantage of newly-constructed or improved irrigation schemes; (f) the development of village water supplies for men and livestock in arid and semiarid areas; (g) the formulation of well-balanced EPTA and Special Fund projects, with the assistance of small teams of experts covering the various technical, economic and social aspects.

137. With the increasing emphasis on the use of surface and ground water for irrigation purposes, more information needed to be made available in comprehensive form. The Conference, therefore, agreed that the publication of an " International source book on irrigation and drainage of arid land in relation to salinity and alkalinity" would be a valuable contribution: FAO should take the leadership in this joint FAD/UNESCO project.

Land use and farm management

138. The Conference agreed that the proposals for strengthening the staff dealing with the important aspects of land-use planning and farm management were sound. The Conference noted the sometimes conflicting aims of, on the one hand, effective soil and water conservation measures and, on the other, the laying out of a profitable farm plan. The Director-General was requested to give special attention to the development of conservation measures and farm plans in which such conflicts are reconciled.

139. The Conference referred to the increasingly important role that farm management should play in developing countries, and recommended that the Director-General should consider as soon as possible the establishment under the regional EPTA program of regional centers for farm development in Africa and Latin America similar to the farm management centers held in the Far East in recent years.

Agricultural engineering

140. The Conference noted with satisfaction the assistance given to governments in selecting appropriate types of equipment adapted to local soil conditions and appreciated especially the assistance afforded in designing farm hand tools, animal-drawn equipment and power machines for small farms. Assistance to governments had been limited in past years as regards farm service building, farm electrification, spraying equipment and equipment for the handling of agricultural products. The Conference therefore recommended that the Organization should considerably increase its activities in these fields in the 1964-65 biennium.

141. The Conference expressed satisfaction with the work carried out in the field of processing agricultural products. The processing of available agricultural raw materials in rural communities should be given greater attention by developing countries as a means toward industrialization and toward solving problems of employment in farming communities and FAO should expand its assistance in these fields. The Conference noted that an agricultural and processing engineer had been stationed in Asia and the Far East and recommended that a similar post be created as soon as possible for the African region from any source of funds that might become available.

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