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Plant production and protection

142. The Conference noted with approval the work carried out during 1960-61 in the field of plant production and protection, and expressed satisfaction with the well-balanced program of work for 196263. Since it was recognized throughout the world that crop production levels needed to be increased with the greatest urgency, the Conference considered the proposed strengthening of the divisional staff to be fully justified. The proposed budget was small in relation to the work to be undertaken, and the matter should be given careful consideration in the formation of the 1964-65 Program of Work and Budget.

143. The Conference recognized the need for a more balanced program of activities in plant production within the Division, and agreed with the establishment of the three proposed Branches-Food Crops and Horticulture (consisting of a Field Food Crops Section and a Fruit and Vegetable Crops Section), Industrial Crops, and Pasture and Fodder Crops. The Conference took note that close cooperation among these Branches would be maintained in matters of common interest, such as seed certification, plant introduction and ecology.

144. The Conference drew attention to the basic importance of fruits and vegetables in the human diet and in the economy of many countries, and recommended adequate provision in the 1964-65 biennium for expansion of activities in the horticulture field, and for the creation of a Fruit and Vegetable Crops Branch.

145. Several delegates commended the Organization for the effective assistance given in the field of seed production, control and distribution, and commented on the favorable impact of the World Seed Campaign. The program of seed exchange should be further expanded.

146. The Conference considered the question of maintaining an international register for agricultural " cultivars " (varieties) and agreed that it would be difficult for FAO to act at present as an international registration authority for agricultural varieties. Some delegates suggested that FAO should help coordinate efforts toward protection of plant breeders' rights, and establishment of a unified system of certification of the main crops.

Food crops and horticulture

147. The Conference noted with approval the increasing attention to be paid to sorghum, millets, and grain legumes, and particularly stressed the importance of research on better locally-adapted varieties to food needs and improved methods of cultivation. Several delegations supported the promotion of research work on improved maize varieties for the tropics, and also wished to see an expansion of work on such staple foods as sweet potato, yam, cassava, taro and plantain.

148. Many delegates expressed satisfaction with the work done by the International Rice Commission Working Party on Rice Production and Protection and suggested that new countries interested in rice production might join the Commission. The Conference was satisfied with the progress being made with the expansion and acceleration of the wheat and barley improvement project in the Near East with the assistance of contributions from the Freedom from Hunger Campaign.

149. The Conference welcomed the emphasis given to problems of fruit and vegetable production, and noted with satisfaction the co-operative work with UNICEF in school garden projects. It stressed, however, the need for more work on horticultural production in the tropics, the semiarid and the arid regions.

150. The Conference commended the work done on citrus, olive, date palm and banana, since these crops are of great importance to the economy of many countries, and suggested that high priority should be given to improvement of and research on them, as well as to the improvement of vegetable seed production in the Near East and of vegetable production in Africa and Latin America.

Industrial crops

151. The Conference noted with interest the work done and supported the proposed program of activities in the field of industrial crops. It recommended that close contacts be maintained with specialists and specialized institutes in coffee and cocoa production, and recognized the results to be obtained from meetings of experts to carry out specific tasks.

152. In that connection the Conference acknowledged the progress being made with the organization of an FAO working party on cocoa production, and supported the suggestion for a similar working party on coffee production. These working parties should give valuable guidance for the implementation of the recommendations of the meetings on cocoa production held in Accra in 1959 and on coffee production and protection in Abidjan in 1960. The Conference noted with satisfaction the assistance given by FAO to coconut producing countries in the Far East and South Pacific and expressed interest in the FAO Working Party on Coconut Production. Protection and Processing to be held in Trivandrum, India in November 1961. As the economy of so many countries largely depends on a very limited number of crops, the Conference requested that special attention be given to agricultural diversification.

153. The Conference also noted a need for work in crops that so far had been given too little or no attention, such as certain fiber crops, (jute, sisal, kenaf, and Urena lobata), certain oil crops, (groundnut, castor bean, mustard and rape), sugar-producing crops, tea, kola, medicinal plants and spices. As regards rubber, some delegates expressed interest in the establishment of an international center for the study and testing of Hevea clones for resistance to the South American leaf blight disease (Dothidella ulei).

Pasture and fodder crops

154. The Conference stressed the importance of ecological and climatological studies for land use and agricultural development planning, and suggested that FAO should assist in the development of a world program on agroclimatology in collaboration with other international as well as national organizations. Plant exploration and plant introduction continued to be an important basis for raising crop yields. The Conference noted with satisfaction the efforts of Turkey to establish a center for plant exploration and introduction, and agreed that FAO, within its means, should help in the development of this project.

155. The potentialities of the world's natural grasslands for animal production were underlined. Considerably more study would be necessary to ensure proper utilization of these valuable resources, particularly grasslands in semiarid and tropical regions. To help meet the more urgent needs, it was suggested that a publication be prepared on the management and improvement of semiarid grazing lands. The study of grassland utilization required the closest possible interdivisional and international co-operation.

156. Emphasis was placed on the integration of pasture and fodder crops with other cultivated crops as a means of promoting animal production, of stabilizing land use, and of raising crop production levels, and the Conference suggested that FAO should give more attention to the forage crops most suitable in crop rotation systems.

157. The Conference agreed that more emphasis should be given to training in its different forms, including the use of fellowships' training centers, in-service training, and the provision of counterparts for EPTA and the United Nations Special Fund experts. The Conference felt that the program in the Far East and the semiarid zones of the Near East could be strengthened by organized training centers on pasture and fodder production.

Crop protection

158. The Conference noted with satisfaction the proposed expansion of activities for 1962-63 in the field of crop protection, but felt that the staff should be further strengthened in 1964-65, by the addition of a weed control specialist and a nematologist, in order to provide adequate assistance to Member Governments.

159. Intergovernmental co-operation also required to be strengthened, especially in plant quarantine and pest control. In the light of the valuable results of the recent Near East meeting held within the framework of the International Plant Protection Convention, the Conference recommended that the Director-General establish a plant protection committee for the Near East to co-ordinate national efforts. Its first meeting might be held in 1962. The Conference also recommended that three additional regional plant protection experts in the fields of entomology, phytopathology and plant-health quarantine be appointed in the Near East and neighboring countries and stationed at suitable places.

160. In order to further develop the co-operative project on sunn pest control, the Conference recommended that the Director-General set up a committee on the control of sunn pest in cereals to replace the existing working party on this subject.

161. The Conference urged that FAO provide leadership in achieving international understanding in the controversial aspects of the use of pesticides (e.g. pesticide residues, hazards to farm workers, operators and factory workers, insect resistance to insecticides, and marketing requirements) in furnishing guidance to governments.


The use of pesticides in agriculture


Recognizing that an increasing volume and variety of pesticides are being used during the production, processing, storage and distribution of food and other agricultural products in order to avoid serious losses both in quantity and quality of these products,

Considering that the efficient and economical use of pesticides in agriculture is being hampered by the increasing apprehension as to the effects of the use of pesticides and misunderstanding of the problems relating to pesticide residues in food, and that the lack of uniformity of approach by governments and the agricultural chemicals industry in this connection may delay progress in pest control and handicap international movement of agricultural products,

Considering further that other problems, such as the development of resistance to insecticides in insects, occupational hazards in connection with the production, handling and use of pesticides in agriculture, and the registration and marketing requirements, are of equal importance for the efficient and safe use of pesticides in agriculture, and

Having noted with satisfaction the effort made by FAO to provide assistance to governments on these problems and the collaboration established with the World Health Organization in this regard,

Requests the Director-General:

  • (a) to establish immediately a Committee on Pesticides in Agriculture, composed of a small number of experts from those countries that have technical competence in the use of pesticides, the selection to be based on professional competence in the field, in accordance with the established channels of consultation with the governments concerned,

    (b) to call a meeting of this Committee on Pesticides in Agriculture at an early date in order to assist the Director-General in the planning and organizing of a conference of government representatives as mentioned below,

    (c) to convene in 1962 a conference of expert representatives designated by their respective governments. Interested international agencies and technical and research institutions with special competence in this field should be invited to send observers. The FAO Committee on Pesticides in Agriculture should be invited to meet at the same time in order to be available to assist with the conference. This intergovernmental conference would have as its purpose the formulation of a recommended plan for desirable future action covering scientific, legislative and regulatory aspects of the use of pesticides. The cost for the expert representatives or observers designated by member countries or organizations of attending the conference will be borne by the respective governments or organizations concerned,

    (d) to establish, in the light of the findings of the above-mentioned conference, ad hoc working parties under the Committee to study specific problems including pesticide residues, occupational hazards, registration, labelling and marketing of pesticides and insect resistance to pesticides, the cost of the experts serving on the FAO Committee on Pesticides in Agriculture and its working parties being borne by FAO and

    (e) to establish close collaboration with the various interested international agencies, in particular WHO or ILO, wherever problems concerning public health or occupational hazards are involved.

  • 162. Since the prompt exchange of accurate information on scientific advances and regulatory developments concerning pesticides is essential to international understanding, the Conference urged the Director-General to explore the possibility of immediately establishing a post, the encumbent of which would assume full-time responsibility for assembling and disseminating information on pesticides.

    163. The Conference drew attention to the need for including in the study of pesticides and their application, the special problems of possible harmful effects on wildlife.

    164. The Conference expressed its satisfaction with EPTA and the United Nations Special Fund activities on the control of the desert locust. In connection with the Special Fund Desert Locust project, the Conference stressed the importance of the ecological survey and recommended that its activities should be expanded by greater utilization of the services of specialists from the different countries. The Conference also recommended that FAO should strengthen the regional antilocust program in the Near East, possibly with assistance from the Special Fund for the particular purpose of ensuring the exchange of technical information and details of antilocust measures taken by the countries of the region. For that purpose the Conference adopted the following resolution:

    RESOLUTION No. 9/61

    International Locust Commission for the Near East and adjacent countries


    Realizing the urgent need for promoting plant protection activities in the Near East and adjacent countries, because of serious desert locust invasions and heavy locust breeding in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent and the likelihood of repetitions thereof in future, with a consequent adverse effect on crop production in these countries.

    Requests the Director-General to examine urgently the necessary steps to set up an International Locust Commission for the Near East and adjacent countries (including India and Pakistan) and with the participation of such other countries may wish to join to provide the necessary machinery for effective control of the desert locust in the affected countries; and

    Recommends that the cost of this Commission and its operations be financed from all available sources including donations and contributions from countries and nonofficial donors under the Freedom from Hunger Campaign.

    165. At the Third Session of the FAO Eastern African Desert Locust Control Subcommittee there had been a unanimous desire for the establishment of a regional antilocust service in eastern Africa.. While such a service would be established outside the framework of FAO the Subcommittee had considered that very close links should be maintained between it and FAO. The Conference noted that the Director-General had been requested to assist the countries of the region by convening a conference for the conclusion of a regional convention for this purpose. In view of the urgency, the Conference requested the Director-General to take this action as early as possible. Expenditures incurred by FAO in this respect would be met from the Eastern African Desert Locust Trust Fund.

    166. Among the current problems of international importance, FAO was requested to give special attention to the biological control of insects and weeds, and the control of plant parasitic nematodes. Effective steps should also be taken to promote international measures for the control of water hyacinth in collaboration with the Commission for Technical Co-operation in Africa South of the Sahara and other interested intergovernmental agencies. The Conference drew attention again to the damage caused by grain-eating birds in tropical Africa, and urged FAO to initiate as soon as possible a regional project for investigation and control of these pests under EPTA or any other program.

    167. Recognizing the importance of effective crop storage systems, the Conference stressed the need for dissemination of information on effective methods of preventing losses.

    168. As the success of a crop protection program depends greatly on the availability of well-trained personnel, the Conference recommended that training centers be organized on plant quarantine and pest control for the Far East and the Near East during 1962-63 with funds from EPTA or any other available source.

    Animal production and health

    169. The Conference expressed appreciation of the work carried out in 1960-61 in the fields of animal production and health and endorsed the proposed program of work for 1962-63. The new budget would not, however, be adequate for all the progress the Organization should now be making in this field.

    170. The Conference emphasized the importance of active interdivisional co-operation within the Organization and noted with approval the close collaboration that existed with other international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Office of Epizootics (OIE), the European Association for Animal Production (EAAP), the International Dairy Federation (IDF) and others and urged that FAO should increase efforts to ensure that duplication of activity is avoided.

    171. The Conference emphasized that high priority should be given to animal husbandry and dairy education and training. The Conference also approved the operations of the FAD/WHO Expert Panel on Veterinary Education and endorsed the plans for establishing regional institutes to provide both research and training facilities and stimulate increased productivity in the areas they serve.

    Animal production

    172. The Conference stressed the importance of improving and utilizing the world's natural grasslands in the interests of meat, milk and wool production. It endorsed the proposed interdivisional co-operation in this respect, including the participation in regional working parties of pasture and fodder development and the establishment of an expert panel on livestock and range management. The Conference emphasized the importance of studies of feeding systems under regional or environmental conditions, of the standardization of methods for the analysis of feeding substances, and of techniques of blood grouping. It noted with satisfaction the special emphasis placed on studies and publications concerning mineral deficiencies and imbalances in feeding rations, which often result in substantial loss, and hoped the information so obtained would be widely disseminated.

    173. In strongly supporting the expansion of activities in the field of poultry production, the Conference noted that increased poultry production was often hampered by poor nutrition and the cost of importing feeding-stuffs needed for a balanced ration. Such matters should be given close study by the Organization.

    174. Noting the widely different animal breeding programs being carried out in developing countries, the Conference considered that the group-country approach could be very useful in establishing consistent programs of research and endorsed the proposal for an expert group to advise on such matters.

    175. The Conference considered that in many areas the dairy industry is at least as important as beef production. While placing heavy emphasis on dairy cattle, the Conference also urged that further work be undertaken on sheep and goats as providers of milk and meat.

    Dairy industry

    176. Views were expressed concerning the desirability of starting or increasing the production of milk and milk products in developing countries, though they fully recognized the many problems of production, handling, processing and distribution involved. The Conference noted with satisfaction the increased momentum of training programs in dairying and welcomed the specific assistance rendered by certain countries in this respect.

    177. The continuing and constructive co-operation between FAO and UNICEF was the subject of much favorable comment. The Conference, however, took a grave view of the present position, in which FAO found itself unable fully to meet the technical assistance requirements for the joint FAO/ UNICEF projects. This problem was related directly to the shortage of funds the experts needed to provide specialized guidance as projects developed. The Conference strongly favored an expansion of activities in this field to meet both the country needs and the requirements for full co-operation with UNICEF. Delegations drew attention to the disparity between UNICEF support and FAO cooperation, stressed the great amount of additional work which had been shouldered in this field by the Organization in connection with UNICEF operations and the Freedom from Hunger Campaign, and forecast a further expansion of such work and responsibilities. As none of this workload was of a temporary nature, the Conference considered that a strengthening of the Headquarters staff and an increase of funds was vitally necessary to meet existing commitments and essential expansion.

    178. The Conference noted with satisfaction that the Code of principles concerning milk and milk products had been adopted by a large number of countries and agreed that the full establishment of such a Code of principles was highly desirable. In accordance with the request of the Fourth Session of the Committee of Government Experts on the Code of Principles Concerning Milk and Milk Products held in Rome 6-10 March 1961 the following resolution was approved:

    RESOLUTION No. 10/61

    Code of principles concerning milk and milk products


    Recalling Conference Resolution No. 16/57 which recommended the constitution of a committee of government experts to formulate designations, definitions and standards for milk and milk products to be set out in such manner as would enable governments to accept them without having recourse to treaty procedure,

    Notes with great satisfaction the large measure of success achieved by the Code of principles concerning milk and milk products (published as Document 1961/3, second edition, April 1961) and now accepted by 48 governments out of 49 from which replies concerning application of the Code have so far been received, including the principal countries interested in international trade in milk products:

    Appreciates the work done by the International Dairy Federation in the preparation of the draft texts on which the Code of Principles and its associated standards are in large parts based; and

    Urges such Member Governments as have not accepted the Code of Principles to make full use of the simplified procedures of acceptance adopted by the Committee, so that the influence already exerted by the Code may be extended to the benefit of both consumers and producers in all countries.

    Animal health

    179. The Conference commended the Organization for the emergency assistance provided, in cooperation with several countries, with particular reference to African horse sickness, African swine fever, rinderpest and foot-and-mouth disease. FAO's ability to respond promptly and effectively to such matters of urgency in disease control should be further strengthened. The Conference expressed the gravest concern in regard to the actual and potential dangers of the spread of such epizootics, with particular reference to African swine fever: the urgency of the need for extensive research into the latter disease was exemplified by the fact that no prophylactic vaccine had yet been discovered that could help to control the spread of this condition.

    180. Since many animal diseases are common to groups of countries, the Conference again stressed the need for research in and control of diseases on a regional basis and particularly welcomed such Special Fund projects as the Near East Animal Health Institute. Similar projects should be initiated in other regions.

    181. Stressing that the control of diseases was basic to advances in livestock and poultry production, the Conference considered that the regional veterinary services of FAO should be strengthened and emphasized the urgent need for regional officers in the Near and Far East.

    RESOLUTION No. 11/61

    Expansion of animal health work in the Near East and in Asia and the Far East


    Recognizing the enormous preventable economic losses being suffered yearly by countries of Asia and the Far East from animal diseases, such as rinderpest, foot-and-mouth disease, haemorrhagic septicemia, parasitism, poultry and swine diseases and other epizootics,

    Considering that such economic losses comprise not only those due to outright deaths of the animals so affected and to the retarded growth with consequent reduction in values of those that recover but also those due to the suspension of agricultural operations resulting from infection of quarantinable diseases,

    Observing that the countries of Asia and the Far East have expressed particular interest in co-operation among themselves in solving disease problems affecting their region, and

    Recalling the terms of Resolution No. 22/59 of its Tenth Session,

    Recommends that FAO consider the possibility of:

    (a) establishing an Asian and Far East regional institute for animal health in a form similar to that of the institute being established in the Near East,

    (b) assigning in the 1964-65 biennium or at the most practicable date a regional veterinarian for Asia and the Far East as envisaged in the aforementioned resolution and also a regional veterinarian for the Near East region,

    (c) including or adding to the duties of the proposed regional veterinarian the over-all supervision of the operations and activities of the proposed regional institute for animal health.

    182. The Conference recognized the value of FAO's technical publications in this field, especially the Animal health yearbook, but felt that more should be done to fill the gaps in animal health literature. Particular reference was made by many delegates to the need for publications on several matters, including various animal parasites and diseases affecting pigs, poultry, buffaloes and young animals. While appreciating the budget difficulties connected with the production of more technical publications, the Conference strongly felt that the Organization should receive the necessary support for this work.

    183. The Conference noted with approval the close association of FAO with WHO in zoonoses, endorsed the activities in the general field of veterinary preventive medicine and considered that the work on meat production and hygiene should be extended.

    Atomic energy in food and agriculture

    184. The Conference reviewed the program for atomic energy in food and agriculture carried out in 1960-61 and expressed approval of the manner in which the activities were being developed within the broad framework of the Organization's general programs.

    185. Stressing the importance of rapid diffusion of information and the early exchange of the results of research in various aspects such as the use of radiation in food preservation and plant breeding and the application of radioisotopes in soils, crops and animal sciences, the Conference welcomed as a useful step in that direction the proposals for technical meetings planned for 196263. Limitation of the subject-matter scope of these meetings was commended as an appropriate policy that should be maintained.

    186. In addition to the importance of maintaining full emphasis on the applications of radioisotopes and radiation in food and agriculture, the Conference considered that high priority should also be given to activities relating to radioactive contamination in food and agriculture, including international consideration of such matters as standardization of procedures for the monitoring of radioactive contamination of agricultural products, the problems involved in the establishment of permissible levels of contamination in food and the application of these levels in practice, and the decontamination of agricultural resources and products. The reports prepared by FAO on atomic energy in agriculture were highly appreciated and the Conference wished to give high priority to the early- publication and distribution of reports of meetings in this field.

    187. The Conference commended the importance that had been placed by the Organization on training activities in connection with radioisotope techniques in agricultural research and considered that increasing emphasis should be placed on training courses and fellowships. It noted in this connection that governments could request fellowships and training courses in this field under the Expanded Program of Technical Assistance.

    188. The Conference noted the steps taken by the Director-General for effective co-ordination and cooperation with the various other international and regional intergovernmental agencies, and the recent discussion on this subject by the Administrative Committee on Co-ordination (ACC) as reported to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) (Chapter VI, E/3495).7 The Conference also noted that agency responsibilities in atomic energy work had been generally discussed and agreed upon by the Thirty -Second Session of ECOSOC. The Conference, however, emphasized the need for continuing attention by the co-operating agencies to simplifying the procedure of inviting governments to meetings sponsored by two or more international agencies, and recognized the constant need for co-ordination between the several international agencies concerned.

    I. Joint projects - agriculture and forestry

    Shifting cultivation
    Wildlife management
    Landscape planning

    Shifting cultivation

    189. The Conference stressed the importance of the subject of shifting cultivation in many countries of Africa and the Far East and gave general approval to the proposed program of work.

    190. Shifting cultivation is a way of life and as such cannot be dealt with from a purely technical standpoint. It requires an integrated approach with full recognition of the economic, institutional and social aspects.

    191. The Conference noted that the problems in shifting cultivation differ greatly according to ecological circumstances and to population density. In the savanna areas one of the main aims should be to promote settled mixed farming associating agriculture and livestock production. The introduction of a fodder crop in the crop rotation could be an excellent means of reaching this objective where ecological conditions are favorable. In the forest areas major attention should be given to ensuring a proper regrowth of the forest cover, if immediate elimination of shifting cultivation is not feasible.

    192. The Conference agreed that, while FAO continued studies of a general nature and complemented them into more specific studies on tools, implements etc., a valuable step toward the solution of the problem of shifting cultivation should be taken by sending small teams of experts to appraise the situation in the countries concerned.

    Wildlife management

    193. The Conference noted with approval the activities carried out in 1960-61 and expressed its satisfaction with the proposed future program. The Conference welcomed the collaboration of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a consultative body with FAO, because of its competence in matters dealing with the scientific aspects of wildlife conservation.

    194. The Conference endorsed the action of the ad hoc Working Party of the African Forestry Commission concerning the periodic review of wildlife policy and the preparation of a draft African convention for the conservation of wildlife through its controlled use.

    195. Taking note of the work and policy of IUCN in Africa which led to the CCTA-IUCN Conference at Arusha, Tanganyika in 1961, the Conference recommended the establishment of a small team of experts to visit countries in Africa in order to assess the potentialities and give advice on wildlife development and conservation programs, the funds for which would be provided by the TAB Executive Chairman's contingency fund in 1962.

    196. Although the Conference was in agreement that attention for the time being should be focused mainly on Africa, the Director-General was requested to expand the work in future biennia to other regions in collaboration with IUCN.

    Landscape planning

    197. The increasing importance of the role of both cultivated and uncultivated rural landscape in meeting growing recreational needs arises from the greater leisure and mobility enjoyed by urban populations. In this connection the Conference was of the opinion that landscape planning can be a means of improving the living environments of rural communities and of satisfying the need for recreation without hampering agricultural development.

    J. Forestry and forest products

    Program of work 1962-63
    Regional activities
    World forestry congresses
    Future programs and program trend


    198. Having reviewed the work of the Organization in forestry, the Conference noted with satisfaction the program fulfilled in 1960-61.

    199. The Conference welcomed the growth in number and variety of field programs arising from EPTA, the Special Fund and the Freedom from Hunger Campaign in view of their great value to the developing countries and of the important contributions they make to the Regular Program. But as a matter of principle, field activities, however useful, should not disrupt the basic Regular Program. To avoid curtailment or postponement of approved Regular Program activities for which funds are voted, the Conference recommended that the Director-General should continue his efforts to ensure that the agency costs recovered from external sources are adequate to support fully not only the operational phases of field programs, but also those of planning, preparation and follow-up.

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