The current world food and agricultural situation
Outlook for 1953/54 and 1954/55
Longer term possibilities
The current world food and agricultural situation
21. The Conference, having examined the documentation prepared by the Director-General, noted with satisfaction that much progress had been made in the world during the past two years in line with the recommendation of the Sixth Session that world food and agricultural production should be increased so as to exceed the growth in world population by between 1 and 2 percent annually. In 1952/53, for the first time since 1939, world production on a global basis had caught up with the growth in world population.
22. But progress has often been greatest in the areas where food consumption was already high, and slowest in many of the countries in the under-developed areas where the needs were the greatest. The Conference therefore expressed its deep concern that the distribution of world production remained unbalanced and unsatisfactory, and that the wide disparity in consumption levels in different parts of the world showed little sign of diminishing. Moreover, the accumulation of large stocks of foodstuffs especially in dollar areas and stocks of raw materials both in dollar and in non-dollar areas, has given rise to serious marketing difficulties.
23. The Conference recorded its conviction that the present situation requires a change of emphasis in policy for the immediate future in at least two important directions. First, the former emphasis on general expansion of food production, vital in the postwar crisis, must give way to a more selective approach. Production must be increased in the areas of greatest need, and in the commodities for which expanded consumption is needed and for which effective demand can be developed. Second, measures are needed to enable consumers to buy more of the foods now abundant.
24. The expansion of agricultural production since 1951 has been due partly to efforts by governments and farmers and partly to favorable weather in some countries. By 1952/53 world agricultural production (excluding USSR, Eastern Europe and China) was about 23 percent greater than before the war.
25. Food Production. Food production (excluding USSR, Eastern Europe and China) was also about 23 percent larger than before the war and for the first time had caught up with the growth of population .But the rate of progress in different regions has been very uneven. At the one extreme, nearly half the increase in world agricultural production since 1934-38 occurred in North America, which with only 7 percent of the world's population now accounts for rather more than 20 percent of its agricultural production. At the other extreme, production in the Far East is still little above its prewar level, and this region with about half the world's population provides little more than a quarter of its agricultural output.
26. The Conference noted, however, that even in the Far East there are welcome signs of a revival in food production. In other less developed regions production is beginning to move ahead of population, and export supplies for example of grain from Latin America have recovered and are expanding in the Near East. At the same time the recovery of production in Europe has reduced her requirements of imported food and feeding stuffs. These developments, coupled with a series of exceptionally good harvests in North America, have led to the accumulation of appreciable stocks of food in the dollar area. In non-dollar areas there have been some difficulties in marketing perishable products and a decline in farm prices of some foods except where price supports have operated. But there has been little accumulation of stocks of foodstuffs in the non-dollar area until very recently, and then mainly in exporting countries where prices were still high in relation to world levels.
27. Raw Materials and Beat rage Crops Developments in these crops have been somewhat different. In the less developed regions these commodities are produced primarily for export, and the growth of their domestic requirements, which has been a major influence in the case of foodstuffs, has therefore had little effect on world supplies
28. The wide fluctuations in the prices of raw materials which began with the Korean boom seriously disturbed the economies of the importing countries, particularly in Europe, but had even greater effect in the less developed countries and also in Oceania. These countries benefited relatively little from the initial boom because of the non availability of many of their import requirements of capital goods. The subsequent sharp fall in prices of raw materials, coupled with the rise in the cost of their imports, has shaken their economies and seriously hampered their development programs. In contrast to the situation for foodstuffs, large stocks of some raw materials have accumulated, not only in the dollar area, but also in the less developed countries, and in some cases it has been found necessary to restrict the production of raw materials (and also temporarily of lea in India).
29. Fisheries. In most countries with developed fisheries industries production has levelled off in the last two years owing to increasing difficulties in disposing of fishery products for human food, though there has been a continuing strong demand for fishmeal for animal feeding. In less developed fisheries areas increases of considerable local significance have been achieved due to improved catching methods, but inadequate marketing facilities and purchasing power have retarded development.
30. Forestry. Production and trade in sawn wood recovered in 1953 from the low level in 1952. The output of wood pulp is rising everywhere and world production in 1953 may be 7-9 percent greater than in 1952. Prices are strengthening in response to increasing demand. Requirements of newsprint and other categories of paper and board are rising, especially in North America.
31. Food Consumption Levels. The easier supply situation had not been fully reflected in an improvement in per caput food consumption. In North America there has been little change from the high consumption level established soon after the war. In some European countries and some countries in the less developed regions there has been a slow improvement, but this is by no means universal. Food consumption in many countries remains seriously inadequate, often lower than before the war, especially in the Far East. The greater quantity of home-grown rice available in the deficit countries has been used to reduce their import requirements rather than to increase their nutritional levels. Nor is ,there much evidence of a decrease in the gap between countries at the higher and lower standards of food consumption. This failure of consumption to respond to the improvement in supplies has obviously aggravated the problem of excess stocks. Many areas still remain very vulnerable to the effects of crop failures, as is shown by the serious food shortages in Yugoslavia and Pakistan in 1952/53.
32. Agricultural Prices and Farm Incomes. The Conference noted that the decline in the prices of farm products has so far been only partially reflected in wholesale prices and hardly at all in retail prices to consumers. Wholesale prices of agricultural products have declined substantially in North America, but elsewhere have usually remained fairly stable or have shown only a slight downward trend. They are still rising in a few countries where inflationary pressures still persist. In very few countries is there vet any appreciable downward trend in retail price indices for foodstuffs or in the general cost of living. The reduction in farm prices has not been accompanied by a comparable decline in farm costs. Gross and net incomes of farmers have generally declined during the last two years, slightly in Europe, but with some exceptions more markedly in most other parts of the world. During the most recent quarter there has been some slowing down in the marked fall in the ratio of farm prices to prices paid by farmers recorded in the preceding twelve months, but the tendency seems likely to continue in 1954, though at a slightly slower paid than in the two preceding years.
Outlook for 1953/54 and 1954/55
33. Prospective Agricultural Production. Preliminary reports indicate a continuing expansion of production in 1953/54 thought probably at a lower rate. Large crops of bread grains and coarse grains have again been harvested in the Northern Hemisphere, prospects for rice are generally favorable, except in Japan, and some increase in world production of oilseeds, sugar, meat and dairy products is likely. The output of forest products, including sawn wood, wood pulp and newsprint is increasing and will be appreciably higher in the calendar year 1953 than in 1952. The production of fish, cotton, coffee, cocoa, tea and tobacco is unlikely to be greatly different in 1953/54 from last year. On the other hand there was a sharp decline in jute crops partly owing to restriction schemes. The 1954 output of rubber is likely to decline. Thus no great change from the current supply situation seems like for the remainder of the year 1953/54, and the immediate outlook therefore hinges largely on the strength of the future demand for agricultural products, which in turn depends largely on the level of general economic activity.
34. Production in 1954/55 is likely to be influenced to a greater extent by restriction programs, which are now in force for wheat and tobacco in USA, sugar in Cuba and cotton in Egypt, and under consideration for cotton in USA. If the recently negotiated International Sugar Agreement is ratified, limitations on sugar production may extend to other countries as well as Cuba.
35. Prospective Demand for Agricultural Products. If there is little or no further decline in economic activity, particularly in North America, the 1954 demand for agricultural products will remain relatively strong, provided the disposal of surplus stocks does not disturb foreign markets. Markets would also be affected by the extent of success of the efforts of some exporters to adjust production of some commodities (wheat, cotton, sugar) to effective needs. If these conditions are not fulfilled, the outlook obviously would be less favorable. In any event, with continued plentiful supplies, markets are likely to become increasingly competitive.
36. The Conference therefore emphasized the necessity for measures to reduce cost through increasing farm productivity and lower costs of distribution. Failing such measures, the recent progress towards a more satisfactory level of production may receive a severe check and the improvement in the levels of real income of farmers be seriously retarded.
Longer term possibilities
37. The Conference took note of the documents prepared by the Director-General in accordance with its decision at its previous Session, calling for an over-all review of the agricultural programs of member countries, and of the progress achieved, and for an assessment of the contribution these programs have made and will make to meeting the world's increasing need for food and other essential agricultural products. The Conference also took note of the reports of the regional meetings held in the Far East and the Near East at which, in accordance with the recommendation of the Sixth Session, these national programs were reviewed and assessed.
38. The Conference recognized that the estimates of production in or around 1956/57 contained in the overall review (The State of Food and Agriculture 1953, Part II) prepared by the Director-General are not FAO forecasts, but represent what governments plan to do or expect will happen given normal weather, plus FAO estimates where needed to fill gaps. The conclusions presented in this review are, therefore, not to be taken as an instrument for deciding action or policy, but merely as a broad indication of the long-term possibilities under certain circumstances. It is obvious that national and international action and policy must always be flexible so that plans can be modified in the light of the changing economic. situation and other circumstances.
39. These plans and estimates for 1956/57. if achieved, suggest that expansion will continue at about the same over-all rate as in the past few years in the world excluding the USSR Eastern Europe and China. A considerable accelerated rate of increase is expected in Latin America, where the growth of population is very high, and also in the Far East, where far-reaching plans have been established to overcome present shortages. But slower progress is indicated in some regions, especially North America and Oceania. In the latter it seems possible that the present objectives may be exceeded though this may not lead to any increase in exports.
40. Per caput food production would increase in all regions except North America and Oceania. The greatest increase (about 8 percent) would be in the Far East. These developments would only slightly diminish the great disparities in per caput food production in different parts of the world. In particular per caput food production in the Far East would still be nearly 10 percent less than before the war and only about half the average for the would as a whole. Thus the essential problems of world food supplies, which determine nutritional levels, would remain much as they are now.
41. The 1956/57 estimates imply some decline in the world production of bread grains from the high level of 1952/53, especially because of a projected fall in North America, but a considerable expansion of rice and coarse grains. Per caput production of all cereals would be about 2 percent higher than before the war, though that of rice would still not regain its prewar level, especially in the Far East. The chief uncertainty in the trade situation for cereals, if the estimates are realized, is the size of the import demand in the Far East. Far Eastern countries plan a sharp increase in cereal production by 1956/57 and, in consequence, a reduction in net import requirements from the recent level of eight million tons to some half a million tons. If however, as seems likely, the fall is less drastic, the achievement of the estimates of production would not necessarily result in an imbalance between export supplies and import requirements of bread grain. On the other hand, if production objectives are achieved, much larger quantities of coarse grains would become available from Latin America and the Near East and production in Europe would be considerably expanded. Supplies of coarse grains might therefore become more abundant even though the estimates for North America suggest little exportable surplus from current production from that area in 1956/57.
42. The estimates, if realized, also suggest that unless consumption is substantially enlarged, difficulties could arise in the marketing of a number of other commodities, for example oilseeds, pig meat and cotton and possibly tobacco. In the case of sugar too, the estimates point to the possibility of in creased marketing difficulties, but for the stabilizing effect of the recently concluded International Sugar Agreement. For many other products including, for example, beef, coffee, cocoa, wool and forest products, the estimates do not indicate that supplies might exceed demand.
43. Two main conclusions emerge from a review of the actual technical programs being operated in member countries. First, that in the under-developed countries these programs seem inadequate to achieve the production increases aimed at; and second, that considerable shifts in emphasis and realignment of investment may be desirable in some countries. It appears that in some cases the programs may be paying relatively too much attention to expansion of area, and too little to raising yields. A gradual shift in emphasis, giving more attention to training technicians, strengthening extension services and, for more immediate results, promoting wider use of fertilizers, better seeds, etc. would often probably give greater returns in the long run than much heavier investments in opening up new areas. However, even if, as seems likely, the 1956/57 estimates are not realized in full, the inroad possibilities indicated by them confirm what is already apparent from a review of the current situation namely, that the situation for a number of commodities needs to be very carefully watched if market difficulties are to be avoided.B. Policies in regard to food and agriculture
Selective expansion of production
Criteria for selective expansion of production
Raising per caput consumption levels
How FAO and other International Organizations can help in problems of selection
How Governments and International Organizations Can Help to Give Effect to policies on selective expansion
Financing economic development in agriculture
Adequacy of government services to agriculture
General commodity problems
44. In the early postwar years of acute shortage, when all efforts had concentrated on a large and rapid expansion in production everywhere in the world, the need to coordinate national production policies was not considered imperative. Nor did this need make itself strongly felt during the more recent years when, as a result of government efforts, the serious shortages had been successfully overcome. Now, however, that supplies have overtaken effective demand for some important commodities so that some surpluses have emerged, it is obvious that policies pursued without close consultation can lead to a difficult situation.
45. Nor would the disposal of present surpluses alone, even if achieved without appreciably disturbing the volume and channels of commercial trade, avert the risk of further accumulation of surpluses unless effective demand can be greatly expanded and future development of agricultural production made more selective.
46. The Conference emphasized that governments through their greatly increased control of stocks, agricultural programs and trade, are in a much stronger position to adapt and co-ordinate their policies than in the years before the war. Moreover, a much more effective international machinery is now available for mutual consultation and, when necessary, for joint action. The scope for action of the kind needed in present circumstances is outlined in the text that follows.
Selective expansion of production
47. The change which has come over the food and agricultural situation since the last Session of the Conference in 1951 and summarized in the earlier sections of this report does not necessitate any change in FAO's long-term objective of achieving satisfactory levels of consumption of food and other agricultural products in all countries of the world. In spite of the marked progress in production in the last few years, per caput supplies have no more than regained their prewar level, and the world as a whole is thus no nearer this objective than before the war. In spite of the large stocks now accumulating in some areas, a large part of the world's population, especially in the less developed regions, is ill-clad and still lacks enough to eat.
48. The differences in agricultural production between the more developed and less developed regions of the world have tended to increase, and this lack of balance lies at the root of many of the basic problems of agriculture. Until general economic progress of the less developed regions raises the purchasing power of their peoples to the level where they can afford a well-balanced diet, there can be no final solution to the problem of malnutrition and no satisfactory balance of international trade in agricultural products. Until the productivity per man and per hectare of agriculture in the less developed regions can be raised, with a proper balance between cash and subsistence crops, there can be little progress towards better levels of nutrition, and no escape from the grinding poverty of their farm population. As FAO has always emphasized, industrial and agricultural development in these regions must proceed hand in hand.
49. But although the end remains the same, the approach as already stressed must be different; a more selective expansion of production is now necessary, with particular emphasis on the products in greatest demand and with maximum development in areas where additional supplies are most needed. Moreover, in present circumstances the problem of raising consumption levels becomes increasingly important. Unless means can he found of bringing the larger supplies now available or in prospect within the reach of consumers, further progress toward FAO's objectives will be greatly impeded.
Criteria for selective expansion of production
50. While at any given moment the current conditions of supply and effective demand may necessitate that adjustments to agricultural production be made as quickly as possible, each country, in gradually adapting its production programs towards an expansion of the products most needed, will have to take into account certain fundamental criteria. Among these may be noted:
(i) Future Requirements for Food and Other Agricultural Products. The most basic of these criteria will be the future requirements for consumption. Appraising these requirements will involve consideration of prospective changes in population; continuing trends and desirable objectives in improving the consumption of particular products or groups of products from the view of improved levels of nutrition and standards of living; and the possible speed with which measures to increase consumer demand by reducing retail prices through lower production and distribution costs seem likely to affect the level of domestic demand for the various products of farms, forests and fisheries.
(ii) Agricultural Potentialities of Production The selection of desirable emphasis of production obviously will need also to take into account the potentialities of individual countries for increased production and the rate at which they may be developed through expanded acreage or increased productivity of land already cultivated, and of the extent and ways in which existing soils can be improved by various treatments (e.g. irrigation, drainage, fertilization etc.) with due regard to the prospective cost and returns from such treatments. Attention will need also to be given to the suitability of natural conditions of climate (e.g. incidence and distribution of rainfall) and soil in each country for the production of particular products, with due regard to the maintenance of good husbandry through suitable crop rotation and a proper balance of crop and livestock production, and to the maintenance of the quality of the product in the light of ecological limitations. Other agricultural characteristics of the country, with respect to the size of farms, degree of fragmentation of holdings, existence of under-utilized large estates, intensity of cultivation, density of rural population, etc. will also need to be considered, together with the extent to which these features may be altered by measures now under way or proposed.
(iii) Economic Considerations Affecting Objectives. Economic as well as agricultural considerations will also play a large part in the considerations of each individual country, e.g. in deciding how far it should attempt to cover its future needs by its own production, and how far by imports. This choice will involve consideration of the cost of further expansion of its own production of food and other products, as compared with the cost at which they might be imported from abroad. Similarly, for its export products a country will have to consider how encouraging the prospects are for further expansion, and what marketing, foreign exchange and balance-of-payments difficulties may be involved. As long as foreign exchange difficulties persist the currency-earning or currency-saving potentialities of any product will demand special consideration
(iv) Social and Other Non-Economic Considerations. Many countries will naturally also take into account other factors of a special domestic character, such as the social structure of the country, the desirability of maintaining a balanced rural population, the need for maintaining farm incomes at reasonable levels, the advantages of being able to feed itself in time of war versus any extra costs of such self sufficiency, etc.
These points summarize the main criteria which are likely to determine in any country the general line of its production policy.
51. It may be added that the ease of adjustment varies considerably between different products . Annual crops can be adjusted more quickly to current changes in market demands than can most livestock or long-term products such as tree crops. If the prospective outlook for important annual products is doubtful, expansion of such products may be limited more to what can be achieved through increased intensity of fertilization or cultivation, without the heavy investment necessary in opening up new land for their production. For the crops and most livestock products, where the adjustment of production is difficult, or for highly perishable products, where the effect of maladjustment is particularly serious since an over-supply cannot be carried over to another season, the need for careful planning of development, including international consultation and coordination, is especially strong.
Raising per caput consumption levels
52. The selective expansion of production in accordance with the above criteria should be considered a progressive adaptation of agriculture to the changing needs of a country or wider region. But if it is to take on this character, and not become a policy of restriction designed exclusively to avoid surpluses, a policy of selective expansion must be coupled with active and positive steps to raise consumption levels, particularly where the need is greatest. The Conference believed, therefore, that in reconsidering its production policies each country should also give special attention to what increases in food consumption levels would be most desirable and practicable in its own circumstances and how they might be progressively achieved. The Sixth Session of the Conference had proposed as a target an increase in production which would exceed the growth of population by 1 to 2 percent annually. That aim clearly implies a parallel objective of expanding per caput consumption to a comparable extent. There may be countries where the expansion of consumption has to be limited in order to conserve resources for basic economic development. But the Conference emphasized that where malnutrition is widespread an improvement in food consumption levels is in itself an essential step towards higher productivity.
53. The most suitable directions in which to expand consumption would vary widely from country to country. In those which have not yet reached even an adequate calorie level the main emphasis may have to be on cereals and other energy foods, though even so the importance of a proportionate consumption of lower cost protective foods such as fruit, green vegetables, pulses and, among animal products, milk should be recognized. Where the calorie intake is already adequate the main concern would be with protective foods, especially protein-rich foods, or even with consumer preferences. Again some countries may prefer to concentrate on vulnerable groups such as children or expectant and nursing mothers, especially if their resources are inadequate for a general increase for the whole population, while others may aim at a general advance. A group which should not be overlooked are the farmers and cultivators themselves, often among the poorest and least well-nourished sections of the populations in less developed countries. Here progress may be easier in some respects since no problems of distribution arise and measures to increase the level of production, e.g. through extension and advisory services, could in themselves lead to improved consumption levels, especially if the advisory services were extended to cover home economics and nutrition, e.g. ways of preparing and introducing vegetables or milk into the diet, and the reasons why these foods are of special value.
54. Outside the subsistence sector, however, consumption levels are closely related to purchasing power An increase in per caput national income normally leads to an increase in food consumption levels, usually in a nutritional desirable direction. The expected rate of growth of industrial and other economic activity will therefore have an important bearing on consumption trends. Consumption may also be stimulated by measures designed to reduce the retail price to the consumer. At the present time recent declines in farm prices have not yet been reflected to any significant extent in lower retail prices.
55. The Conference believed therefore that countries should also consider means of reducing the retail price of those products, the consumption of which they believe should be increased, for example by:
Measures to reduce production costs per unit of product through more efficient methods of production leading to higher yields and the avoidance of losses. These in turn may imply providing improved research and advisory (extension and demonstration) services and agricultural education, the greater availability of credit to enable the farmer to adopt improved methods, and where necessary by improving security of tenure without which he is unlikely to follow methods of farming which maintain fertility;
Measures to reduce production costs through reduced farm costs. These may include steps to reduce the cost of fertilizers, fuel, farm machinery and other requisites, e.g. by co-operative methods of buying. They may include also such charges as the cost of credit and taxation where their pressure on the farming community is relatively heavy;
Measures to reduce distribution costs, e.g. by improved transport and marketing methods and the reduction of losses in distribution;
Measures to reduce retail prices by subsidizing particular products where it is of great importance, from the point of view of health, to increase consumption;
Special schemes to reduce the cost of certain foods to particular groups of consumers, e.g. school children;
The reduction of import duties or domestic taxes on particular products.
56. In addition to methods designed to reduce costs, much may be done by educational methods, e.g. in nutrition and home economics. But these cannot as a rule have their full effect unless coupled with positive efforts to reduce costs.
57. The consumption of certain natural fibers, e.g. cotton and jute and other agricultural raw materials, could also be stimulated if reduced costs of production and distribution lowered the prices. This is of particular importance for raw materials which face severe competition.
58. The Conference recognized that the major difficulty in implementing these suggestions for raising consumption levels will be to reconcile the need to provide adequate incentives to producers to secure a continuing expansion of production with prices to consumers which will not discourage consumption. Many solutions have been attempted, including price-support schemes, subsidies to producers or to consumers, welfare schemes and commodity agreements. Although not discussing the value of such methods, which must vary according to circumstances in each country, the Conference emphasized:
That the problem of reconciling adequate prices to producers with prices satisfactory to consumers will be eased to the extent that the costs of production and distribution can be reduced;
That the greater the assurance of price stability, e.g. through international commodity agreements, price supports etc., the greater is the incentive to expand production at a moderate price level
59. Many different situations may contribute to high costs or high and inflexible retail prices. These include: inadequate transportation facilities; insufficient facilities to store products from periods of abundance to scarcity; unnecessary waste or deterioration during storage, transportation or marketing; high cost and wasteful methods of handling products, such as grain in sacks instead of bulk; inadequate merchandising organizations or the existence of local buying monopolies which enable middlemen to take excessive tolls; grading, packing, or pricing systems which fail to repay producers for high-quality products; ignorance by farmers or distributors of market price and supply conditions with resultant local gluts or shortages; local taxes on the movement of products; and lack of available short-term credit for producers to hold products until the best time of sale. The Conference therefore adopted the following resolution:
Resolution No. 5
Marketing and Distribution of Agricultural Products
Recommends that Member Governments conduct studies of the marketing and distribution of agricultural products, particularly those practical aspects of a functional nature which would lead to a reduction in the cost of distribution; and develop and put into effect measures to correct difficulties found and request technical assistance in these connections when needed;
Recommends to the Director- General, within the funds available, to study and distribute reports on successful steps taken in various countries, especially in less developed countries to improve their marketing systems and reduce their cost; and to give high priority to filling requests from governments for technical assistance in these connections.
How FAO and other International Organizations can help in problems of selection
60. The formulation and implementation of policies of selective expansion are clearly the responsibility of national governments. The means which in normal circumstances they have at their disposal to influence the pattern and level of production by farmers, on whom success or failure ultimately depends, are discussed later. Much data of value to governments in deciding on policy objective, is already provided by FAO and other international organizations, through the collection and dissemination of economic intelligence and information on the general economic, nutritional, agricultural and commodity situation and outlook. FAO in addition provides a forum for discussion of problems as they arise, in the Conference, Council, Committee on Commodity Problems and expert panels.
61. Coordination of selective expansion policies at the regional level is especially necessary as countries can frequently profit by knowing what their neighbors plan to do and by adjusting their own selective expansion to be mutually complementary or supplementary to that of their neighbors. FAO has already given much attention to regional problems through staff visits to many individual countries to analyze or aid in preparing national programs; preparing regional appraisals of the consistency and effectiveness of such programs ; the organization and conduct of regional meetings to consider those appraisals and to make recommendations concerning further adjustments; and the preparation of a world report (The State of Food and Agriculture 1953: Part II) summarizing all the regional conclusions and the resulting world situation. Such regional activities should be intensified to assist the new efforts towards more selective policies. The Conference emphasized that coordination by such discussions is of increasing importance in the changed food and agricultural situation, if inconsistency between the objectives and actions of different countries are to be avoided, and adopted the following resolution
Resolution No. 6
Selective Expansion of Agricultural Production
Recognizing the need for securing a selective and efficient expansion of agricultural production with a view on the one hand to avoiding burdensome surpluses and on the other to bringing about a general improvement in consumption levels in the world and especially in the under-developed countries;
Being convinced that a selective expansion of production requires the closest coordination of national policies to avoid incompatibilities between objectives and actions of individual countries;
Recognizing the assistance already being given by FAO to Member Governments in this field both under the Regular and the Expanded Technical Assistance Programs, in particular through periodic reviews of current and prospective developments in the general food and agricultural situation both regionally and world-wide, as well as by the organization of regional meetings on food and agricultural programs;
Considering that, in the light of the new conditions in the world food and agricultural situation, additional steps will be required within the framework of the continuing activities of the Organization;
Requests Member Governments to reexamine their current policies as they affect agricultural production and the consumption of agricultural products in the light of the findings of this Session of the Conference and inform FAO whether any changes are contemplated and how it is proposed to put them into effect;
Authorizes the Director-General to assist and advise Member Governments on request to the maximum extent possible on the formulation and implementation of policies and measures for a selective expansion of production and consumption;
Recommends that the Director-General:
(i) Should invite Member Governments to submit at an early date and in accordance with an outline to be supplied by him reports on the development of policies for a selective expansion of production and consumption and what measures are contemplated to put them into effect, end where necessary should supplement these reports by direct consultation;
(ii) Should inform the next Session of the Council of the progress of this enquiry;
(iii) Should arrange for a report to be submitted to the 1954 Session of the Council reviewing the action taken by Member Governments together with an appraisal of the outlook for individual commodities to be prepared by the Committee on Commodity Problems;
(iv) Should where feasible promote intergovernmental consultations at a regional level for the coordination of national policies at appropriate meetings called for the consideration of other specific economic or technical matters, or specially convened for the purpose, and should in particular convene during 1954 the regional meeting for Latin America postponed from 1953; and
Authorizes the Council, in keeping the situation under continuous review, to make such appropriate arrangements as may be necessary, either regionally or within its own framework, for the further coordination of national policies.
62. The rate at which the effective demand for food in each country will expand will depend largely on the rate of development of general economic and industrial activity, and this should be examined in co-operation with other international agencies concerned. The Conference adopted the following resolution:
Resolution No. 7
Expanded Consumption of Agricultural Products
Recognizing that the future expansion in the consumption of farm products will be materially influenced by the growth of industrial production, non-farm employment, and national income in member countries:
Recommends to member countries that they push forward programs for general economic development in their countries in co-operation with appropriate international agencies, and with appropriately balanced emphasis on both industry and agriculture;
Calls the attention of the United Nations and other competent international organizations, to the desirability of keeping in mind the importance of raising the demand for agricultural products and the desirability of continuing with all possible speed rigorous efforts to stimulate and assist where appropriate industrial expansion, full employment and economic development within the limits of available funds; and
Requests the Director-General to seek the assistance of the international agencies, including the United Nations and it.; regional commissions, the International Bank and the International Monetary Fund, in appraising the prospective rate of expansion in various countries and regions, of their levels of economic activity employment and national income and to summarize this information with reference to its meaning for prospective changes in levels of demand for farm products, and to make it available for the use of the Council, the Conference, and member countries generally, in considering or drawing up programs for the selective expansion of agricultural production and consumption.