C. Specified activities and programs
Informational and educational services
154. In addition to the matters in the field of Agriculture which were dealt with under "Special Problems" and elsewhere in this Report, the Conference examined the following specific activities and projects:
International Rice Commission
155. The activities and the program of work of the International Rice Commission were reviewed particularly in relation to rice breeding, multiplication and distribution of improved seed, efficient use of fertilizers, conservation of water and irrigation, problems of upland rice culture and safe grain storage.
156. Attention was also given to progress reports on the activities of the two Working Parties established by the Rice Commission. It was noted that the Rice Breeders' Working Party had adopted the co-operative approach to many of the major problems of rice improvement, and that excellent progress had been made during the last two years with the hybridization project which was initiated at its First Meeting. It was noted also that, in compliance with recommendations of the Working Party, the services of a highly qualified rice breeder had been secured to assist in co-ordinating the rice improvement work of the participating countries, and that arrangements had been completed for a Training Center for Rice Breeders. The integrated approach to this very important problem by Member Governments and FAO through making full use of the possibilities of the normal and the Technical Assistance Programs was commended.
157. General approval was given to the work of the International Rice Commission and it was noted with satisfaction that good progress had been made by the Rice Breeders' Working Party and the Working Party on Fertilizers.
158. The Report of the Director-General on Locust Control (Document C 51/44) was considered. This included a statement on the advisory services provided by FAO since 1948 at the request of the International Committee of Co-ordination for Locust Control in Central America and Mexico, and also the organization of research work on the locust problem in these countries undertaken during 1951 by an expert supplied under the Expanded Technical Assistance Program.
159. The services in this field of the Anti-Locust Research Centre (British Museum) and the activities and contributions of the Desert Locust Control Organization were warmly commended.
160. Special attention was given to the conclusions and recommendations of a meeting of experts on the control of the desert locust, this pest being a constant menace to crop production in Asia and in Africa. This meeting, called by FAO at Rome in October 1951 in compliance with a recommendation of the Twelfth Session of the Council, was attended by delegates from 13 countries in the desert locust area.
161. The recommendations of the meeting of experts and the decisions of the Thirteenth Session of the Council thereon were noted with approval, and the following resolution was adopted providing for the establishment of an FAO Technical Advisory Committee on Locust Control:
Resolution No. 28
Recognizing the serious threat which desert locusts present to crop production over large areas of South West Asia, the Near East and Africa, and the need for international co-operation in combating this menace;
1. That a Technical Standing Committee on Desert Locust Control be now established in conformity with Article VI, paragraph I of the Constitution of FAO;
2. That the Committee be composed of locust experts of the highest technical standing nominated by the Governments of Egypt, France, India, Iran, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, with the Director of the Anti-Locust Research Centre, London, as consultant to the Committee;
3. That the Committee be empowered to invite any other government to send technical representatives or consultants to participate in its work;
4. That the functions of the Committee be:
(a) to advise FAO on the desert locust situation and the measures necessary to keep it under control;
(b) to establish uniform procedures for the preparation and presentation of reports on locust control by the countries concerned;
(c) to assess the overall requirements of equipment and supplies needed to implement plans for campaigns, and to consider and advise FAO with regard to any requests for assistance that may be required to supplement national efforts in the general interest;
(d) to provide advice and assistance in the procurement of equipment and supplies;
(e) to make recommendations on the distribution and movement of equipment and supplies provided from sources outside the desert locust area;
(f) to advise the Director-General regarding the calling, as need arises, of general conferences on desert locust control;
5. That the Committee be authorized to meet whenever required at such places as may be appropriate.
Rural Welfare and Extension and Advisory Services
162. While commending the steps taken by the Director-General in reorganizing activities in the fields of rural welfare and extension as outlined in Document C 51/26, delegates stressed the need to regard the promotion of rural welfare and the provision of effective extension services (see Chapter II, par. 45-52) as the twin objectives of a single program. Any such program, to be fully effective, must have regard to all the conditions that combine to make up rural wellbeing, adequate nutrition, housing and health services, good communications, electricity and other rural services, co-operative organizations, the development of organizations of rural women and rural youth. The Conference that, in many such cases, there was insufficient recognition of the role of women in rural development. In regard to cooperatives, it was necessary to maintain the spirit of the movement rather than merely to attain a higher standard of business efficiency in operation.
163. The Conference noted the satisfactory cooperation that had been established with ILO in matters pertaining to rural welfare, and trusted that these relations would be continued.
164. The Conference discussed the proposed meeting on European rural life. It was pointed out that the Fifth Session of the FAO Conference recommended that FAO should organize such a meeting. This was to be preceded by national rural life meetings in order to ascertain the specific subjects of common interest. The third meeting of the European Committee on Agricultural Technology, held in Rome, 25-28 June 1951, noted that the majority of countries had not shown any active interest in holding such a meeting. It, therefore, doubted whether a regional meeting would be advisable. The delegates were of the opinion that governments should be urged to organize such national meetings and submit a report on the rural welfare activities in their countries. Following this, a panel of rural welfare experts should meet in order to discuss the agenda for the regional meeting which should take place in 1953. The Conference adopted the following resolution:
Resolution No. 29
European Meeting on Rural Welfare
Expecting good results from the European meeting on rural welfare recommended by its Fifth Session,
Recommends that Member Governments in Europe submit to the Director-General, insofar as they have not already done so, a report on the principal rural welfare activities in their countries,
Recommends that the Director-General convene a smart panel of rural welfare experts in order to discuss the agenda of the meeting which should take place in 1953.
165. Since increased fertilizer usage is one of the chief means toward higher food production, Member Governments should devote their attention to stepping up production.
166. The Conference showed concern over the present world superphosphate supply situation and urge-d that alternative methods of processing rock phosphate be actively explored. International allocation authorities should pay due attention to sufficient supplies of agricultural requisites, particularly raw materials for fertilizer production.
167. Furthermore, it was thought advisable that Member Governments, where necessary, should conduct experiments on the response of various crops to the application of different fertilizers. In this respect, not only the classical elements such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potash are important, but also other elements, such as magnesium, sodium, and iron, and the trace elements which play such a vital role in plant nutrition and in attaining maximum yield.
Animal Disease Control
168. The work in the field of animal disease control was commended by the Conference, and it was noted with satisfaction that many countries in the Far East had availed themselves of the facilities provided by the Expanded Technical Assistance Program, with the result that the eradication of rinderpest is now a practical possibility. An intensification of FAO's activities in the control of foot-and-mouth disease, especially in the European and Latin American regions, was considered urgent. The collaboration between the Organization and the Foot-and-mouth Disease Laboratory of the Organization of American States in Brazil was noted. The policy of FAO in utilizing this center as a research and "typing" center in Latin America, as well as a central unit for coordinating the work in foot-and-mouth disease in Latin America was commended.
169. The efforts of various countries in the field of artificial insemination should be coordinated with a view to safeguarding the animal industry from dangers which might arise in connection with semen imported from other countries.
170. The importance of co-operation in agricultural research in Europe and other regions was stressed once more, and Member Governments signified their approval of the work undertaken by FAO in this regard, which includes the meeting on this subject held in London from 15 to 18 October 1951.
171. The wide scope of the Division's technical assistance activities, both with regard to the number of active projects and the field covered, was noted with satisfaction, and the program for the second financial period received whole-hearted support.
172. The Conference reviewed the past work of FAO in the field of economics and its program for I952-1953. It noted that the unification of the former two Divisions of Economics, Statistics and Marketing, and of Distribution had been satisfactorily accomplished. The Conference was convinced that the Division would now be able to operate more efficiently and utilize more effectively the limited financial resources. On the whole, its program of work represented commendable progress to implement the criteria laid down by the Working Party on the Program of Work and Associated Long-term Problems.
173. Suggestions were made regarding the emphasis which should be placed on the various activities of the Division, whether this involved expanding work on existing projects or initiating new activities.
174. Many delegates expressed the view that certain publications on statistics and economics would be of greater service to governments, and would be more widely used, if combined into a regular publication.
175. The Conference agreed that, subject to the recommendations and suggestions enumerated in subsequent paragraphs, the program of work represented a satisfactory distribution of resources among the various activities of the Division. The Conference adopted the following resolution:
Resolution No. 30
Work of Economics Division
Having examined the program of work of the Economics Division with special reference to the criteria laid down by, and the conclusions of, the Working Party on the Program of Work and Associated Long-term Problems,
Commends the Director-General for amalgamating the former two Divisions in the fields of Economics and Distribution and the efficient manner in which the amalgamation was accomplished;
Endorses the distribution of resources among the various activities of the Division;
Requests the Director-General to explore the possibilities of bringing together certain publications on statistics, on economic appraisal, and on commodities into one periodic publication on food and agriculture and to consider the desirability of issuing such a publication either on a bimonthly or quarterly basis.
Work in the Field of Statistics
176. In considering the work in the field of statistics, the Conference felt that the collection and dissemination of accurate and timely information on the production of, and the trade in, agricultural commodities, price data and other specialized fields of agricultural statistics, is of primary importance to Member Countries; and noted that good progress had been made in collecting and publishing such statistical data. The Conference emphasized again the need for ensuring that the data is comparable and, at the same time, as accurate as possible.
177. While recognizing that the statistics now issued by the Organization on production, trade, and prices are of a basic character and serve essential needs, the Conference thought it desirable that the work be expanded in more specialized directions, if financial resources permit. In particular, studies should be made on the possibility of obtaining information on the spread between prices received by farmers and prices paid by consumers. It was further recognized that data on the price relationship between agricultural products and other products, especially those entering into the cost of production, would be of considerable value. Several delegations also emphasized the desirability for countries to undertake studies of agricultural productivity and production costs, as and when opportunity offered.
178. The Conference noted with satisfaction that already 53 countries had taken the census within the framework of the program for the 1950 World Census of Agriculture developed by FAO. It requested that FAO pay particular attention to the improvement of current agricultural statistics, with particular emphasis on the use of sampling, and recommended that FAO:
- prepare and publish information covering methods used in the collection of current agricultural statistics, including the theory and use of sample surveys, with illustrative examples;
- provide to governments all assistance in the formulation of plans for the improvement of current agricultural statistics, including assistance in organizing pilot sample surveys to countries requesting such assistance;
- that, as a result of the information and experience gained, a minimum set of standards or programs be prepared for the improvement of current agricultural statistics in the different regions.
179. The Conference also expressed its satisfaction with the work of FAO training centers and suggested that the Director-General continue to use training centers to provide opportunities for training agricultural statisticians on a country or regional basis.
180. The Conference noted the resolution of the pre-conference Regional Meeting at Bloudane, endorsing the establishment of a regional statistical institute for the Near East, and requested the Director-General to consider this resolution. The Conference adopted the following resolution:
Resolution No. 31
Considering that several countries, particularly in the statistically less developed areas, experience difficulty in completing FAO questionnaires,
Realizing at the same time the desirability of obtaining comparable statistics,
1. consideration be given to the preparation of questionnaires adapted to the situation in different regions;
2. the Director-General consult Member Governments with a view to simplifying all questionnaires as much as possible;
Noting that FAO intends to convene a meeting of governmental experts during 1952 on the subject of international index numbers of agricultural production,
Considering the complexity of this subject,
Requests the Director-General to report the results of this meeting to the Council prior to deciding what action, if any, should be taken on the recommendation of the committee of experts.
Economic Analysis Activities
181. The projects in the field of food and agriculture in relation to general economic conditions, aiding economic development in agriculture, and institutional factors affecting agricultural development, which are closely related, were approved. The Conference felt that, insofar as possible, more attention should be given to the work on institutional factors. With respect to the formulation and integration of national development programs, priority should be given to those activities related to the ETAP and financing development.
182. The Conference endorsed the method of presentation of The State of Food and Agriculture, and felt that it should be maintained at a high level of simplicity and lucidity. However, it was essential that:
- Future issues contain more economic analyses of the current situation and more appraisals of the future outlook;
- More consideration be given to analysis of longer-term trends and to inter-commodity relations; and
- An adequate summary, as in the issues prior to 1951, precede the body of the report.
183. The Conference expressed great interest in the proposed work in the field of price policies and price relations, and suggested that:
- This work be conducted in close cooperation with existing national institutions and research agencies conducting studies in this field, to prevent duplication of effort;
- When resources permit, the work be broadened to cover all aspects of assuring income stability to farmers, including crop insurance.
184. Since information on long-term trends and outlook is essential in planning and financing agricultural development, more attention should be given to the analysis and appraisal of such long-term trends both in general economic conditions and in commodity and inter-commodity relations.
Commodity Studies and Services
185. The Conference stressed that information regarding, and analyses of, food and agricultural commodity situations and problems are among the most important functions of FAO; and requested that collection of information and studies in these fields be given high priority, especially in assisting the Committee on Commodity Problems in carrying out its activities and responsibilities as a result of the deliberations of this Conference.
186. Careful consideration should be given, in the light of changing circumstances, to the balance between collection and dissemination of factual commodity information on the current situation and outlook, on the one hand, and more basic studies on commodity trends, inter-relationships and policies, on the other. The Conference adopted the following resolution:
Resolution No. 32
Co-operation with Committee on Commodity Problems
Expressing satisfaction with the documentation (and especially the short Commodity Reports) prepared by the Commodities Branch for the information of the Committee on Commodity Problems,
Recommends that special reports and reviews of the programs and policies of the specialized commodity bodies, of techniques for international commodity agreements and of other measures, both national and international, which could help to promote stability in the world's commodity markets, be prepared from time to time for the consideration of the Committee,
Requests that the closest possible relationship continue to be maintained between the Committee and the Economics Division.
187. The Conference agreed on the importance of studies of various aspects of national marketing facilities and other factors influencing the cost of distribution of agricultural products, but it also recognized that the Organization's work program in this field of study had to be highly selective. The Conference recommended that, if resources could be found, more emphasis should be placed on work in this field.
188. The Conference recognized the need for flexibility in the program of work in view of the swiftly changing pattern of commodity situations and problems. Provision had to be made for meeting urgent ad hoc requests in addition to all other activities scheduled in the regular program. The Conference attached particular importance to the need for adequate provision of resources to enable the Commodities Branch to fulfill its functions in all these respects.
Expanded Technical Assistance Program
189. The Conference reviewed the activities of the Division under ETAP and noted with approval the lines along which the work has been conducted. The present emphasis on training centers was approved, but it was emphasized that the balance between various forms of assistance should be kept under constant review in considering requests from governments as the program developed.
190. In particular, training activities in the economic appraisal of development projects and the improvement of national statistics were commended. In this connection, close attention should be given to adapting the level of training to the needs of various regions and countries, bearing in mind age and experience and the standards of basic and professional training. Close attention should be given, also, to avoiding duplication of national training activities, and to furthering more uniform international standards in the field of statistical instruction.
191. In connection with the work in the general field of "Aiding Economic Development in Agriculture," it was noted that the planning and supervision of related technical assistance activities occupied an increasing proportion of the regular staff available on such projects, and it was recommended that the possibilities of further aid from ETAP should be explored, especially if the workload was materially increased.
192. In addition to the matters in the field of forestry which were dealt with under "Special Problems" and elsewhere in this Report, the Conference examined the following specific activities and projects:
World Festival of the Trees
193. In pursuance of the principle that public consciousness of forest values should be developed by all means possible, the Conference adopted the following resolution:
Resolution No. 33
World Festival of the Trees
Recognizing the need of arousing mass consciousness of the aesthetic, physical, and economic value of trees,
Recommends that a World Festival of the Trees be celebrated annually in each member country on a date suited to local conditions.
International Chestnut Commission
194. The Conference took note of the opinion expressed during the International Chestnut Congress organized by the Government of France in 1950 and of the recommendations adopted by the special Working Party of Experts on Chestnut during its first study tour in Italy and Switzerland in 1951. After considering these proposals, the Conference adopted the following resolution:
Resolution No. 34
International Chestnut Commission
Authorizes the Director-General to take steps to constitute an International Chestnut Commission with statutes similar to those of the International Poplar Commission; and
Suggests that the Commission should dissolve itself as soon as the difficulties now confronting the cultivation of chestnut are no longer of world-wide concern.
Exchange of Forest Seeds and Plants
195. The Conference e having considered the Certificates of Quality and Origin of forest seeds recommended by the European Commission on Forestry and Forest Products after consultation with the International Union of Forest Research Organizations, and having also examined the Consignment Form, which is intended to expedite the exchange of seeds and plants for scientific purposes, was of the opinion that these forms would be of considerable benefit to Member Governments and adopted the following resolution:
Resolution No. 35
Forest Seeds and Plants
1. that in order to establish authenticity, Member Governments take steps to adopt the Certificates of Quality and Origin which are contained in Appendix B; and
2. that, to expedite the exchange of seeds and plants for scientific purposes, Member Governments secure recognition by appropriate national agencies of the standard Consignment Form contained in the same Appendix.
196. The Conference approved in principle the Director-General's proposals with regard to FAO's long-term program for forestry and expressed confidence in the manner in which the Expanded Technical Assistance Program in forestry was being organized. Recognizing the complexity and diversity of the problems confronting FAO in the field of forestry, the Conference appreciated the continuous efforts which were being made towards concentration on the most important of these problems in accordance with the principles indicated in the Report of the Working Party on FAO's Program of work and Associated Long-term Problems (C 51/15) and expressed the hope that yet further concentration would prove practicable.
197. As regards certain items in the immediate program for 1952 and 1953 and the Expanded Technical Assistance Program in forestry. the Conference decided as follows:
Fourth World Forestry Congress
198. The Conference agreed that a Fourth World Forestry Congress should be held in 1954, and asked the Director-General to consult with interested Member Governments as to a location for the congress. Offers received to act as host country should be referred to a session of the FAO Council in 1952 for a decision as to the exact place and date for the meeting.
199. The Conference also considered that the Topical Forestry Congress, postponed from 195l and now proposed for 1953. should rather be incorporated into the Fourth World Forestry Congress; full opportunity would then be provided for the technical discussion of problems of particular concern to tropical countries.
World Inventories of Forest Resources
200. The Organization should, at five-year intervals, collect and publish available information on the forest resources of all countries of the world. The results of the first study had been published in 1948; the next project should be undertaken in I 953 and? to this end. agreement of experts on relevant definitions and descriptions' should be sought.
201. The Conference endorsed the proposal of the Director-General to make a study of eucalyptus, a genus of special world-wide importance in afforestation and reforestation programs It urged the Director-General to complete the proposed study during the coming year and also recommended arrangement, under the Expanded Technical Assistance Program, of a Eucalyptus Study Tour to Australia for senior technicians.
Forest Fire Control
202. The Conference congratulated the Director-General on the organization and conduct of the Forest Fire Control Study Tour which had been held in 1951 in cooperation with the United States Economic Co-operation Administration and the United States Forest Service. It urged that FAO's activities in the sphere of forest protection from fire be intensified within the limits of its present funds and staff.
Forest Products Statistics
203. The Conference drew the attention of Member Governments to the proposals and recommendations contained in the report of statistical experts (FAO/EFC/37 Rev. I) adopted by the European Commission at its fourth Session It referred this report to the Commissions on Forestry and Forest Products for Latin America and for Asia and the Pacific for clue consideration.
Timber Trends Study
204. Having been advised that this study' as it related to Europe, would be completed in 1952, the Conference endorsed the recommendation of the European Commission at its fourth session that a joint meeting should be called of this Commission and the Timber Committee of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, to examine the implications of the study and make any necessary v recommendations to governments.
205. The Conference noted with satisfaction the work of the Regional Commissions already established for Asia and the Pacific, Europe, and Latin America, and commended their reports to the attention of Member Governments.
206. It also noted with satisfaction that provision had been made by the Director-General to appoint a permanent forestry representative to the Near East Region, with the intention of eventually creating for that region a body analogous to the other Regional Commissions. The Conference suggested that a regional meeting to consider such a step should be arranged for late 1952.
207. The Conference thought it desirable that the Director-General should post a regional forestry officer to the North American Regional Office as soon as circumstances permitted, and proposed that the Governments of Canada and the United States of America be invited to participate fully in all the activities and meetings of the European Commission on Forestry and Forest Products.
Latin-American Forest Research and Training Institute
208. In connection with the proposed Latin-American Forest Research and Training Institute, the Conference noted with gratitude the offer made by the Government of Venezuela to constitute the central body of the Institute at the Forestry School of the University of the Andes, Merida, with its attendant buildings. This generous offer was referred to the Latin-American Commission at its next session for appropriate action.
International Poplar Commission
209. The Conference drew the attention of the International Poplar Commission to the great importance attaching to the cultivation of poplar species and varieties in countries of the Near East. It considered that great value would attend a meeting of this Commission in the Near East; alternatively, a meeting of interested experts of the regions might be convened.
210. The Conference examined the work of the Organization in the field of fisheries and found it to be well balanced in its component parts and generally satisfactory. It found that the program for 1952-53 followed the recommendations of the Working Party on the Program of Work and Associated Long-term Problems, especially in that priority was being given to those projects which would result in a fairly rapid increase in fish production and improvement in utilization, thereby helping to alleviate the world food shortage. The Conference emphasized the importance of taking advantage of the fact that fisheries were able to make a contribution of quickly-available animal proteins. It recognized that, considering the role of the fishing industry in the general task of meeting world food requirements, the program needed to be intensified in various sections and that at the earliest opportunity more funds should be made available for this program.
Latin American Fisheries Council
(See Chap. V, par. 384)
211. World fish production today was estimated at approximately 25 million tons and experts were satisfied that fisheries resources were such that this figure could be doubled without risk to their future; a production and distribution of 50 million tons approached the level which nutritionists indicated to be desirable. The Organization's activities in promoting appraisal of fisheries resources, their scientific investigation and the formulation of programs for rational exploitation could mater ally contribute toward the development which was required. The activities in co-ordination and dissemination of information were an integral part of this program and the Regional Councils would be able to play an effective part in this work. The progress of the Indo-Pacific Fisheries Council warranted optimism in this regard.
212. The program of development would obviously call for substantial changes in the methods of catching and handling fish throughout the world more especially in the under-developed areas. The Organization's activities in connection with improvement in the design of fishing craft would be important in this regard. There was also need for increased attention to the problem of fishing gear and it was desirable that this section of the program should be strengthened. In the phase of primary production, attention was drawn to the importance of fish culture which offered obvious possibilities of a very considerable increase in production in many parts of the world where marine resources were not readily available It was a familiar situation that at times there was considerable spoilage and wastage of fish and much improvement could be effected in distribution arrangements. The Organization's work for promoting improvements in marketing and processing technology was therefore of the greatest importance.
213. The Conference considered the work on the digest of present laws and regulations on Commodity standards for fisheries products and recommended that this digest should be kept up to date, published, and given the widest possible distribution.
214. In the general program of promoting fisheries development, it was obviously important that the fullest possible range of statistical data should be available, and the Conference recommended that the Organization continue its efforts in the collection of information and the development of improved quality and comparability in these statistics. The proposed special statistical meetings should make a valuable contribution in this respect. The Conference impressed by the importance of seeking the greatest simplicity in the methods suggested for the collection of fisheries statistics and their presentation. In this connection, it noted with approval that regional differences were recognized and that the problems were being attacked on this basis. The Conference also recommended that the Organization endeavor to increase the frequency of issue of its statistical compilations. It suggested that attempts be made to develop fisheries production statistics in a form that would be useful to the important programs of biological research. Finally, the Conference in recognizing the importance of fish production in total world food balances, recommended that every opportunity be taken to ensure that the contribution of the fishing industry was taken into account in reviews of the food situation.
215. The Conference believed that the Organization was assisting the general development program by its activities in disseminating technical information. It approved the publication program in fisheries and recommended that every effort should be made to secure the widest possible distribution. While the Conference recognized the great value of World Fisheries Abstracts to fishery workers, it considered that the effectiveness of this publication was seriously limited by the present distribution methods and hoped that means might be devised to make it more readily available.
Expanded Technical Assistance Program
216. The Conference noted with satisfaction that the ordinary program and ETAP complemented one another; this had led to achievements that otherwise would not have been possible. It was impressed by the array of projects of this kind which had been initiated or welt under consideration in connection with the fisheries of the world and recommended that this program be vigorously prosecuted. The Conference hoped that Member Governments would assist in every way possible to make fisheries experts available for Technical Assistance projects.
217. The Conference again drew attention to the need for guiding under-developed countries in the direction of developing local fisheries for improved nutrition of local populations rather than for export.
Means for Intensification of Fisheries Work
218. In making the foregoing review of the Organization's program in fisheries, the Conference considered that although the program is generally satisfactory, it should be intensified in certain specific directions, particularly in respect of gear technology, processing of fish, fish culture, and marketing development. the Conference recommended that the funds required for these additional projects be made available. the amount required in 1952 was estimated at $ 40.000.