Taking the African continent as a whole, it is satisfying to note that agricultural production has considerably increased. However, in non self-governing territories further agricultural development could be effected despite, in some territories, the exodus from the land of a considerable proportion of the indigenous populations.
The problems which arise in African territories are essentially related to (a) transport, (b) improving means of production in order to increase the value of human effort, and (c) research in matters of soil and local climate. But, in a large measure, future increases in production will depend upon improving the education of the indigenous agricultural population whose traditional methods are susceptible of considerable improvement.
The rapid development of certain African territories in recent years has produced a considerable increase in the consumption of foodstuffs-to such a degree that these territories, which were exporting areas before the last world war, are no longer self-sufficient despite increasing production. Such a situation points to the desirability of developing intra-African trade.
If diets are to be improved, however, special attention must be given to the production of animal proteins. Hence, it is essential that the livestock industry (both cattle and small stock) should be developed to a maximum.
The development of hydrobiological studies will serve as a basis for general intensive fish cultivation in African waters.
It should be noted that quantitative and qualitative improvement in the diet of the population is often restricted because of the high cost of some foodstuff.
The Conference -
- Noting that both agricultural production and consumption of foodstuffs show marked progress on the African continent, expresses the hope that the governments concerned will continue to support all efforts in this direction, and
(1) that governments still give particular attention to the production of foodstuffs of high nutrient value, principally foodstuffs rich in proteins which are likely to bring rapid improvement to the diet of the populations; and
(2) that the problem of price, more especially with reference to the margin between producers and retail prices, as well as problems of distribution, should be a matter for special consideration on the part; of the governments concerned.
Specific Needs of African Territories and Development Plans
There are considerable possibilities of trade expansion, especially in the field of foodstuffs Of both animal and vegetable origin on the African continent. It is a recognized fact that certain exportable local surpluses could be exchanged more easily and under better conditions between various regions of Africa. At the same time, in order to avoid local shortages, it would be desirable to concentrate on building up stockpiles of foodstuffs in certain regions.
In the past, production of vegetable oil has expanded considerably in certain African territories. Difficulties in exporting the product may arise. It would be advisable to study the possibilities of exchange between African territories of these products rich in nutritive elements.
It is obvious, however, that inadequate means of communication greatly hamper the development of intra-African exchanges.
- Considering that it is advisable to increase, especially wherever means of transport will allow, the exchange of foodstuffs more particularly between African territories, and
- Believing that such a development will increase the consumption and improve the nutritional level of the populations, and remedy the difficult situations or shortages that might follow agricultural calamities in certain areas,
- Recommends that governments study the possibilities for developing these exchanges.
Comprehensive plans of development for the African territories are being drawn up by the governments concerned in the national field, e.g. Belgium - ten-year plan; France - Monnet plan; Portugal and the United Kingdom - development plans prepared by local governments and by the United Kingdom Government. Long-term plans have also been drawn up by the Organization for European Economic Co operation, and numerous exchanges of views have already taken place between interested governments. It is obvious that the development of agricultural production must take place within the limits of possibilities which nature itself affords, i.e. as far as ecological environment will permit, taking into account the variation of soils and climate as well as the permanent possibilities of production and soil fertility. Opportunities for regional specialization in production are limited, however, not only by ecological conditions, but also by economic aspects of the problem. Even if certain, regions of Africa are found to lend themselves to the development of a specific crop, production could not be stimulated unless the world's economic conditions were to countenance such a development. Plans for the development of the African continent must, therefore, take these considerations into account.
- Realizing the importance of long-term plans for the development of African colonies which have been prepared by the countries concerned,
- Recommends that these plans should be made available to FAO in order to allow the Organization to get a more accurate picture of the proposed development, and
- Recommends also that the contacts which have already been established between the governments concerned should, be strengthened in order to ensure by common agreement better co-ordination in questions of major importance-as for instance the means of transportation-and that, in addition, other contacts should be established for this purpose.
Nutrition and Food Conservation
Scientific research in the field of nutrition, more especially studies as regards the nutritive value of wild plants and native foods, are being undertaken by various organizations on the African continent. It is of the highest importance that the results of this research be better known and disseminated for the benefit of the African countries.
Nutrition committees have already been established in certain African territories. They have assisted in drawing up programs for the improvement of standards of nutrition, and have made available their competent advice and suggestions. It is desirable that such committees should be established in localities where the assistance of existing committees is not available.
It has been noted elsewhere that education plays a primary part in the evolution of diets. The importance of programs for the distribution of food in schools cannot be overestimated. Already in certain countries of Africa such programs have been undertaken; they should be encouraged and developed.
The stocking up of foodstuffs has particular importance in subtropical Africa. Problems of stocking and preservation of food in these regions are specific and deserve particular study. National plans provide for construction of warehouses for storing foodstuffs in native centers. Information on the progress attained in this field should be made available.
- Realizing the importance of research on the nutritional value of wild plants and native foodstuffs,
- Recommends the maximum exchange, by all governments interested in the matter, of information concerning the results of such research; and
- Recommends also that committees on nutrition be established in those areas of the African continent where none exist at present, and that their activities be developed in co-operation with the Nutrition Division of FAO;
- Emphasizes the educational value of school-feeding, particularly in underdeveloped areas; and
- Recommends that governments study the possibility of extending or introducing such feeding in those areas of the African continent where it may contribute to the education of the local population;
- Recommends moreover (a) that FAO give priority, in its program of work for 1950, to the study of special conditions concerning the storing and conservation of foodstuffs in the tropics; (b) that governments include in their annual reports to FAO information concerning progress made in placing at the disposal of the local population such facilities as may permit the adequate conservation of foodstuffs;
Means of Production
In Africa, an attack on agricultural problems involves a sound knowledge of the polls and of the use of adequate means of production and implements. However, inadequate agricultural education is the factor which most greatly limits the possibilities of efficient development.
The problems of providing suitable cheap fertilizers and agricultural machinery are exceedingly difficult. They should be thoroughly analyzed in the light of different African local conditions, more particularly those of tropical Africa. The adoption of standards that have been recognized as suitable for more advanced areas or in different climates is not sufficient.
Those questions are of such importance that they should be given priority among matters to be looked into by FAO; they necessitate an even greater co-ordination than hitherto in governmental plans. Insofar as agricultural implements are concerned, it would be desirable to establish contacts with manufacturers, in order to induce them to produce (both for the farm and the forest) types of machines that research and field experience show to be suitable to conditions in Africa.
- Emphasizing the importance of problems dealing with the means of production (more particularly of mechanization in the agricultural field) on the African continent, and being of the opinion that these problems should have priority in FAO's program of work,
(1) that FAO gather immediately all available documentation on the subject and give it a special place in its program of technical activities for 1950;
(2) that this matter be submitted to the Standing Advisory Committee on Agriculture, which will meet immediately following the present session of the Conference, so that an opinion may be obtained on the activities which might be undertaken by FAO in this field;
(3) that FAO endeavor to induce manufacturers of agricultural machinery to interest themselves in the problem to the extent of making a field study of the needs for special types of machines adapted to the soils and forests of Africa, conforming their production to such needs;
(4) that governments establish National Centers of Agricultural Machinery and that such centers act in co-operation with one another, under the auspices of FAO
Campaign Against Epidemics
In vast areas tsetse fly and rinderpest make stock-farming practically impossible. Numerous international conferences dealing with the problems involved have been held on the African continent and it is unanimously recognized that such major problems require governmental action.
Two international organizations are actively engaged in eradicating the grasshopper, pest in breeding areas, one north of the Equator and the other in Northern Rhodesia. An international organization with campaign headquarters at Brazzaville-Leopoldville, is also engaged in the fight against tsetse fly. FAO itself has coordinated its activities with those of local African governments in the fight against rinderpest by organizing a conference of experts at Nairobi. (FAO Nairobi Rinderpest Meeting, 28 October to 1 November 1948.)
It is highly desirable that all these activities should be maintained and developed.
(1) that in the fight against tsetse, locusts, rinderpest, and other parasites which infest the African continent, FAO establish very close relations with international organizations working in the region so as to stimulate and co-ordinate such activities as should be undertaken jointly by all governments; and
(2) that governments -establish or develop veterinary services in all areas of the African continent.
Soil studies and soil conservation are of vital importance to all the African countries, and soil charts are being prepared in different areas. However, it is important that such charts should be established on a comparable basis. An international agreement) exists concerning the establishment of a map showing the area which is infested by tsetse fly. It would be desirable to have such an agreement in connection with the establishment of soil charts. Soil charts based on photographic surveys would also be useful. These objectives could be attained through international co-operation.
- Realizing that soil problems are of the utmost importance,
(1) that governments include in the annual reports to FAO a statement of their activities in the fields of soil study and conservation with particular reference to (a) control of veldt burning and bush fires which deteriorate soils, (b) mapping of soil erosion areas, and (c) study of techniques of bush-clearing by machinery;
(2) that FAO look into the possibility of arranging an agreement between all countries concerned in the establishment of a soil map of the African continent; and urges FAO to look into the possibility of international cooperation for the preparation of photographic surveys.
In view of the necessity of bettering food standards amongst the indigenous population, it is important that the utmost attention be given to the problem of improving African breeds of livestock by making use of imported or selected native breeds. A study of the native and imported breeds best adapted to the surroundings would be useful.
- Realizing the. importance of improving African breeds of livestock,
- Recommends that FAO give priority to the study of this problem in its program of work for 1950 and consider the desirability of organizing one or more local conferences to the advantages of the whole African continent.
Forests are important in Africa, both as natural resources and as a means of exercising an influence over the natural environment. Efforts must be made to obtain a more exact appreciation of the importance and value of these resources. The Conference is appreciative of the fact that FAO has given full attention to the problem: in both 1947 and 1948 the Organization has published an inventory of forest resources; and it has also made contacts with forestry centers in Africa itself.
The Conference -
(1) that permanent contacts be established with forest research stations in Africa; and
(2) that governments develop colonial forestry centers.
List of Technicians
The Conference -
(1) that a list of technicians in agriculture and related sciences in Africa be established, with a view not only to promoting an exchange of experts, but also to facilitating relations between research centers, and
(2) that FAO take the initiative in preparing such a list and make it available to member governments.
Annual Reports of Governments to FAO
In connection with governments annual reports it has been noted that in most cases information provided to FAO on colonies or territories of a parent state is merged with information concerning the mother country, Therefore,
The Conference -
- Recommends that governments transmitting their reports to FAO should include a separate annual report for colonial territories or dependencies.
The Conference has reviewed the Latin-American sections of The State of Food and Agriculture-1948 and National Progress in Food and Agriculture Programs-1948. The Conference has found that although Latin America as a whole is developing its agriculture and improving the food supply of its population, the problems of the region, which have been described before in reports to FAO, still demand attention. Great efforts on the part of governments and FAO are needed toward their solution. The population as a whole is still inadequately fed and the diet is deficient in important nutritional elements Agricultural production is still low in relation to the potential volume which could be produced by the land, the manpower, and other available resources for production. There is great need for technical assistance in the solution of agricultural production, storage, transport, marketing, and consumption. The region needs closer and more continuous attention from FAO.
As a necessary concomitant to the expansion of agricultural production, Latin America demands corresponding industrial development to provide economically in each area the essential elements of a better level of living. The Conference considers it to be of primary importance as a short-range goal that the immediate expansion of Latin-American agricultural production should be directed towards satisfying the needs of the inhabitants of the region itself in order to raise levels of living and productive capacity. The Conference recognizes that, along with pro. auction for local needs, the countries of the region must also produce commodities for export in order to purchase essential consumer goods which are not available from Latin-American sources; and it also recognizes that the region represents an important potential source of foodstuffs and other agricultural products which can favorably be produced in the region and are badly needed by other parts of the world. But the Conference feels that Latin America should be helped to produce these goods by the assurance of prices which will provide an adequate level of living for the Latin-American producer, and by the availability of the necessary technical assistance and the necessary means of production, i.e. machinery and supplies, seed, and, fertilizer, in order to increase yields and reduce, costs of production.
The Conference recalls that at previous sessions, and also at regional conferences dealing with agriculture and food. many general recommendations have been made to governments for the improvement of agricultural production, nutrition, and levels of living. The Conference reiterates its support of such recommendations and recommends that governments bear them constantly in mind when planning for agricultural production and the distribution and consumption of foodstuffs and other agricultural products. However, the Conference feels it can best serve the member governments of FAO at this time by calling attention to certain practical lines of action which governments can under-take immediately to improve the food situation in Latin America and in the world as a whole. In selecting these lines of action for emphasis, the Conference wishes to draw the attention of governments particularly to courses of action in which international co-operation would be of value. The Conference by no means wishes to imply by this selection that other courses of action are less important or that, in general, the implementation of broad, long-term programs for agriculture and food improvement should be neglected.
The Conference -
- Noting that in Latin America important increases in the quantity and quality of foodstuffs and other agricultural products can be obtained by the use of selected seed of high quality,
- Recommends that local research for the development of such seed be continued and intensified and that governments co-operate with each other in this work by making available to each other and to FAO their findings and the results of their research; it also
- Urges governments, in order that the use of improved seed and planting stock may be generalized as rapidly as possible, to disseminate such improved material through agricultural extension services and by all other appropriate means.
The Conference finds in Latin America an increasing concern for improving livestock strains and increasing livestock numbers. In order to promote this trend,
The Conference -
(1) that, with due regard to sanitary control, governments take steps to facilitate the interchange of superior breeding stock among the countries of Latin America by, for example, the removal of customs barriers and formalities and other obstacles to the transport of, such animals from one country to another, whenever such obstacles exist; and
(2) that governments take note of the work being done by the Inter-American Institute of Agricultural Sciences in centralizing information as to the availability of-supplies of superior breeding stock which has been developed in Latin America for tropical areas;
- Urges expansion of the use of artificial in semination wherever this is practical, in order to disseminate us rapidly as possible the improvements obtained through selective breeding of livestock; and
- Requests governments to stress the practical aspect of programs for artificial insemination not overlooking the necessity of training adequate numbers of workers at the practical level for work in these programs.
The Conference -
- Finding that a large portion of the grazing lands of Latin America are being used inefficiently,
- Recommends that governments endeavor by all possible means to promote better management of pastures, with consequent improvement in the quality of feed and condition of animals.
The Conference -
- Noting the successful use of coffee pulp as livestock feed,
- Urges utilization of coffee pulp and other byproducts suitable for livestock whenever practicable. cable.
It is apparent that Latin America can make a great contribution to the food supply of other parts of the world. Besides its contributions in staple products, Latin America can also contribute a number of specialty products. In the field of fruit production,
The Conference -
- Recommends that governments obtain technical aid through FAO to promote fruit culture, combining in groups for this purpose whenever appropriate.
Fats and Oils
The consumption of fats and oils in Latin America is dangerously low from a nutritional standpoint. Therefore,
The Conference -
- Urges governments to stimulate for local consumption the production of vegetable oils, especially from palms and other oil-bearing plants, wherever conditions are favorable for their cultivation.
In this connection, the Conference calls attention to the forthcoming report of FAO's Oilseeds Mission to Venezuela.
In view of the expanded production of hard fibers in Latin America,
The Conference -
- Recommends that any further expansion of production of hard fibers be directed, whenever possible, to lands which are not suitable for the production of foodstuffs.
Increasing Cultivable Areas
The Conference notes the existence in many parts of the region of problems to do with uneconomical production on excessively small holdings and nonutilization of large fertile areas that; should come under cultivation. With a view to their solution, it commends the resettlement programs which many governments have initiated.
The Conference -
- Urges governments to seek technical aid through FAO regarding the problems of bringing new areas into cultivation through irrigation, drainage, sanitation, or road-building programs.
The Conference finds that fertilizers are little used in Latin America, despite the need of many of the soils for these materials. With chemical fertilizers in short supply throughout the world,
The Conference -
- Urges governments to lend their support to geological surveys to discover in their countries minerals which are of value as fertilizers, particularly potash and phosphate minerals;
- Recommends that governments promote by all possible means the utilization of waste materials.
The attention of governments is drawn to FAO's recommendations on soil management practices which, if properly carried out, can compensate producers for the general world shortage of fertilizers.
The Conference -
- Recommends that governments consider the importance of fisheries development in connection with the need for fertilizers, and draws attention to this fact that in most fisheries operations large utilization can be made of fish which may be unsuitable for food but can be cheaply processed to provide excellent fertilizer.
Forestry and Forest Products
The Conference wishes to emphasize the importance of creating forest services in Latin America and training personnel, especially large numbers of practical forest workers, such as , forest wardens. This is jai phase of forest service development that governments can begin immediately within their countries, offering to each other the facilities now available or to be created in the near future for training such workers.
To increase the output of forest products,
The Conference -
- Urges governments to bear in mind and take measures to implement the resolutions adopted at the Conference on Forestry and Forest Products convened by FAO at Teresopolis, Brazil, 19-30 April 1948, and
- Recommends the creation of forest nurseries to provide planting material for use on individual farms.
With regard to the recommendation of the Teresopolis Conference that a forestry research center be created for the benefit of the Latin American countries,
The Conference -
(1) that FAO study and report to its member government in Latin America on the cost of establishing and operating this center; and further,
(2) that this study be made by the forestry office which FAO will establish in Latin America, and that choice of an initial location for this office be left to the discretion of the Director-General of FAO.
The Conference finds that the development of fisheries in Latin America is by no means commensurate-with the need for fisheries products in the diet of the population, and urges governments to promote fish as an element in the diet of their populations, thus increasing consumption and facilitating the development of fisheries industries.
- Recommends that Latin-American countries interested in the conservation and rational utilization of fish species found in the waters under their jurisdiction, should reach agreements to set up technical commissions for the study of such species, making use of FAO's regional fisheries councils which should be established in their corresponding areas.
An important reason for the relatively undeveloped fisheries of Latin America is the lack of adequate investment funds for capitalizing fisheries industries. International lending agencies in the field of economic development should give high priority to suitable projects for the development of fisheries.
- Finding that there is all important potential source of valuable food protein in the culture of fresh-water fish in artificial ponds in Latin America,
- Recommends that FAO provide the governments of Latin America with technical information for the development of this resource.
Latin America as a whole suffers from rapid depletion of its soil resources through erosion brought about by such malpractices as uncontrolled forest clearing and burning to prepare land for planting. The Conference calls the attention of governments to the resolutions of the Inter-American Conference for the Conservation of Renewable Resources, held at Denver, Colorado, in September 1948, and of the Teresopolis Conference on Forestry and Forest Products The need is stressed for maintaining a continuous effort to educate agricultural producers and the public in general concerning the importance of conserving soil, water, and forest resources. In particular,
- Urges governments to be aware of the need for introducing knowledge concerned with habits and practices of conservation into the subject matter of the school systems.
In planning agricultural resettlement and development programs, governments are urged to take account of the danger to which soil, water, and forest resources of the areas concerned may be exposed in such schemes, if adequate protective measures are not taken in time. This is of particular importance with regard to the clearing of tropical forest areas to provide cultivable land, since there exists greet danger that the exposure of such soils to cropping conditions may bring on rapid or irrevocable loss of their fertility.
- Urges governments to obtain technical advice from FAO concerning the uses to which such tropical forest soils can safely be put in order to maintain their productive power; and
(1) that governments strengthen measures for preventing forest fires, emphasizing again in this connection the need for training adequate numbers of forest wardens; and
(2) that governments promote suitable systems of rotation to preserve soil fertility, especially in connection with the production of such crops as maize and sugar-cane.
The Conference finds that in Latin America fur, e losses of standing crops and stored foodstuffs are caused annually by insect pests, fungus infestation, and plant disease. It is also clear that diseases of animals transmissible to human beings, as well as diseases like malaria and brucellosis, sap the strength of agricultural producers and render inefficient or impossible agriculture production in large areas of Latin America. These are matters which call for cooperation among governments, and between governments and the World Health Organization and the Pan-American Sanitary Bureau. In such co-operation one of the greatest needs is for continuity of effort.
- Recommends that governments co-operate among themselves and with FAO to provide a vigorous and continued attack on diseases and pests affecting plants and animals and with the international health agencies to combat diseases of human beings engaged in agricultural production;
- Recommends that governments work with FAO to establish an adequate reporting system for the centralization of intelligence with regard to the incidence of pests and communicable diseases of plants and animals;
- Urges governments to co-operate by lending each other equipment needed for speedy attack on such pests as locusts, and by removing obstacles such as customs formalities which may impede the rapid transport of such equipment and materials between neighboring countries; and FAO to co-operate with the governments of Latin America by providing detailed technical information in order to ensure the use of the proper pesticides and insecticides against different pests and in different circumstances;
- Recommends that Latin-American governments actively participate in the Meeting on Grain Infestation and Storage which will be convened by FAO at Palmira, Colombia, in February 1949, by sending to the meeting adequate technical delegations; and
- Recommends that, in order to avoid transmission of plant diseases and pests, and to remove obstacles to international trade in agricultural products, member countries of FAO organize pest and insect control of cereals, vegetables, oil-plants, etc., instructing their delegations to the Palmira Conference to study and provide technical recommendations for this purpose;
- Urges governments, in view of the fact that greater food storage facilities are needed in the region, to take steps to increase the facilities of their countries in this respect, and,
- Recognizing that one of the causes of loss of stored foodstuffs in Latin America is the presence of excess moisture which leads to fermentation and other destructive processes, ;
- Recommends that governments promote the adequate drying of agricultural products for storage either by artificial or natural means, as circumstances may demand, and seek technical assistance from FAO in this respect.
- Recommends that systems of grades and specifications for each commodity be established especially for export products, and that in order to secure uniformity, technical consultation be undertaken between governments and with the appropriate regional and international organizations.
The Conference finds that difficulties of communications and transport within Latin America are a major obstacle to the flow of agricultural produce from the producer to the consumer.
- Recommends that governments develop programs of road construction and maintenance in rural areas to provide outlets for farm produce.
- Recommends that governments, through the appropriate regional and international agencies, undertake studies to determine what types of intraregional trade, can be developed and how obstacles to its expansion can be removed. These studies should include also the protection of trademarks.
The Conference finds that raising food consumption levels and improving nutrition in Latin America depend to a large degree on a general increase in the purchasing power of the poorer sections of the population. Consumption can be directly influenced, however, by developments in the field of nutrition, and such developments can in turn influence production through increasing the demand for food, in particular for foods of high nutritive value.
The Nutrition Conference which met at Montevideo, Uruguay, in July 1948, described numerous methods of approach to the problem of improving nutrition in Latin America. The ret port of this conference should serve as a guide to countries in the region with respect to nutritional policy. The Fourth Session of the FAO Conference wishes, however, to draw special attention to certain points raised in that report.
- Emphasizing that nutritional propaganda and education are needed to teach people better habits of diet,
- Recommends the introduction or expansion of feeding programs for special groups, including school children and industrial workers;
- Emphasizes the need in most countries for greater production and consumption of certain foods, such as fish, milk, meat, and vegetables in order to improve nutrition;
- Considers that in order to develop nutrition research and further its practical application in the form of concrete measures, more trained nutrition workers are required; and
- Recommends the establishment of effective national nutrition committees, which can advise governments on nutrition policy, in countries where they do not already exist.
The Conference finds that although Latin America is considered as a region, there are important points of diversity within it. This diversity derives from differences in climate and topography or from differences in the ethnologic foundation of the population, and is reflected in a diversity of food habits.
- Recommends that food patterns of the different population groups in Latin America should be respected, but that nutritional deficiencies of basic foodstuffs in separate areas should be compensated by the addition of suit" able supplements to the diet. When indigenous food practices that are nutritionally valuable are in danger of being lost, efforts should be made to retain or reinstate them in the food habits of the population.
The Conference finds that, in general, government services aiding in agricultural production and in the distribution and consumption of foodstuffs and other agricultural products, are insufficiently developed to provide an adequate mechanism for the expansion and improvement needed in these fields. Therefore,
- Recommends that governments strengthen their services in the fields of agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and nutrition, including statistics, with special emphasis on the training of workers for these various services, without neglecting the training of workers at practical levels.
In this connection, the Conference recognizes that a very large proportion of the agricultural producers in Latin America cannot effectively be taught improved practices by means of the printed word. It therefore wishes to emphasize the importance of strengthening and greatly expanding existing agricultural extension services.
- Recommends that governments lend support to universities and other scientific institutions to promote research in all fields of agriculture food, and nutrition; and further
- Recommends that governments inform FAO concerning the scientific and technological institutions in their countries in the field of food and agriculture, in order to provide a basis for the exchange of experts within the Latin-American region and with other continents.
Plans and Programs
- Considering that the formulation; of over-all food and agricultural plans and programs is of basic importance in order (a) to provide more adequately for the needs of the population of the region, (b) to increase exports, and (c) to facilitate provision of such external assistance as may be required,
- Urges all governments in the region that have not already dope so, to prepare such programs, and
- Recommends that governments formulate import and export programs as an integral part of these national plans for agricultural production.
- Urges governments and FAO to work together to make full use of National FAO Committees as bodies which, by nature of their wide representation, ale useful-in over-all planning.
Since adequate knowledge of conditions throughout the region and elsewhere, with regard to production, trade, and consumption trends, is necessary to the effective formulation of programs.
- Recommends that member governments report fully to and consult with FAO in order to secure essential co-ordination.
C. Continuation of international allocations
The International Emergency Food Committee has received the attention of the Conference. Its work during the past year and its further tasks have been fully discussed. In this connection, the Conference has reviewed the report prepared by the IEFC and the recommendations transmitted to the Conference by the Council of FAO.
The Conference considers that the work done in the last year has been extremely useful to member governments. The Conference notes with satisfaction that the arrangements made after the Third Session of the Conference for incorporating IEFC into the framework of FAO have been carried out in a way that enables the Committee to continue functioning smoothly and effectively. It also notes that the machinery provides for an adequate flexibility. The Commodity Committees for Beans and Peas, Heat and Meat Products, and Seeds were wound up in the course of 1948, and the Committee on Protein Feeds will be discontinued as from January 1949. The allocation system for some -other commodities, notably cereals and fats and oils, will be made more flexible. Consequently, the following commodities will probably remain on the reserved list as of 1 January: cereals, fats and oils, rice, cocoa beans, and nitrogenous fertilizers.
While there is general agreement that allocation of foodstuffs and fertilizers should be discontinued as soon as possible and that the Commodity Committees should be disbanded as soon as they serve no useful purpose, there is also a consensus that the time has not yet come to dissolve IEFC. The exceptional harvest of cereals in 1948 in North America and Europe is due mainly to favorable weather conditions; and not until the spring of 1949 can there be any fore cast of harvests in that year.
The Conference is generally agreed upon the principle that the Commodity Committees themselves are the most competent bodies to consider their discontinuance; experience has shown that these Committees will make a proposal to that end as soon as it is feasible to do so.
In the light of these discussions,
The Conference -
- Approves the recommendation transmitted by the Council of FAO "that the system of international allocation recommendations be continued for the year 1948/49, with the understanding that IEFC will remove commodities from the Reserved Commodity List as soon as it appears that no useful purpose is served by continuing them under allocation recommendation, and expresses the view that allocations should be discontinued as soon as the need for them disappears;
- Requests the Council of FAO to obtain a report from the International Emergency Food Committee for consideration at its first session in 1949; and
- Authorizes the Council of FAO to review the situation in the light of this report and to take such action with regard to the system of allocation as the circumstances may require.
The Conference also notes with satisfaction the Report on Nitrogenous Fertilizers transmitted by the Council of FAO.