V. Technical activities of FAO
A. General remarks
B. Nutrition division
C. Agriculture division
D. Distribution division
E. Economics and statistics division
F. Fisheries division
G. Forestry and forest products division
H. Rural welfare division
I. Information division
J. Regional activities
K. Establishment of the International Rice Commission
L. Action on ECOSOC resolution
M. Exchange of statistical information
N. Approval of program
A. General remarks
The Conference has reviewed the Director-General's report Work of FAO - 1947/48, and has devoted considerable time to the detailed examination of the Program of Work for 1949. It desires to express its appreciation of the high quality of work which the staff has performed, sometimes under very difficult circumstances, and congratulates the Director-General on the clear presentation of the projects selected for 1948. It encourages him to continue the practice of submitting the program of work together with budgetary estimates.
The Conference is aware that the Director-General has been given a very difficult tam in selecting projects from the several hundred recommendations emanating from past annual sessions of the Conference, Standing Advisory Committees, and other sources, and of having to do so without the benefit of an over-all review such as that which has been undertaken for the first time at the present session-on the basis of The State of Mood and Culture - 1948. It notes that the Director-General, in making his selection of projects, has had to take into account a variety of sometimes conflicting considerations and that the program for 1949 constitutes an inevitable compromise. Such considerations include:
The necessity for undertaking a range of work in each field of FAO's activities (Agriculture, Forestry and Forest Products, Fisheries, Nutrition, Economics, Distribution, Information, and Rural Welfare).
The importance of attending to the needs of the different regions and member countries.
The desirability of achieving a harmonious combination of different types of work (e.g., publication of statistics, organization of conferences and of technical missions).
The need for co-operating with other international agencies in joint activities (Economic and Social Council Regional Commissions, World Health Organization, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Labour Organisation, etc.).
Principles and Priorities
The Conference feels that, in view of the limited size of the FAO budget, the approach adopted in preparing the program for 1949 might compel the Director General to spread the activities of the Organization too thinly over too large a number of projects, with the result that no significant contribution would be made towards the solution of the most urgent problem before FAO - increasing the production of farms, forests, and fisheries. The Conference has therefore concluded that a statement of the principles which should glade the Director-General in planning FAO's activities for 1950 and future years, might be useful at this stage in order to enable FAO, while continuing its regular service, to concentrate its resources on a limited number of important objectives.
FAO should always keep in mind that its basic purposes as defined in the Constitution are to raise levels of nutrition, to secure improvements in the efficiency of the production and distribution of all food and agricultural products, and to better the conditions of rural populations. The activities designed to achieve them objectives may be broadly grouped in- the following categories:
(a) world-wide projects,
(b) regional projects, and
(c) national projects.
In determining the order of priorities for particular projects, FAO should give the greatest weight to those which contribute to the welfare of the largest number of people. While, therefore, regional and national projects provide an important field for FAO's work, those projects with world-wide effects should obviously be given precedence.
With this in mind,
(1) that first priority be given to those projects which will assist in implementing the findings and recommendations detailed in Chapter 2 of this Report and in particular to those which will increase production and secure more effective utilization of available supplies;
(2) that activities which transcend national boundaries (e.g., measures for the control of plant pests and animal disease) and other projects and developments which involve international co-operation at the technical level on a regional or international basis, be given special consideration;
(3) that since the primary function of FAO in relation to individual member countries is to furnish such advice and assistance as will enable their own national administrative and technical services to operate more effectively, FAO should not be expected to undertake activities which normally fall within the scope of national departments concerned with food and agriculture;
(4) that special priority also be given to projects which arise from requests for technical advice and assistance from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development or any other agency prepared to extend material help to member governments in the expansion of production;
(5) that FAO only undertake projects if there is reasonable assurance that appropriate action for their full implementation is likely to be taken by the member country or regional group concerned; and that recommendations and conclusions of FAO missions always receive appropriate attention;
(6) that wherever possible, FAO endeavor to achieve economies by:
(a) entering into suitable working arrangements (a) entering into suitable working arrangements with other international organizations in order to avoid duplication of work and secure maximum results;
(b) encouraging groups of member countries to organize projects and conferences dealing with such special problems as pest control, soil conservation etc., provided they concern a limited number of neighboring countries able and prepared to handle such matters themselves. (FAO should be kept fully informed about these activities and be invited to participate in whatever form the Director-General may consider helpful.)
The principles set out above apply primarily to the selection of major projects; they should not interfere unduly with the need to ensure continuity of such activities as documentation, statistics, and similar functions for which FAO has assumed international responsibility.
Organization and Methods of Work
For the implementation of these principles and priorities, the Conference commends to the Director-General the following suggestions:
(1) The vital test of the budget of each division should be the priority of its projects and its contribution to the FAO program as a whole, and not a predetermined share of the total funds. The necessity of continuing each division at. a minimum effective strength should not be lost sight of.
(2) In order to set free for technical work the largest possible proportion of the annual budget, every effort should be made to reduce expenditure on administration and service to minimum. At the same time, renewed efforts should be made to achieve greater efficiency and economy in the use of funds and personnel within; each division. The Conference is aware that the results of these attempts will depend to some extent on the outside assistance which can be obtained in carrying out the program, and that they will therefore show variations from division to division.
(3) The major projects will often be the concern of more than one division and will need to be executed by a series of interdivisional project teams organized on a "combined operations" basis. For this purpose it will be essential to ensured both the closest possible integration of divisional and regional activities and the clear allocation of ultimate responsibility for each project. Further, as the ultimate objective of any combined project must be action which starts in the mind of the ordinary farmer or consumer, such projects should, where appropriate, provide for extension and educational activities which are properly adapted to the local conditions of the countries to which they may apply.
(4) FAO should not itself undertake technical research and the necessary supporting advisory services. Accordingly it should not recruit to its permanent staff experts specialized in too limited fields. The Conference suggests that if such experts are needed their services ought to be secured by loan or secondment.
(5) In order to assist the Director-General in his recruiting program,
- Urges member governments to grant their permanent officials leave of absence for periods ranging from a few weeks to one or two years, and in exceptional cases even for five-year periods, in order to enable them to accept service with FAO without prejudicing their rights to pensions, promotions, and other privileges.
(6) In its attempt to help the Director-General increase the efficiency of the Organization, the Conference offers the following specific suggestions:
(a) Special and technical conferences organized by FAO should be given specific and limited terms of reference, be well prepared, and make adequate provision for ensuring that their recommendations are put into operation both by FAO and by interested governments. Wherever feasible regional consultations should precede the organization of world-wide meetings.
(b) In order to ensure the best results from technical missions the Conference believes that they too should have limited and well-defined objectives, and that these should be formulated in advance by interested governments in presenting the request for a mission.
(c) The experience and documentation already available to FAO at headquarters or at regional offices should be put to better use. As a particular instance the Conference draws the Director-General's attention - to the legislative service of the European Regional Office and suggests that technical divisions take full advantage of its vast experience and qualified stuff. This service might be added to the responsibilities of the Division of Rural Welfare.
The Conference has reviewed the Director-General's Note on Methods of International Consultation, and expresses its general approval of its contents, and in particular of the Director-General's intention of placing increasing emphasis on technical conferences and commissions, advisory committees, and co-operation with technical organizations, and therefore
- Recommends that the Council, in consultation with the Co-ordinating Committee, advise the Director-General upon the application of the principles contained in this Note, with due consideration to the pertinent discussions of the Conference, and to the proposals presented on this topic by the French Delegation.
The Conference notes with regret that the Coordinating Committee provided for in Article V. paragraph 4 of the Constitution has not yet met. It believes that this Committee could perform a useful function in connection with the application of the principles and suggestions listed above, and in particular in helping the Director-General to select a limited number of projects which might form the basis of a four- to five-year program for the Organization. The Conference further suggests that the Co-ordinating Committee meet every year prior to the session of the Council dealing with the program of work for the following year before its submission to the Conference.
The Conference is alarmed to note that several projects which in its opinion deserve the highest priority cannot be carried out due to budgetary limitations. It, therefore, calls on governments to assume a substantial portion of the cost involved when they call on FAO for special assistance. This applies in particular to technical missions, large or small, as well as to visits by FAO staff members undertaken at the request of a member government. The Conference decides that consideration of proposals to implement this principle, such as a suggestion that interested governments should in, such cases cover all incidental travel and other expenses and 50 percent of the salary of permanent FAO officials while on such missions, be postponed and that, pending a decision on this matter by the next session of the Conference, existing methods of financing technical missions and advisory services to individual governments be maintained without change. The matter is referred to the Council of FAO for further study and report.
The general considerations contained in the preceding paragraphs apply to the work of all parts of the Organization In addition, the Conference has reviewed the work of each division as well as a number of specific problems and formulates its conclusions in the following sections of this chapter.
B. Nutrition division
In developing its program throughout the past year the Nutrition Division has followed the recommendations mace ret the last session of the Conference, and those of the Standing Advisory Committee on Nutrition which met after-the Conference to consider the program lie greater technical detail. The 1949 program will be essentially a further extension and development of that followed in 1948. Special attention will be given to following up the recommendations of the Baguio and Montevideo Conferences and particular importance will be attached to collaboration with the World Health Organization, United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, and other specialized agencies of United Nations. Work will be pushed forward on a number of special projects, the general object of which is to supply to governments information and working tools which will assist them in making nutritional studies and in carrying out effective nutrition policies through improvements in the supply and distribution of food. Two international technical committees, to consider respectively problems in the field of food composition and requirements of calories and nutrients, have been budgeted for 1949. The program for 1949 represents a further stage in the development of an expanding and continuing nutrition program integrated with Mat of FAO as a whole.
The Conference expresses its general approval of what has been accomplished and of the future program.
The various activities and projects referred to below were included in the program of the Nutrition Division during the past year and evilly be further developed in the future.
Regional Work on Nutrition
Two regional nutrition conferences were convened in Baguio Philippines (23-28 February), and Montevideo, Uruguay (18-22 July), respectively. At both these meetings special attention was given to practical measures for improving nutrition in the regions concerned, and a series of recommendations was made to governments on such subjects as the development of nutrition research to fill in important gaps in existing knowledge, supplementary feeding; nutrition education, the training of personnel, and the establishment of national nutrition organizations to initiate and develop individual nutrition programs and advise on nutrition policy. The Baguio Committee was specially concerned with ways and means of improving the nutritive value of rice and rice diets, a subject of paramount importance since rice is the staple food of more than half! of the population of the world.
Arrangements have been made to convene, at suitable intervals, further conferences in the two, regions which will review the progress achieved. Members of the Division's staff will participate with other divisions in regional development, Among the objects of which will be implementing the recommendations of the regional nutrition groups.
- Requests the Director-General to take all possible steps, Trough the development of regional work in the field of nutrition, to implement the recommendations of the Baguio and Montevideo meetings, and expresses the hope that the governments concerned will themselves give the most careful consideration to these recommendations and co-operate actively with FAO in the task of carrying them out.
Nutrition Course in the Near East
The Cairo Conference, held in February 1948, emphasized the importance of nutrition problems in the Near East. A member of the staff of the Nutrition Division has been stationed in this region during the year. Among the tasks undertaken has been a study of the state of nutrition and food requirements of Arab refugees, made in association with an expert from the Agriculture Division. Plans have been made to arrange in Cairo, early in 1949, a nutrition course for the instruction of selected workers from countries in this region. The objects of this course include the training of workers to make dietary surveys which will be of assistance to governments in connection with food production and distribution policies.
- Endorses the findings of the Cairo Conference that there is a great need for workers in nutrition in many countries in the Near East;
- Approves of the proposal that a nutrition course should be arranged by F40 in Cairo when circumstances permit; and
- Requests the Director-General to take the necessary steps, provided the co-operation of the governments concerned is forthcoming.
United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund
The Nutrition Division has been directly concerned with the supplementary feeding of children and expectant and nursing mothers through its close association with the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund. UNICEF's feeding program has throughout been based on recommendations of the joint FAO/WHO Committee on Child Nutrition which met in July 1947, and the Nutrition Division has co-operated actively in UNICEF's activities. Much direct advice was given regarding the UNICEF, food procurement program. A member of the staff was seconded to work with UNICEF in Europe in 1948 in the capacity of " Chief Nutrition Consultant, " and will continue to assist UNICEF in 1949 as his services are needed. Another member of the staff of the Division was concerned with the UNICEF feeding program in Greece, and in addition provided practical assistance to the government of that country in dealing with other problems of nutrition. This assistance will continue in 1949, special attention being given to the training of workers and the establishment of nutrition services in the country on a continuing basis.
- Records its appreciation of the work of UNICEF through which much has been done to prevent malnutrition and restore the health of children in Europe and other parts of the world. It is glad to learn of the co-operation of FAO in this work, and
- Recommends that active collaboration should continue in accordance with the needs of the situation.
World Health Organization
Arrangements have been made for co-ordinating the work of FAO and WHO in the field of nutrition The World Health Organization is closely interested in nutrition, which has an important influence on public health, and nutrition is one of the subjects included in its program. It has been decided to convene a joint FAO/WHO committee in 1949 to advise both organizations, promote co-ordination and prevent overlapping of work. A joint secretariat composed of workers drawn from the staff of FAO and WHO will have the responsibility of making preparations for this meeting. The Conference recognizes that WHO and FAO have a joint interest in nutrition and that there is need for the closest cooperation between the two organizations in their work in this field. It is glad to note that suitable machinery to promote satisfactory technical collaboration has been established.
The Division is undertaking a number of special technical studies the purpose of which has been described above; these include food come position, the technique of dietary surveys, school feeding, nutrition education, and certain subjects in the field of food technology. Among the subjects included in the Division's program, the Conference attaches special attention to those which will promote the utilization of standard methodology in nutritional studies, e.g., the technique of dietary surveys, physiological require. meets of calories and nutrients, and food come position.
Progress has been made in the drawing up of food composition tables for international use. Under "Economics and Statistics", reference will be found to the application of these tables in the reparation of country food balance sheets, with the object of attaining greater uniformity and comparability. The Nutrition Division and the Economics and Statistics Division should continue to collaborate in developing this important item in the FAO program.
Work in the field of food composition should be extended to cover the study of the influence of nutrient content of such factors as climate, cultural conditions, and variety, and of the nutritive value of foods, e.g., wild plants, used by primitive and remote peoples in various parts of the world - a subject about which there is insufficient knowledge at the present time.
- Recommends that FAO collect information on the nutritive value and the biological utilization of foods which are commonly eaten by primitive population groups in various regions and localities, and that a suitable monograph on the subject be prepared in due course.
C. Agriculture division
The Conference has drawn attention to the danger of too wide a diffusion of FAO's activities, and has suggested a number of principles for the guidance of the Director-General in drawing up future programs. These apply specially to the Agriculture Division.
For the reasons discussed on paragraph 4, the Conference attaches special importance to the work of the Agriculture Division, and regards it as one of the most important sections of the Food and Agriculture Organization. It is therefore anxious to ensure that the scope of the Division's work and objectives is 60 determined as to achieve significant increases in agricultural production, which constitute at present FAO's principal goal.
Concentration of Projects
The program submitted by the Agriculture Division for 1949 covers a wide field of action, both in the nature of the work planned, add in the geographical distribution of the; proposed operations. The Conference is impressed. with the need for concentration and suggests that a more limited scale of objectives might result in more immediate and significant results.
The Conference in giving general approval to the program of the Agriculture Division, suggests that the Director-General after consultation with the Standing Advisory Committee on Agriculture, consider some regrouping of the approved projects and devise suitable methods of a practical character for carrying out the Division's program in order to give effect to its recommendations.
- Draws attention to the importance of livestock and dairying, and
- Recommends that arrangements be made to provide FAO with full technical advice on these subjects in developing the Standing Advisory Committee on Agriculture.
The Conference feels that special attention should be given to ensuring that the detailed plans and recommendations arising out of the Agriculture Division's program are fully implemented by FAO and by member governments, and that short visits of technical experts to particular countries or the mere holding of technical conferences or other meetings are not regarded as sufficient in themselves. The Conference would also draw attention to the recommendations made earlier in this report on the importance of making full use of outside experts and outside organizations, and on the Agriculture Division concentrating upon the co-ordination of work undertaken by such experts and outside organizations, rather than itself recruiting specialists in limited fields and endeavoring to handle such highly specialized problems from headquarters by permanent staff.
These comments are not put forward in any criticism of the work of the Division in the past, for which the Conference is grateful, but more with the intention of helping it to conserve its resources and concentrate upon more effective results in the future. The Conference has considered the Agriculture Division's program in the following groups:
(a) food production activities,
(b) governmental services,
(c) methods of assisting governments, and
(d) interrelationships with outside bodies. In regard to these subjects it makes the following comments:
Food Production Activities
Soil and water conservation and utilization, including engineering and mechanization, are long-term projects in regard to which co-ordinated plans in association with other divisions are desirable. Assistance and advice to member countries should generally be given as part of long-term programs which the Organization is satisfied are likely to be implemented.
- Urges the completion and early publication of the proposed Catalogue of Genetic Stocks of Wheat and other Crops, and emphasizes the desirability of such a catalogue being kept up to date.
Work in combating animal diseases, such as rinderpest and foot-and-mouth disease, is of great value in directly and indirectly increasing food production.
- Expressing concern that international plant and animal diseases and pest conditions are not being satisfactorily, regularly, and systematically reported,
- Requests FAO to consider the need for additional international machinery for the effective and immediate reporting of the incidence of outbreaks of plant and animal diseases, and report on progress to that end at the 1949 Conference; and suggests that in preparing future programs FAO give special emphasis to the control of persistent weeds, the use of rough-age and other by-products from certain food grains in animal nutrition, the relief of deficiencies of meat, milk, and draft animals in rice-producing countries, the effective use and development of all grazing lands, conservation and utilization of grass and other forage crops, and the improvement of farm implements and machinery.
- Notes with appreciation that the Meetings on Rinderpest held in Nairobi 28 October-1 November 1948 reached unanimous conclusions, and draws attention to the fact that the report of the Meeting contains the most valuable statement on the relative merits of the various methods of vaccination available at present, thereby enabling all countries where rinderpest is still a menace to adopt the best possible methods to undertake the eradication of this dreaded disease; and
- Urges all governments concerned to make use of this valuable information and to take early steps to control and eradicate rinderpest and in this way to contribute toward the solution of the food problem in their own and in other countries;
- Welcomes the proposal to hold during 1949 in Southeast Asia a meeting on rinderpest control problems in that area;
- Urges consideration of foot-and-mouth disease in the 1949 program of work of the Agriculture Division
The Conference commends FAO for its work in assisting member countries interested in the organization of agricultural advisory services, and points out that the objectives of FAO can only be accomplished if all rural people participate in such educational programs. To this end, the work of the Agriculture Division in this field should be closely coordinated with the work of ! other divisions.
The Conference suggests that governmental assistance in making credit available to farmers and in the development of co-operative marketing and other forms of agricultural co-operation should be promoted by FAO. In this field also close cooperation with other divisions will be essential.
Methods of Assisting Governments
The Conference notes with approval the action taken by the Agriculture Division in the and the proposals in the 1949 program, for providing advisory services to member governments. It suggests that where experts from highly developed countries are sent into regions where agriculture has not yet been modernized the importance of traditional agricultural methods should be borne in mind. Similarly, the difficulties which may arise from attempts to introduce too suddenly methods which have been evolved in the more highly developed countries should be taken into full consideration.
In providing technical assistance to member governments, emphasis should be placed upon the following aspects:
(1) Experts sent to a member country must be well trained in their special fields.
(2) A definite practical program should be submitted to FAO by the government desiring advice and assistance, and carefully examined and approved before advisory services are furnished.
(3) The types of experts to be sent should depend upon the expressed needs of the inviting country.
The Conference commends the Agriculture Division for having established technical publications of high quality, and draws attention to the fact that fewer copies are being distributed to and by some member countries than could profit ably be used.
The Conference feels that in some publications previously issued full account has been taken of the material available in certain countries, but insufficient material included from other countries, and suggests that before any publication is issued every effort be made to ensure inclusion of material of value available in the different regions.
The Conference further suggests that FAO should endeavor to re-establish an active exchange of publications between the many agricultural scientific institutions in the world, since this exchange has been considerably disrupted as a result of the war.
In a separate section of this report, the Conference deals more fully with the question of publications. It would, however emphasize the long delay which has taken place in certain cases in the preparation of Spanish editions of some of FAO's agricultural publications. In the preparation of reports and other volumes, full use should be made of the information available in the records of the International Institute of Agriculture, now taken over by the European Office.
- Urges FAO to maintain a small staff of all-round agricultural technicians whose responsibility would be to give guidance to the less-developed countries in implementing their programs for agricultural development; and
- Recommends that highly specialized technical experts generally be not permanently employed by FAO but, where necessary, be called to undertake only temporary assignments for special projects.
The question of the interrelationship of the Agriculture Division and other agencies and international organizations interested in similar activities, is dealt with in connection with the general problem of the relationship of FAO itself to these outside organizations.
The Conference trusts that full advantage will be taken of the arrangements made between FAO and the International Office of Epizootic, and similar bodies. Similarly, the use of technical experts drawn from other agencies or outside organizations is referred to above.
D. Distribution division
The problems of international distribution of foodstuffs are changing; but in many ways the problems which are emerging, and which will emerge during the next few years, will be at least as difficult of solution as those which confronted governments during the immediate post-war period. During the past three years the problem has been one of distributing critically short supplies as equitably as possible among many countries, some of which have been con- fronted by dire threats of starvation.
With the increase of domestic production in importing countries, and of exportable supplies, emphasis has shifted from the first acute phase of postwar shortage to long-term distribution problems.
The year 1949 is therefore likely witness the convergence, among different commodities, of the two types of distribution problem-short sages and incipient spot surpluses. Not that supplies of any important food commodities will exceed the quantities people want or need; rather, it is possible that, at least in certain areas, supplies will be larger than the amounts that can be disposed of. In this connection it must be emphasized that to an increasing extent solution of distribution problems will affect efforts to increase production of foodstuffs and to increase supplies available for movement in international trade.
The resources and energies which governments and farmers are likely to invest in expanding the production of commodities still in short supply, will depend to no small extent on the success of national and international programs to assure adequate distribution arrangements. Conditions will vary from commodity to commodity, and careful research and analysis will be necessary to bring to the attention of governments the changes in conditions in each commodity and to suggest appropriate measures at each stage of development.
Until last summer, responsibility for international work on commodity distribution was divided between the staff of FAO and a staff of commodity experts servicing IEFC and its commodity committees. The absorption of IEFC by FAO opened the way for closer amalgamation of this work. The Director-General established, therefore, the Distribution Division to concentrate in one division the commodity functions formerly performed by the Commodities and Commercial Policy Branch of the Economics, Marketing, and Statistics Division and the IEFC secretariat. The amalgamation was the more opportune as the strictly emergency shortage problems , with which the IEFC staff had been concerned, had begun to coalesce to an increasing extent with the long-term work on distribution and commodity economics.
Responsibilities of Division
Having reviewed the program of the new Distribution Division and arrangements made by the Director-General to avoid duplication, the Conference welcomes the establishment of a separate Distribution Division and notes with satisfaction that a detailed program has been developed to maintain and expand analyses of commodity distribution problems in accordance with the general objectives of FAO. The policies laid down in Chapter II of this report on the role of FAO in respect of commodity studies and intergovernmental commodity arrangements should guide the activities of this Division. It emphasizes the necessity to avoid duplication between this Division and other intergovernmental bodies and also within the Organization itself. Therefore,
- Approves the Director-General's intention to centralize in the Distribution Division responsibility for developing policy and action recommendations with regard to national and international action on fundamental long-term commodity problems, and for co-operation with United Nations agencies and with international commodity organizations on such problems
In addition to servicing the commodity committees of IEFC, one of the main functions of the Distribution Division will be to continue the analysis of facts and figures on commodities, and to prepare bulletins and other reports on world commodity situations which may serve as a guide in formulating solutions for long-range distribution problems. The Conference has given consideration to methods of ensuring regional representation in the work, and it has been suggested that this problem might be met through cooperative arrangements with the Washington representatives of member governments and by having regard in recruitment of staff to appropriate geographical representation.
Careful consideration has been given to the Distribution Division's program to devote special efforts to commodity studies and to issue a series of periodic commodity bulletins on essential commodities which will bring together and analyze available data with regard to the respective commodities.
The Conference notes also that the program I provides for the issuance, as the need arises, of special brief commodity surveys to bring to the attention of- governments urgent problems affecting the international distribution of one or more commodities. While recognizing that, due to the shortage of staff and other resources, primary emphasis will have to be placed for the time being on the basic food and agricultural commodities,
- Notes with satisfaction that during the coming year FAO will endeavor to provide such service as it possibly can to member governments in dealing with problems of international trade of perishable commodities, such as fruits and vegetables, etc.;
- Expresses the hope that steps will be taken as soon as possible to complete the program of work in connection with any other food and agricultural commodities, as conditions may warrant;
- Urges that increased attention be devoted, both in the development of research-program and action recommendations, to special regional commodity problems, whether of shortage or surplus.
Work in International Commodity Arrange meets and Co operation with Other International Agencies
The Conference has also considered the pro-gram of the Division with regard to the formulation of recommendation for international commodity arrangements. It notes that the Distribution Division is to be the action arm of FAO in this field, and in this connection notes that the work program of the Division provides for continued co-operation with other international organizations concerned with commodity problems, either on a world or regional basis. It noses in particular that qualified technical personnel have been made available for special research projects and for consultation in the development of policy and action recommendations. Therefore,
- Recommends that, in connection with commodity questions, the Division's emphasis on co-operation with United Nations agencies and with international organizations concerned with food and agricultural commodities be intensified, thus avoiding duplication of work, and obtaining maximum use of limited personnel and other resources; further, that as soon as practicable, understandings be reached with the international commodity organizations and other international agencies concerned with commodity questions, as to co-ordination of research and demarcation of other fields of activity.
Intergovernmental Commodity Trade Arrangements
The Conference notes that the work of the Distribution; Division on international trade in foodstuffs-is closely related with the general role of FAO in respect of intergovernmental methods of handling commodity problems. The Conference notes with satisfaction that detailed program has been developed to intensify and to expand the analysis and dissemination. of background and up-to-date information bearing on these fields.