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I. Development of Food and Agricultural products processing industries

196. The Conference recognized the importance of food and agricultural products processing industries in stimulating agricultural development, raising the degree of self-reliance of the developing countries and accelerating their economic growth and sustained progress towards elimination of disparities. It emphasized that the development of these industries had to be based on an integrated approach which would take into full consideration raw material production, post-harvest handling, storage, conservation, processing, marketing and distribution. All these factors were interrelated, overlapping and interlocked and could not be planned and implemented separately from each other. In this respect, it was further stressed that the food and agricultural products processing industries were fundamental to the solution of the most serious problems of improving food supplies and providing employment, especially in rural areas.

197. The Conference noted the comprehensive manner in which document C 7521 analysed the impact which processing of crops, livestock, fishery and forest products could make on:

(a) improving food supplies by preventing quantitative; and qualitative losses;

(b) improving supplies of forestry products and other non-food agricultural products through better utilization of raw materials;

(c) increasing self-reliance by reducing imports;

(d) providing employment, especially in rural areas;

(e) reducing income disparities;

(f) stimulating rural development;

(g) assuring better market opportunities to the producer;

(h) increasing foreign exchange earnings through export of finished and semi-finished products;

(i) reducing population migration to urban areas;

(j) increasing opportunities for investment in rural and urban areas.

The Conference further recognized that systematic action to achieve the above objectives was important in order to fulfil the recommendations made by the Sixth and Seventh Special Sessions of the UN General Assembly and the Lima Declaration.

198. The Conference considered that the strategy presented in document C 7521 for developing food and agricultural products processing industries was in line with the objectives of a New International Economic Order. It further noted the analysis of the constraints and agreed that their elimination would accelerate development of this group of industries and would have the desired impact on improving the quality of life in every sector of the society, especially in the rural areas. Implementation of this strategy called for a comprehensive inter-disciplinary action to assist member countries in planning development of food and agricultural products processing industries, and a programme of action to implement it. Adequate allocation of resource" for development and utilization of raw material selection and utilization of socially appropriate technologies, development and strengthening of institutional infrastructure for this purpose, improvement of the product, of product quality and safety, and training of personnel in the areas of technology, management, entrepreneurship, research and development was recognized and endorsed.

199. The Conference considered it especially urgent to develop a suitable mechanism at national and regional level through inter-country cooperation so that the competence of the developing countries could be raised in identification, selection, development and successful commercial utilization of technologies that were modern, labour-intensive ant socially appropriate. It wee recognized that with the development of such competence, appropriate technologies could be transferred from advanced to developing countries, between developing countries and from research and development institutes to industry. In all these activities, the role of FAO at different stages wee recognized. It wee recommended that the concerned units within FAO should be strengthened and closely coordinated in order to make the maximum possible contribution m assisting developing countries.

200. The view was expressed that the Industry Cooperative Programme (ICP) wee in a position to harness substantial resources from transnational corporations for the development of agro-allied industries in line with the plans and wishes of the developing countries. It wee suggested that ICP should include more industries from developing countries and cooperatives in its membership and should expand its dialogue with trade unions in their activities. In the evaluation of the Industry Cooperative Programme active participation of developing countries should be ensured.

201. The establishment of regional inter-country cooperation and strengthening of the national centres to select appropriate technologies would fill an important gap in the development of foot and agricultural products processing industries. These industries of appropriate level were vital to most developing countries but there was no existing mechanism for this purpose at present. In this respect the proposal of FAO in document C 7521 wee very appropriate and timely. This effort, therefore, deserved special attention and support from the Conference.

202. Some delegates expressed their differences with the statement in the document that large quantities of raw material had to be available for economic processing. They emphasized that small-scale industries should be established to encourage and stimulate rural economic progress through improved and rational production by small farmers. They also cautioned on the question of over-dressing commercial consumerism in marketing which would hamper the fulfillment of the social needs.

203. During further discussion on the contribution which the development of food and agricultural products processing industry could make to reversing the trend of socioeconomic stagnation and decline, a number of important points emerged. It wee emphasized that these industries were not only essential but fundamental to the development of agriculture and the economies of developing countries which were predominantly agricultural. It was brought out that processing of natural raw materials by the producer countries would help to overcome unemployment and under-employment in rural areas in developing countries and would help to expand their markets. Some delegates stressed the need to establish processing industries specially oriented to export requirements and to improve terms of trade between developing countries with advanced countries.

204. In the context of rural development it wee emphasized that cooperatives could stimulate development by making better use of human resources. The role of women in the development of rural food conservation and processing industries wee considered important. Establishment of industries in rural areas would help to bring about the socio-economic transformation which was considered essential for accelerating progress.

205. Many delegates stressed that in order to effectively implement the Lima Declaration and the decisions of the Sixth and Seventh Special Sessions of the UN General Assembly, interagency cooperation, particularly with UNIDO, UNCTAD and the regional economic commission, was considered essential.

206. The Conference endorsed the recommendations for action made in document C 75/21 and felt that there was urgent need to strengthen FAO's competence in order to carry out effectively the proposal for food and agricultural products processing industries for providing assistance to establish adequate machinery for the purpose at national, regional and international level through its inter-disciplinary approach.

207. The Conference adopted the following resolution:

Resolution 12/75



Noting the dimensions of the world hunger problem and its adverse impact on human development and economic progress,

Realizing that the world population is expected to double soon after the end of the century,

Recognizing the urgency to improve the standards of nutrition of 300 to 400 million persons in developing countries especially young children who suffer from malnutrition,

Reiterating, the need not only to increase production but to conserve, process and fully utilize what is produced,

Convinced that the application of socio-economically appropriate technologies for the conservation and processing of crops, livestock, fishery and forest products would contribute to:

(a) preventing lasses and improve food supplies through conservation and processing,

(b) reducing imports and increasing self-reliance,

(c) providing employment and reducing income gape,

(d) assuring better market opportunities and provide a stimulus to increase production,

(e) increasing foreign exchange earnings through export of finished products instead of raw materials,

(f) reducing population migration,

(g) improving standards of nutrition, .

(h) increasing opportunities for investment in rural areas,

Stressing the need for integrated development of agriculture, and processing, marketing and distribution of food and agricultural products, in which FAO has multidisciplinary competence,

Recalling the Recommendation-and Convention on Rural Workers Organizations and their Role in Economic and Social Development made at the Sixtieth Session of the ILO Conference in June 1975,

1. Requests FAO to further strengthen its competence in providing technical advice and assistance at global level in identification, selection, development, transfer and utilization of socially and culturally appropriate technologies to meet the specific requirements of countries to establish sound food and agricultural products conservation and processing industries to developing countries;

2. Requests FAO to take immediate action for establishing inter-country cooperation at regional level which would make maximum possible use of national institutions and build new ones where necessary, to raise the competence of the member countries in technology transfer, applied research, industrial consultancy and extension, to place the existing agro-industries on a sounder social and economic foundation, and to help build new unite that will stimulate agro-economic development;

3. Requests FAO to provide training in specialized arena of post-harvest technology, plant operation and management, entrepreneurship, marketing and distribution, oriented to the social needs of the developing countries to ensure development of food and agricultural products conservation and processing industries;

4. Requests FAO to identify and establish appropriate mechanisms for involving rural and industrial workers organizations in setting priorities and defining conditions for the establishment of conservation and processing industries, inter alia through appropriate participation in the activities of the Industry Cooperative Programme (ICP);

5. Requests FAO in implementing this resolution to ensure appropriate coordination with the other international organizations having responsibilities in these fields;

6. Requests FAO, as emphasized in previous sessions of the Council and the Conference to give high priority to post-harvest conservation and processing of food and agricultural products, to allocate adequate resources that would have maximum possible impact on accelerating progress of the agro-economic system and to raise the self-reliance, so that rapid progress can be made towards achieving a New International Economic Order;

7. Requests FAO to report regularly progress Fade in the area of food and agricultural products conservation and processing industries to the Council.

(Adopted 26 November 1975)

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