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Strategies to Address Members' Needs


As was done in the Medium Term Plan (MTP) 2002-07 document, this part describes planned substantive activities to respond to the Strategies to Address Members' Needs in the period 2004-09. It is recalled that "substantive work" is conventionally understood as the sum total of the five major programmes comprising Chapter 2 of the Programme of Work and Budget (PWB) and Major Programme 3.1, Policy Assistance. Under the usual macro-headings of major programmes and programmes of the PWB, the component programme "entities": technical projects (TPs), continuing programme activities (CPs) and technical services agreements (TSs) which form the essence of the new programming approach now in force in FAO, are presented accordingly. The contributions of these entities to the strategic objectives endorsed by the FAO Conference are illustrated in tabular form under each substantive programme. It is recalled that these entities will also contribute to the objectives and priorities of the Priority Areas for Inter-disciplinary Action (PAIAs) listed in Part I.

The continued refinement of this programming approach, as explained in Part I, has led to a modified articulation of the programme narratives. Hence, efforts have been made to better explain the Rationale in terms of the Development problem to be addressed by each TP or CP, the Proposed contribution to problem resolution and the Intended end beneficiaries and benefits. The Objective(s) are being largely rephrased in terms of the desirable end results of FAO's action under each TP or CP. As requested by Governing Bodies, improved Indicators have been included to assess the extent to which these intended results are being realised. Also, in order to keep the size of this document within manageable limits, it was necessary to compact vast amounts of descriptive material, otherwise available through the Medium Term Plan preparation process, with recourse to "telegraphic" style as often as possible. This applies particularly to planned Major Outputs under TPs and CPs and to the description of TS entities, in view of their generally straightforward nature.

In line with the "rolling plan" concept endorsed by the FAO Conference, the tables at programme level provide comparative information from the MTP 2002-07. Both tables at programme and entity levels include not only estimated resource requirements over the 2004-2009 period, but also approved resource allocations for the current biennium, as resulting from decisions of the last Conference on the PWB 2002-03. As explained in Part I, efforts have been made to forecast more thoroughly estimated additional voluntary contributions to the Programme of Work over the period 2004-09, hence the separate row with this heading in the standard entity tables. This has the added advantage of explaining better significant upward (or downward) variations in the indicated biennial resource estimates for the Programme of Work over the three biennia of the 2004-09 period, where indeed there is strong expectations of availability of other income to reinforce FAO's action under the pertinent entities.

N.B. It is important to note that in many instances, the resource estimates at programme level may exceed (particularly for the latter biennia of 2006-07 and 2008-09) the sum total of estimates for component entities. In fact, as TPs may terminate before the end of the Plan period, they will free up resources for future activities. It is, however, not possible to attribute these "unprogrammed" resources to activities with the same degree of precision and rigour in the application of the programme model, so many years in advance (although units may already be thinking, in an embryonic manner, of possible "successor" activities).


152. Agriculture can and must contribute to achieving the Millennium Development Goals on poverty, hunger and sustainable development. As the World Food Summit made clear, reliable production, processing and delivery of more food is the key to reducing the number of vulnerable, malnourished people living in rural and urban areas, and often in fragile environments. The daunting challenge for agriculture is to satisfy increasing and diversified demands for food and other products - thereby reducing the number of vulnerable and undernourished people - while conserving natural resources, ensuring food quality and safe use of new technologies, and improving rural livelihoods.

153. To address this challenge, the major programme will further promote technologies to sustainably intensify and diversify agricultural production; assist with reducing the effects of agriculture-related environmental degradation and market failures on vulnerable, food insecure households; and addressing the biosecurity risks of exchanges of agricultural inputs and products, including genetically modified organisms (GMOs), to facilitate expanding international trade. New technologies and approaches, such as methods for increased productivity of land, water and labour, applications of biotechnology and sustainable use of genetic resources, will provide the basis for future increases in production to meet the projected demand for food beyond the medium term. Linking production increases with sustainable practices and consumer concerns, a framework for "good agricultural practices" will be developed, that reduce environmental degradation and contribute to safety in the food chain.

154. About one-quarter of the programme's major outputs contribute to Strategic Objective C2 on technology to sustainably intensify production systems, and increased emphasis is given to activities linked to D1 on integrated management of land, water and genetic resources. Work on good agricultural practices is imbedded in the programmes on crops and livestock, and includes a new entity to enhance food quality and safety by strengthening handling, processing and marketing in the food chain. Furthermore, through its multifaceted involvement with the regulatory, protection, information and decision-support dimensions of agricultural development, and through the provision of a neutral forum for policy debate and negotiations, the major programme provides important contributions to Strategic Objectives A3, B1, B2, C1 and E1.

155. Support to the sustainable use of natural resources under Strategy D is exemplified by entities on integrated land and water policies, planning and quality, and the promotion of conservation agriculture techniques such as improved soil tillage and water conservation. Work on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) will demonstrate to policy makers how ecosystem services from crop-associated biodiversity contribute to agricultural production and motivate national support for conservation and sustainable management. Major contributions to enhanced livelihoods of small farmers (A1) are through an entity on the role of livestock in poverty alleviation, complemented by the Pro-Poor Livestock Policy Facility, and by Programme 2.1.4, Agricultural Support Systems, with its institution building focus, enhanced by collaboration with the Livelihoods Support Programme, as well as the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS).

156. Three important regulatory instruments are serviced by this major programme: the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), the International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides and the Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade. The Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA) is also to act as the Interim Committee for the International Treaty on PGRFA72. Work connected to emergency preparedness and assistance (A3) comprises inter alia the two components of EMPRES73 dealing with locust control and transboundary animal diseases, as well as attention to seed security.

Intra-departmental Entities

Code Type Title A1 A2 A3 B1 B2 C1 C2 D1 D2 E1 E2 E3
210A1 TP Sustainable Intensification of Integrated Production Systems
210A2 TP Promotion of Conservation Agriculture
210P1 CP Secretariat of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA)      
210S1 TS Committee on Agriculture (COAG)      
210S2 TS Technical Services for Partnership Development and Information Enhancement              
210S5 TS Central Support to PAIAs
  Greater than zero,
less than US$ 5 million
US$ 5 million to 10 million US$ 10 million to 25 million More than US$ 25 million

Resource Summary 2002-03   2004-05   2006-07   2008-09
MTP 2002-07 Programme of Work 5504   5527   5553    
PWB 2002-03 and MTP 2004-09 Programme of Work 4570   5226   5542   5873
Less: Other Income 0   0   0   0
Less: Estimated Additional Voluntary Contributions 150   100   100   100
Appropriation 4420   5126   5442   5773
Change in Net Appropriation versus PWB 2002-03     16%   23%   31%

157. The programme hosts five intra-departmental entities addressing emerging and cross-cutting issues and a catalytic centrally managed provision in support of PAIAs. The main highlights are as follows:

  1. 210A1, Sustainable Intensification of Integrated Production Systems, while at a lower level of resources than proposed in the previous MTP, will focus on five pilot sites linked to the SPFS, including coordination of cross-site appraisal of integrated production strategies and good practices;
  2. 210A2, Promotion of Conservation Agriculture (CA), is a collaborative effort across the five AG74 divisions, addressing, among other benefits, poverty alleviation through the wider adoption of CA technologies and the consequent reduction in labour requirements, which can release labour for other income generating activities and mitigate hardships caused, for instance, by HIV/AIDS;
  3. under 210P1, additional resources are to support the CGRFA acting as the Interim Committee for the International Treaty on PGRFA;
  4. multi-stakeholder dialogue processes held in conjunction with the biennial meetings of COAG75, are expected to continue and grow under 210S1; and
  5. the information enhancement functions of 210S2 will be strengthened by allocating a full time information officer at departmental level to ensure coherent publications and communications planning, and to improve the overall quality of published material.

158. The much lower level of resources for 210A1 in the PWB 2002-03 than foreseen in the previous MTP has led to delays in the implementation of the five regional major outputs, which will be extended up to 2009. The substantial additional resources allocated to 210P1 in the MTP 2002-07, which were intended to support the work of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture acting as Interim Committee for the International Treaty on PGRFA (IT-PRGFA), did not materialise with the result that the process was in part dependent on extra-budgetary resources. Language coverage of publications on ethics in food and agriculture was also curtailed, but should be given adequate attention in 2004-09.

(All amounts in US$ 000s)

210A1 | Sustainable Intensification of Integrated Production Systems
Timeframe: 2002 - 2009 2004-09 Resources US$ 1,820,000
  2002-03   2004-05   2006-07   2008-09
Programme of Work (initial) 511   576   608   636
Estimated Additional Voluntary Contributions 0   0   0   0
Total Programme of Work 511   576   608   636

159. Development problem to be addressed: meeting growing needs for agricultural products, while preserving the natural resource base, requires sustainable intensification and diversification of production systems. The challenge is generally not to optimise the production of one commodity in isolation, but to promote holistic approaches and to recognise the economic and social dimensions of technology transfer.

160. Proposed contribution to problem resolution: examples of income gains for smallholder farmers at benchmark pilot sites within the SPFS will lead to the replication of field-validated and integrated technologies on a larger scale by national extension services and development projects.

161. Intended end beneficiaries and benefits: farmers, particularly smallholders, as well as the public at large will benefit from the development of integrated, sustainable intensification strategies and technologies, reducing food insecurity, generating income and contributing to the sustainable use of natural resources and biodiversity.


162. Foster and support coordinated action at selected SPFS pilot sites in various regions and exchange of information and lessons, in order to test, demonstrate and promote integrated production systems.

  1. National and regional strategies for integrated production systems adopted.
  2. Field-tested examples of farm communities adopting sustainable, integrated technology packages that benefit farmers and the environment.
Major Output(s)
  1. Coordination and planning of multi-disciplinary actions on integrated production systems.
  2. Integrated production practices for sustainable intensification of rice-based systems in Asia.
  3. Integrated farming systems in West Africa.
  4. Integrated production systems in highly-populated agricultural zones.
  5. Integrated production systems in arid and semi-arid areas of the Near East.
  6. Integrated production systems in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  7. Economic assessment of strategies for integrated production systems intensification.
  8. Good agricultural practices for sustainable agriculture and rural development.

(All amounts in US$ 000s)

210A2 | Promotion of Conservation Agriculture
Timeframe: 2002 - 2007 2004-09 Resources US$ 2,063,000
  2002-03   2004-05   2006-07   2008-09
Programme of Work (initial) 918   1020   1043   0
Estimated Additional Voluntary Contributions 0   0   0   0
Total Programme of Work 918   1020   1043   0

163. Development problem to be addressed: crop production based on conventional tillage practices cannot fully respond to the need to achieve and sustain enhanced food production and, at the same time, protect the natural resource base. Soil degradation, compaction and erosion are serious problems of conventional agriculture. The burning of crop residue and intensive tillage also lead to reduction of soil organic matter, and increased greenhouse gases emissions.

164. Proposed contribution to problem resolution: increased awareness and understanding of conservation agriculture (CA) by key stakeholders will facilitate wider adoption, resulting in the long term in sustainable agricultural production and enhanced rural livelihoods.

165. Intended end beneficiaries and benefits: farmers and rural communities will benefit from increased farming profitability and improved environmental conditions (reduced erosion, pollution, and flooding), while broader benefits may be expected in terms of food security and increased soil sequestration of greenhouse gases.


166. A process for participatory development of sustainable agricultural production methods following the conservation agriculture concept is firmly established within a defined region, leading to a progressive increase in the number of governments, projects and farmers using and promoting CA.

  1. Number of governments promoting CA.
  2. Number of field projects applying CA.
  3. Area under CA.
Major Output(s)
  1. Mechanisation technologies and study of farm economics for sustainable land husbandry (conservation agriculture).
  2. Strategies for the selection and development of crops and cropping system for conservation agriculture.
  3. Soil and moisture conservation in agricultural production systems (conservation agriculture).
  4. Livestock integration into conservation agriculture.
  5. Diagnostic and monitoring methodologies for conservation agriculture.

(All amounts in US$ 000s)

210P1 | Secretariat of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA)
Timeframe: continuing programme activity 2004-09 Resources US$ 5,677,000
  2002-03   2004-05   2006-07   2008-09
Programme of Work (initial) 1576   1730   1791   1856
Estimated Additional Voluntary Contributions 150   100   100   100
Total Programme of Work 1726   1830   1891   1956

167. Development problem to be addressed: the contribution of bio-diversity to food and agriculture production is substantial, but yet not fully appreciated. Past attempts to increase agricultural production using genetic improvements were found lacking in comprehensive and sustainable approaches.

168. Proposed contribution to problem resolution: the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA) is the main intergovernmental forum for consideration and negotiation of policy instruments, agreements, regulatory frameworks, and specific action programmes addressing Members' needs for the conservation, sustainable utilisation and equitable sharing of genetic resources for food and agriculture, which underpin food security and sustainable agriculture.

169. Intended end beneficiaries and benefits: Farmers and livestock producers in all countries will benefit from the conservation of, and easier access to plant genetic resources, and be better able to develop and improve genetic resources through sustainable breeding plans. The general public and future generations will benefit from the continued availability of a large variety of agricultural products. Benefits for the environment stem from management options that are sustainable, such as pasture lands with minimum degradation.


170. Negotiation, implementation and management of national and international policy and regulatory frameworks, intergovernmental agreements and codes of conduct for the conservation and sustainable utilisation of GRFA. Appropriate orientation given to FAO's work on GRFA, and inclusion of related ethical considerations in FAO's work.

  1. Sectorial and general instruments on GRFA negotiated, adopted and into force.
  2. Examples of participation of other sectors in work of the CGRFA.
  3. Evidence of mainstreaming of ethics in FAO's work.
Major Output(s)
  1. Regular sessions of the CGRFA.
  2. Meeting of the CGRFA acting as Interim Committee for the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.
  3. Development of internationally agreed policy and regulatory frameworks for animal and plant genetic resources (as well as other sectors).
  4. Ethics in food and agriculture.

(All amounts in US$ 000s)

210S1 | Committee on Agriculture (COAG)
Timeframe: technical services on demand 2004-09 Resources US$ 1,350,000
  2002-03   2004-05   2006-07   2008-09
Programme of Work (initial) 429   450   450   450
Estimated Additional Voluntary Contributions 0   0   0   0
Total Programme of Work 429   450   450   450

171. This entity covers servicing of COAG, the technical committee which reports to the FAO Council on the programmes of the AG76, ES77 and SD78 Departments, involving also the preparation of issue papers.

(All amounts in US$ 000s)

210S2 | Technical Services for Partnership Development and Information Enhancement
Timeframe: technical services on demand 2004-09 Resources US$ 2,250,000
  2002-03   2004-05   2006-07   2008-09
Programme of Work (initial) 576   750   750   750
Estimated Additional Voluntary Contributions 0   0   0   0
Total Programme of Work 576   750   750   750

172. This entity covers several activities of interest to the whole AG Department:

  1. contributions to the Task Manager function for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD) of Agenda 21 of UNCED79 and follow-up to the WSSD80;
  2. coordinated contributions to global perspective studies, as well as to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and other partnership agreements; and
  3. advocacy publications and AG's Web site, inputs to regional reporting and general liaison work.

(All amounts in US$ 000s)

210S5 | Central Support to PAIAs
Timeframe: technical services on demand 2004-09 Resources US$ 2,400,000
  2002-03   2004-05   2006-07   2008-09
Programme of Work (initial) 410   600   800   1000
Estimated Additional Voluntary Contributions 0   0   0   0
Total Programme of Work 410   600   800   1000

173. This entity provides for catalytic funds (centrally administered) to support effective implementation of the PAIAs. Subject to specific criteria, these resources are put at the disposal of the chairs of coordination mechanisms to cover the cost of truly cross-sectoral activities, particularly where it would be impractical to expect cost-sharing by too many concerned units.


72 Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

73 Emergency Prevention System for Transboundary Animal and Plant Pests and Diseases

74 Agriculture Department

75 Committee on Agriculture

76 Agriculture Department

77 Economic and Social Department

78 Sustainable Development Department

79 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development

80 World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg 2002)

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