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V. Major trends and policies in food and agriculture

A. Statements by heads of delegations in the general discussion
B. World food and agriculture situation
C. Plan of action to strengthen world food security

D. Preparations for the special session of the general assembly in 1980 and the new international development strategy
E. Comprehensive programme for the development and management of fisheries in exclusive economic zones.

F. Food standard matters and the work of the joint FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius commission

A. Statements by heads of delegations in the general discussion

30. The Plenary General Discussion was opened by the Director-General. The text of his statement is given in Appendix D. Following this, 127 speakers participated in the discussion: the Independent Chairman of the Council, 117 Heads of delegations - of which 66 Ministers and Vice-Ministers, the Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, representatives of three United Nations bodies, the European Economic Community, and observers from two intergovernmental organizations, one liberation movement and two international non-governmental organizations having consultative status with FAO. Speakers in the General Discussion had been invited to give special attention to two themes: "Strengthening World Food Security" and "The Development and Management of Fisheries in Exclusive Economic Zones" The Rapporteur from Plenary to Commission I informed the Commission of the salient points made in the general statements.

B. World food and agriculture situation

State of food and agriculture including commodity and trade problems
Fertilizers: action arising out of the fifth session of the commission on fertilizers
Forestry: the Jakarta declaration (eighth world forestry congress, October 1978)

State of food and agriculture including commodity and trade problems

(i) Food and agriculture

31. The Conference reviewed the state of food and agriculture, including commodity and trade problems, in the light of the Director-General's report, The State of Food and Agriculture 1979, and generally endorsed his assessment of the situation and problems. For its review of commodity and trade problems it also had before it the comments of the Seventy-sixth Session of the Council on the Report of the Fifty-second Session of the Committee on Commodity Problems.

32. It reiterated its concern at the long-standing problems that continued to characterize the world food and agricultural situation as the Second United Nations Development Decade was drawing to a close. The food and agricultural production of the developing countries had increased during the decade by an average of about 3 percent a year, but the increase remained well below the target of 4 percent, and their overall food self-sufficiency had greatly deteriorated. There was still no evidence of a reduction in the incidence of hunger and malnutrition. Food aid and external assistance for agriculture were well below estimated requirements, and a fully effective system of world food security had still to be established. The long-term decline in the share of the developing countries in world agricultural export earnings had continued, and little progress had been made towards a New International Economic Order.

33. The Conference noted with concern that in 58 out of 106 developing countries, production had failed to match population growth in 1970-78. The lag in food and agricultural production remained greatest in Africa and in the poorest countries in general. The dependence of the developing countries on external supplies of food was steadily growing. Especially in Africa, the rapid substitution of traditional staple foods by mainly imported cereals continued. The Conference stressed the importance of following up the Regional Food Plan for Africa and of assisting African and other countries in drawing up national food plans and strategies. It requested FAO to continue to pay special attention to the needs of the least developed and most seriously affected countries. Since these countries were mainly agricultural, FAO had a special role to play in UNCTAD's Comprehensive New Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries.

34. The growth of world fish production had slowed down because of indiscriminate fishing in the past. The Conference therefore expressed the hope that the establishment of Exclusive Economic Zones would lay the basis for sustained expansion in the future.

35. It emphasized the role of increased agricultural investment in accelerating the expansion of production in the developing countries. It therefore welcomed the increase in such investment that had occurred in many developing countries in recent years, but noted with concern that, especially in the poorest of them, it was still insufficient in relation to the share of agriculture in their GDP. It further expressed its concern that, although external assistance for agriculture had approximately doubled at constant prices between 1973 and 1978, it remained little more than half of the requirements estimated by the World Food Council Secretariat and contained in the Guidelines for International Agricultural Adjustment adopted at the Eighteenth Conference Session. It stressed that it was necessary to strengthen economic and technical cooperation among developing countries.

36. In its review of the nutritional situation, the Conference emphasized the need for a more balanced distribution of income in order to eradicate hunger and malnutrition. Particularly in the context of the International Year of the Child, it urged all countries to include coherent nutrition policy for infants in their food and nutrition policy, and requested FAO to continue to pay full regard to the nutritional needs of infants in its assistance programmes. It noted with concern the decline in breast feeding, to the detriment of the health of young children, and welcomed the work of the Codex Alimentarius programme on dietary standards for infant feeds, and its collaboration in drawing up a code of conduct for the marketing of breast-milk substitutes and supplements. It stressed the importance for nutritional improvement of increasing fuelwood supplies, devising better stoves and cooking utensils, and providing safe drinking water. Some members considered that in some developing countries too much land and other resources were devoted to export products, in relation to their food production, partly under the influence of transnational corporations.

37. In addition to these long-term problems, the Conference drew attention to a number of unsatisfactory features of the immediate world food and agricultural situation, which had become more precarious than for some years. FAO's first estimates of production in 1979 indicated that, if there were any increase, it would be the smallest since 1972. It was estimated that production would decline in the developed countries as a whole, despite a large increase in the United States. Although results were generally better in the developing countries, the increase would be more than offset by their population growth. Large expansions were expected only in China and in Latin America as a whole, and production in the developing market economies of the Far East was estimated to fall slightly.

38. World cereal production was estimated as about four percent below the 1978 record, and cereal consumption would exceed production in 1979/80. Import demand, prices and freight rates had risen substantially, although the price rise appeared recently to have been checked. World carryover stocks of cereals were expected to fall by seven percent by the close of the current 1979/80 seasons. They would then represent only 17 percent of consumption, or the hare minimum required for world food security, as compared with 19 percent a year earlier. Although most of the reduction in stocks would be in developed countries, the Conference expressed its concern that the inadequate stocks in the developing market economies were also expected to be reduced. Moreover, in view of the heavy concentration of exportable stocks in a few countries, there could be serious problems in the rest of 1979/80 if there were transport bottlenecks or if import demand were still larger than anticipated. This would add greatly to the already considerable difficulties of the poorest developing countries in obtaining their import requirements.

39. Although most of the rise in cereal import requirements in 1979/80 was expected to be in the developed countries (especially the centrally planned economies), those of the most seriously affected developing countries were estimated to increase by about ten percent. It was therefore a matter for serious concern that food aid in cereals in 1979/80 would not only yet again not meet the World Food Conference's minimum target of 10 million tons, but would also be lower than anticipated earlier as a result of the higher prices. The Conference urged that this target should be met without further delay, and that contributions by existing and potential donors to it as well as to the International Emergency Food Reserve should immediately be raised to meet these target levels. It endorsed the conclusion of the Eighth Session of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes that food aid needs were likely to increase substantially in the 1980s, and that the FAO estimate of 17 to 18.5 million tons of cereals provided a useful indicator of the requirements by 1985. It stressed the need for the implementation of the guidelines for improved food aid policies adopted by the Seventh Session of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes, in particular those concerning forward planning in physical terms and greater multilateral channelling. Many members considered that a new Food Aid Convention should be concluded as quickly as possible and without waiting for a new Wheat Trade Convention, and that the pledging targets for the World Food Programme should be met and further increased.

40. The Conference expressed its concern that, because of the need to draw heavily on cereal stocks in 1979/80, the next season would begin in a much less secure position, with several similarities to the situation in 1973/74. It therefore welcomed the measures being taken to expand production in many countries in 1980.

41. The Conference drew attention to the problems caused to the developing countries by the rising costs of imported inputs, in particular the rapid escalation of fertilizer prices, and placed special emphasis on the strengthening and expansion of the International Fertilizer Supply Scheme (IFS), the Seed Improvement and Development Programme (SIDP), and the Programme for the Prevention of Food Losses (PFL). Some members suggested that an international scheme should be established to provide appropriate tools to small farmers.

42. The Conference welcomed the more up-to-date information on food consumption and nutrition, the data on public expenditure on agriculture (including that obtained through a new statistical questionnaire), and the estimates of total world cereal stocks (including China and the USSR) included in the Director-General's Report on the State of Food and Agriculture 1979. It requested FAO to expand the country coverage of its estimates of investment and other public -expenditure on agriculture, and urged all countries to assist by providing the necessary information. Some members considered that the report had made exaggerated references to the effects of the increases in oil prices and to the position of the oil-exporting countries, especially as the increase in oil prices was less that that in food prices. They therefore requested a thorough study of this matter. Other members stated that the increase in oil prices greatly affected the prices of fertilizers, pesticides, other chemical products and fuels used in the agricultural sector, and that this could have unfavourable effects on agricultural production. It was recognized, however, that such complex questions could not be analysed in detail in a short report. Some members suggested that the State of Food and Agriculture should include more information on such subjects as population growth, human milk production, organic fertilizers, the role of consumer subsidies, mechanization, fuelwood and the causes of successful or unsuccessful agricultural production performance, as well as proposals for concrete policy measures in appropriate fields. The Conference recognized the difficulties of making comparative macroeconomic studies, especially in view of the lack of adequate comparable intercountry data, and the specificity of conditions relating to the performance of individual countries, some of which were not quantifiable. it urged countries to carry out their own detailed studies, requesting FAO assistance if required. Some members welcomed the Iraqi proposal for the establishment of an international fund to be financed by all industrial developed countries, irrespective of their political and economic systems. Contributions to this fund should be equivalent to the increase in the prices of their products exported to the developing countries. The OPEC countries would also have to contribute to this fund amounts equivalent to any annual increase in oil prices. Some members felt that this proposal would alleviate the burdens of the developing countries suffering from inflation and price instability.

43. The Conference agreed that the Director-General should designate 16 October, the date of FAO's Foundation, as the World Food Day and adopted the following resolution:

Resolution 1/79



Considering that food is a requisite of human survival and well-being and a fundamental human right,

Remembering that the Member Nations of FAO, in accepting its Constitution, have undertaken to promote separate and collective action for the purpose inter alia of raising levels of agricultural production, nutrition and standards of living, bettering the condition of rural populations, and ensuring humanity's freedom from hunger,

Recalling the declaration of the World Food Conference in 1974 that by 1984 "no child, woman or man should go to bed hungry and no human being's physical or mental potential should be stunted by malnutrition",

Being concerned that the problem of providing a balanced and adequate diet for the world's population is greater than ever and that on the basis of most criteria the world food situation has deteriorated,

Appreciating the ready response by Member Governments, non-governmental organizations and of the public to providing assistance to Member Nations afflicted with food emergencies,

Recalling Resolutions 3201 and 3202 as adopted by the United Nations General Assembly referring to the establishment of a New International Economic Order and the Declaration of Principles and Programme of Action as adopted by the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development,

Believing in the necessity to mobilize and sustain interest and support for the necessary long-term effort to overcome widespread malnutrition,

Further believing that a material stimulus and incentive in this regard would be the establishment of a World Food Day,

1. Decides to establish a World Food Day to be observed annually on 16 October, the anniversary of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, with the following objectives:

(a) to heighten public awareness of the nature and dimensions of the long-term world food problem, and to develop further the sense of national and international solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty;

(b) to encourage greater attention to agricultural production in all countries and to stimulate greater national, bilateral, multilateral and non-governmental effort to this end;

(c) to promote the transfer of science and technology to developing countries, particularly for the benefit of the small farmer and landless labourer, and with attention to the possibilities of bringing about a new agricultural revolution through the development of new biological approaches;

(d) to draw attention to successes achieved in food and agricultural development as well as to emergency and other serious needs;

(e) to promote participation by the rural masses in decisions and measures affecting their development with a view to closing the gap between actual and potential yields, to promoting greater self-reliance, and to improving living standards for the rural poor;

(f) to encourage economic and technical cooperation among developing countries in the fields of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, nutrition and rural development;

2. Recommends that the activities centred on World Food Day should be held at local, provincial, national, regional and international levels, and should include events and activities appropriate at each of these levels, including ceremonies, displays, competitions, issue of prizes and medals, special television and radio broadcasts, seminars, and other educational activities, and that such activities should be organized or assisted by rural groups, governmental authorities, non-governmental institutions, international organizations and agencies, and in particular by the Food and Agriculture organization of the United Nations;

3. Further recommends that such activities should, as far as possible, be self-financed by national, regional, bilateral, non-governmental and international authorities, organizations, agencies, and institutions, but that, particularly in the early years, they should be assisted as necessary by FAO;

4. Approves the use, in accordance with the Financial Regulations, of savings within the level of the Programme of Work and Budget 1980-81 for such modest expenditure and assistance by FAO that might be required in 1980-81;

5. Authorizes the Director-General to collect information on the intentions of Member Governments, institutions, and organizations, to provide advice and assistance as requested

6. Requests the Director-General to submit a progress report on preparations, through the Programme and Finance Committees, to the Council, at their sessions in the autumn of 1980, and to make the necessary preparations to enable the successful organization of the first World Food Day on 16 October 1981.

(Adopted 28 November 1979)

(ii)Commodity and trade problems

44. The Conference emphasized the seriousness of the commodity and trade problems of exporting countries and particularly of developing countries. Many members expressed their concern that most of the increase in the value of world exports of agricultural products in 1978 had accrued to developed countries, which showed the growing imbalance in the shares of trade between developed and developing countries in these products. Moreover the improvement in the terms of trade of agricultural exports of the developing countries which took place in 1976 and 1977 was reversed in 1978. They considered that protectionist policies followed by some developed countries made market access for agricultural products increasingly difficult, which in turn frustrated efforts to diversify production and to secure increases in food production, and in the long run had a negative effect on world food security. They also pointed out that protectionism had resulted in the accumulation of large surpluses of some commodities in high cost producing countries which prevented the legitimate growth in production of these commodities by developing countries as well as by some developed countries which depended heavily on them for their foreign exchange earnings. In this connexion it was stated that unless the market access for agricultural exports was improved, the export markets of industrialized countries would be limited because of the inability of developing countries to earn adequate foreign exchange to pay for their imports.

45. Many members considered that the problem of growing protectionism warranted the establishment of a permanent mechanism in FAO to monitor and survey protectionist policies which jeopardized the exports of developing countries. This survey should analyse the effects of protectionism in accordance with the recommendations of the Fifth Session of the World Food Council that intensive efforts should be made to increase public awareness in all countries, particularly in developed countries, of the cost of protectionism to consumers and taxpayers as well as of its negative effects on economic development. In this connexion, it was stressed that FAO's work in this field should complement and not duplicate the activities of UNCTAD and GATT. The Conference was informed that the Director-General was considering ways of strengthening work on agricultural protection, within existing resources and in collaboration with other international organizations concerned. A special study on agricultural protectionism would be published in the forthcoming FAO Commodity Review and Outlook, and ways of carrying out further analyses and of improving the flow of information on developments in protectionism would be examined. The FAO intergovernmental groups on individual commodities could also review, examine and monitor the protectionist policies relating to them.

46. A number of members felt that the Multilateral Trade Negotiations (MTNs) which aimed inter alia at securing additional benefits for the international trade, particularly of developing countries, had not achieved this goal and had produced very limited results in the field of agriculture. In their view, while tariff cuts and other measures agreed to in these negotiations could contribute to some extent to the expansion of world agricultural trade, these did not attain the declared goal of securing growth in world-wide trade and liberalization of trade structures.

47. Other members emphasized that developed countries provided large, valuable and growing markets for the agricultural products of developing countries. They considered that substantial progress had been made in recent years towards extending market access to the products of developing countries, and especially those of the least developed countries. They considered that agricultural protectionism had been reduced, and referred to the important progress which had been achieved on commodity and trade issues in the discussions and negotiations in other fora, including UNCTAD V and the MTNs. They drew attention to the implementation of tariff concessions on tropical products agreed to under the MTNs, the expansion of the Generalized System of Preferences, the new Lomé Convention and the STABEX scheme. In their view, the results of the MTNs should be implemented as early as possible.

48. The Conference stressed the economic interdependence of all countries, and that a growing agricultural trade could best be achieved within a thriving world economy.

49. The Conference adopted the following resolution:

Resolution 2/79



Recalling the Conference Resolution 7/75 on the Commodity Market, which, inter alia, recommended that developed countries take appropriate measures aiming at effective access to their markets for imports from developing countries,

Recalling further that the World Conference on Agrarian Reform, and Rural Development stressed that a New International Economic Order, designed to bring about the equitable participation of the developing countries in world economic activity, is essential to the success of national efforts to attain rural development, and accordingly recommended measures concerning international trade,

Noting the Resolution 131(V) and 124(V) on Protectionism and Structural Adjustment and on Integrated Programme for Commodities respectively, the Decision 132(V) on the Multilateral Trade Negotiations and the Resolution 105(V) on International Trade in Food Commodities adopted by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development at its Fifth Session, and also the agreement reached at the Negotiating Conference on the fundamental elements of the Common Fund,

Considering that protectionist policies impose serious obstacles in the process of agricultural adjustment and constitute a major constraint on the expansion of trade in agricultural commodities, with grave consequences for the economic and rural development of developing countries, Considering further that protectionist policies also pose a very severe constraint to the expansion of the export earnings of both developing countries and those developed countries which depend heavily on agricultural exports,

Considering further the urgent need for developing countries to accelerate their foreign exchange earnings, particularly in order to overcome the rapidly mounting burden of external debt,

Noting that the result of the GATT Multilateral Trade Negotiations had led to important progress in some respects, but expressing deep concern that these negotiations did not provide significant concessions in sectors that are of great importance for agricultural trade, particularly of developing countries,

Stressing the need for agricultural adjustment in all countries, particularly those countries which have high support prices and/or barriers against imports especially those that compete with their domestic products, particularly in order for developing countries to attain an increasing share of world production as well as world trade in agricultural products,

Noting with deep concern the signs of increasing protectionist pressures in regard to agricultural products, which are already subject to import restrictions and export subsidies significantly greater than in industrial trade,

1. Recommends that all countries, particularly developed countries, display the necessary political will by (a) refraining, to the maximum extent possible, from imposing any new tariff or non-tariff barriers to the imports of agricultural products, particularly from developing countries, and (b) progressively improving access to their markets for agricultural commodities taking into account the Programme of Action as adopted at the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development;

2. Urges developed countries to adhere strictly to and implement fully the standstill provisions they have accepted, in particular concerning imports from developing countries;

3. Urges governments to give further and more urgent consideration to taking appropriate action in competent fora on the commodity trade issues of critical importance especially of developing countries, which have not been resolved in the Multilateral Trade Negotiations, towards the elimination of non-tariff barriers as well as removal of tariffs on tropical products and other commodities of export interest particularly of developing countries;

4. Requests the Committee on Commodity Problems, with the assistance of its intergovernmental commodity groups, and in cooperation as appropriate with UNCTAD and GATT, to (i) assess the impact of the results of the Multilateral Trade Negotiations on the trade prospects of the main commodities concerned, with special regard to the exports of the developing countries; (ii) review systematically developments in protectionism and its effects on the trade of agricultural commodities especially from developing countries in quantified terms where possible; and (iii) examine he scope for and ways of promoting trade between the developing countries in the commodities concerned; and further requests the Committee to undertake this work so that it complements, and does not duplicate the work in other international organizations, and particularly in UNCTAD and GATT;

5. Proposes that the Guidelines for International Agricultural Adjustment should be reviewed and revised, as appropriate, in the light of developments in world agricultural production, consumption and trade, taking into account the objectives of the new International Development Strategy, to be decided upon by the United Nations General Assembly, and the relevant conclusions and recommendations reached in WCARRD, UNCTAD and other relevant fora;

6. Noting with satisfaction the agreement reached on the fundamental elements of the Common Fund invites governments, within the framework of the Common Fund, to explore ways of utilizing the experience and technical expertise of FAO, and of the intergovernmental commodity groups, in the eventual operations of the Common Fund, especially of the Second Account, in order to finance commodity development measures aimed at improving the structural conditions in markets and at enhancing the long-term competitiveness and prospects of particular commodities, as agreed in the agreement reached on the fundamental elements of the Common Fund;

7. Recommends that, in order to expedite the implementation of the Integrated Programme on Commodities, particularly the conclusion of the International Commodity Agreements, FAO should continue to give full support to UNCTAD;

8. Urges that in order to contribute to the stabilization of the world sugar market, governments which have not already done so should ratify the International Sugar Agreement, and those who have not signed should enter into meaningful and urgent negotiations to accede to it;

9. Welcomes the conclusion of the International Natural Rubber Agreement and urges all governments concerned to ratify it so that it can come into effect on I October 1980, as envisaged;

10. Requests the Director-General to present to the Fifty-third Session of the Committee on Commodity Problems a report on actions taken in pursuance of the present resolution.

(Adopted 28 November 1979)

50. Austria, Canada, United States, Japan, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Switzerland, the nine member states of the EEC, and the Group of 77 made interpretative statements which are recorded in full in the verbatim records of the Conference and are summarized below. They stated that in considering the above resolution, these interpretative statements should be duly noted.

51. The nine member states of the EEC stated that the fourth and the eighth preambular paragraphs did not and could not mean or imply an invitation to them to change or modify the instruments of their common agricultural policy, which is exclusively of the competence of the Community; that the seventh preambular paragraph and operative paragraph 3 could not give grounds to justify a re-opening of Tokyo Round MTNs, which must be considered as concluded; that as regards operative paragraph 8, the EEC had already established contacts in line with this request; and that EEC's possible participation in the International Sugar Agreement would be determined by the results of such negotiations and their compatibility with the EEC sugar policy.

52. Concerning the seventh preambular paragraph and operative paragraph 3, Canada clarified that the MTNs must be considered as definitely concluded. Canada and the United States fully appreciated the serious concern of developing countries and recognised that further progress was needed towards trade liberalization and to that end urged the active participation of all countries in GATT. The United States considered that the MTNs had achieved more in the field of agricultural trade than any previous round of negotiations, and that the liberalization achieved would substantially improve the access of developing countries to all major markets.

53. As regards operative paragraph 4, Canada referred to the ongoing work of UNCTAD and GATT and stressed that the proposed FAO activities should focus on specific problems which warrant further investigation, bearing in mind budgetary constraints and the need to pay due attention to problems of all countries.

54. With regard to the seventh preambular avid operative paragraph 3, Japan stated that the MTNs must be considered as definitely concluded, that utmost efforts had been made to make the MTNs a success, and that their result for the agricultural sector was an important achievement. Japan understood the deep concern of developing countries over the unresolved problems but hoped exporting countries would understand the serious difficulties which confronted the importing developed countries. With regard to the eighth preambular paragraph, the delegate of Japan stated that any agricultural adjustment should take into account the structure and objectives of the developed countries as stated in Resolution 96 (IV) E of UNCTAD IV.

55. With regard to the seventh preambular paragraph, the Group of 77 reiterated regret and indeed deep concern that GATT Multilateral Trade Negotiations had failed to take into account the interests and concerns of developing countries, especially the least developed and most seriously affected amongst them. The Group of 77 wished to reaffirm its position that the MTNs could be considered final only when such essential concerns of the developing countries had been fully incorporated in the final outcome of the negotiations.

56. Austria, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland clarified that their acceptance of the resolution did not imply acceptance of a need to make important changes in their present national agricultural policies. With regard to the eighth preambular paragraph, Switzerland stated that, in the case of food production, national food security considerations limited the possible extent of international agricultural adjustment.

57. In connexion with the eighth preambular paragraph, the Group of 77, while having a certain understanding of agricultural trade policies of the developed countries with a relatively low level of self-sufficiency, wished to condemn the agricultural trade practices of those industrialised developed countries which had high protectionist policies despite their high and increasing levels of self-sufficiency.

58. In relation to operative paragraph 8, the Group of 77 requested that the countries which had not yet signed the International Sugar Agreement should strictly abide by the provision contained in that paragraph.

Fertilizers: action arising out of the fifth session of the commission on fertilizers

59. Recognizing the essential role of and the high priority given to fertilizers in achieving the policy objectives of developing countries of food self-sufficiency and over-coming rural poverty, the Conference endorsed FAO's programme of action, particularly the fertilizer Option System, the International Fertilizer Supply Scheme (IFS) and the
Fertilizer Programme.

60. The Conference agreed that the problem was to ensure that the developing countries with limited resources obtained the fertilizers they needed so that their food production would not suffer. The Conference noted, however, that many developing countries, particularly the most seriously affected countries, had difficulty in financing fertilizer import requirements and expressed concern about the recent increases in fertilizer prices in the international market.

61. In this connexion the Conference recognized that a number of factors were responsible for the increase in fertilizer prices. It further recognized that to ensure adequate supplies of fertilizers at reasonable prices required new investment with an adequate return if new capacity were to be established to keep supply in balance with increasing demand. The Conference recommended that fertilizer production should be increased in the developing countries, nationally and regionally, with the required technical and financial assistance being provided by donors and financial institutions. In this connexion the Conference noted a declaration of Arab and Gulf states to -support fertilizer production on a regional basis and offers of assistance by some western European countries for training personnel from developing countries in their fertilizer industries.

62. The Conference noted with appreciation the commitments by fertilizer producers to the fertilizer Option System, which had enabled the Director-General to establish it, so that it could become operational if required, as requested by the Commission on Fertilizers and the Council.

63. Most members noted with regret the decline in IFS resources and the limited prospects at present for its replenishment. The Conference urged donors to further support the IFS. It further recommended that the Director-General again appeal for the replenishment of IFS resources, and for channelling a portion of bilateral fertilizer aid through the IFS.

64. The Conference emphasized the importance of the relationship between fertilizer and crop prices and the availability of credit as an incentive for farmers to use fertilizers, and in this regard stressed the need for appropriate pricing and credit policies and measures. It also emphasized the need for improving the infrastructure for the timely distribution of fertilizers close to small farmers in developing countries, including the improvement of storage and credit facilities and crop marketing systems. The improvement of fertilizer statistics for use by economic planners was also stressed.

65. The Conference noted the low levels of fertilizer use in developing countries and stressed the importance of training activities at the farmer level to expand their use and to maximize the economic return from fertilizers through their more efficient use in different farming systems, particularly in those systems used by small food crop farmers. A better and more intensive use of organic materials, particularly to complement the use of mineral fertilizers, was also emphasized. The Conference recommended that further assistance be given to promote the efficient use of fertilizers in developing countries, particularly by small farmers, through the FAO Fertilizer Programme in close cooperation with the IFS.

66. Recognizing the importance of a fertilizer strategy for the Third Development Decade and the need to review the current and future fertilizer situation in the light of recent rises in fertilizer prices in the international market, the Conference requested the Director-General to convene the Sixth Session of the Commission on Fertilizers in the early part of 1980.

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