|CERES No. 074 (FAO Ceres, 1980, 50 p.)|
A $2 million FAO pilot project already underway is providing the experience needed to design a $30 million agricultural and fishery rehabilitation programme aimed at ending significant food deficits in Kampuchea by next year. Developed in consultation with central and provincial authorities in Kampuchea and with other international agencies, the rebuilding scheme covers about 400 000 ha in six provinces selected because they combine current high food deficits with potential for large scale increases in food production. The programme provides for speedy shipment of seeds, small tools, fertilizers, pumps, farm chemicals, power tillers and sprayers, and, as well, provides operational support such as technical assistance, spare parts and maintenance. Outlining the urgent need for funding the programme, FAO Director-General Edouard Saouma stressed that rehabilitation must parallel emergency feeding programmes, otherwise "seeds will be eaten not sown, if people are starving. "
Food security plans
Another seven countries have reported to FAO on their intentions to implement proposals of the Director General's five-point plan for World Food Security (see ceres No. 69, p. 3). Twenty-five countries plus the EEC have now outlined specific action planned or underway. Typical of recent national decisions reported to the FAO Committee on World Food Security which meets in Rome 27 March - 3 April are the setting up of a 10 000-ton stock in the Thies region of Senegal, Ecuador' plan for strategic reserve stocks totalling 30 000 tons dispersed in three district towns, a 6 000-ton reserve for the northern, drought-prone area of Cameroon, and the establishment of a special office of Basic Foodstuffs in Niger to regulate stocks and prices.
Global grain stocks
The geographic distribution of food grain stocks is causing concern within the FAO Intergovernmental Group on Grains. On a global basis, carryover stocks at the end of the 1979-80 crop year are projected at 254 million tons, or four percent below their record level at the beginning of the period. This would represent about 17.5 percent of world consumption, or the minimum that FAO estimates as necessary for world food security. However, stocks in developing countries, other than China, are forecast to drop by as much as 10 percent, the third successive annual decline within this group. Major crop failures in importing countries, the Grains Group concluded in a situational review at the end of February, could create severe logistical problems in transport and handling.
The FAO Secretariat and the staff of the World Bank are consulting on how food security programmes based on decentralized storage systems could be designed to strengthen internal distribution systems, assure adequate prices to farmers and reduce post-harvest losses.
Aid to fisheries
FAO's programme of assistance to developing countries in management of fisheries in their exclusive economic zones (EEZs) has received further support in the form of a $600 000 contribution from Norway. The donation, which raises Norway's total contribution to the programme to $2.1 million, will finance such activities as training, fishery legislation, surveillance and enforcement of EEZs, joint ventures and planning missions.
Donation from China
Two other special action programmes of the Organization, follow-up to the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (WCARRD) and the Seed Improvement and Development Programme have received donations totalling $50 000 from the Chinese government. China is the first developing country to contribute to the former programme.
Nine Latin American countries will benefit from projects recently approved under FAO's Technical Cooperation Programme for direct emergency action in agriculture and rural development. The projects include: veterinary equipment, Barbados; soil conservation, Brazil; plant quarantine training, Colombia; tick control and training and research equipment, Costa Rica; control of Moko disease in bananas, Grenada; training centre for agro-industrial development, Mexico; forestry development, Panama; aerial surveys, Paraguay; training in pesticide residue detection, Uruguay. Total funds committed are $676 500.
Fibre price hike
The indicative price range for sisal and henequen has been raised by $125 per metric ton based on the chief East African sisal grade, c.i.f. Europe. The new range, set by the FAO Intergovernmental Group on Hard Fibres in an effort to find a level remunerative to growers but competitive with synthetic substitutes, will be US$650 to US $ 750 per ton.