Clearly, there are no simple panaceas for the problems that we face. The Director-General himself in his programme priorities has spelled out a list of measures that need to be taken. The approaches to these remedial actions are trilateral approaches and integrally involved in the concept of the food security compact which the Director-General himself has elaborated. Quite clearly recognized by all the regional economic meetings is the inescapable reality that the major burden for self-reliance lies on the developing countries themselves, but in the face of the difficulties before developing countries, despite their best efforts, the need for international support and the consolidation of that support continues. The review document has indicated the approaches and outlines, and we believe that it has provided us with food for continuing thought in the months and years to come.
M. YOSHII (Japan): Mr Chairman, first of all, I would like to express my congratulations to you on your re-election as the Independent Chairman, as well as the three Vice-Chairmen of this important Council. I am sure that this Session will be successful under your guidance.
The review document, as I have mentioned, has touched on a series of remedial measures in each of its sections
I have listened with special interest to the Director-General of FAC Dr Saouma. We note with appreciation, as he rightly mentioned, that a new sense of urgency by the developing countries themselves to solve their own problems came up as evidenced in the Buenos Aires Declaration in which the ministers adopted in a clear, pragmatic, action-oriented way a new orientation in the results.
The 1973-76 oil crisis brought about a deepening recession of the world economy
We also believe what Dr Saouma said to be of utmost importance: African countries are to be FAO’s first and greatest priority and that a new major study to concentrate on practical action to increase food production is going to be undertaken.
I also want to thank Professor Islam for his excellent presentation on the State of Food and Agriculture 1984. The Secretariat has prepared an extensive and detailed study on the State of Food and Agriculture 1984, and my delegation wishes to thank the FAO Secretariat for this fruitful achievement.
The document CL 86/2 focuses upon selected issues from the time of the early 1970’s food crisis with particular reference to the food situation in the developing countries. The agricultural sector had also been adversely affected by those events. The fluctuation in commodity prices had made a serious impact on producers and consumers.
The documents point out that despite all the above-mentioned facts, global progress has been made in agriculture and rural development and that per capita energy dietary supplies have improved in about two-thirds of the 90 developing countries reviewed in this document.
My delegation notes with satisfaction that the improvement in the overall world situation is a result of the continuous efforts made by individual farmers together with activities on a national and international level. However, the regional performances have not been very consistent. Asia had shown some improvement, but Africa has very much deteriorated. The serious food shortage in many African countries is of great concern to us. I hope a fruitful contribution will come out when we discuss the matter later in this Session.
Agriculture is the important sector in the economy of developing countries. Many developing countries, however, are still in short food supply, heavily depending upon food imports. Imports are necessitating a great amount of foreign exchange resources which otherwise would have been used for direct development of their economies. My delegation strongly believes, therefore, that efforts by developing countries themselves to increase food production are a vital first step towards solving the world food problem and the economic development of those countries. Japan is certainly prepared to contribute to such efforts of the developing countries.