Preliminary results of the fifth World Food Survey reveals several important relationships
Our coarse grain output in is expected to be 70 percent above the drought reduced harvest, resulting in a projected 36 percent stock increase during
The distinguished delegate from Pakistan yesterday highlighted the paradox of starvation amongst plenty. Surely trade is the vehicle to permanently restore the balance, if only we had the political will to put in place the international economic and trading conditions that this requires. Mr Chairman, it is against this background that we hear with some alarm suggestions that this Organization may be abandoning its attempts to bring about improvements in the world trade environment. We cannot give up. This issue is as important as food aid and other development assistance, and deserves comparable attention from FAO.
DENNEY (United States of America): Thank you Mr Chairman. Let me begin by congratulating you on your prestigious position as Chairman of this session. We are confident that under your leadership and that of three capable Vice-Chairmen our deliberations during this two week period will be very fruitful.
The United States is encouraged by the recent improvement in several world wide economic indicators, and fully believes that such improvements will, at least in part, be transmitted to developing economies. Nevertheless, we are acutely aware of the food problems being faced in Africa today and will be providing details on US initiatives for Africa during the next Agenda item.
Mr Chairman, respecting your concerns that our interventions be brief, let me comment on a few items that are indicated in the document which have been referenced by earlier speakers. First let me congratulate the Secretariat for providing a useful and well balanced picture on the state of food and agriculture in 1984. We particularly appreciate the section dealing with patterns of food production and dating in Tucson consumption over the past decade, and with urbanization and migration trends. Both sections provide an insight to perspective for those of us concerned with world food problems. The survey provides documentation of a close correlation between poverty and hunger, particularly as experienced in the poorest countries. It also gives considerable attention to other factors which affect food consumption, especially prices paid by consumers, but also notes that growing food imports are often very much the result of domestic demand failing to be adequately transmitted to domestic producers.
The Review also notes the important connection between meeting increased urban demand from rural production and the creation’of urban marketing systems. The role of prices in facilitating this transaction is obviously very important. In this regard the United States is anxiously awaiting the results of FAO’s global price study, especially the analysis of producer price incentives and recommendations for price modifications by food deficit developing countries.
Mr Chairman, before making additional comments on the documents before us, let me take this opportunity to briefly highlight the current agricultural situation in the United States. We fully recognize that our own production and stock trends exert considerable influence on world-wide trends. I will restrict my comments to commodities which are referenced in the supplements, that is wheat and coarse grains. Our wheat stocks are about 8 percent below the level of a year ago but they are still the second-highest on record. These stocks account for some 37 percent of the world total and are roughly equal to our wheat exports during . The recently completed wheat harvest is up 6 percent from a year ago and is our third largest. The payment in kind programmes for both wheat and coarse grain have been eliminated.
Regarding specific comments on the state of food and agriculture, particularly those items that have been referenced by earlier speakers concerning IDA, we agree that a higher replenishment would have provided a greater impetus to economic development, but the United States continues to believe that a 9 billion US dollar replenishment can be highly effective if focused on countries such as sub-Saharan Africa which lack adequate access to alternative financing. We are also encouraged by recent progress made to affect an IFAD replenishment and feel confident that a replenishment will soon be agreed upon.