Development Cooperation Committee

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   This document has been made available in electronic format  
            by the Committee for the Promotion and 
               Advancement of Cooperatives COPAC
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                DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION COMMITTEE

                        18th April 1996

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                     SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
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1.   Under the chairmanship of Mr. Staffan Nilsson (Sweden), the
Committee discussed policy issues in development cooperation,
national experiences in bilateral assistance and cooperation
among farmers' organizations. The session was attended by 40
delegates from 25 countries.

2.   At the end of the session, elections were held. Election
results are as follows: Mr. Leland Svenson (USA) as Chairman, and
Mr. Festus Muthamia (Kenya) as Vice-Chairman.

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Keynote  address by the  Chair of the
OECD Development Assistance Committee
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3.   Keynote address was delivered by the Chair of the OECD
Development Assistance Committee, Mr. James H. Michel. In his
address, Mr. Michel congratulated IFAP on its Fiftieth
Anniversary. He outlined the current thinking of OECD governments
on development cooperation issues. Effectiveness of assistance,
people-centred approaches, decentralization, emphasis on good
governance had become major elements of the new policy. Farmers'
organizations had an important role to play in working towards
sustainable development through partnerships. During the
subsequent discussion, questions from the floor touched on the
debt burden, trade policies and terms of trade, and channelling
of funds through movement-to-movement cooperation. 

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Policy issues
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4.   The Secretariat outlined the summary of actions undertaken
by the Committee, since its last formal session in Istanbul, with
respect to decline in assistance going to agriculture. 

5.   A shift of paradigm had occurred in agriculture, from
government-centric agricultural development, to a more liberal,
decentralised model. This paradigm shift had also brought with
it a loss of enthusiasm for agricultural development. A clarity
of perspectives and vision was therefore essential to regain
enthusiasm. The Committee had therefore launched a process for
developing a farmers' strategy for agricultural development, in
collaboration with the IFAP Standing Committee on Agriculture in
Developing Countries. A policy statement was now brought to this
World Farmers' Congress, as "Farmers' Strategy for Agricultural
Development and World Food Security" for adoption in the Plenary
Session. It was hoped that the statement would also have an
impact on development cooperation policies, especially through
representation by farmers' organizations to their respective
Ministries of Development Cooperation.

6.   It was agreed that mechanisms for greater interaction among
farmers' organizations and governments on development cooperation
issues needed to be established and strengthened. In particular:

     (i)   exploring of regular working links between IFAP
     Development Cooperation Committee and OECD Development
     Assistance Committee, including the possibility of regular
     informal consultations, similar to the arrangements between
     IFAP and OECD Agriculture Committee.

     (ii)  further strengthening contacts at national level,
     especially for policy representation to Ministries of
     Development Cooperation.

7.   It was also agreed that the following recommendations need
to be furthered with governments and appropriate institutions:

     i)    Movement-to-movement cooperation among farmers and
     farmers' organizations be an integral part of development
     cooperation policies, 

     ii)   A greater share of official development assistance be
     channelled through farmers' organizations. 

     iii)  A new set of farmer-centred indicators and criteria
     be developed in the reporting of development assistance
     statistics. As examples, proposals for such criteria and
     indicators could include increases obtained in small-scale
     farm incomes as a result of development programmes and
     policies, as well as indicators on the involvement of
     farmers' organizations in the development process. 

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National experiences in bilateral assistance
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8.   The President of "French Farmers for Agricultural
Development" (AFDI), Mr. Henry Jouve presented the background and
objectives of his organization. AFDI was established by French
Farmers' organizations, to promote exchanges and solidarity with
farmers from the developing countries. Mr. Jouve also outlined
the activities of his organization, especially in the field of
professionalization of farming and strengthening of farmers'
organizations. He also pointed the important role of IFAP in
promoting an increased dialogue and communication among farmers'
organizations involved in development cooperation. 

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Cooperation among farmers' organizations 
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9.   The Secretariat pointed out that a number of industrialized
country farmers organizations, including their affiliate bodies
and related institutions, were involved in development programmes
and projects. However, there was little communication or
coordination among them. Farmers' development cooperation would
indeed gain from greater communication among farmers'
organizations specializing in development projects and
programmes.

10.  In line with previous decisions, the Committee already
recognizes its potential role in this field, through the
provision of an international forum conducive for greater
dialogue, communication and eventually coordination.  The
Committee also recognizes its role for furthering appropriate
methodologies, as well as promoting and fostering healthy
partnerships among farmers organizations. 

11.  For the purpose of promoting a greater dialogue among
industrialized country farmers organizations specializing in
development, the following actions were agreed on :

     i)   Establishing a working directory of industrialized
     country member organizations, including their affiliate
     bodies and related institutions, involved in development
     projects and programmes, which are interested / active in
     the work of the Committee. 

     ii)  Convening a working session of the above
     organizations, so that a preliminary dialogue can take
     place among them and simple mechanisms for greater exchange
     of information and eventually coordination of project and
     programme efforts can be put into place.

     iii) Working towards the establishment of a clear
     methodology and guidelines in farmers' development
     cooperation.