Standing Cmte on Agriculture in Developing Countries

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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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                     STANDING COMMITTEE ON 
             AGRICULTURE IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

                       18th April 1996

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                     SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
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Reference: Item 7 of the Draft Agenda

1.   52 participants from 26 countries, as well as observers from
French Ministry of Cooperation, Caisse Francaise de
Developpement, ACWW, Women's World Summit Foundation, Plan
Guillaume, CIDA, COPAC and ICA took part in the Standing
Committee on Agriculture in Developing Countries session, under
the chairmanship of Mr. Gary Magadzire (Zimbabwe).

2.   The Committee in its formal session discussed its current
and future activities. Following the adoption of the Charter of
Farmers' Organizations in Africa, the Committee discussed and
adopted the Charters of Farmers' Organizations for the other
developing regions of the world. The Committee also explored the
feasibility and modalities for the establishment of the IFAP
Group on Tropical Beverages and Fibres.

3.   At the end of the session, elections were held with the
following results:  Mr. Gary Magadzire (Zimbabwe) elected as
Chairman; Mr. Leonardo Montemayor (Philippines), Mr. Amilcar
Navarro Rivas (Nicaragua) and Mr. Prosper Ouedraogo (Burkina
Faso) elected as Vice-Chairmen. 

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Current activities
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4.   Since its previous formal session in Istanbul, the Committee
held an Asia, Central and South America Working Session in 
Pretoria, South Africa, in November 1995, and an Asia Working
Session in Manila, Philippines, in January 1996. At its Pretoria
session, the Committee had agreed to give its highest priority
to strengthening its activities in Asian, Central and South
American Regions. At its Manila session, the Asian farmers'
organizations had established a plan of action for enhancing
cooperation among farmers' organisations in Asia, including a
division of tasks among farmers' organisations for membership
promotion. Vice-Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Amilcar Navarro
Rivas (Nicaragua), in collaboration with the IFAP Secretariat had
increased contact and consultations with the developing countries
of this region, with a view to strengthening the membership base
and development activities of the Federation.

5.   Member organizations reported on progress on the on-going
development projects and programmes within the framework of the
IFAP Development Programme. In the Philippines, the two projects
to strengthen Federation of Free Farmers and Sanduguan were
progressing well. In Burkina Faso, the intermediary phase of the
project had been successfully completed with the establishment
of a national level umbrella organization. In terms of promoting
linkages  between farmers' organizations, agricultural research
and extension institutions, a series of national workshops were
successfully carried out and related pilot projects launched in
Burkina Faso, Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe. An IFAP Development
Series on "Negotiating Linkages" has also been published.
Partnership arrangements within the framework of "Worldwide
Action for Strengthening Farmers' Organizations" was also
reported. 

6.   Member organizations also reported on other projects and
programmes they were currently carrying out, as well as on their
current development needs. Apart from country-specific requests, 
emphasis was placed on the need to organize farmers in the
Western African region, using a model similar to the SACAU model
in Southern Africa. 

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Charter of Farmers' Organizations
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7.   Following the adoption of the "Charter of Farmers'
Organizations in Africa", the Committee discussed and approved
the "Charter of Farmers' Organizations in Asia" and "Charter of
Farmers' Organizations in Central and South America and the
Caribbean". The purpose of the Charters is to provide basic
information, guidelines and standards on farmers' organizations,
as established by farmers' organizations themselves, to
governments, regional and intergovernmental institutions, as well
as to specialised bodies. 

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IFAP Group on Tropical Beverages and Fibres
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8.   The Committee discussed the desirability and feasibility of
establishing an IFAP Group on Tropical Beverages and Fibres, 
following the IFAP Executive Committee's agreement in principle
to the establishment of such a group, during its Washington
Session in May 1995. 

9.   While emphasizing on the importance of self-finance, the
Committee strongly re-iterated the desirability of establishment
of such a Group. The Committee mandated the Secretariat to
elaborate further the terms of reference of such a committee and
aspects of self-finance. Based on the Secretariat's information, 
including specific information on funds and resources required,
committee members will explore possibilities of members'
contributions, as well as through recourse to external resources.

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Plan Guillaume
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10.  The Secretariat of Plan Guillaume Foundation introduced the
objective and activities of the Foundation and their desire to
explore means of future cooperation with the Committee.

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Future priority areas of work     
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11.  On the basis of discussions and recommendations of this
session, it was agreed that a work programme be drawn up and
finalised by the IFAP Secretariat in collaboration with
Office-holders, including a framework for division of tasks among
Members, Secretariat, Regional and Sub-regional Farmer Committees
and Groups. 

12.   Broad outline of activities in the workplan are as follows;

     a)   Regional activities : Regional activities of the
     Committee aimed at strengthening development activities,
     regional / sub-regional fora and membership promotion
     activities. In particular, in Asia, Central and South
     America, the Caribbean, and West Africa. 

     b)   Thematic issues and activities : Policy analysis and
     activities around central issues :

          i)   Diversification and Product Development as
          follow-up to the IFAP Development Seminar.

          ii)  Agricultural and Rural Credit

     c)   Structural issues and activities: Activities aimed at
     organizational development of farmers' organizations
     including the establishment of working links among
     institutions, as follows :

          i)   Worldwide Action for the Strengthening of
          Farmers' Organizations

          ii)  Linkage building with institutions and sectors
          serving farmers e.g. research and extension  

     d)   Project Work: Continuation and expansion of
     country-level project work, as detailed in the Report of
     Activities, Document ADC 2/96, and in line with Seminar
     discussions.

     e)   Tropical Commodities: Exploring terms of reference and
     means of self finance for the establishment of the IFAP
     Group on Tropical Beverages and Fibres.