Resolution of the NGO General Assembly, 22-24 April 1986
We considered the progress of Operation Flood in India in introducing modern dairy technology and milk marketing infrastructure and call upon the EEC member States, the European Commission and the European Parliament carefully to review the conditions under which any new aid may be given. Taking into account the central responsibility of the Indian Government and project authorities for implementation, we call for the incorporation of these 4 main principles and 10 specific recommendations:
Specific areas of concern for NGOs are:
- Full return to the original OF objectives, especially those aiming to improve the nutritional status of the poorest groups and the incomes of small farmers and landless people.
- Specific reference in evaluation of OF to its effects on the rural poor.
- Recognition that, although OF has represented imaginative use of food surpluses, it could equally benefit from imaginative use of cash aid.
- Redefinition of dairy development strategies away from an emphasis on capital and technical inputs and in favour of labour-intensive activity by the poor.
- Promotion of development models adjusted to socio-economic conditions of producers and regional circumstances.
- Use of most of the proceeds of EEC dairy aid to promote organisation and training of small milk producers, especially women, geared towards effective influence of these producers on their co-operatives.
- Promotion of use of indigenous resources, especially the buffalo (through local breeding and genetic selection), and avoidance of large-scale exotic cross-breeding.
- Promotion of optimal use of crop wastes and herbage as animal feed policy and avoidance of cattle feed cultivation competing with human food cultivation. (....)
- Encouragement of the use in India of Indian animal feed which is currently exported, without losing sight of India's need for foreign exchange.
- Generation of sufficient price and credit incentives to producers and avoidance of the present practice of differential pricing which subsidises urban consumers and milk factories.
- Diversification of use of counterpart funds to include other income-generating activities, benefitting sub-marginal farmers and landless people by involving NGOs and non-OF co-operatives.
- The bringing to the attention of the Indian Government of co-operatives which violate the international and Indian codes for the promotion of healthy baby-feeding; and implementation of the WHO code in the form of directives to EEC-based firms.
- Establishment of improved monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, involving both EEC and Indian NGOs; in particular, the reconstitution by the Food Matters working group of its previous working party on OF, to consist of 3 members of the working group and 3 representatives of Indian NGOs.
- Special attention by the EEC, during the evaluation of the proposed third phase of OF, to the need for progressive reduction of commodity aid and its possible replacement by financial aid, within a predetermined time-frame.