Amsterdam – The Open-Ended Reform Committee on the Future Role and Mandate of the Common Fund for Commodities and its Long Term Financial Sustainability, presented its interim report to the Executive Board at the recent meeting held in Amsterdam.
Amb. Mchumo opened the meeting noting that the 53rd meeting was very special, among other things, due to the consideration of the report, which has been mandated to make recommendations on the reform of the CFC. He stated Board members were therefore looking forward to discussing the report after the formal presentation by the Chairperson of the Committee.
The Committee Chair, Ms. Helena Yanez (Ecuador) said the Committee had held six meetings and that the report reflects broadly the areas of agreement in the Committee.
“From the outset, the basic premise of these meetings was that the Committee needed to have a common ground, when discussing reform options and the way forward,” said Ms. Ms. Yanez.
The Board discussed and considered the report after wide-ranging debate by the members and the various constituencies. Board members agreed that the work of the Open-Ended Committee was moving in the right direction and reiterated their willingness to contribute to the work of the Committee.
Members also emphasized the need for preserving the entity of the CFC and to build on its experience and expertise, while looking at possibilities of reform to increase its efficiency and effectiveness. The Committee was requested to continue its work and also to address issues raised in the Board, and to conclude its discussions expeditiously.
Turning to the usual business, the Board approved three projects (two under Second Account and one under the First Account) covering the commodities: cocoa and rice. Under the First Account, the Board approved the capacity building and risk management strategy for the smallholder cocoa sector in Africa.
Under the purview of the Managing Director, four fast-track projects covering Bamboo, Access to Commodity Finance, Producer-Consumer Cooperation in Soft Commodities, and Zinc Die-Casting had also been approved.
The approved regular projects and fast-tracks projects are:
-Integrated Management of Cocoa Pests and Pathogens in Africa: Controlling Indigenous Pests and Diseases and Preventing the Introduction of Exogenous Ones in Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo (CFC/ICO/43).
-East African Rice Sector Development (Tanzania and Uganda) (CFC/FIGR/17).
-Capacity Building on Price Risk Management Strategy for Cocoa Smallholder Farmers in Africa (CFC/ICCO/44/FA).
-Bamboo for Sustainable Construction and Rural Value Chain Development in Bhutan (CFC/INBAR/11/FT);
-Building a Financial Literacy Toolbox to Enhance Access to Commodity Finance for Sustainable SMEs (CFC/ICO/53/FT/FA);
-The Future of Producer-Consumer Cooperation in Soft Commodities (CFC/CFC/31/FT/FA);
-Zinc Die Casting in Asia (CFC/LZSG/21/FT).