HAVING REGARD to Article 5 b) of the Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development of 14 December 1960;

TAKING NOTE of the Report by the Secretariat of 13 July 1978 on Agriculture in the Planning and Management of Peri-urban areas [AGR(78)22 and Corrigendum 17] as well as the previous Report published under the title "Land Use Policies and Agriculture" [AGR/WP1(75)4 Revised and Corrigendum AGR(76)5];

RECOGNISING that agriculture in peri-urban areas, which accounts for a sizeable proportion of fertile land and of total agricultural production in most OECD countries, has to face a series of challenges resulting from urban expansion which affect its structures and operation, and that there is a basic need to reduce uncertainty with regard to the future of farming in these areas;

RECOGNISING the rapid evolution in many countries and the increasing importance in recent years of area-wide planning and of land use policies, the variety of situations existing in Member countries, and the differences in approach in seeking appropriate solutions;

RECOGNISING that agriculture in peri-urban areas apart from its role as a producer is also required to supply land for urban uses and to provide the city with a satisfactory environment, and so is also an important element for the expansion of and the quality of life in the city;

I.          RECOMMENDS to Member countries that:

1.         Full consideration should be given or restored to peri-urban agriculture in area-wide planning, in the light of the important role it may play within national agricultural production;

2.         Specific measures, to be respected by both government services and private interests, should ensure the best possible protection of prime agricultural land, if necessary on the basis of a survey of all available resources (including land and water) so as to be able to identify and monitor those which should be maintained;

3.         Means and tools of overall agricultural policies aiming at modernisation and structural improvements should take the peri-urban context into consideration in order to promote a sound agricultural economy and contribute to the quality of local and regional life;

4.         Attention should be given to efficient full-time or part-time farming activities, including their social aspects, in relation to their role in the peri-urban economy and environment;

5.         When regional and local land use plans prove necessary, these should provide for zones reserved for agriculture, either specifically or in conjunction with other compatible uses such as ecological reserves or recreation, and these agricultural zones should be assured of a reasonably long duration and be subject to revision before term only for imperative reasons and in accordance with the recognised zoning procedures;

6.         The participation of farmers, their representatives and the relevant government departments in the drawing up of plans at national, regional and local levels should be balanced with that of other interest groups;

7.         The impact of relevant tax policies on agriculture, as well as other activities in the peri-urban area, should be assessed and adapted if necessary in the light of the new conditions resulting from zoning, so as to make a positive contribution to the achievement of land-use objectives;

8.         Some equalisation mechanisms should be devised and implemented to take into account the differences in land values induced by zoning between the various zones;

9.         Policy measures should be considered for difficult situations of peri-urban agriculture (such as buffer zones and green belts), in order to assist it in its adaptation to environmental constraints, either when it suffers from the city's pollution or needs to control its own pollution or when it contributes to improving the environment of the city.

II.         INSTRUCTS the Committee for Agriculture to follow the implementation of this Recommendation and to report to the Council if necessary.