To the Congress of the United States:
I am pleased to transmit to the Congress the 1973 annual report on agricultural export activities carried out under Public Law 480 (Food for Peace). This has been a successful program. It has provided a channel for humanitarian assistance, promoted economic development and, in general, supported foreign policy objectives of the United States.
Throughout the year, the Food for Peace program demonstrated its flexibility in a changing agricultural situation. Because of the tight commodity supply situation in the United States, shipments during the year were somewhat restricted. This was especially true of wheat and wheat product shipments. However, our food contributions to the drought-stricken African countries, including Ethiopia, were substantial. In both East and West Africa, United States food aid represented about 40 percent of the total supplied by the international community. The level of U.S. contributions to the World Food Program and the U.S. voluntary agencies was maintained and the Title I concessional sales programs continued in such high-priority countries as Bangladesh, Bolivia, Cambodia, Israel, Pakistan, and Vietnam.
The Food for Peace program continues to be the primary U.S. food aid activity. Concessional sales programs continued to encourage recipient countries to establish self-help objectives and also support economic development projects. The program retains its emphasis on improving the nutrition of pregnant and nursing mothers, babies, and pre-school children, the most nutritionally significant periods of human life. Although most programs have aspects of agricultural market development, specific programs for trade expansion have been limited because of strong commercial demand. Such programs could be resumed under changed supply conditions.
As 1973 legislation authorized the extension of the Public Law 480 program through 1977, it will go on playing its vital role in terms of development assistance, trade expansion, and promotion of our foreign policy objectives.
GERALD R. FORD
The White House,
September 25, 1974.