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Joint research programmes (EEC) and programmes for coordinating agricultural research, 1984-1988

Part of the first Framework Programme (1984-1987) under subactivity 1.1: "Agriculture", this third Community programme on agricultural research aimed to remove obstacles to the more effective operation of the common agricultural policy (CAP). The background to the programme was Council Regulation (EEC) No 1728/74 (Official Journal No L 182 of 5.7.1974) as last amended by Regulation (EEC) No 3768/85 (Official Journal No L 362 of 31.12.1985) on the coordination of agricultural research.
To enhance the competitiveness of European agriculture by accepting the technological challenge of new farming methods, improving the use and conservation of agricultural resources, ironing out the growing disparities in less-favoured regions, increasing animal and plant productivity and ensuring better research coordination and resource management.
Four areas:

- Utilization and conservation of agricultural resources:
. Energy in agriculture:
This focused on possible economies in the energy-intensive sectors of agriculture and on the production of energy from biomass and agricultural by-products;
. Land and water use and management:
Aimed at the improved use and conversion of the natural resources of land and water, this dealt with soil degradation, the effect of management systems on fertility, and land production potential;

- Structural problems:
. Mediterranean agriculture (the AGRIMED programme):
The intention was to improve agriculture in the Mediterranean area through advanced economic and technical developments similar to those in the more advanced northern parts of the Community;
. Other less-favoured regions:
This covered other Community regions with economic and social imbalances similar to those of the Mediterranean (the French Overseas Departments and the West of Ireland);
. Agrofood:
Oriented towards human consumption, this aimed to improve the quality of agricultural products through an examination of production and processing methods;

- Improvement of animal and plant productivity;
. Animal husbandry:
An examination was made of the actual constraints on efficiency of production, such as losses through disease, animal-rearing conditions and the rate of domestic animal reproduction;
. Plant productivity:
Geared towards increased returns to the farmer through an improvement in productivity via the more rational use of inputs, this focused particularly on products in short supply;

- Coordination of research:
A comprehensive register of agricultural research programmes in the Member States was set up and methods for disseminating research results were devised.
The Commission implemented the coordination programmes by organizing seminars, conferences, study visits, exchanges of research workers and scientific working meetings, by collecting, analysing and publishing results, and by availing itself of high-level outside experts. It implemented the common research programmes by concluding research contracts with research centres and institutes. Through ad hoc contracts, it was able to finance measures for the application of research results.

By the end of 1985, the Commission had submitted a progress report to the European Parliament and the Council. On the basis of this report, the Council reviewed the programme, including its financial aspects. After the conclusion of the programme, the Commission submitted a report on the results of the activities carried out and on the use of the funds allocated to them.