Date Interviewed: 2& 04 82
Interview with Peter Murphy Date Interviewed: 0 82
Min. of Agriculture-- Sr. Agricultural Economist
Government of Zimbabwe
Robert A. Bletcher Bldg.
SADCC How it Functions:
SADOO is divided into three major decision-making bodies with a fourth,
the liason committee in Londonyplaying a less clear role than the other
three. It is,however, with the liason committee that the conqgt of
SADOC began, and indeed they have been insturmental in seeing that the
organization-got'off the ground. Now that the organization is off the
ground, though, the liaison Committee does not see that its job is done
and they seem to refuse to die a graceful death. The Liiason Committee
continues to pontificate about what the behavior of SADCO Whould be.
This results in some degree of confusion about who is in command and just
what the chain of Command is.
The three decision making levels in SADCc are the Standing Committee
of Officia~a, the Council of Ministers, and the Summitp. The Standing
Committee of Pffinials . : -- .7
/ ..... 'Y is composed of delegations from each of the member states
which is led by the Perm. Sec. from the Ministry of EOonomic Baanning and
Development or the equivalent ministry. Thus, in Mozambique, the leader
of the delegation fzmm to the Committee is the Perm. Sec. for Finance.
E ch national delegation ix has within it supporting officials both
from the Economic Ministry as well as #rom whicbever Ministry is
administering that country's SADOC portfolio. Hor EXample, the Ministry
of Agriculture from Zimbabwe is Rrpresented'on the Delegation from
Zimbabwe, since Agrinulture is Zimbabwe's primary responsibility in
SADOC. The Ministry of Economics acts as the spokesperson for the
Spokesman and rep is min,of Econ. Plan and DEvel. accompanied and
supported by Min, of the Specific portfolio. Murphy is the Official
rep from Agric.
2 per annum. May or June this year and again In November.
they are preceded by the Standing Committe of Officials. According
to MUDhy, the org. could do with fewer meetings tBxk. of the Ministers
the Stajnding C,of Officials meets two days and the Council of Min meets
1 to 1 days.
Receives reports of progress and problems from each 0Agountry.
Thiseif distributed with appendicies. Murphy writes the Deport for
Agriculture Min of Economic Planning and DEvt clears the paper befortit
is presented to SADOC. Once Econhas cleared the paper, it is summarized
andx ixnt ~xidxaxhxxrzaarx- he full report is included as the annex of
the document that the Officials discuss.
Council of Ministers.
Summaries of the reports presented the the Standing Committee of
Officials and then presented to the C.of Ministers. This usually
happens one day after the C-of Officilals has met to apporve the reports.
Murphy p. 2
Council of Ministers
Summaries of the reports are presented tte the Council of Ministers
after they have been approved by the Standing Committee of Officials.
The Ministers usually eet the day after the Officials do, which means
that there is very Ie time to make the changes or comments in the
reports which the Officials deem necessary before they are distributed
to the Ministers for their approval. This job falls to Tim Sheehy.
The Iocuments which the Officials read in their full form, ane included
as appendicies in the documents which the Ministers read. Thus, there
is only one set of documents for both sets of meetings. The minutes
of the Ministers meeting Agenerally very brief and included a short
comment on each of the summarized reports and a brief overall statement.
The Summit% meets annually while the Ministers and the Officials
meet semi-annually. Each SummitI meeting is proceeded by meetings of
both the Ministers and the Officials ad "the summit, approved in a very
broad sense what the other two levels have decided. The major function
of the summitV is to "reaffirm the faith of the Heads of State of
the member states in the conceptt of SADCC."
SAdcc has no bureaucratic structure of its own. Ich country is to
carry its own administrative responsibilities through its own national
bureaucracy. There is ho er an urgent need for a central Secretariat.
Currently, the yef is no body which can or is charged with serving the
Summit%, the Council of Ministers, ar the Standing Committ ee of Officials.
Servicing these groups wirl l lbe t primary responsibility of the
Secretariat. ~ifth logistical support) Mr. Blumeris, a Zimbabwean and
former Ambassador to Burssels, is to be the initial Executive Secretary.
Although he may define the additional responsibilities of the Secretari t
in b 4ader terms than simply servicing the three committees, his resources
will be extremely limited ma and his ability to take on additional
responsibilities will be small. The secretariat will ha* a ataff of
8 which will include the messengers, cleaning staff, dfVers as well
as the professional staff. The budget of 3300,000 will come from
SADOO members, not donor countries, and will be equally divided between
the states. This will place jzagaxtisrxanzxi disproportionately high
burden on the smaller states, which should also serve to constrain the
growth of the Secretariat. The primary question which faces the Secre-
tariat is"Vill it be enough to fuffill :t even its rather limited
The PM accepted responsibilityfor Food Security at the First
SAD00 meeting and six weeks later the Ministry of: Foreign
Affairs informed Agriculture of its responsibility to draw up food
security proposals for the Nine. This was just after the First
election. The ministry of Agriculture had no familiarity with SADCC
since Economic planning and Development had been the mxa primary ministry
a~Pkwhich had been involved in the early meetings. The Lusaka meeting
provided no definition of ,What Food Security ment, and thus no indication
of what Zimbabwe's new responsibilities were. Very early on, agriculture
Murphy p. 3
had no clmar indication of who the members were, and consequently did not
know who they were supposed to be planning for. These problems, coupled
with the fact the Zimbabwe had just finished a was which was fought essent-
ially over the organization of Agriculture in thecountry, led to a great
deal of confusion within the Ministry of Agriculture bout what their role
as the ministry responsible for Food Security foXAD00 was to be.
ofposals were due in June, so Murphy set up an Intergov rnmental
committee for Food Security which was to discuss the terms 9 reference
for the proposals. The committee met twice and then Agriculture wifte
ta short paper which attempted to spell out'tka first the nature of
the problem and second what some of the strategies for attacking the
problem might be.
The first goal was to define what food security was, or what the goal
for the Ministry sh1ld be in discharging its responsibility. HEKFood
security was defined in three parts: an adequate food supply for the
nine as a region; regional salf-sufficiency in food production; and 1
self-sufficienty in terms of national food production. ase-ell. The report
then discussed the proppQcts for achieving these rather b(fad gals.
The first area to be examined was land area and especially land area
under cultivation. 95% of SADO0 land is not under production. This is
either because the land is not productive or because it is underutilized.
The underutilization of land in Sadoc must, at least in part, be respon-
sible for the am lack of food security in the region. Not bnly is the land
1 underutilized, but that which is under cultivation has a very low-yi-ald.
1gxt xtka arxxtkx3ia aaK xtk atxztxtaxtx:xx x;2x Rather thn assuming
that the productive capacity of the land was inherently low, the report
asserted that the land under cultivatitn$on was not being used to its
3, full'Lotential. In Zimbabwe, the statistics available indicated that
the peasant farmers were the most inefficient use, of land and producers
of food xrt while the commerical farmers were the ones who xat possessed
a greater food production capacity. .Eh was embarrassing that the ones
who had iost the war were the ones whe-were-alsn thet -oneupon wh "short
term food security rested.
After land and land use, the third factor examined was the population
. growth rate. In Zimbabwe, the rate is approaching 4% per annum which/if
projected to 1990,will result in a dramatic doubling of thepopulation,
but which would not result in an overcrowing of the land. In theory, at 1~
least, Sadcc states should be able to feed themselves in spite of their
The final factor examined by the Zimbabwe Ministry of Agricultre
in its analysis of the Food Security Situation was thextazx:kikkiikk
current net availability of food, both from local and imported sources.
At present, the current net supply of food fulfills about 90% of the
The report made three conclusions. First, that since supply fell short
of demand by approximately 10%, a food security x:tXaUxaz problem did
exist, however, resources were available to meet thisjeeereese4~rnmat.
The key to reducing the 10% gap between supply and demand was to reduce
the the constraints on the production of surplus food by all farmers,
regardless of size.
Murphy p. 4
The final aspect of the report was to identify the maja. foodstuffs
which people in the area consumed nd to propose ways to increase the
avfflability of these foods. =Msaize,' T ea, and to a muh lesser stent
In September 1980, the Officials met in preparation for Mapotu
and Zimbabwe requested .an official disucssion of their Food Security
paper. i Later,in October, at a Meeting in Salisbury,, the officials
inserted a statement identifying small scale agricultural producers as
the primary target for increased surplus production, but in principle
did not change the report before approving it.
The next step after identifying the problem was to determine what could
be done to attack it. What chan SADCC as a whole and Zimbabwe as the
responsible country do to lessen the constraints on the avaJadbility
of adequate food in the Region? The answer to this question led to the
formulation of the nine projects which have subsequently become the
core of the SADCO Food Security Project. The initial report which
identified the problem and the 9 projects which sought to address the
problem itere combined and sent to Mapittp where they were approved as
the Zimbabwe food Security Program by the Countil of Ministers and the
As noted earlier, the SummitI meets annually while the Council of
Ministers meets semi-annually. One of the seminnual meetings of the
Ministers is also open to the international donor community. Maputo
was such a donor meeting, and when the Food Security Proposals were
approved, donors began to express interest in different aspects of the
scheme. Murphy was in charge of securing international support for the
Food Security. Murphy had been with the Min of Agruiculture for
many ears, but~,hodesia had never dealt with international organizations,
because of sanction )and becise of the war, the Rhodesian civil service
had had contact only with the South Africans and prior to the independence
of Mpzambique, with the Portuguese. When it became known that the United
States and Canada were both interested in funding different aspects of
the food Seori-ty program, Murphy had some question as to what to do next.
Just how does one respond when an entire country expresses interest in
a spe fic proposal
During the Maputo conference, Ted Morris from USAID contacted Murphy
and expressed AID's interest in and potential willingness to fund
different.aspects of the Sood Security Program. Morris suggested
that Murphy write out the terms of reference for international assistance
in the area of an early warning system. Morris and Murphy'wrote the
terms of reference and then submitted them for approval to the othr--
SADCO states. Here, problems aro'Y because the other Aembers did not
agree with the terms and requested that they be renegotiated.
At the Mbabane meeting of the Council of Minitters,mantng Zimbabwe
reported on the progress it hsamade in securing international support
for the proposals that had been approved at Maputo. USAID had just
completed its preliminary arrangements for the funding of ant early
warning system. A preliminary consulting team had been identified
and tB~haxx adequate funding had been arranged. Here, problems
arose with Mozambique. Several months earlier, Mozambique had expelled
two US diplomats who were alleged to have been OIA agents and in response
Murphy p 5
the United States suspended its food assistance. Mozambique rejected
8U the use of USAID in principle and expressed its interest only in
the use of FAO personnel in the implementation of an Early warning system.
If AID wanted to provide the funding and let FAO oggvide the admittration
Mozabmique would agran: not object; however, thgy would object to USAID's
running the entire project. AID was not interested in funding ant FAO
project and subsequently withdrew fmaxt ix its support entirely. At thbt
point, Murphy wrote to the PAO and asked for assistance. FAO agreed
and provided $130,000 for an initial feasability study which Aufld be
carried out tk by Steve Lombard who had created an early warning system
in Tanzania under the auspesis of the FAO.
The E~as Early Warning system of the Food Security program is the
project which has moved the furthest towards implementation. The Eztx
a other aspects of Food Security are composed of eight projects,
seven of which will require feasability studies before they can begin
The first of the eight additional projects is 't Technical Assistance
for All Agrtrian Issues. This will be composed of three Consultative
T chnical Committeesx, the first of which would be composed of the
Directors of Agricultural research En each member state, the second
of the respective Directors of Agricultural Extension Services, and the
third of the Directors of Agricultural Marketing and Agricultural
Economics sectors of the respective member states. EPach committee would
meet once per year and would identify activities, page, and needs in
each of their fields. The results of these meetings would be passed
along to SADOO through Zimbabwe.
USAId again expressed its interest in providing funding for Food Securiity
and specifically for the TecAical Committees. Wayne Tate in Washing4.1-
t p DO was insturmental in obtaining $650,000 over and above Zimcord
which would finance the annual meetings. Agriculturfi and AID discussed
the terms of reference which now need the approval of the Ministry of
Economic planning and Development before the project can be full imple-
mented. This approval was scheduled to occur the week after we ret with
MuriKy. We should check sources to see about the current status of this
The second project which is well underway is the Early Warning System
which is being established by the FAO. A feasability study is unde3ray
and the initial report is due by early July. For a detailed statement
of how it thing is to operate, see the thing 3 wrote after our convoluted
Evening with Lombard.
The Third and Fourth Prp'jects a= the REginnal Resource Information
System and REsource BAse. The Commonwaealth Secretariat has provided the
funding for the contract with the Consulting firm-Food Analysis Group-
which is located in Oxford. Roger Hay, a new Zealander is the Directoe.
There was some confusion about the appointment of the firm from the
beginning. Agriculture and the Commonwealth agreed upon the terms fi
reference for the consultation and then the Commonwealth Secretariat
provided a short list of firms which they approved Qf for carrying
ott the study. The Zimbabwe ministry of Agriculture selected oie of the
firms and recommended its appointment. axma Generally, the final selection
Mpurhy p. 6
of a consulting firm is the purogative of the Host country. In this case
the Commonwealth Secretariat disregarded the desire of the Ministry of
agriculture and indeed selected a firm which they had not included on the
short list in the first pace. This created some hard feelings between
Mr. Murphy and Mr. David A-terson. In spite of this, the consulting
firm is zout in the field and is about half way through their study.
The next two projects are the REgional good Reserve System and the
Regional Food Aid project. Both are biting funded by the EEC which has
been very helpful. The studies will be undertaken in two phases; the
first will identify the possible options which SADOO can ptrsue, and
once SADOC chooses amodt the options, the seoad phase will study the
different ways in which specific options can be implemtned. The EEC
andxSftta the Ministry of Agriculture have negotiated a the temms of
reference and a hhurt list of consulting firms has been drawn up. Tenders
have been offered, but no firm hasj yet been selected.
The Sixth and Seventh projects are the REgional Post Harvest Food
Loss Reduction scheme and the Regional Food Processing scheme. Canada
has undertaken the feasability studies in a rather hurried fashion.
Ted Morris of the International Development Research Center has undertaken
the study, however, whithCout the benefit of $t having read the terms
cf reference. While Zimbabwe and Canada were still negotiating the
specificc nature of the terms, the Team arrived from Canada to begin
they the study. Zimbabwe and CaOada agreed that the temm would work
to the spirit, if not the letteP, of the terms. The zx team did not
visit all the nine member states, but their initial report is in and
was to be discussed at the meeting in Salizbury/harare during our final
week in the city. See Interview with Joe ^ S=- ocseo .
The final project is the Regional Food Marketing Infrastructure.2ra
The Commonwealth Secretariatxzgakxx is again providing the funding
for the initial study. In order to avatid k the misunderstai ding that
developed btgyeen the C/wealth and Zimbabwe, the Ministry of agriculture
made its vlews "a~'out the firm it wanted i very wJ~liaaWn early on.
The Commonwealth again chose someone entirely different, Agridev from
Ctnada. This has not served to smooth relations between Mr. Murhpy
and Mr. Anderson.
PROCESS OF UNDERTAKING A FEASIBILITY STUDY
When a consulting team arrives, Murphy appoints a liason officer
from the Agricultural Economics section of the ministry of Agricuture.
Two Agricultural Economists are assigned to the Commonwealth, EnB and
one to the FAO, the IDRO, USAID, and the EEC for each of the projects
they are funding. The lia3on officer iU responsible for ensuring that
the proper appointments and logistical arrangements have been made
in each of the countries that the team is to visit. The SADOOC Haeaoo
,' s~tee- in the Ministry of Economics in each member state is gaxSza1_c
x aa:kz:xzlaMx BaB N mk oftentimes not familiar with the local ministry
of Agriculture and is either unable or unwilling, to make the necessary
arrangements. This meaA*that the Zimbabwean liaison officer travels to
each of the countries in order to make arrangements. What often occurs is
that the Zimbabwean liason officer proceeds t)1e consulting team in visiting
Each country. When the team arrives, the liamon officer collects the
aBmgggx K axxg~n xa aEx jx gBTnfdmailon mat the team has collected
that far er'returnsto Zimbabwe wi~lt wherit upeda.e Hthen
sets off for the next country on the team's itinerary in or r to m e ne
Murphy p. 7
information that the team has collected that far and Beturns to Zimbabwe
with it whereit can be typed. He then sets off for the next country
on the team's itinerary in order to tkke the necessary arrangements
for their continued travel. (fn bme o eA e. -4d Y
The result of this additional administrative responsibility has.been
that the Agricultral Economics section of the Ministry of Egriculture
has had to neglect its normal responsibilities in order to carry out
SADCC related functions. The immediate benefits for Zimbabwe are not
clear. In the beginningg of SAdcc, Mprphy hoped that much of this
administrative load could be taken ofer by the Secretariat, however,
when the nature of the Secretariate became clear, and thus it became
clear that much if not all of this work would remain with the Ministry
for the foreseeable future, Mupphy wrote the Minister of Agriculture,
In his letter, Pajy stated that atthaz the Agrioutlrual Economics
section would become increasingly unable to perform its domestic
responsibilities unless an administrative support unit was established
within li the ministry to service SADCO needs. In the face of the first
maJb' economic statement by the Government of Zimbabwe, the Three Year
Plan, and the need for extensive participation by the Ministry of Agri-
culture in the formation of that document, the Minister agreed.axt Initially,
the Australians had offered to fund two executive positions and one
secretarial, however, theNmconditions which they aftached to the funding
were not agreeable to Zimbabwe, which funded the posioltbns with their
When a consultancy has been completed, it is submitted to tnFlevsut
committee of the Standing Committee bf Officials. The sub-committee
meets with the consulting firm which undertook the study and then aione.
The Sub committee recommends certain alterations or amKendments which the
consulting firm then includes in the final draft of the report.
The final draft of the consultation then goes to the EK xkt Standing
Committee of Officials and then to the Council of Ministers. If accepted,
the he problems of implementing the recommendations developed in the
contulation arise. Some of the proposals will be regional, but the
lions share will be national in character which will need to be coordinated
through a central office, that tof the Min of Agric. in Zimbabawe in the case
The entire process in very time consuming, howeVer; each step is required
if a project .is to become a SADO0 and not a national project. Each member
state must have the opportunity to participate at each step. -"Anderson
can sit in Queen Mary s suite and bitch abbut speed, but it can't go
faster" (the quote is from my notes, not Murphy)
Concept of Direct Contacts Bttween Bureaucrats
8 Project one is to facilitate this type of contact in specific areas.
The consultative Technical Committees will meet and minutes will be kept.
At the Council of Minister'meetings, reports f8m the CTS will be available
as will be the records of the meetings. The Council of Ministers, and
the Comittee of Officials will make decisions about the recommendations
that the Consultative Tech. Committees make.
Mpurhy p. 8 (last)
This I mentioned earlier. People who are working hard at home are
expected to take on additional tahka which may or,.may not have immediate
benefits for their own country. Question of divi- of scarce
Quality of Feasability Studies
The team usually spends less than a week in each country. This is
understandable because there are so#f many countries and their is just so
much time that a firm can spend Von any given project. However, if a team
spends only a few days in a country where reliable agricultural data is
not raddily available, then the data they collect is unlikely to be sound,
thd the proposals they make will be less likely to be directly on target
than if more thorough research were undertaken. This problem is endemic dIbJ
to studies of development in general, and only more and better research
and data collection will cure it.