The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/International Institute of Agriculture

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INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF AGRICULTURE, a world organization, with headquarters in Rome, Italy, founded in 1905, and having for object the collection and dissemination of knowledge relating to agriculture in the various countries represented in the institute. In 1904 the idea of such an institute came to Mr. David Lubin (q.v.) of Sacramento, Cal., and his project found favor with the king of Italy. The latter gave a building in Rome and an annual income of $60,000. The king called the first congress in 1906, and delegates attended from 40 countries. At the congress a treaty was formed making the institute a permanent organization and defining its scope and activities. The government of the institute is vested in the general assembly of delegates from affiliated countries, meeting every two years, and in a permanent executive committee, on which there is one representative from each country. This permanent committee has direct charge of the institute. The general officers are the president, who is also chairman of the permanent committee; the vice-president and the secretary-general. The work of the institute is divided among four bureaus: (1) The bureau of the secretary-general; (2) the bureau of general statistics; (3) the bureau of agricultural intelligence and plant diseases, and (4) the bureau of economic and social institutions. The bureau of the secretary-general has charge of the personnel, financial and other routine business, the building and its equipment, the printing and distribution of publications, the library and general bibliographical work, and, as a more recent service, the preparation and publication of an annual compilation of agricultural legislation in the different countries of the world. The bureau of general statistics collects, collates and publishes statistics of production and commerce in agricultural products, both animal and vegetable, throughout the world. The bureau of agricultural intelligence and plant diseases collects and publishes information regarding the progress of scientific and experimental investigations and practical experience in agriculture throughout the world and, as a branch of this work, gives special attention to the diseases of plants and to entomology. The bureau of economic and social institutions collects and publishes statistics and general information regarding agricultural co-operation, insurance and credit, together with other matters relating to the economic and social organization of rural communities.

Those publications of the institute which have a bearing on the formation of the price of the staples (such as crop reports and data on exports, imports and stocks) are based exclusively on official information, supplied direct to the institute by the adhering governments. The other publications are produced from the following sources: (a) Information officially communicated by the governments; (b) original articles contributed by eminent authorities designated by the adhering governments; (c) excerpts and abstracts of articles translated from the 2,225 official and unofficial periodical publications of the world received by the institute.

The institute prints and publishes two annuals and three monthly and one weekly bulletins, together with a considerable number of monographs on special subjects. The annuals deal with agricultural statistics and legislation, respectively; the monthly bulletins are on (1) agricultural statistics; (2) agricultural intelligence and diseases of plants, and (3) economic and social institutions, and the weekly bulletin is bibliographical. The monthly bulletins are published in French, German, English, Spanish, Italian and Hungarian. French being the official language of the institute, the editions in that language are paid for from the funds of the institute. Provision for the edition in the other languages is made by the countries interested. The Congress of the United States has made an annual appropriation of $5,000 for translating and printing the English edition, the rest of the expense being borne by Great Britain and her colonies. The institute has collected a great library of the world's best in agricultural literature. As the institute becomes more firmly established and its value as an international clearing-house on economic information is more generally recognized it is met with a constantly increasing demand for the extension of its service along the many lines included in the broad movement of our day for agricultural advancement. The annual budget of the institute is now $250,000, contributed by the adhering governments, on the basis of units; thus the contribution of the United States is on the basis of 16 units. Consult ‘Senate Document No. 196, 63d Congress, First Session’ (Washington 1913), from which the preceding account has been compiled, and ‘L'Institut International d'Agriculture’ (Rome 1912).