Agricultural policies and support

Fostering Productivity and Competitiveness in Agriculture


Recent developments in agricultural markets have reinforced concerns about global food security, price volatility, sustainability and the effects of climate change. In a context of limited resources and high input costs, ensuring stronger productivity growth is essential in responding to increased demand for agricultural products.

This report looks at developments in productivity and competitiveness in the agricultural and food processing sectors, focusing on research and development (R&D).

Research and development is the main source of new technologies and agricultural productivity growth in the long run. The share of R&D investment in total public support for agriculture has increased in many countries over the past few decades. OECD data shows that the public sector is usually the main actor in providing agricultural R&D investment.

The report examines the relationship between agricultural productivity and farm size, factor intensity, farm specialisation, human capital, consumer demand, the natural environment, investments in general infrastructures and in research and development (R&D), regulations, and agricultural policies. 

It also describes developments in public and private investments in agricultural R&D and outlines their positive impact on productivity growth. An “innovation systems” approach would help understand better how innovation translates into productivity growth, this report suggests.

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