Israel’s agriculture is unique amongst developed countries in that land and water resources are nearly all state-owned and that agricultural production is dominated by co-operative communities. Israel is a world leader in agricultural technology, particularly in farming in arid conditions. This Review measures support provided to Israeli agriculture and evaluates the effectiveness of current agricultural policy measures. Israel has made progress in removing policies that distort trade, and resource allocation and support to agriculture is lower than the OECD average. However, the government still plays an important role. The report suggests further agricultural policy reforms to reduce costs for consumers and taxpayers and to improve the efficiency of current policy measures.
A special focus of the report is the environmental performance of Israeli agriculture. This is already an issue with scarce land and water resources, accentuated by the overarching issue of climate change. The Review examines agriculture’s performance with respect to water resources and pollution, soils, biodiversity, air emissions and climate change. It concludes that strengthening policy coherence, especially in improving the management of water resources in agriculture, is important.
This brochure is published within the framework of the Scheme for the Application of International Standards for Fruit and Vegetables established by OECD in 1962. It comprises explanatory notes and illustrations to facilitate the common interpretation of the apricots standard in force. This updated brochure illustrates the revised standard text and new trends in the international trade of apricots. It demonstrates the quality parameters on high quality photographs. Thus it is a valuable tool for the inspection authorities, professional bodies and traders interested in the international trade in apricots. The brochure also includes a USB key with the electronic version of this publication.
Improving the environmental performance of agriculture is a high priority in OECD and many non-OECD countries. This will be of increasing concern in the future given the pressure to feed a growing world population with scarce land and water resources. Policy has an important role to play where markets for many of the environmental outcomes from agriculture are absent or poorly functioning.
This study focuses on the design and implementation of environmental standards and regulations, taxes, payments and tradable permit schemes to address agri-environmental issues. It deals with the choice of policy instruments and the design of specific instruments, with the aim of identifying those that are most cost-effective in very different situations across OECD countries.
Key conclusions from the study are that: there is no unique instrument that promises to achieve all agri-environmental policy goals; the cost effectiveness of payments systems could be improved by using performance-based measures; and policy mixes need to combine policy instruments that complement and not conflict with each other.
Climate change is likely to have significant impacts on the agricultural sector to which farmers will have to adapt. While agriculture is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, it is also a source of carbon storage in soils. This report examines the economic and policy issues related to the impacts of climate change on agriculture and adaptation responses and to the mitigation of greenhouse gases from agriculture. It outlines research undertaken and underway in other national and international research agencies. It also highlights some of the knowledge gaps on the impacts of climate change on food production and the uncertainties of those impacts in a global context that warrant further research efforts. In particular, the report analyses marginal abatement cost curves, which show the relative costs of achieving reductions in greenhouse gas emission through the implementation of different actions in the agricultural sector. The aim of the report is to help guide policy makers in the design of policies to address climate change issues in agriculture.
In his speech for the release of the OECD-FAO Agriculture Outlook in Rome, Italy, Angel Gurría said that the macroeconomic prospects underlying it are more favourable, supply response has been strong, stocks are healthier and most of the ad hoc restrictions on agricultural exports have been lifted.
Measuring Innovation: A New Perspective presents new measures and new ways of looking at traditional indicators. It builds on 50 years of indicator development by OECD and goes beyond R&D to describe the broader context in which innovation occurs. It includes some experimental indicators that provide insight into new areas of policy interest. It highlights measurement gaps and proposes directions for advancing the measurement agenda.
This publication begins by describing innovation today. It looks at what is driving innovation in firms, and how the scientific and research landscape is being reconfigured by convergence, interdisciplinarity and the new geography of innovation hot spots. It presents broader measures of innovation, for example using new indicators of investment in intangible assets and trademarks.
Human capital is the basic input of innovation, and a series of indicators looks at how well education systems are contributing to the knowledge and research bases. Further series examine how firms transform skills and knowledge, and shed light on the different roles of public and private investment in fostering innovation and reaping its rewards, with concrete examples from major global challenges such as health and climate change.
Measuring Innovation is a major step towards evidence-based innovation policy making. It complements traditional “positioning”-type indicators with ones that show how innovation is, or could be, linked to policy. It also recognises that much more remains to be done, and points to the measurement challenges statisticians, researchers and policy makers alike need to address.
Rebuilding fisheries is a key challenge for many countries as some stocks are in a poor state while others are depleted. In May 2009, economists, biologists, fisheries managers and policy makers participated in an OECD Workshop on the Economics of Rebuilding Fisheries. The workshop was designed to identify and analyse economic uncertainties, policy issues, biological conditions and information constraints, and to review the role of key players in program delivery. This conference proceedings presents an overview of the major economic and institutional issues associated with rebuilding fisheries and provides examples of national and international initiatives.
This overview of global markets for fish and fish products finds that they have changed considerably over the past few decades and continue to do so, with ever growing interactions across countries and continents. Change has brought substantial benefits to the world economy and a number of policy challenges for governments. To meet these challenges, without compromising the advantages of increasing market interactions, countries must develop and implement fisheries management frameworks and aquaculture strategies that accommodate globalisation without undermining resource sustainability.
This report complements earlier OECD work on liquid biofuels and provides information on biomass based heat and power, as well as on biogas. It discusses the heterogeneous portfolio of different biomass feedstocks, conversion technologies, and pathways of utilisation. It also shows that governments in many countries provide substantial support to the production and use of renewable energy in general, and bioenergy in particular; these support measures are highly diverse and are given at national and various sub-national levels.
The results of a large number of life-cycle analyses of various bioheat and biopower chains reviewed in this study indicate that the objective to reduce GHG emissions and fossil energy use is met; indeed the savings estimated for most chains are substantial when compared to fossil alternatives. At present, most of the chains examined do not compete with food and feed production, and thus the implications for agricultural markets are small. It is clear, however, that if a stronger focus on agricultural biomass crops is to be developed, this will require careful design of support policies so as to avoid compromising the ability of the agricultural sector to provide food and feed in a sustainable manner.
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An overview of current OECD work in food, agriculture and fisheries