As the world has changed during the past 50 years, so has agriculture. And so has agricultural research, which continues to confront new challenges, from food security to ecological concerns to land use issues. Indeed, as Guy Paillotin, the former president of the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) has noted, agricultural research “has reached new heights in biology and is exploring other disciplines. It is forever changing, as are the needs of the society”.
The changing challenges faced by agricultural research were examined in depth at a conference organised by the OECD’s Co-operative Research Programme on Biological Resource Management for Sustainable Agricultural Systems, together with the Czech Republic’s Ministry of Agriculture. Participants came from all agricultural sectors and included farmers, industry, scientists and decision makers, as well as other stake holders.
This publication presents the twenty papers delivered at the conference. They highlight recent major progress in agricultural research outcomes and address the challenges that lie ahead.
“We cannot return to business-as-usual” has been a constant refrain since the economic crisis started. How can new growth sources be tapped? What about fighting poverty, and ensuring food and energy supplies while safeguarding our planet? OECD experts discuss the issues.
Unpredictability is one of the reasons food commodity prices have been so volatile over the past year. With prices on the rise the global bill for food imports will top a trillion dollars, a level not seen since prices peaked in 2008.
Improving the environmental performance of agriculture is a high priority for OECD countries. But measuring and evaluating the impact of agri-environmental policies on the environment can be challenging, as it requires linking economic and biophysical models in country-specific contexts.
The OECD has developed the Stylised Agri-environmental Policy Impact Model (SAPIM), which can be adapted and applied by researchers and policy makers to better understand the impact of policies on the agri-environment conditions in their countries.
This report applies the model to representative farms in Finland, Japan, Switzerland and the United States. These countries include a wide range of objectives, policy measures and agri-environmental conditions. The results highlight that when positive or negative environmental externalities are not taken into account by farmers then the production choices by farmers will reflect private costs and benefits. Policies can potentially raise social welfare by taking account of those externalities.
This report notes that, overall, the diversity of conditions across sectors and countries makes it difficult to generalise the impact of agri-environmental policies beyond the situations that are modeled. Nevertheless, some wider policy messages emerge. Drawing on the four case studies examined, this report recommends that; polluting activites that are not regulated should be included in policy design; the existing overall policy environment needs to be taken into account in evaluating agri-environmental policies; and environmental co-benefits and trade-offs need to be recognised.
Green growth policies can stimulate economic growth while preventing environmental degradation, biodiversity loss and unsustainable natural resource use. The results from this publication contribute to the Green Growth Strategy being developed by the OECD as a practical policy package for governments to harness the potential of greener growth.
The OECD Stylised Agri-environmental Policy Impact Model (SAPIM) measures and evaluates the impact of agricultural policies on the environment. This report applies the SAPIM model to farms in Finland, Japan, Switzerland and the United States.
In the event of a surge in the world price of wheat or rice, policies such as additional border measures, consumer subsidies or a release of public stocks would have high costs for taxpayers and negative consequences for international markets, finds this study of ten emerging economies.
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Booklet for the conference on biosecurity organised by CSIRO in Canberra, November 2009 on the threats and opportunities, and sponsored by the OECD Co-operative Research Programme on Biological Resource Management for Sustainable Agricultural Systems (CRP).
The annual OECD Global Forum on Agriculture fosters an informed dialogue between OECD member and non-member economies on agricultural policy issues.
This publication provides comments and illustrations of standards in force regarding the classification, presentation and marking of citrus fruit in international trade under the Scheme for the Application of International Standards for Fruit and Vegetables set up by OECD in 1962. It is a valuable tool for both the Inspection Authorities and professional bodies responsible for the application of standards or interested in trade in citrus fruit. The book includes a USB key with the electronic version of the publication.
Commodity prices surged in 2006-08 in Argentina, Brazil, China, Chile, India, Indonesia, Russia, South Africa, Ukraine and Vietnam. Government policy responses to these price surges were not always successful in minimising the impact on consumers and producers, this report finds.