Sustainable agriculture

What's New

  • OECD-Netherlands Workshop - Managing water risks for agriculture: a discussion with the private sector - - - - 9 November 2016

    Agriculture is expected to face increasing water risks in the future, ranging from water shortages, to floods and water quality risks. These risks could affect agriculture production and productivity. In response, this OECD-Netherlands Workshop offered an opportunity to engage into a public-private discussion on future water risk assessment and innovative responses in the agro-food sector. The exercise strove to identify what agro-food companies consider as prevalent agricultural water risks and how they have acted against those risks.

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  • Water risk hotspots for agriculture: The case of the southwest United States

    This report analyses trends in agriculture for the US Southwest region, one of the most water stressed and productive agricultural regions in the world expected to face further water shortages in the future due to climate change and continued growth. It examines projected water risks by mid-century without additional policy action, and discusses the expected implications for the agriculture sector, based on a review of existing data and available publications.

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  • Farm Management Practices to Foster Green Growth

    Global food demand can only be met in a sustainable way if new forms of agricultural production and innovative technologies can be unlocked to increase the productivity, stability, and resilience of production systems with goals beyond just raising yields, including saving water and energy, reducing risk, improving product quality, protecting the environment and climate change mitigation.

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Publications

‌‌‌‌ Farm Management Practices to Foster Green Growth

Based on a literature review, this report analyses the effects on resource productivity and efficiency of key farm management practices with green growth potential as compared to conventional agriculture.

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‌‌‌‌Mitigating Droughts and Floods in Agriculture

This OECD report proposes a comprehensive analysis of, and a set of key recommendations on policy approaches to the sustainable management of droughts and floods in agriculture.


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‌‌‌‌Drying Wells, Rising Stakes

Groundwater has provided great benefits to agriculture irrigation in semi-arid OECD countries, but its intensive use beyond recharge in certain regions has depleted resources and generated significant negative environmental externalities.

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‌‌‌‌Public Goods and Externalities

This report analyses how a handful of OECD countries (Australia, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom and the United States) defines agri-environmental public goods and sets agri-environmental targets and reference levels, and the policies they implement for targeting certain agri-environmental public goods.

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‌‌‌‌Fostering Green Growth in Agriculture

This report examines investment in agricultural advisory services, training and extension initiatives in the OECD area and provides guidelines and recommendations on best practices in sustainable agricultural management.

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‌‌‌‌Green Growth Indicators for Agriculture

This report is a first step towards developing a framework to monitor progress on green growth in the agricultural sector in OECD countries.

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‌‌‌‌Climate Change, Water and Agriculture

This report reviews the main linkages between climate change, water and agriculture as a means to identifying and discussing adaptation strategies for better use and conservation of water resources.

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Policy Instruments to Support Green Growth in Agriculture

This report synthesises the experience of OECD countries in developing and implementing policies, programmes and initiatives related to green growth in the agricultural sector, based primarily on material provided by governments.

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‌‌OECD Compendium of Agri-environmental Indicators

The compendium provides comprehensive data and analysis on the environmental performance of agriculture in OECD countries since 1990, covering soil, water, air and biodiversity and looking at recent policy developments in all 34 countries.

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‌‌‌‌Water Quality and Agriculture: Meeting the Policy Challenge

This book examines linking policies, farm management and water quality. It looks at recent trends and prospects for water pollution from agriculture and the implications of climate change.

» Read it online


» All OECD agriculture papers
» All OECD agriculture books


 

Key Areas in Sustainable Agriculture

Agri-Environmental Indicators
To help improve measurement of the environmental performance of agriculture, OECD has established a set of agri-environmental indicators, developed in co-operation with Eurostat and FAO. These indicators inform policy makers and society on the state and trends in agri-environmental conditions, and can provide a valuable aid to policy analysis

» Discover the Agri-Environmental Indicators

Green Growth for food, agriculture and fisheries
Global demand for food is estimated to double by 2050. Natural resources for agriculture and fisheries (such as land and water) will come under increasing pressure from urbanisation and industrialisation. Farming and fishing have significant impacts on the environment. Climate change will also have an effect on agriculture and food production. The challenge for policy makers is to meet increasing demands for food and resources while minimising environmental and social pressure.

» Read more about green growth strategies

Agriculture and Climate Change
Agriculture is one of the few sectors that can both contribute to mitigation and sequestration of carbon emissions and accounting for agriculture’s carbon footprint is necessary, particularly if agriculture is included in greenhouse gas reduction commitments. However, the range and variability of estimates, and the complexity and uncertainty of accounting for indirect land use change remain to be resolved.

» Learn more about agriculture and climate change

Biodiversity and Ecosystems
As a major user of land in many countries agriculture has had, and continues to have, a large impact on biodiversity and ecosystems. Agro-ecosystems, biodiversity and agriculture are closely interconnected; ecological functions and ecosystem services, such as soil structure and fertility maintenance, nutrient cycling, pollination, and the regulation of pests and diseases are vital for crop production. There is potential for agriculture to maintain and even enhance biodiversity and agro-ecosystem services through well-designed policy interventions.

» Read more about Biodiversity and ecosystems

Water use in agriculture
Agriculture is a major user of water resources and also contributes to water pollution from excess nutrients, pesticides and other pollutants. But the competition for water is increasing and the costs of water pollution can be high. Sustainable management of water in agriculture is critical to increase agricultural production, ensure water can be shared with other users and maintain the environmental and social benefits of water systems.

» Explore the issues surrounding water use in agriculture


Other Topics in Sustainable Agriculture