Sustainable agriculture

What's New

  • Mitigating Droughts and Floods in Agriculture - Policy Lessons and Approaches - en 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. It builds on recent trends, experiences and research from OECD countries in this area, in particular Australia, Canada, France, Spain and the United Kingdom. Beyond policy recommendations, this report also provides a general policy framework that could be useful for countries to analyse their own drought and flood policies, as well as to identify ways forward.

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  • Drying Wells, Rising Stakes - Towards Sustainable Agricultural Groundwater Use

    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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  • Conference on Agriculture and agricultural soils facing climate change

    This joint OECD-France conference laid the foundation for the international effort which is needed on public policy options and economic incentives to support food security, the fight against climate change, and adaptation to climate change, while integrating soil issues in that effort. It was organised ahead of the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) that will be held in Paris in December 2015.

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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.

» Read it online

‌‌‌‌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.

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» 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

Long-term Scenarios for Agriculture and Food
The future of the agriculture and food system is subject to considerable concerns. Increasing agricultural demand, fuelled by growing and increasingly urbanized population, rising incomes and substantial demands for feedstock commodities for energy and other non-food uses, is confronted by limited resources for agricultural production, such as land and water. Climate change may play an additional role in changing productivity potentials and production systems around the globe.

» Examine Long-term Scenarios for Agriculture and Food

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