This annual publication provides the most comprehensive description and assessment of agricultural and related policy developments in OECD countries. It presents data on the level and composition of support and protection to agriculture, and evaluates the extent to which countries are reforming their agricultural policies. Special sections are devoted to the analysis of the 2002 Farm Act in the United States and to agri-environmental policies in OECD countries.
The level of support to farmers in the OECD area as a whole has not changed since 2000. Despite some major policy initiatives in 2002, there were no notable changes in the main policy instruments in most countries. Consequently, changes in the level of country and commodity support largely reflected market developments (weakening US dollar, world prices considerably lower for livestock products and significantly higher for crops). Overall, there was neither a reduction in market protection nor an improvement in market orientation, although there has been some progress since the mid-1980s. Wide differences in support levels continued across countries and between commodities. More market orientation and policies better targeted to specific objectives are needed in many OECD countries. This would help reduce the burden on domestic consumers and taxpayers, further integrate domestic and world agricultural markets, improve the prospects for developing countries, reduce environmental pressure and achieve various goals that governments have set for themselves. The WTO negotiations underway on agricultural trade offer an opportunity to pursue these goals.
No. pages: 296
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