2022: A Year in Agriculture in Review

2022: A Year in Review

17 December 2022 | Marion Jansen, Director of OECD Trade & Agriculture

What a year for agriculture at the OECD! A year of crisis, a year of diplomacy, but above all a year of breakthroughs on the complex agendas of sustainability in agriculture and in fisheries.

Crisis, because of Russia’s full-scale aggression against Ukraine and its effects on food prices. The meeting of the OECD Group on Commodity Markets, our contributions to the Agricultural Markets Information System (AMIS) and our timely communication on the effects of the aggression on agricultural markets and global food security reached new levels of relevance in this period of turmoil.

Diplomacy, because our constant exchange with members and with partner institutions and forums like the FAO, UNCTAD, WTO and the UN Global Crisis Response Group enabled us to contribute to softening negative evolutions in food markets. The Trade and Agriculture Directorate also supported OECD members in finding consensus on a ground-breaking Declaration on Transformative Solutions for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems at the OECD Meeting of Agriculture Ministers in November 2022.

Breakthrough, because this Ministerial Declaration represents a major step forward in terms of gathering international commitment to ensure food security and nutrition whilst strengthening sustainability and ensuring inclusive livelihoods in agriculture and food systems. Importantly, the Declaration also contains a commitment to increase climate change mitigation efforts by reducing emissions from agriculture and food systems and effectively increase carbon sequestration to contribute to the goal of achieving economy-wide net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. And last but not least, we achieved a breakthrough in our fisheries work, brokering agreement among our members on a way of classifying risks of encouraging unsustainable fishing that different support policies can present in the absence of effective management. The resulting monitoring tool can provide a valuable contribution to the achievement of SDG 14 but also to the meeting the objectives under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. 

Of course, we continued to produce flagship reports and policy papers throughout the year. All of them are informative and interesting, but for your reading list this holiday season, I strongly recommend our “trilogy” on sustainable productivity in agriculture if you want to understand:

  1. Why agricultural productivity needs to increase by 28% in the coming ten years,
  2. why governments are not doing the necessary to reach this, and
  3. how they can monitor progress.

We look forward to continuing to strive for progress together with our members and partners and hope that 2023 will bring us many more breakthroughs that will help to navigate these challenging times.

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