Looking back at 6 years of OECD work on agriculture
The most recent OECD Meeting of Agriculture Ministers took place in Paris on 7-8 April 2016. Ministers and representatives from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States and Viet Nam attended. They discussed the opportunities and challenges for the global agriculture and food sector and explored appropriate policy responses, placing a high priority on developing policies to underpin competitive, sustainable, productive and resilient farm and food businesses.
The Ministerial Declaration that was signed by 46 countries, outlined key objectives for agriculture and food systems and identified work priorities for the Committee for Agriculture. It set directions and guided the work of the OECD Trade and Agriculture Directorate over the past 6 years resulting in a large number of publications, events, and high-level engagement in global fora.
A major part of the Committee for Agriculture’s work focused on policy packages targeting the development of productive, sustainable and resilient food systems. The OECD Secretariat revised its analytical policy framework and improved measurement of sustainable productivity growth at the farm and national level through work of its expert networks. It developed a major report characterising food systems challenges and offering solution pathways, which were then used as criteria to assess agricultural support policies. Forward-looking policy analysis and planning has continued to be informed by the ten-year prospects for agricultural commodity, fish and biofuel markets at national, regional and global levels contained in the annual OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook. These priority areas continued to be discussed during meetings of OECD agriculture and food expert networks.
Key publications and resources
- OECD Agro-Food Productivity-Sustainability-Resilience Policy Framework: Revised Framework (Document)
- Agricultural Total Factor Productivity and the environment: A guide to emerging best practices in measurement (2022 Report)
- Making Better Policies for Food Systems (2021 Report)
- Agricultural Policy Monitoring and Evaluation 2021: Addressing the Challenges Facing Food Systems (2021 Report)
The OECD Secretariat also made considerable contributions to the 2021 United Nations Food Systems Summit releasing a report on overcoming evidence gaps in food systems just before the event. Collaboration continues as the OECD is contributing as a thought partner supporting action coalitions initiated as part of the Summit on topics such as schools meals.
Policies levers for innovation have continued to be the object of in-depth assessment in nine OECD and G20 countries. The opportunities of digital technologies in agriculture for producers and policy makers, and policies to encourage their development and use have also been studied and discussed in a number of workshops.
Key publications and resources
- Innovation, Productivity and Sustainability in Food and Agriculture: Main Findings from Country Reviews and Policy Lessons (2019 Report)
- Innovation reviews of Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Estonia, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Turkey, and United States (Multiple reports)
- Digital Opportunities for Better Agricultural Policies (2019 Report)
- Digital opportunities for demand-side policies to improve consumer health and the sustainability of food systems (2021 Paper)
Updates of this work were presented to the G20 Agriculture Working Group.
Addressing Climate Change
Work of the Committee has expanded and deepened on policies to foster the sustainable use of natural resources and enable climate change adaptation and mitigation. Research has looked into how to monitor and improve environmental performance of agriculture, policies and reform pathways to foster the sustainable management of water in agriculture, and the potential of different policy options to climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Key publications and resources
Improving the policy performance:
- Measuring the Environmental Performance of Agriculture Across OECD Countries (Indicators)
- Evaluating the environmental impact of agricultural policies (2019 Paper)
- Characterising agri-environmental policies: Towards measuring their progress (2021 Paper)
Sustainable management of water in agriculture:
- Water risk hotspots for agriculture (2017 Report)
- Navigating pathways to reform water policies in agriculture (2019 Paper)
- Country profiles on agriculture and water policies (2020 country profiles for 35 countries)
Climate change adaption and mitigation:
- Synergies and trade-offs between adaptation, mitigation and agricultural productivity: A synthesis report (2018 Paper)
- Enhancing Climate Change Mitigation through Agriculture (2019 Report)
- Agricultural Policy Monitoring and Evaluation 2022. Reforming agricultural policies for climate change mitigation (2022 Report)
Research on water contributed to the OECD wide water work awarded the World Water Prize in 2018 while water management research contributed to the evaluation of the implementation of the 2016 OECD Council Recommendation on Water.
Building agricultural resilience
The longstanding work of the Committee for Agriculture on agricultural risk management served as a basis for a broader set of work on agricultural resilience to risks and associated case studies on natural hazard induced disasters, which was also the subject of the 2021 Global Forum on Agriculture. The OECD Secretariat also worked on responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Strengthening Agricultural Resilience in the Face of Multiple Risks (2020 Report)
- Building Agricultural Resilience to Natural Hazard-induced Disasters: Insights from Country Case Studies (2021 Report)
- COVID-19 and the food and agriculture sector: Issues and policy responses (2020 Brief)
Policies to promote human, animal, and plant health throughout the food supply chain were enhanced via research on reducing the risk of antimicrobial resistance in animals. Human health aspects of food consumption, what are healthy diets, and how can governments influence what people are eating have been discussed at the Food Chain Analysis Network.
- Assessing national action plans on antimicrobial resistance in animal production: What lessons can be drawn? (2021)
- Policies for encouraging healthier food choices (2019)
- Food chain analysis network meetings:
Trade and Markets
The Committee continued to work on trade and domestic policies that foster well-functioning and more integrated international and domestic markets with a focus onGlobal Value Chains and digitalisation.On-going contributions and support of the OECD to the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) have been acknowledged by leaders in particular with recent the food supply disruptions due to COVID-19 and the situation in the Ukraine making accurate information about global food supplies critically important.
- How policies shape global food and agriculture value chains (2017 Paper)
- The changing landscape of agricultural markets and trade: prospects for future reforms (2019 Paper)
- Digital Opportunities for Trade in the Agriculture and Food Sectors (2019 Paper)
- Digital opportunities for Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Systems and the trade facilitation effects of SPS Electronic Certification (2021 Paper)A workshop on electronic sanitary certification was held in February 2022 with participation from the WTO, OIE, Codex, IPPC, WCO and UNECE.
- The OECD Codes and Schemes have continued to evolve over the past six years to address issues related to new technologies, keeping pace with innovation in the agriculture sector and facilitating trade.
Transparency and Knowledge Sharing
The OECD continues to contribute to open data and knowledge sharing enhancing transparency and promoting learning.
- The annual OECD-FAO Agriculture Outlook report includes data on ten-year projections of global agricultural commodity markets that are publically available, as are the data used for calculations for the Producer Support Estimate contained in the annual OECD Agricultural Policy Monitoring and Evaluation reports.
- The Cooperative Research Programme Open data and has supported a wide variety of fellowships and conferences that enhance knowledge and technology sharing on current research on sustainable, productive, resilient agriculture and food systems.
- Peer-to-peer learnings for countries are facilitated via the following expert network mechanisms: Food Chain Analysis Network, Farm-level Analysis Network, and Network on Agricultural Total Factor Productivity and the Environment.