Agriculture: G20 collaboration to improve agriculture productivity growth is key to feeding 9 billion people


12/06/2012 - G20 governments under successive Presidencies have sought to improve international collaboration in support of a more productive and sustainable global food and agriculture system. With growing food demand from a larger and more wealthy population and increased pressure on our natural resources – in particular water – there is no choice. We all need to eat.


Progress is being made, but much more can and needs to be done, according to a new report by 12 international organisations to Mexico, the current G20 Presidency.

Sustainable Agricultural Productivity Growth and Bridging the Gap for Small Family Farms takes stock of actions taken since food security and development was first taken up at the 2010 Seoul Summit and the 2011 G20 Action Plan was launched in Cannes. The report goes on to identify a range of additional actions that can be taken over the medium and long term.

Coordinated by the OECD and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, in response to a request from the Mexican G20 Presidency, the report calls on G20 governments to encourage more innovation, including via research, technology transfer and advisory services, throughout the global food and agriculture system and to support developing countries as they address the specific challenges they face.


The report identifies the free flow of ideas, goods and services across national borders as an important engine for agricultural innovation and the adoption of more productive and more sustainable solutions.  It says that the right institutional and market conditions must be in place if countries are to attract the needed investments and increase productivity growth in the sector.

 “G20 governments represent a very large share of the world’s agricultural output and they have a special responsibility to ensure the global food system remains healthy and vibrant. Important actions have already been taken,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría, “and there is now an exciting opportunity to work together to identify where policy performance could be further improved. This type of voluntary cooperation is exactly what the G20 was created to do.”


Organizations that collaborated on the report are: Bioversity, CGIAR Consortium, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), OECD, UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), UN High Level Task Force on the Food Security Crisis, UN World Food Programme (WFP), World Bank, and World Trade Organization (WTO).

For further information or comment, journalists should contact Frank van Tongeren of the OECD’s Trade and Agriculture Directorate (tel. + 33 1 45 24 78 81).

Further information about the OECD’s work with the G20 is available at More information on OECD work on agriculture is available at


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