Agricultural Total Factor Productivity and the environment

A guide to emerging best practices in measurement

Increased productivity and sustainability of the agricultural sector are core policy objectives in OECD and non-OECD countries. This Guide provides an overview of the current state of the art in measuring sustainable productivity of the agricultural sector and analysing sources of growth in a reliable and comparable manner across countries in a way useful for policy makers. It draws on the contributions from members of the OECD Network on Agricultural Total Factor Productivity (TFP) and the Environment that brings together relevant experts from academia and national statistical agencies. Its insights will be key for designing policies necessary to meet the triple challenge of feeding a growing world population and providing incomes to food system actors whilst ensuring environmental sustainability.The Guide presents recommendations in two areas. First, on how to improve the traditional calculation of TFP based on market prices inputs and outputs, proposing harmonised methods on capital measurement, land pricing, output aggregation and quality adjustment. Second, on how to account for environmental outcomes, considering a reduction in pollution or emissions as a productivity gain, but the increased use of natural capital as a productivity loss. A main challenge is the estimation of “shadow prices” for non-market inputs and outputs. It is recommended to pursue several complementary avenues: investing in improving TFP methodologies and data; continuing investigating its expansion to include environmental outcomes; and mapping traditional TFP with other indicators of agri-environmental performance.

Published on May 30, 2022

In series:OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Papersview more titles