Agriculture and water policy changes

Stocktaking and alignment with OECD and G20 recommendations

This report takes stock of agriculture and water policy changes from 2009 to 2019 and assesses the alignment of these changes with relevant sections of the OECD Council Recommendation on Water and the 2017 G20 Agriculture Ministerial Action Plan on water and food security. The analysis builds on results from a 2019 survey on agriculture and water policy changes which gathered responses from 38 countries – including OECD countries, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Cabo Verde – and the European Union. A methodology was developed to convert survey responses into indices of alignment of policy changes with OECD and G20 recommendations. Results show that changes in water and agriculture policies from 2009 to 2019 were uneven across countries and investigated policy areas (water governance, water quality, water quantity and water risks), with some countries undertaking important reforms whereas others mainly improved existing policies. On average, alignment indices suggest that agriculture and water policies in responding countries progressed towards the OECD Council Recommendation on Water. In order to advance further, relatively water abundant countries should pay attention to their approach to manage water quantity and risks under climate change, all countries should consider improving their policies to reduce pollution from agriculture, and selected countries should consider making additional efforts to recover water charges and to use pricing instruments, in line with the OECD Council Recommendation on Water. Policy changes by responding G20 member countries have also been in the direction of the 2017 G20 Agriculture Ministerial Action Plan. However, some of these changes are partial, particularly those on water use efficiency and resilience, and those supporting responsible investment in agriculture and water.

Published on July 09, 2020

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