United Kingdom


Characterising farming resilience capacities

An example of crop farms in the United Kingdom

Improving the resilience of farmers against external shocks is a priority for policy makers. This paper measures the resilience of a sample of farmers in the United Kingdom to assess the impact of the 2011-12 drought on their productivity and income. The analysis allows for the distinction of four resilience capacities: to prepare; to absorb the immediate impact of the shock; to adapt farming practices to a new environment; and to transform the business model, and improve productivity and income in the longer term. Results show that a single farm rarely performs strongly across these four capacities, and that those farms that best absorb the impact of the drought, perform poorly in transforming their business after the shock. While size and diversification improve absorption and adaptation, innovation is a key driver of long-term resilience to keep the pace of productivity gains. In the past, policies on agricultural risk management focused on the absorption capacity of farms and on stabilising income. Forward-looking resilience policies today need to prioritise other capacities, in particular preparedness, adaptation and transformation.

Published on May 15, 2023

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