Government help to agriculture is low on innovation, excessive on distortions


22/06/2021 – Agricultural help has continued to develop worldwide lately, however is commonly failing to satisfy its said goals of enhancing meals safety, livelihoods and environmental sustainability, in accordance with a brand new report from the OECD.

Agricultural Policy Monitoring and Evaluation exhibits that the 54 nations monitored – together with all OECD and EU economies, plus 11 key rising economies – offered on common USD 720 billion of help to agriculture yearly over the 2018-20 interval.

Consumers paid for greater than one-third of the annual help, or USD 272 billion, by greater costs, within the type of market worth help, whereas taxpayers paid for the remaining USD 447 billion, by budgetary transfers.

Just 6% of all budgetary transfers to the sector, or USD 26 billion per 12 months, was spent on agricultural innovation methods, regardless of their excessive social returns. Investments in agricultural innovation, biosecurity and infrastructure accounted for under USD 76 billion, or 17% of help to agriculture, regardless of their sturdy potential to spice up sustainable productiveness development and enhance resilience – key channels for making certain meals safety, viable livelihoods and sustainable useful resource use.

In distinction, half of help to agriculture is market distorting, inequitable and dangerous to each the atmosphere and international meals safety, in accordance with the report. In addition to the USD 272 billion of market worth help, this contains USD 66 billion of annual budgetary transfers linked to output or to the unconstrained use of variable inputs, corresponding to power or fertiliser.

“Only one in six dollars of budgetary support to agriculture globally is spent in ways that are effective in promoting sustainable productivity growth and agricultural resilience,”
mentioned OECD Director for Trade and Agriculture Marion Jansen. “Most support is either ineffective in improving the performance of food systems, or even harmful. As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, governments should make agricultural innovation central to their support for the sector.”

The OECD report underlines that a lot of the help provided immediately is inefficient at transferring earnings to farmers; inequitable, as advantages are weighted towards giant producers; and environmentally dangerous, because it typically damages water high quality and biodiversity and will increase useful resource use and greenhouse gasoline emissions. Market worth help – and the related use of border measures – additionally harms meals safety on the international stage by impeding the environment friendly allocation of sources, undermining the function of commerce in shifting meals from surplus to deficit areas and contributing to elevated worth volatility in worldwide meals markets.

Further distortions to international markets additionally come from insurance policies in small variety of nations that suppress costs for some or all commodities. This detrimental worth help quantities to USD 104 billion per 12 months transferred away from producers.

Food methods world wide face the formidable “triple challenge” of offering secure, nutritious meals to a rising world inhabitants, offering livelihoods alongside the meals chain, and enhancing sustainability, by defending pure sources corresponding to land, water and biodiversity, and decreasing greenhouse gasoline emissions.

The OECD report proposes three reforms to make sure that agricultural insurance policies speed up progress towards addressing the “triple challenge” confronted by meals methods and higher help sustainable productiveness development and improved resilience:

  • Phase out worth interventions and market distorting producer help.
  • Target earnings help to farm households most in want, and the place potential incorporate such help into economy-wide social insurance policies and safety-nets.
  • Re-orient public expenditures in the direction of investments in public items – specifically innovation methods.


About the OECD Agricultural Policy Monitoring and Evaluation report

The OECD’s annual Agricultural Policy Monitoring and Evaluation report supplies up-to-date estimates of presidency help to agriculture for all 38 OECD members (together with Costa Rica, which joined the Organisation in May 2021) and the European Union as a complete, plus key rising economies: Argentina, Brazil, People’s Republic of China, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, the Philippines, the Russian Federation, South Africa, Ukraine, and Viet Nam.

On 5 July 2021, the OECD and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization will challenge the 2021-2030 version of the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook. The Outlook will present a complete medium-term baseline for projections for agricultural commodity markets at nationwide, regional and international ranges, together with an evaluation of the COVID-19 impacts.


►   More info on Agricultural Policy Monitoring and Evaluation on the OECD


For additional info, journalists are invited to contact Lawrence Speer within the OECD Media Office ( +33 1 45 24 79 70).


Working with over 100 nations, the OECD is a world coverage discussion board that promotes insurance policies to to protect particular person liberty and enhance the financial and social well-being of individuals world wide.



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