Knowledge for better food systems

Report: Government support for agriculture at historical low

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) latest Agricultural Policy: Monitoring and Evaluation 2012 report revealed that government support fell to 19% of total farm receipts in 2011, with support to producers standing at just $252bn (€182bn). The recent decline in producer support was in many countries driven by developments on international markets, rather than by explicit policy changes. However, the report explains that there remain large differences in support levels among countries.

OECD countries are moving at different speeds away from supporting farmers through policies that raise domestic prices. “The move toward lower farm support is a welcome trend, but we still see the need for better targeting and more cost-effective farm policy,” said OECD Trade and Agriculture Director Ken Ash. “Farm support should be more closely directed at increasing agricultural productivity and competitiveness. Governments should also be doing more to address environmental issues, ensure sustainable resource use and help farmers better cope with risk.”
While most countries are in consultations about new agricultural policy frameworks, no major changes have been implemented in 2011. Specific proposals for the new Farm Bill in the United States and for the Common Agricultural Policy post-2013 in the European Union are under active consideration.
The citation is as follows: OECD (2012), Agricultural Policy Monitoring and Evaluation 2012: OECD Countries, OECD Publishing. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/agr_pol-2012-en
To read the full OECD report, click here.
To access the OECD press release, click here.

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Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.

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