Monday, September 23, 2013

OECD Releases Annual Report, Warns Against Government Support of Agriculture

On September 18, 2013, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released its annual report which showed international increased government support for agriculture. OECD states in its press release that this increase in support is a shift from a long-term downward trend that reached historic lows in 2011. The OECD Trade and Agriculture Director Ken Ash suggests that government support of agriculture needs to be reformed. He states that a shift away from “wasteful policies of the past towards measures that improve competitiveness” is required for “[m]eeting the needs of a growing and richer world population.” The report shows that emerging economies where support is rising tend to resort mainly to border protection and market price support, both of which tax consumers. OECD states that support for technology and innovation would show higher social returns in the long run.

The report examined 47 countries that account for nearly 80% of global farm output. Countries that offer farmers the highest levels of support recorded increases, including Japan, Korea, Norway, and Switzerland. Countries that typically show low farmer support, such as the United States, Israel, and Mexico, recorded decreases.

For the full report, please see the OECD’s Agricultural Policy Monitoring and Evaluation webpage.
Written by Sarah L. Doyle - Research Assistant
The Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center
September 23, 2013

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