We depend on agriculture for healthy, safe and nutritious food, but current production risks depleting and damaging the natural resources upon which it depends. The sector must also adapt and respond to climate change and new challenges facing global food systems.
Innovation lets us do more and better with less. At the farm level, many innovations are “process innovations” that improve production techniques; for example, higher-yielding seeds or more efficient irrigation. “Product innovations” are created by downstream industries, and include new and improved products, such as healthier foods, or new chemical or pharmaceutical products. “Marketing and organisational innovations” are also increasingly important throughout the supply chain.
The OECD’s work on innovation systems in food and agriculture explores the relationships between innovation, productivity and environmental sustainability. The OECD examines how governments and the private sector can work together to strengthen agricultural innovation systems and foster innovative practices on farms and at agri-food firms. The OECD Productivity-Sustainability-Resilience (PSR) Policy Framework looks at the impacts of a wide range of policies on the creation and adoption of innovations that generate sustainable productivity growth and a more resilient agri-food sector.
Total Factor Productivity (TFP) growth – the efficiency with which producers combine inputs to make outputs – has driven most of the growth in agricultural production in the last two decades, though progress is uneven across countries and sector. Productivity gaps remain significant among farms, and improving the productivity of farms lagging behind remains a challenge for structural adjustment, even for high performing countries.
Innovation can provide an opportunity for agriculture producers to increase productivity while better managing natural resources. This helps to ensure long-term viability and reduce the negative environmental impacts of production, such as pollutants and waste. Sustainable agriculture production systems also take into account how to adapt to climate change and mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
To broaden the understanding of these interlinkages, the OECD has established two networks of experts from research and government: the Farm-Level Analysis Network and the Network on Agricultural TFP and the Environment. Furthermore, to help measure the sustainability of agriculture, the OECD agri-environmental indicators monitor trends in land use, water and energy, and agriculture’s impact on the environment.
Evidence from the PSR framework suggests that policy strategies should cover the whole food supply chain, and that improving policy coherence and transparency are crucial to building trust and increasing effectiveness and efficiency.
The OECD helps countries to evaluate their agri-food policy environment and innovations systems by providing country reviews that apply the Productivity-Sustainability-Resilience Policy Framework and provide tailored policy advice.
This review proposes a new policy approach, centred around innovations that would enable Norway to achieve its objectives and improve the productivity, sustainability and resilience of its agro-food sector.
Farmers are at the cornerstone of the food system, conversely their operations have a major impact on global emission and they are susceptible to natural shocks and to the effects of climate change. Productivity growth is essential in order to meet the rising demand for food sustainably and generate income growth.
The OECD Agro-Food Productivity-Sustainability-Resilience Policy Framework (PSR) is an evidence-based approach to policy assessment, built to determine if the overall policy environment is conducive to achieving sustainable agricultural productivity growth and increased resilience.
Countries engaging in a PSR review benefit from comparative indicators of performance and country specific policy recommendations to improve the performance of their food and agriculture systems.
To date, the OECD has applied the PSR Policy Framework to a number of OECD and G20 member through in-depth agricultural innovation reviews. Conclusions from these reviews and related OECD work has helped identify crosscutting policy recommendations to improve the sector’s productivity and sustainability performance.
Country reviews based on the PSR Policy Framework:
Agricultural Policies Reviews:
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