This paper provides detailed farm level data evidence on the dynamics of farm performance from case studies covering crop farms in Australia, France, Italy and the United Kingdom (England and Wales), and dairy farms in the Czech Republic, Denmark and Norway, with different recent sample periods of five to thirty years. An increase in productivity over time is common to all countries and most crop farm classes, but productivity dynamics vary significantly. In Australia, strong productivity growth among the most productive crop farms has led to an increase in the gap between the highest and lowest performing farms; whereas in France, Italy and the United Kingdom, productivity growth was weak among the most productive crop farms and the lowest performing farms closed the productivity gap. Productivity also increased among dairy farms, with an increasing gap between the most and the least productive farm classes in the three sample countries. The impact of policy changes on performance dynamics is analysed for decoupled payments in France and England, and dairy payments in the Czech Republic. The main findings across countries and policy implications are discussed in OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Paper N°164.
Increasing productivity at farm level is a key policy objective across most countries and fundamental to the overall performance of agricultural and food systems. This paper applies dynamic statistical methods to farm level data in order to identify the determinants of farm performance over time, in terms of productivity and measures of local sustainability. The analysis sheds light on the effects of policies on productivity, and the links between productivity and sustainability outcomes. It draws on key findings from seven case studies: crop farms in Australia, France, Italy and the United Kingdom (England and Wales); and dairy farms in the Czech Republic, Denmark and Norway, with different sample periods, from the most recent three decades to the last five years. A key finding is that policy changes increasing the degree of decoupling of payments have a positive impact on productivity. Furthermore, with the right incentives, productivity growth can be more locally sustainable insofar as farms can produce more output with less inputs that harm the environment. The detailed background work on the seven samples of crops and dairy farms in the above countries is available in OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Paper N°165.
Natural hazard-induced disasters (NHID), such as floods, droughts, severe storms, and animal pests and diseases have significant, widespread and long-lasting impacts on agricultural sectors around the world. With climate change set to amplify many of these impacts, a 'business-as-usual' approach to disaster risk management in agriculture cannot continue if we are to meet the challenges of agricultural productivity and sustainability growth, and sustainable development. Drawing from seven case studies – Chile, Italy, Japan, Namibia, New Zealand, Turkey and the United States – this joint OECD-FAO report argues for a new approach to building resilience to NHID in agriculture. It explores the policy measures, governance arrangements, on-farm strategies and other initiatives that countries are using to increase agricultural resilience to NHID, highlighting emerging good practices. It offers concrete recommendations on what more needs to be done to shift from coping with the impacts of disasters, to an ex ante approach that focuses on preventing and mitigating the impacts of disasters, helping the sector be better prepared to respond to disasters, and to adapt and transform in order to be better positioned for future disasters.
Increasingly frequent and severe droughts are threatening Italy’s agricultural sector. With climate change forecast to accelerate these trends, the sector must build long-term resilience. This will require better planning and preparing for, absorbing the impact of, and recovering from droughts, as well as more successfully adapting and transforming in response to these events. Recent positive developments include improved data collection on water supplies and agricultural damage and loss from natural hazards to better inform water management and investment decisions; strengthened commitment to ex ante risk management frameworks; and more participatory approaches for water management. Nevertheless, the agricultural policy portfolio currently underemphasises investments in on-farm preparedness and adaptation, in favour of coping tools such as insurance. Further efforts to build agricultural resilience could benefit from a holistic, long-term sectoral risk management strategy; an evaluation of the trade-offs between spending on risk coping tools versus investments in natural hazard preparedness and measures to mitigate their impacts; and more explicit consideration of farmer demographics and capacities in policy design.
Agricultural research fellowship award grants and international conferences sponsorships of the Co-operative Research Programme (CRP): Biological Resource Management for Sustainable Agricultural Systems; advice for applicants for funding.