Working together, the public and private sectors can build secure, sustainable, productive, and resilient global food systems
The Business at OECD Food & Agriculture Committee has been working with farm groups and agribusinesses across the food supply chain over the past year to explore how the public and private sectors can work better together to build secure, sustainable, productive, and resilient global food systems. There is a widely shared interest in addressing the triple challenge: ensuring food security and nutrition for a growing population, enabling livelihoods across the food chain, and sustaining the environment in the context of climate change. Two recent stakeholder dialogues have contributed to prioritizing the following action areas:
The immediate priority is to avoid any further increase in hunger and undernourishment and to provide humanitarian aid on the scale needed today.
The medium-term priorities are long-standing and increasingly urgent:
- Reducing the productivity gap between developing and developed country agriculture, and doing so sustainably, through widespread application of available technologies and know-how in less developed countries and regions
- Extending the technology frontier, through increased investment in agricultural R&D, increased international cooperation on science and technology, and greater public-private collaboration, including with the farm community
- Bringing to small farms the same information and expertise that is available to large farms to improve productivity, sustainability, and profitability, through new digital applications
- Aligning farm and agribusiness strategies with sustainability outcomes, through development and application of digital tools and data analytics across the food supply chain
- Aligning domestic agricultural policies to the triple challenge, through replacing support that distorts production and trade with new measures that enable globally sustainable productivity growth
- Aligning agricultural trade policies to the triple challenge, through introduction of trade facilitation measures and removal of trade restrictions and unnecessary regulatory differences across countries
Action to enable globally sustainable productivity growth and transform global food systems is urgent, but it will not be delivered overnight, and it will not be achieved without public-private collaboration, international cooperation, and an improved domestic and trade policy environment to incentivize the needed private investment.
The Business at OECD Food and Agriculture Committee is committed to continue its work with farm groups and agribusinesses operating across the food supply chain, and with governments, to ensure that global food systems are fit for the future. The 3-4 November 2022 OECD Meeting of Agriculture Ministers is a critical milestone on this pathway.
In the meantime, we hope that this short note provides useful perspectives for consideration by Ministers, in advance, during, and even after the Ministerial.