OECD: abolish environmentally harmful subsidies in agriculture in the long term

The industrialized western countries believe that environmentally harmful agricultural subsidies should be phased out. At their six-yearly summit on global food systems, OECD countries pushed for a country-by-country study of agricultural subsidies that sustain harmful climate and environmental impacts. 

While the OECD report finds that the EU will encourage 'green' agriculture in 2021 with the new cap, it also says that the current eco-schemes will not be enough. The scientists recommend the EU to 'price' climate and environmentally polluting emissions (read: fines and taxes on emissions). 

The OECD Food Summit also points out that many governments and many international organizations such as the EU have reduced their research and innovation grants in recent years.

In the next ten years, more must also be done to combat food waste, both in production and processing in agriculture and production, and further down the food chain. The OECD experts say that the global food system can only function if it is sustainable and does not interfere with the international Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations.

The final statement from their Paris summit notes that over the next decade the world's population will approach ten billion, that the demand for food will increase, but that agriculture will have to 'do more with less'. It is expected that less acreage will be available (and more vertical farming), and that fewer workers will be employed (and more machines, digitization and robotization).

As a result of such drastic shifts, farmers around the world will have to bear in mind that some of their income will have to be supplemented in other ways.

The recommendations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation are not binding for the 38 affiliated industrialized countries, but have a major impact in many national and European policy preparations. Next week, the future agriculture and food strategy will also be high on the agenda at the international COP Climate Summit in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt, starting today.