A new report, Sustainable Agricultural Productivity Growth and Bridging the Gap for Small Family Farms, from the FAO and OECD, is a collaborative piece released as a response to a request from the Mexican G20 Presidency for practical action to improve agricultural productivity growth, and in particular on small family farms. The 2012 G20 Summit took place in Mexico earlier this week.
The report includes input from eleven different international organisations in a joint effort to assemble a set of ten tactical recommendations for sustainably improving agricultural productivity growth.
The report builds on commitments made at the 2011 G20 Summit, which saw the creation of the Agricultural Market Information System, and highlights that investment and innovation will be needed to implement future solutions for productive and sustainable agricultural solutions.
Below is a summary of the recommendations for G20 governments.
According to the authors and contributors to the report, G20 governments should:
- Commit to investment in domestic agriculture, with particular attention to smallholder farmers of both genders; collaborate with concerned international organisations; and introduce an on-going process of analysis and peer review to find best policy options.
- Demonstrate leadership to strengthen international disciplines on import and export restrictions; promote greater adherence to sanitary measures developed by international research organisations; and support sanitary capacity building.
- Support country-level implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the context of National Food Security; support the Committee on World Food Security process on the Principles for Responsible Agricultural Investments; support a series of international consultations with the relevant organisations and promote and scale-up appropriate partnership models in developing countries’ agriculture.
- Continue to support on-going initiatives to contribute to improving agricultural productivity sustainably; facilitate exchange of experience and policy dialogue on Agricultural Innovation Systems at a high level by supporting an annual meeting of “chief scientists” in G20 countries and involving a variety of platforms; strengthen efforts of the national, regional and global levels to identify, assess, prioritise, monitor and evaluate investments in Agricultural Innovations Systems.
- Commit to support developing countries to establish and enforce appropriate Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) systems consistent with international obligations; support the development and promotion of a global information system on plant and animal genetic resources.
- Support countries in considering a range of policy responses for improved agricultural water management; promote innovations in water research to farmers; seek to improve and build resilience for water governance at an institutional level to address climate change related water security risks; continue dialogue based on the recommendations concerning food security and water made by ministers at the World Water Forum in March 2012.
- Commit to reviewing policies that may generate perverse incentives for sustainability and encourage unsustainable use of natural resources; support developing countries in implementing policies based on a comprehensive analysis of the relationships between food security, food production and natural resource use; support developing countries to strengthen evaluation systems of “market-smart” smallholder targeted input subsidy programmes.
- Support the efforts of relevant international organisations and risk management initiatives, such as the Platform for Agricultural Risk Management; strengthen their own efforts towards exchanging weather information.
- Support the continued provision of targeted, well-designed and gender-sensitive social safety-net programmes that meet the immediate food and nutrition needs of smallholders and their households.
- Recommend the explicit integration of agricultural education and the sustainable agriculture intensification agenda into the international organisations’ initiative to support national skills development strategies; recognise the equal importance of the roles of women and men farmers in promoting sustainable agricultural productivity growth.
You can read the entire report here.