This new report on the support governments provide to the agriculture sector, demonstrates how over the period 2018-2020, 54 countries provided on average USD 720 billion of support to agriculture annually. Just 6% of all budgetary transfers to the sector, or USD 26 billion per year, was spent on agricultural innovation systems, despite their high social returns.
In contrast, half of support to agriculture is market distorting, inequitable and harmful to both the environment and global food security. Agricultural policies are not contributing to meeting the “triple challenge” facing global food systems of providing safe, nutritious food to a growing world population, providing livelihoods along the food chain, and improving sustainability, by protecting natural resources such as land, water and biodiversity, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Making Better Policies for Food Systems requires the following reforms:
- Phasing out price interventions and market distorting producer support.
- Targeting income support to farm households most in need, and where possible incorporate such support into economy-wide social policies and safety-nets.
- Re-orienting public expenditures towards investments in public goods – in particular innovation systems.