More innovation needed in agriculture

EuropaBio Agricultural Biotechnology

OECD report highlights the contribution of innovation to sustainable food production system

Brussels, 25 September 2012
EuropaBio welcomes the policy recommendations made by the OECD in its report Agricultural Policy Monitoring and Evaluation published on 19 September 2012. Farm policies need to refocus from market-distorting subsidies to investment in agricultural R&D, technology transfer and innovation in production processes.
“Given the expectations of future demand growth and greater pressure on limited resources, there is a clear opportunity to turn farm policy toward the most pressing policy areas, like boosting innovation across the food and agricultural system” – said Ken Ash, the OECD trade and agricultural director, commenting on the report. 
The report shows that international commodity markets and increasing food prices have led to decreased government support to farmers to a record low level of 19% farm gross receipts in OECD countries. 
Reacting to the report, the European Commission noted that the EU agricultural sector is still under pressure due to increased input costs. This, combined with increased worldwide demand and environmental challenges, makes it vital for the development of new technologies to increase the level of agricultural output and ecological farming. 
The report devotes an entire chapter on Fostering innovation and productivity growth in agriculture. It recognises the biotechnologies as a tool for maintaining biodiversity and a key R&D activity to generate high potential market returns. “Agricultural biotechnologies, like genetically-engineered crops, can provide a solution to increased food production costs”, Carel du Marchie Sarvaas, EuropaBio’s Director for Agricultural Biotechnology commented. “Currently used and newly developed GM crops will create more opportunities to farmers and promote sustainable land-use. Specific enabling policies in the EU should therefore target the development of biotechnologies. More innovation in agriculture will create jobs in the fast growing sector of biotechnology.”
The complete OECD report is available here.
For further information, please contact:
Carel du Marchie Sarvaas
Director, Green Biotechnology Europe
Tel: +32 2 739 11 85
Mobile: +32 473 890 359
Nilsy Desaint
Communications Manager, Green Biotechnology Europe
Tel: +32 2 739 11 62
Mobile: +32 473 334 875
About EuropaBio
EuropaBio's mission is to promote an innovative and dynamic biotechnology based industry 
in Europe. EuropaBio, (the European Association for Bioindustries), has 56 corporate and 4 
associate members operating worldwide, 2 Bioregions and 19 national biotechnology 
associations representing some 1800 small and medium sized enterprises. 

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