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Global farm growth to slow down over next 10 yrs: OECD/FAO

Last Updated: Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 22:32

New Delhi: Growth in global agricultural production will slow down to about 1.5 percent annually over the next 10 years and could lead to rise in prices of crops and livestock, says an OECD and FAO report.

"Global agricultural production is expected to grow 1.5 percent a year on average over the coming decade, compared with annual growth of 2.1 percent between 2003 and 2012," the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations said in a joint report on agri-outlook for 2013-2022.

The report attributed the slowdown in growth of global farm output to limited expansion of agricultural land, rising production costs, growing resource constraints and increasing environmental pressures.

The report said however that supply of agri-commodities should keep pace with demand.

"The OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2013-2022 expects prices to remain above historical averages over the medium term for both crop and livestock products due to a combination of slower production growth and stronger demand, including for biofuels," said an official statement.

FAO and OECD noted that production shortfalls, price volatility and trade disruption remain a threat to global food security.

"The OECD/FAO outlook warns - As long as food stocks in major producing and consuming countries remain low, the risk of price volatility is amplified. A wide-spread drought such as the one experienced in 2012, on top of low food stocks, could raise world prices by 15-40 percent," the statement said.

The report said that commodity prices are currently high by historical levels.

"In the first years of this Outlook, most crop prices are projected to fall in response to a rebound in production while reduced global livestock inventories allow only a limited supply response keeping meat prices high," it said.

"Rising prices for both crop and livestock products are projected over the coming decade due to a combination of slower production growth and stronger demand, including for biofuels, and a supportive macroeconomic environment. Meat, fish and biofuel prices are projected to rise more strongly than primary agricultural products," it added.

Presenting the joint report in Beijing, OECD Secretary General Angel Gurr?a said the outlook for global agriculture is relatively bright with strong demand, expanding trade and high prices.

FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva said: "High food prices are an incentive to increase production and we need to do our best to ensure that poor farmers benefit from them".


First Published: Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 22:32
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