According to the latest edition of the World Bank Group’s Enabling the Business of Agriculture (EBA) 2017 report, released in February; improving agriculture regulations in low and middle income countries could go a long way toward feeding the world’s growing population and improving farmers’ livelihoods around the world.
The report argues that, while many countries are already home to strong, commercially oriented agriculture, more needs to be done, for example, by lowering transaction costs for farmers and firms engaged in domestic trade and exports, by improving water permit systems for irrigation, or by providing better conditions for microfinance institutions. Smart regulations that ensure safety and quality control while avoiding burdensome and inefficient requirements are highlighted in the report as good practices that governments may wish to consider as part of their reform efforts.
This EBA report is the third in an annual series, and presents data on legal barriers for farmers, entrepreneurs and businesses operating in agriculture in 62 countries and across the topics of land, seed, fertilizer, machinery, water, livestock, finance, markets, transport, and information and communication technology (ICT). The 2017 edition also expands its survey of laws and regulations that impact environmental sustainability and gender.
Globally comparable data helps countries know where they stand, compare their performance with that of their neighbors, and identify areas for improvement that are critical to building a thriving agribusiness sector.
The Enabling the Business of Agriculture (EBA) project focuses on identifying and monitoring regulations that affect agriculture and agribusiness markets. EBA aims to inform and encourage policy decisions that support inclusive participation in agricultural value chains and foster an environment that is conducive to local and regional businesses in agriculture.