The Agricultural Outlook, 2014-2023, is a collaborative effort of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. It brings together the commodity, policy and country expertise of both organisations and input from collaborating member countries to provide an annual assessment of prospects for the coming decade of national, regional and global agricultural commodity markets.
According to the Outlook, demand for agricultural products is expected to remain firm while expanding at lower rates than in the past decade. Cereals are still at the core of what people eat, but diets are becoming higher in protein, fats and sugar in many parts of the world, as incomes rise and urbanisation increases.
In their report OECD–FAO say such changes, combined with a growing global population, will require substantial expansion of production over the coming decade. Led by Asia and Latin America, developing regions will account for more than 75 per cent of additional agricultural output over the next decade.
Presenting the report in Rome on 11 July, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said: “Agriculture markets are returning to more settled conditions after a period of unusually high prices. This has been helped by governments showing restraint in the use of trade measures. But we cannot be complacent. We must do more – on trade, on productivity, and to tackle poverty. Governments should provide social protection for the most vulnerable, and develop tools to help farmers manage risks and invest in agricultural productivity. Achieving gains in ways that are both inclusive and sustainable remains a formidable challenge.”
FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said: “This year the Outlook’s message is more positive. Farmers reacted very rapidly to the high prices and increased their production so that now we also have more stocks available. We foresee that prices related to cereals will decrease for at least the next two years. The picture is different for meat and fish where we are facing growing demand. The good performance of the agricultural sector particularly in developing countries will contribute to the eradication of hunger and poverty.”
The Agricultural Outlook says global cereal production is projected to be 15 per cent higher by 2023 than in the 2011-13 period. The fastest production growth is expected to be oilseeds, at 26 per cent over the next ten years. The expansion of coarse grain and oilseed production will be driven by strong demand for biofuels, particularly in developed countries, and growing feed requirements in developing regions.
The expansion of food crop production will be more moderate over the coming decade, the report says, with wheat output growing by around 12 per cent and rice by 14 per cent, well below the growth rates of the previous decade. Sugar production is expected to increase by 20 per cent over the coming decade, concentrated mainly in developing countries.
The Agricultural Outlook projects developments in a broad range of commodities over the coming decade: