OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2020-2029

While the fight against the global COVID-19 pandemic is causing unprecedented uncertainties in global food supply chains, governments face the challenge to create balanced policies that address immediate needs, such as labour shortages, and create durable conditions for the agricultural sector to ‘build back better,’ this report states.

The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to depress demand in the next few years and could further undermine food security, the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2020-2029 states. The outlook was published by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in July 2020.

Open and transparent international markets will be increasingly important for food security, especially in countries where imports account for a large share of their total calorie and protein consumption, the authors say.

Supply growth is going to outpace demand growth

The report finds that over the next ten years supply growth is going to outpace demand growth, causing the real prices of most commodities to remain at or below their current levels. Fluctuations in the driving factors of supply and demand could lead to strong price variations around this general path. At the same time, a decrease in disposable incomes in low-income countries and households caused by COVID-19 is expected to depress demand in the early years of this outlook and could further undermine food security.

An expanding global population remains the main driver of demand growth, although the consumption patterns and projected trends vary across countries in line with their level of income and development. Average per capita food availability is projected to reach about 3 000 kcal and 85 g of protein per day by 2029. 

Share of staples in the food basket is projected to decline

Due to the ongoing transition in global diets towards higher consumption of animal products, fats and other foods, the share of staples in the food basket is projected to decline by 2029 for all income groups.

In particular, consumers in middle-income countries are expected to use their additional income to shift their diets away from staples towards higher value products. Meanwhile, environmental and health concerns in high-income countries are expected to support a transition from animal-based protein towards alternative sources of protein.

About 85 per cent of global crop-output growth over the next decade is expected to come from yield improvements resulting from higher input use, investments in production technology and better cultivation practices. Multiple harvests per year will account for another 10 per cent of crop-output growth, leaving only 5 per cent to cropland expansion.

By 2024, aquaculture production is projected to overtake capture fisheries as the most important source of fish worldwide. Global livestock production is expected to expand by 14 per cent, faster than the projected increase in animal numbers. Feed use will expand in line with aquaculture and livestock production, as feed efficiency improvements will be counterbalanced by an increase in feed intensity due to reduced backyard farming.


Read more and download the report at FAO website

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