“Sustainable, inclusive investments in the agriculture and food sectors help create jobs – on farms, in markets, cities, towns and villages and throughout the farm-to-table food production and supply chains – which, alongside improved access to affordable and balanced, diverse diets, are key to fighting extreme poverty and for boosting shared prosperity,” Preeti Ahuja, Practice Manager, World Bank Food and Agriculture Global Practice.
“Government regulations affect agricultural development through several dimension, including agricultural inputs such as seed, fertilizer, land and water, as well as small-scale and remote farmers’ access to financial services. Boosting agribusinesses requires public policies and regulations that foster growth in the agriculture and food sectors, improve the functioning of markets, and enable agribusinesses and food entrepreneurs to better meet the growing demand for food. Federica Saliola, Program Manager, World Bank Vice Presidency for Development Economics.
The dataset provides countries with an overview of their performance regarding agricultural regulation, and identifies potential areas of improvement. Overall, the study finds that, while many countries already have regulations that encourage strong, commercially-oriented agriculture, almost all countries can further improve conditions. Measures to do so include, for example, regulation that lowers transaction costs, improves registration and permit systems, or facilitates international trade. Such investments would not only improve food production, but also create jobs along the entire agri-food supply chain and thereby contribute to poverty reduction.
Regarding regional differences, the report shows that OECD high-income countries rank highest in quality and efficiency of regulation, followed by the Europe and Central Asia Region and Latin America and the Caribbean. Regulation is least developed in East Asia and the Pacific, Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. On average, countries in these regions have adopted less than half of the good practices promoted by the EBA. The publication also notes that the methodology of the EBA assessment is still under development. Future editions of the report will allow monitoring progress in the different categories at the country level and more detailed comparisons across countries and regions.