Digital Opportunities for Better Agricultural Policies

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Recent digital innovations provide opportunities to deliver better policies for the agriculture sector by helping to overcome information gaps and asymmetries, lower policy-related transaction costs, and enable people with different preferences and incentives to work better together. Drawing on ten illustrative case studies and unique new data gathered via an OECD questionnaire on agri-environmental policy organisations' experiences with digital tools, this report explores opportunities to improve current agricultural and agri-environmental policies, and to deliver new, digitally enabled and information-rich policy approaches. It also considers challenges that organisations may face to make greater use of digital tools for policy, as well as new risks which increased use of digital tools may bring. The report provides practical advice on how policy makers can address challenges and mitigate risks to ensure digital opportunities for policy are realised in practice. Finally, the report briefly considers the broader regulatory and policy environment underpinning digitalisation of the agriculture sector, with the view to ensuring that use of digital tools for agricultural and agri-environmental policy remains coherent with the digitalisation of agriculture more generally.



Realising digital opportunities for better agri-environmental policies

This chapter considers how the advances in digital technologies and related institutions can support delivery of better policies for agriculture. Much of the discussion and examples are drawn from the field of agri-environmental policy specifically. This allows an in-depth analysis of how digital technologies can be useful throughout the policy cycle. The approach also serves to highlight that some issues which agri-environmental policy makers need to consider when making use of digital technologies for policy are actually part of broader discussions about digitalisation in the economy. Chapter 5 considers some of these broader issues in more depth.


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