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Environmental Performance of Agriculture in OECD Countries Since 1990

image of Environmental Performance of Agriculture in OECD Countries Since 1990

In OECD countries, agriculture uses on average over 40% of land and water resources, and thus has significant affect on the environment. This report provides the latest and most comprehensive data and analysis on the environmental performance of agriculture in OECD countries since 1990. It covers key environmental themes including soil, water, air and biodiversity and looks at recent policy developments in all 30 countries.

Over recent years the environmental performance of agriculture has improved in many countries, largely due to consumer pressure and changing public opinion. Many OECD countries are now tracking the environmental performance of agriculture, which is informing policy makers and society on the trends in agri-environmental conditions, and can provide a valuable aid to policy analysis. The indicators in this report provide crucial information to monitor and analyse the wide range of policy measures used in agriculture today, and how they are affecting the environment. 

Did You Know?  In OECD countries, agriculture uses on average 40% of land and water resources.

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OECD Country Trends of Environmental Conditions related to Agriculture since 1990: Poland

Agriculture plays a key role in providing employment in the national economy, but that role has shrunk considerably over the period since 1989. The share of agriculture in total employment was 16.2% in 2005 compared to 26.4% in 1989, but the decline in agriculture’s contribution to GDP has been even more significant from 12.8% in 1989 to 4.1% in 2005 [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] (Figure 3.22.1). The volume of agricultural production decreased by 5% over the period 1990-92 to 2002-04 (Figure 3.22.2), among the largest reductions across OECD countries (Figure 3.22.2). But in the recent period 2000 to 2006 production has begun to stabilise and even increase for some commodities, both in value and volume terms, notably for pig and poultry products [2, 3, 6]. Trends for purchased farm input use (volume terms) over the period 1990-92 to 2002-04, however, have been variable, decreasing for nitrogen (–2%) and phosphorus (–32%) inorganic fertilisers, as well as for agricultural water use (–31%), but increasing for pesticides (52%) and direct on-farm energy consumption (29%) (Figure 3.22.2). Although the use of farm inputs stabilised and even began to rise slightly from the late 1990s, by 2005 they still remained below their peak of the middle to late 1980s [3].

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