Environmental Performance of Agriculture in OECD Countries Since 1990

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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: Slovak Republic

The long-term contraction of the agricultural sector continued over the period 1990 to 2004. The share of agriculture in GDP declined steadily from 8% in 1990 to slightly under 5% by 2004, while over the same period farming’s share in total employment fell from 12% to 5% [1, 2, 3, 4] (Figure 3.24.1). These changes reflect the reduction of 10% in the volume of agricultural production (1993-95 to 2002-04), among the largest decrease across OECD countries (Figure 3.24.2). While livestock numbers continue to decline, part of a longer term trend since 1990, more recently from 2000 to 2004 arable crop production has recovered and risen slightly, especially for cereals, oilseeds and sugar beet [1]. Transition from a centrally planned to a market economy has impacted significantly on agriculture since the early 1990s. Together with the division of Czechoslovakia into the Slovak and Czech Republic’s in January 1993, this has led to major changes in political and social institutions and economic conditions, had implications for land use, and resulted in extensive changes in farm ownership patterns, productivity and competitiveness [3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13]. The sharp fall in the volume of farm production during the early 1990s was induced by a major reduction in support (see below), a drop in farm investment, and rising farm debt levels. The use of purchased farm inputs (fertilisers, pesticides, energy and water) decreased sharply in the early 1990s but stabilised and even began to rise slightly from the late 1990s, although by 2005 still remained well below their peak of the late 1980s (Figure 3.24.2) [1, 3, 5].

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