Innovation, Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability in Latvia

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Latvia, a member of the European Union since 2004, is a small, dynamic and open economy that has successfully transitioned from central planning to a market economy. The reforms undertaken have driven progress, although from generally low levels and at a slower pace in agriculture than for the economy as a whole. This report examines the conditions under which farms and businesses in the food and agriculture sector in Latvia undertake innovation to become more productive and environmentally sustainable. It identifies opportunities as well as challenges that need to be addressed. These include economy wide skills shortage, emigration and population decline and urban concentration of population and services. At the sectoral level, these include the use of agricultural payments to support a large number of non-commercial farms and the high level of unpaid farm labour. To meet these challenges, agricultural innovation can be harnessed to improve the sector’s productivity, as well as the sustainability and efficiency of the food system. This report provides a series of recommendations that should allow agricultural policies to contribute to a well-functioning innovation system that can meet the challenges that lie ahead.

English Also available in: Latvian


At the time of Latvia’s accession to the OECD in 2016, agricultural innovation was one of the areas identified where an OECD review was likely to benefit the sector’s future. Innovation, agricultural productivity and sustainability in Latvia was prepared for this purpose. It is part of the OECD Food and Agricultural Reviews series and builds on analyses of policies that facilitate productivity growth and sustainability in food and agriculture carried out at the OECD. It uses the framework developed to assess the wide range of policies that influence the performance of the sector. The framework identifies policy incentives and disincentives to innovation, structural change, natural resource use, and climate change. This framework, which has been applied in 12 country reviews to date, is undergoing revisions in light of analyses and experience gained.


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