1887

OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Papers

Selected studies on various food, agriculture and fisheries issues from the OECD Trade and Agriculture Directorate.

NB. No. 1 to No. 58 were released under the previous series title OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Working Papers.

English

Navigating pathways to reform water policies in agriculture

This report offers a guide on potential reform pathways towards sustainable agriculture water use, based on a thorough review of selected past water and agriculture reforms and extensive consultation with policy experts. A theory of change is developed that emphasises the importance of flexibility in the timing and design of reform processes to achieve practical and effective policy changes. Governments should prepare future reforms, via continued research, education, and governance efforts, to help take advantage of reform opportunities when the timing is right. Five necessary conditions are identified for a successful reform process: (i) support evidence-based problem definition, objective setting and evaluations; (ii) ensure that governance and institutions are aligned with the policy change; (iii) engage stakeholders strategically and build trust; (iv) rebalance economic incentives to mitigate short run economic losses; and (v) define an adjustable smart reform sequencing that provides flexibility in the long run. These conditions are found to be necessary to implement four challenging policy changes: charging water use in agriculture; removing subsidies that negatively impact water resources, regulating groundwater use and addressing nonpoint source pollution. But the relative effort that governments need to devote to fulfilling each of the five conditions will vary depending on the policy change.

English

Keywords: water policy, reform process, irrigation, Agriculture policy, water governance, water subsidies, nonpoint source pollution, water prices, groundwater
JEL: P48: Economic Systems / Other Economic Systems / Other Economic Systems: Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies; Q52: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Environmental Economics / Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects; Q58: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Environmental Economics / Environmental Economics: Government Policy; Q28: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Renewable Resources and Conservation / Renewable Resources and Conservation: Government Policy; Q18: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Agriculture / Agricultural Policy; Food Policy; Q25: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Renewable Resources and Conservation / Renewable Resources and Conservation: Water
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