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OECD Review of Agricultural Policies: Colombia 2015

image of OECD Review of Agricultural Policies: Colombia 2015

This review assesses the performance of Colombian agriculture over the last two decades, evaluates Colombian agricultural policy reforms and provides recommendations to address key challenges in the future. The evaluation is based on the approach that agriculture policy should be evidence-based and carefully designed and implemented to support productivity, competitiveness and sustainability, while avoiding unnecessary distortions to production decisions and to trade. The report includes a special chapter focusing on agricultural innovation.

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The agricultural situation in Colombia

This chapter examines the key issues that have shaped the evolution of the Colombian agricultural sector and that have conditioned policy responses over the last two decades. Agriculture is an important sector representing 17.5% of total employment and contributing to 5.2% of GDP in 2013. The chapter looks at the land tenure system and farm structures, the changes in input use, as well as the evolution of agro-food trade flows and the links to the environment. Issues relating to farm incomes and the rural socio-economic context are also considered in this chapter. Colombia, like other Latin American countries, is characterised by a highly dualistic distribution of land ownership, the roots of which can be traced back to the colonial era. The sector is dominated by small-scale productive units, with 67.6% of owners covering plots smaller than 5 ha (4.2% of agricultural land) and only 0.4% of owners holding land plots higher than 500 ha (representing nevertheless 46.5% of land). Natural resources and the environment are under strong pressure, partly due to land use conflicts, soil erosion, and inadequate water use.

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