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.

The overall assessment of the review is synthesised in Chapter 1 together with the report recommendations. Chapter 2 gives an overview of the characteristics and performance of the food and agriculture sector and identifies future challenges. Policy drivers for innovation are discussed in the subsequent chapters, with a focus on agricultural policy in Chapter 6 and the agricultural innovation system in Chapter 7.

The review was prepared at the OECD Trade and Agriculture Directorate by Morvarid Bagherzadeh (project leader) with contributions from Gwendolen DeBoe and in close collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Latvia under the leadership of Rigonda Krieviņa. Urszula Ziebinska provided research and statistical assistance and Martina Abderrahmane provided editorial assistance and publication support.

The review draws on a comprehensive background report prepared by a team of experts at the Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies (LLU) led by Aleksejs Nipers. It also draws on recent OECD economic and innovation reviews and datasets.

The review has benefited from detailed comments from experts at the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Latvia, particularly from the active engagement of Zigmārs Ķikāns, Indra Ruļuka, and Baiba Kļaviņa (overall coordinator). There were significant contributions from the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Welfare of the Republic of Latvia, the State Chancellery and the Central Statistical Bureau as well as consultations with a wide diversity of other sectorial experts and stakeholders in Latvia. Valuable comments were received from colleagues at the OECD Trade and Agricultural Directorate, in particular Carmel Cahill, Frank van Tongeren, Franck Jésus, Catherine Moreddu, who leads the work on innovation, productivity and sustainability in food and agriculture, and Santiago Guerrero, as well as from Delegates to the Working Party on Agricultural Policies and Markets where Nils Øyvind Bergset (Norway) and David Reid (New Zealand) were lead reviewers.

The Working Party on Agricultural Policies and Markets declassified the review at its meeting of November 2018.

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