11 July 2014
Release of the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook: 2014-2023
Your Excellency Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD,
Dear members of the press,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you for my dear friend Mr. Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of OECD, for participating in the launch of the joint OECD-FAO 2014–2023 Agricultural Outlook.
I was informed that it is the 10th report that we produce together, and the 20th OECD report. That is very special for us, for having launched it in our headquarters. The report is now a benchmark; a key reference that informs global policy processes. We are very keen to keep this report as one of our flagship publications.
I have to say a few words about this year’s publication. Last year we did the same in Beijing. At that time, we had many concerns about another spike on food prices, especially on the volatility foreseen by the Outlook. This year, the Outlook message is more positive - starting to say that the farmers reacted very quickly to the high prices, increasing their production. Now we have more stocks available, and the forecast is that the prices are coming down from the peak of last month. And we also foresee that way, it will come down for the next at least two years. I have to say that is more related to cereals. On meat and fish, specially, that is not a clear trend by the moment, on their prices. There is a growing demand and consumption, and we also don’t foresee that this growing demand from the past year will occur in the forthcoming years. So there are some concerns about slowing the demand in some of the big countries like China, India and Brazil. And this could be bringing down the consumption of proteins, like meat and fish.
I have also to say that the special Outlook for India is very positive. It shows a continuation of strong growth in agriculture. And we very welcome, in a country that has a quarter of the world's hungry people, the recent move on establishing a National Food Security Act.
I believe that this example of India will have an impact for the whole food security in the globe.
Also, there is a strong influence of developing countries in the world trade. That is something also highlighted by the report. And the WTO agreements from Bali will need to be tailored in the forthcoming months, their impact on the future on food prices in the global markets. As you know, the WTO agreements in Bali open the the door for countries to have their stocks in food security, and this can help stabilize prices, at least some of the prices in some countries.
Let me end just pointing that the report encourages us to be more ambitious and more optimistic about the Post-2015 Development Agenda. I believe that we can say that the contribution of food security in the future will be stronger, and this could be among the issues that we could set to eradicate hunger, extreme poverty, also due to this good performance of the agriculture sector, particularly in developing countries.
Saying that, I would like to give the floor to Mr. Angel Gurría.