Directeur général  QU Dongyu
Allocutions du directeur général de la FAO QU Dongyu

Launch of the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2020-2029

Thursday, 16 July 2020


Remarks by FAO Director-General, Dr. QU Dongyu


As prepared




Mr. Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

1.    It is with great pleasure that I join you today to release the 2020 edition of our joint Agricultural Outlook report.

2.    Mr. Gurría, my dear friend, I would like to thank you and also thank the teams in both the OECD and FAO for organizing this event to highlight our successful partnership.

3.    This is now the 16th year and edition of the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook.

4.    It continues to be a very visible example of how international organizations can work together with their members to produce a complex professional publication that responds to the needs of our constituencies.

5.    Our two organizations have long understood the importance of data and the need for quality, forward-looking information for effective decision-making.

6.    The OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook is indeed a globally recognized reference on medium-term market trends and emerging issues in global food and agricultural systems.

7.    Together with our collaborators, we have combined the projections generated by models with policy and commodity expertise to inform decision makers about likely trends in global demand, supply, trade and prices and provide analytical insights into the factors driving them.

8.    However, the Outlook is more than market projections and analysis. It also casts light on the major policy priorities of our time, such as progress towards more sustainable agricultural and food systems, especially in the context of climate change and environmental challenges.

9.    This year’s findings are encouraging in this direction, as they indicate that global agriculture could become more sustainable in the coming decade.

10.    Less new land will need to be brought into cultivation over the next 10 years, as 95 percent of the additional crop output can be generated by productivity improvements.

11.    But, we need better policies, more innovation, increased investments and greater inclusiveness to build the dynamic, productive and resilient agricultural and food sectors that we all want to achieve.

12.    We also need to do more to combat climate change. The Outlook production projections imply a growth in direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of 6 percent, compared to the current level. Livestock is projected to account for 80 percent of this increase.

13.    Further reduction in the carbon intensity of agricultural production should be achieved by large-scale adoption of emission-reducing technologies. The Outlook model provides a vehicle for exploring alternative scenarios and assessing different options for policy makers.

14.    The Outlook this year has two further innovations:
•     We are proud to introduce the new Regional Briefs as an integral part of our publication. These are destined to the FAO regional conferences and can guide policy decisions at the regional level, with a forward looking perspective.
•    This year, we also provide a wider commodity coverage to include additional products that are of crucial economic and nutritional importance particularly to developing countries.

15.    The Outlook projections are inevitably uncertain because they extend ten years into the future and are based on assumptions regarding economic and policy conditions.

16.    As you can imagine, medium-term market analysis can be a much more difficult task in turbulent times, like the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic.

17.    However, despite all the difficulties, our two organizations, along with our national and international collaborators, have felt that we must remain optimistic and keep looking beyond the current crisis to guide our members on the expected recovery path.

18.    Our joint Outlook publication provides a link between the impacts of the current crisis and the fundamental trends and developments in global commodity markets.

19.    Sadly, but unsurprisingly, the findings of our COVID-19 impact simulation indicate that the widespread loss of income will further undermine the food security and nutritional status of the most needy and vulnerable, at least in the immediate future.

20.    It is clear that decisive action by the global community is needed.

21.    Now more than ever, nature- and science-based solutions must be at the centre of our efforts to mitigate the effects of the pandemic and rebuild agriculture in a better way.

22.    Ongoing assessments of the crisis and alternative recovery options will be made available to our members to guide and ensure an appropriate response.

23.    We have already implemented tools to support policy analyses and assess the impact of COVID-19 on food and agriculture, value chains, food prices, food security across the globe. They are designed to understand and mitigate the pandemic’s impact and to safeguard the food security and livelihoods of the most vulnerable.

24.    Just two days ago, FAO launched its Comprehensive Response Plan to Covid-19.

25.    Specific trade-related interventions and support at the regional and country level constitute an important part of this programme. I am confident that the analysis and assessment provided by our joint Outlook report will be an important tool in identifying the needs and designing the appropriate interventions.

26.    I would like to use this opportunity to stress that timely and credible information are imperative to avoid panic-driven reactions that can only aggravate the crisis.

27.    I am confident that this year’s Outlook publication will once again provide decision-makers with valuable and comprehensive forward-looking analysis to support evidence-based policy making.

28.    I would like to congratulate the teams on a job very well-done under difficult circumstances.

29.    Thank you for your kind attention.