On 4–5 June 2015, the members of the OECD Farm Level Analysis Network met in Tallinn, to discuss how to improve the quality and relevance of policy analysis applied to agricultural sector through the use of micro-level data, recognising the increasing need for good microdata and related analytical tools to support improved policy decision making.
The network was created in 2008 under the auspices of the OECD. It includes experts from government-related institutions, and other agricultural economics research institutes involved in the collection or analysis of micro-level data and interested in collaboration. Membership is voluntary and a representative coverage of OECD countries is sought. The main objective of the network is to support OECD policy analysis through the use of micro-data and sub-national information.
Based on the projects adopted in the programme of work of the OECD Committee for Agriculture, the network is expected to identify issues that would benefit from a micro-level approach, identify data sources and suggest innovative and adapted approaches. Another objective of the network is to share experiences and to demonstrate how micro-level analysis can be used for policy analysis. This will be done through communication of relevant analysis and discussion of data and analytical issues. As part of this objective, the network is expected to draw the attention of delegates to emerging policy issues, where micro-level approaches could be particularly rewarding, with a view to contributing to reflections on the programme of work in the longer term.
The meeting in Tallinn focused on measuring productivity, efficiency and competitiveness in dairy farms. In addition the network members discussed structural change in dairy sector. During a field-trip the delegates visited two dairy farms in central Estonia – a family farm (100 dairy cows) and one of the largest dairy farms (2100 dairy cows) characteristic to the dual structure of Estonian dairy sector. As the challenges facing agriculture are more and more influenced by tackling challenges caused by climate change the last session was dedicated to innovation, productivity and sustainability. Delegates discussed indicators that would capture the multidimensional nature – economic, social, and environmental- of the sustainability concept.
The next meeting of the network will be held in autumn 2015 in Paris.