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Green Growth Strategy

A green growth strategy for all sectors of the economy, as developed by the OECD since 2009 in the wake of the global economic crisis, focuses on practical and feasible pathways to achieve the overarching goal of sustainable development. This has attracted interest from policy makers and business leaders because it highlights integration and the synergies between growth in production and environmental performance for both policies and business practices (at least in the long run), stresses the opportunities to invest in capital and labour that will promote sustainable development, and focuses on identifying practical policy solutions.

In this respect, the agri-food sector has an important role to play in contributing to greener growth, in particular by facilitating the uptake of green technologies and management practices and reducing waste in the food chain. This will involve a range of policies and business practices to account for environmental externalities that are not factored into producer and consumer decisions and as such tend to produce too much pollution or resource waste and too few ecosystem services.

The relationship between agriculture and green growth is complex. The food and agricultural sectors can both generate environmental harm and conserve ecosystem services. This is because the sector both depends on and impacts natural resources (land, water, and biodiversity) in the production process. Moreover, resource endowments and environmental absorptive capacities vary widely across countries and regions, and impacts can differ in the short and long run and at different stages of production and consumption. Thus the context is critical.

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