Countries where agriculture is a major economic activity have greater room for improving key regulations that govern the agribusiness sector, a new World Bank report has found.
In contrast, countries where agriculture accounts for less than 25 percent of GDP have better regulatory systems that foster agribusiness and ensure quality control and safety of food production, said the report Enabling the Business of Agriculture 2016: Comparing regulatory good practices.
The report examines regulations that affect private enterprise in agribusiness in 40 countries around the world.
It said global population is estimated to grow to 9 billion by 2050, from the current 7.3 billion people, and food demand is projected to rise by 20 percent over the next 15 years. The largest increases are expected in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and East Asia. “As countries accelerate their efforts to achieve the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ending poverty and hunger will require well-performing agriculture and food sectors that can cater to the rising demand, which in turn depends on smart regulations that enable agribusinesses to thrive,” a World Bank statement said.
“Well-designed agribusiness laws and regulations are the bedrock of national and global efforts to address these daunting challenges. By focusing on key elements of the food production and distribution value chain, Enabling the Business of Agriculture hopes to promote regulatory systems that enable sustainable and inclusive agribusinesses to take root and thrive,” said Preeti Ahuja, Manager in the World Bank’s Agriculture Global Practice, which produced the report jointly with the Global Indicators Group in the Development Economics Vice Presidency.
The report finds that urbanized countries have on average smarter regulations in the topic areas measured by the report than countries where agriculture accounts for a larger role. Of the 40 countries surveyed, the urbanized economies of Colombia, Denmark, Greece, Poland and Spain perform above average on the measured areas.
In terms of regions, the regulatory quality and efficiency of OECD high-income countries stand out in areas measured by EBA, followed by Latin America and the Caribbean, and Europe and Central Asia.
South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa show levels of regulatory strength that are generally lower than the global average across the areas measured.