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2022 Compendium of Country Case Studies


Policy Repurposing

Compendium of Country Briefs

Accelerating Transition to Sustainable Agriculture


Vietnam, Colombia, Zambia, Mongolia, Italy, New Zealand


Agriculture is vital for people’s health and well-being, nutritious diets, jobs and livelihoods. Yet agriculture is also a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, the main driver of biodiversity loss and a leading cause of water contamination. At the same time, farmers’ livelihoods are increasingly vulnerable to shocks and stresses due to climate change and environmental damage, which in turn negatively impact economic development and global food security. Climate change has already wiped out an estimated equivalent of seven years’ worth of productivity gains.

If current trends continue, greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture will increase by 58 per cent, and 56 million more hectares of land with natural vegetation will be converted to agriculture by 2040.

It is vital to transform agriculture to be more productive, resilient to recurring climate shocks, and more sustainable for the benefit of coming generations.

Governments have a key role to play. Globally, governments spend over US$800 billion annually in public support to agriculture, but often this support is inefficient and incentivizes harmful practices that drive emissions and damage the environment, (such as overuse of chemicals and natural resources, mono-cropping and deforestation). Redirecting just 10 per cent of public support to agriculture towards less harmful, more efficient and sustainable production could deliver net gains of US$2.4 trillion by 2040.

In 2021, the UK COP Presidency and World Bank launched a Policy Dialogue on Accelerating Transition to Sustainable Agriculture to share experiences and catalyse policy leadership among governments. The Dialogue is framed around success criteria for sustainable agriculture that delivers for people (healthy diets and economies), climate (mitigation and adaptation) and nature (protecting and restoring biodiversity).

Getting the most effective policies in place to deliver these “triple wins” is extremely complex and challenging. No one country has all the answers. We are thankful to the many colleagues across governments who have shared their experiences through this valuable compendium of country briefs. This Compendium will be released in two editions: Edition One in November 2022 with a lead set of sample briefs, followed by a full set of country briefs in Edition Two to be released in early 2023.

These country briefs highlight policy measures countries are taking to transform agriculture: from policy diagnostics to innovative support schemes and incentive structures for farmers, to national legislation to promote sustainable food systems. We hope these experiences will serve as inspiration for others. They show that options exist, change is possible and that, collectively, we can build the leadership needed for transformative change in agriculture and food systems.

Rt Hon Lord Goldsmith, Minister of State for Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and Juergen Voegele, Vice President for Sustainable Development Practice Group, World Bank