Environmental Economics

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Extra resources for Ageing And Employment Policies: The Arable Crop Sector (Agriculture, Trade and the Environment)

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This thin world market, in tandem with low price supply and demand elasticities, implies that a small production shortfall in an important 34 – AGRICULTURE, TRADE AND THE ENVIRONMENT – THE ARABLE CROP SECTOR – ISBN-92-64-00996-5 © OECD 2005 rice-producing country could trigger a sharp rise in world rice prices. In order to protect producers and consumers from such price fluctuations, countries where rice is an important staple food have traditionally insulated their domestic rice markets from international rice markets and pursue a high degree of rice self-sufficiency.

Worldwide, irrigated rice accounts for almost three-quarters of total rice production. In Japan, all rice production is irrigated and sometimes, depending on location and climate, rice cultivation is rotated with wheat, barley and soybeans. In Korea, 79% of the harvested rice area is under irrigation, while 20% is on rain-fed lowlands. In the United States, all rice production is irrigated. In Australia, production is highly advanced and mechanised, and rice is generally planted in rotation with pasture.

Overall, land expansion is expected to account for 20% of growth in crop production in developing countries, yield improvements for about 70%, and increased cropping density for the remainder. 1. The arable crop sector in OECD countries The arable crop sector occupies approximately one-third of the OECD’s Utilised Agricultural Area (UAA),1 and contributes to around a half of the OECD’s total agricultural output. China, the United States, the European Union (EU), Russia, Argentina, Australia and Canada are the world’s main cereal producers.

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