Agricultural international policies still base their decision-making process on tools that consider the agri-food system rather stable or, at most, as facing uncertainty conditions. Used tools to support international agricultural policies include future projections of agricultural prices and production– e.g. Agricultural Outlook projections-, which are designed for scenarios where we face risk or uncertainty. However, comparisons between predictions and reality indicate that these approaches are limited. Given the relevance of agricultural international policies for the life of millions and the impact on the environment, including initiatives linked to global environmental change, the framework used to develop such policies has to be clearly defined. We argue that ignorance could be a more appropriate framework in which to base international agricultural policies. This implies that the element of surprise shall be considered as an intrinsic, rather than exceptional, component of the system, and other principles should be introduced.


Miquel Ortega




Innovation and Sustainable Development in Agriculture and Food

bibliographical reference

Rivera-Ferre, M., Ortega, M. (2010) Large discrepancies between agricultural outlook prediction and real trends. Innovation and Sustainable Development in Agriculture and Food. ISDA, France.