Ag-Incentives Consortium improves global data on agricultural policies


Key facts

  • Regular measurement and monitoring of agricultural incentives and distortions are necessary to understand how policies influence agricultural performance.
  • Several international organizations (IOs) collect data on distortions to agricultural incentives. Coordination of these efforts was needed to improve efficiency and make the databases comparable.
  • In 2013, IFPRI and PIM, along with leading IOs, established the Agricultural Incentives Consortium (Ag-Incentives) to produce a joint harmonized database on measures of distortions.
  • The Ag-Incentives website provides access to the latest information on agricultural incentives and distortions, helping governments make informed decisions on food policy that avoid penalizing their own farmers and contributing to global price instability.
  • By combining efforts and promoting transparency, the Consortium has helped to increase the global data coverage of agricultural incentives by more than 18 percent, including new coverage of India.

Many governments intervene in agricultural markets. The reasons for doing so vary greatly: to keep food prices low for consumers; to support farm incomes; to reduce price volatility; and to meet other political objectives. Some policy interventions can have unforeseen consequences. Monitoring the levels of incentives in many countries provides information on changes in global markets, and measuring the impact of incentives helps governments to make necessary policy adjustments.

Several international organizations have for some time been regularly monitoring agricultural incentives, but in an uncoordinated way. “Historically, global information and data on incentives for agricultural production have been widely scattered and not comparable,” says David Laborde, senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

To address these issues, a group of leading international organizations joined with IFPRI and PIM in 2013 to form the Agricultural Incentives  Consortium (Ag-Incentives).


CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets. 2018. Ag-Incentives Consortium improves global data on agricultural policies. PIM Outcome Note. Washington, DC: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).