New Report Provides Recommendations to Improve CA’s Agriculture Industry

Press Release/New Study
February 07, 2013

by Amy Kaleita

San Francisco – The Pacific Research Institute, a free-market think tank based in San Francisco, released a new report today that reviews the state of California’s agriculture production, examines the barriers that are impeding California’s agricultural economy, and provides recommendations for policy reforms that will spur additional growth. Growing California’s Agriculture: Towards a More Vibrant and Productive Agricultural Sector by PRI senior fellow Amy Kaleita, Ph.D., is available HERE.

California’s agricultural sector is a strong and significant component of California’s economy as well as national and global food production.  “Protecting and enhancing the industry, and encouraging innovation in water conservation, labor use, and development of consumer markets, provides benefits not only to farmers, but to the population as a whole,” Dr. Kaleita, said.  In order to help California’s nationally and internationally important agricultural industry grow and strengthen, local, state, and federal governments should reevaluate counterproductive policies and strategies. The report makes the following recommendations:

  • • Adjust water policy and pricing to provide an incentive for conservation. Conservation becomes economically advantageous when users pay the real price of water
  • • Phase out direct federal agricultural subsidies. Federal cash subsidies of commodity crops provide little benefit to California agriculture, and distort pricing in the food markets

  • • Streamline and standardize regulations. Reduced costs and overhead for complying with environmental regulations would free up money for farm innovations, and reduce barriers to growth. 

Agriculture in California is under some unique and increasing pressures, and key state and federal policies and regulatory frameworks are counterproductive.  Implementing these recommendations would significantly advance the state’s agricultural economy, making California  a national and international leader.  

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