Today, the Rural Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) will be given an overview of the analysis of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) assessing the innovativeness, productiveness and sustainability of the food and agriculture sector in Estonia.
Related sectors, like education, information and communications technology, infrastructure, environmental measures, economic stability and public services, are also assessed in the framework of the analysis, and recommendations for developing the innovation policy are given.
In the opinion of Chairman of the Rural Affairs Committee Aivar Kokk, our agricultural entrepreneurs rank among the first in the countries of Europe by their high-quality and sustainable production. The aim is to produce more effectively and at the same time also to protect the environment more. “It is necessary to contribute more to renewable energy, let it be the biogas systems installed to the liquid manure storage facilities or the solar panels on the roofs of the farms. While most of our dairy cattle farms and agricultural machinery are equipped with high technology, there is still a need for an IT application to process the information obtained from the tractors and coupling mechanisms in order to grow the agricultural products more sustainably and environment friendly,” Kokk said. He emphasised that it was also important to bring the food industry on a new, more modern level, so that we could process all output ourselves, adding more value to our agricultural production.
Deputy Chairman of the Rural Affairs Committee Urmas Kruuse thinks that it is important to have an integrated approach to solving of the problems relating to innovation. “In order to be effective, several aspects that are closely related to innovation should be considered. Therefore it is necessary to pay special attention to drafting a competitive strategy in cooperation with the agricultural sector,” Kruuse said.
The conclusions of the analysis prove that the Estonian innovation system has several strong points, like favourable business environment, governmental strategy uniting the aims of innovation and economic growth together with smart specialisation and investments targeted at sectors with large growth potential.
The analysis also points out that Estonia has a relatively strong national research system with large public sector expenses on research and development and great achievements in international cooperation. The report also notes the excellent skills base of the population, especially the young people who have achieved good results in sciences, and the positive attitude of the society towards research and technology.
The shortcomings are mainly caused by insufficient research and development activities and innovation in enterprises, which is directly connected with the relative smallness of the Estonian enterprises. The most innovative enterprises in Estonia are the subsidiaries of foreign companies and the companies that are based on foreign capital.
In conclusion, it is said that the agricultural innovation system in Estonia has to become more inclusive and responsive in order to contribute to further sustainable growth of productivity. The good level of education of the people in Estonia is a fruitful ground for innovation and economic growth.
At the invitation of the Rural Affairs Committee, Minister of Rural Affairs Tarmo Tamm and the representatives of relevant bodies and organisations will attend the presentation of the OECD innovation report is introduced.
Director of the OECD Trade and Agriculture Directorate Ken Ash, Senior Economist of the OECD Trade and Agriculture Directorate Catherine Moreddu, and coordinator of agricultural economics and food security policies at the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of the Netherlands and the reviewer of the report on Estonia Carla Boonstra will make speeches.
The presentation of the OECD analysis in the Conference Hall of the Riigikogu will be streamed online.
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