A sound guideline to the range of considerations that need to be taken into account in the selection of policy procedures is Article 39 of the Founding Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). Here the objectives of the Common Agricultural Policy were specified to be:
It is important to acknowledge that the CAP objectives are unambiguously founded on rational technical, economic and financial concepts.
They can be summarized as central indicators for policy achievement including:
In order to sustain the evolution in economic growth of an agricultural sector it is important to maintain an emphasis on the objectives of productivity, reduction in unit costs, increases in operational margins and real incomes.
These considerations provide a foundation for the identification of procedures and methods to be applied in the establishment of a practical and effective policy decision analysis cycle covering planning, policy operational administration, monitoring & evaluation and ex-post analysis.
The main operational significance of the above analysis is that sound policy needs to be more concerned with transformative change than with income transfer from government budgets to private bank accounts of farmers in the form of production or land area subsidies. Production subsidies are what created "wine lakes" and "butter mountains" and a serious misallocation of budgets.
What has emerged as the rational interprepation of CAP and which was the practice in the 1960s, before CAP existed, is a renewed emphasis on farm resilience. This is the development of the ability of farms to resist increasingly variations in yields and market prices assocated with seasonal weather conditions and external global supply variations affecting prices. The way in which this is achieved is set out under the methods column in the table above. Some 80% of economic growth emanates from changes in technology and technique, learning and the accumulation of tacit and explicit knowledge leading to innovation. It is this process that is associated with rises in physical productivity, the provision of opportunities to allocate resoures more efficiently so as to lower unit costs and augment margins and income while maintaining sales prices within accessible ranges for consumers.
AgroInfoSys has adopted for one of the most robust systems approaches founded in advancing W3 techniques and standards including ECMA and ISO programming language standards. We support the standards work of the Open Quality Standards Initiative2 (OQSI). OQSI work is distinct in that it places particular emphasis on the advances in logic & analytical techniques and their incorporation into online information management systems to secure more economic, efficient and effective operations management.
We are using the OQSI standard Data Reference Models3 (DRMs) to summarise procedural objectives, methods and data requirements as a first step in "designing" procedures. The procedural models are prototyped (concept demonstration) through the use of the Policy Procedure Prototyping Platform (4P)4 a server side operational platform built in DScript (the server side extension of te ECMA standard 262 and ISO/IEC standard 16262). 4P is an emerging standard of OQSI.
Further information on 4P can be accessed by clicking on the PPPP menu item above. .
1 Hector W. McNeill is an agricultural economist and systems engineer with over 45 years professional experience. His first exposure to agricultural policy making was in 1964 at Cambridge University under David Wallace the pioneer of the use of gross margin analysis in farm planning and policy making. Content from DAI-2010-2015, Food, Fibre & Feedstock policies, GBF, London 2012
The W3 consortium is headed by Tim Berners-Lee and their website is here
2 The OQSI site can be accessed here
3 DRM-Data Reference Model - for further information see
4 4P-Policy Procedure Prototyping Platform - for further information see