The Division for Agricultural Policy Analysis, your knowledge provider within the Agriculture and Fisheries Policy Area. Activity Report 2009

Dirk Van Gijseghem & Tom Van Bogaert (eds.)

February 2010

With this activity report we want to provide an overview of the studies, reports and data gathering carried out by the Division for Agricultural Policy Analysis (AMS) in 2009. Besides giving a short summary of the content of the studies and reports, we will look at how the recommendations found their way into the policy. The Division for Agricultural Policy Analysis considers it its task to analyse agriculture within its changing context, inform the Agriculture and Fisheries Policy Area about these changes and proffer advice with a view to launching new initiatives.

The number one provider…
As a policy advisory service AMS works for the Minister of Agriculture and the divisions of the Agriculture and Fisheries Policy Area. For certain assignments it also works together with colleagues from other policy areas, or with external collaborators (consultancies, research institutes). The division also has a number of coordination tasks, such as the supervision of the strategic policy cycle. In 2009 the division coordinated the drafting of the contribution from the policy area to the coalition agreement for the new Flemish Government, which was sworn in in July.

... of knowledge ...
AMS carries out knowledge-intensive assignments following requests from other units within the Agriculture and Fisheries Policy Area. Each year, a survey is held in order to draw up an inventory of new assignments. According to the available competences and manpower the division carries out the assignments.

While it does so, AMS ensures that the knowledge it makes available is high-quality knowledge. By this we mean that the knowledge is valid, reliable, accurate and up-to-date. The knowledge is understandable and adapted to the conditions required by the client. Assignments are carried out in the form of projects, so that the client has a clear view of the use of manpower. Finally, the division takes care that the assignments are carried out in a coordinated way. Attention is given to collaboration between different units, both within and outside the policy area.

The division is also the knowledge pool of the policy area. When there is a need within the policy area for knowledge to solve a certain policy problem, the knowledge of the division is consulted.

The division, as chairperson, is responsible for the Platform for Agricultural Research. The Platform unites the Flemish Government, the faculties of agriculture of the various universities, the research institutes, the polytechnics and the test centres. This collaboration is to contribute to a good flow of knowledge and skills between research, practice and the agricultural sector. The White Paper on Agricultural Research, which was presented in March 2009, constitutes the knowledge agenda for Flemish agricultural research in the coming years.

... and information ...
Every year, AMS gathers quite a bit of information about the Flemish agricultural and horticultural businesses. This information is either gathered by the division itself, via the Farm Accountancy Data Network, or delivered by third parties, such as the Agency for Agriculture and Fisheries of the Federal Public Service Economy. The information is analysed, interpreted and explained in the different reports that are drawn up by the department. The Agriculture report 2008, presented at Agriflanders, and Pocket agricultural indicators, presented at Agribex, have become a reference when it comes to Flemish agriculture and horticulture.

... also in the future
In 2010 the division will celebrate its fifth anniversary. Therefore, it was good to look back in 2009 to what we have achieved and at what improvements we can make in the coming years. That is why a new division plan has been drawn up. This will serve as a guide for the further expansion and operation of the Division for Agricultural Policy Analysis in the period 2010-2014.



AMS provides knowledge and information to support the Agriculture and Fisheries Policy Area and to stimulate it to pursue a sustainable, future-oriented agricultural, fisheries and rural policy.

This mission is accomplished via 5 core tasks:

1. AMS carries out multidisciplinary study activities based on its own AMN data or secondary data collections in order to better understand and explain developments. AMS looks for relationships across areas, describes regional and (inter)national trends, uses models and explores possible future developments.

2. AMS guarantees a continuous flow of high-quality data, information and knowledge. To this end, AMS develops various instruments in the area of data production, publication and management.

3. AMS uses indicators which signal developments in agriculture to the AF Policy Area and the Flemish authorities and monitor the results and effects of the agricultural policy.

4. AMS, on its own initiative or on request, makes its expertise available to the departments of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Minister.

5. AMS translates the results of agricultural research into policy recommendations, and vice versa, and coordinates the Platform for Agricultural Research.

The main objectives in order to fulfil these core tasks are:
- a high-quality service
- efficient, high-quality data gathering
- optimal valorisation of information and knowledge
- efficient and productive internal processes
- competent and happy employees
- innovative thinking and working
- development of partnerships

In 2010 we will put all our efforts into realising these objectives.

Original version:

Van Gijseghem D. & Van Bogaert T. (reds.) (2010)
Afdeling Monitoring en Studie, uw kennisleverancier binnen het beleidsdomein Landbouw en Visserij, Activiteitenverslag 2009
Departement Landbouw en Visserij, Brussel.

Departement Landbouw en Visserij
Ellipsgebouw (6de verdieping) - Koning Albert II-Laan 35, bus 40 - 1030 Brussel
Tel. 02 552 78 20 - Fax 02 552 78 21