Global Agricultural Productivity Report 2013

Meeting the food needs of a global population in 2050 will require a consistent and increasing rate of global agricultural productivity every year for the next four decades. These are among the key findings of the Global Harvest Initiative’s 4th Global Agricultural Productivity Report®, which was released Oct. 16, 2013, at the World Food Prize Symposium in Des Moines, Iowa.

GHI’s GAP Index™ measures annual progress in meeting the global agricultural productivity growth rate necessary to sustainably provide 9 billion people in 2050 with sufficient, nutritious and affordable food. The 2010 GAP Report indicated total factor productivity (TFP) needs to grow at an annual average rate of 1.75% to double food production by 2050.  According to the 2013 report, the average annual rate of global agricultural TFP between 2000 and 2010 was 1.81%.  However, the rate was no consistent in all regions of the world.

“The overall findings of the 2013 GAP Report indicate that over the past decade, countries are managing to maintain growth in productivity on global average. But those findings should not downplay the serious and urgent fact that we must maintain an increasing rate of global agricultural productivity year after year for the next 40 years.” said Dr. Margaret Zeigler, GHI executive director.

The 2013 GAP Report® identifies three primary challenges which could impede global efforts to achieve food security goals: lagging total factor productivity (TFP) growth rates in low-income countries; barriers to regional and global agricultural trade; and low levels of investment by developing countries in agricultural research and development as a share of their agricultural GDP.

For example, Sub-Saharan Africa faces a significant productivity gap. At the current rate of TFP growth, only 25% of the region’s needs would be met by 2050. Filling this food gap will require improved cultivation and livestock practices, better quality and more precise inputs, selective expansion to high-quality agricultural lands and imports.

The 2013 GAP Report also highlights the need for continued public investments by high-income countries in research, development and technology to be implemented by low-income countries, which lack the resources to make significant R&D investments. Access to technological advancements is essential for farmers and agro-industries in low-income countries where agriculture accounts for 29% of the GDP, but only invest one-ninth of what industrial countries invest in agriculture R&D.

Click here to review the 2012 GAP Report

Click here to review the 2011 GAP Report

Click here to review the 2010 GAP Report

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