GLOBAL TFP GROWTH STAGNANT; LOW-INCOME COUNTRY TFP ALARMINGLY LOW
Data from the USDA Economic Research Service indicate that TFP is not growing fast enough to sustainably meet the demand for food, feed, fiber, and bioenergy needed in 2050.
Globally, TFP is rising by an average annual rate of 1.63 percent, less than the estimated 1.73 percent needed to sustainably double agricultural output (2010-2050) through productivity growth. TFP growth is strongest in China and South Asia, but it is slowing in the agricultural powerhouses of North America, Europe, and Latin America.
TFP growth in low-income countries is alarmingly low, just 1.00 percent. Urgent attention is needed to reverse this trend and achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG2), which calls for doubling the productivity for small-scale farmers in the lowest-income counties.
Global Agricultural Productivity (GAP) INDEX™
Without timely interventions, productivity trends will produce significant negative consequences for environmental sustainability, economic development, and human nutrition. Farmers will use more land and water to increase output, straining a natural resource base already threatened by climate change. Unable to afford higher-priced nutrient-dense foods, such as animal proteins and fruits and vegetables, consumers will rely on foods made from cheaper cereal grains for most of their calories, exacerbating skyrocketing obesity rates in adults and children.
Policymakers, producers, and consumers can help reverse these trends by investing in agricultural R&D and extension services, adopting science-based technologies and better farm management practices, paying greater attention to ecosystem services, improving transportation infrastructures, reducing food loss and waste, making regional and global trade efficient and cost-effective, and supporting programs for agricultural development, gender equity, and nutrition.