From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Global Agricultural Productivity Report, 2021
Mains level : Agricultural Productivity
Global agricultural productivity (GAP) is not growing as fast as the demand for food, amid the impact of climate change, according to a new report.
- The GAP Report is released by Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
- It urges the acceleration of productivity growth from smallholders to large-scale farmers to meet consumers’ needs and address current and future threats to human and environmental well-being.
Key indicator: Total factor productivity (TFP)
- In agriculture, productivity is measured as Total Factor Productivity or TFP.
- An increase in TFP growth indicates that more crops, livestock, and aquaculture products were produced with the same amount (or less) land, labor, fertilizer, machinery, feed, and livestock.
- TFP grows when producers increase output using improved technologies and practices, such as advanced seed varieties, precision mechanization, efficient nutrient and water management techniques, and improved animal care practices.
- Using agricultural inputs efficiently to generate more output reduces agriculture’s environmental impact and lowers costs for producers and consumers.
Highlights of the report
- Total factor productivity (TFP) is growing at an annual rate of 1.36 per cent (2020-2019).
- This is below the annual target of 1.73 per cent growth to sustainably meet the needs of consumers for food and bioenergy in 2050.
- Climate change has already reduced productivity growth globally by 21 per cent since 1961, the report said.
- In the drier regions of Africa and Latin America, climate change has slowed productivity growth by as much as 34 per cent.
- The report noted that middle-income countries including India, China, Brazil and erstwhile Soviet republics continued to have strong TFP growth rates.
Agricultural productivity in India
- India has seen strong TFP and output growth this century.
- The most recent data shows an average annual TFP growth rate of 2.81 per cent and output growth of 3.17 per cent (2010–2019).
- The report urged accelerating investments in agricultural R&D to increase and preserve productivity gains, especially for small farmers.
- It identified six strategies and policies that would create sustainable agricultural growth at all scales of production:
- Invest in agricultural research and development
- Embrace science-and-information-based technologies
- Improve infrastructure for transportation, information and finance
- Cultivate partnerships for sustainable agriculture, economic growth and improved nutrition
- Expand and improve local, regional and global trade
- Reduce post-harvest loss and food waste