Growth Rate of World Ag Production Slows

USDA says in the last decade, world agricultural output grew at an average annual rate of 1.94 percent per year, far slower than the 2.74 percent growth rate over the prior decade.

That’s also below the average annual rate of 2.3 percent over the past six decades from 1961-2021. The slowdown was primarily tied to a slowing rate of growth in agricultural total factor productivity (TFP), which fell 1.4 percent per year in 2011-2021 compared to 1.93 percent per year during the previous decade. TFP measures the amount of agricultural output produced from the aggregated inputs used in the production process, including land, capital, labor, and material resources.

There are four major sources for overall growth, including bringing more land into production, extending irrigation to land, intensifying the use of capital, labor, and material inputs per unit of land, and improving TFP, reflecting the rate of technological and efficiency improvements of inputs.