Ag Growth Rate Continues to Slow

A new report shows agricultural growth is slowing just as ag leaders say it needs to be ramping up to meet the needs of an exploding world population.

In the last decade, the world’s agricultural output grew at an average annual rate of 1.94 percent per year. A USDA report says that’s slower than the 2.74 percent output growth rate over the previous decade and below the average annual rate of 2.3 percent during the last six decades.

The slowdown in agricultural growth was primarily tied to a slowing rate of growth in agricultural total factor productivity, or TFP. The world agriculture’s TFP fell to 1.14 percent per year from 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, labor, capital, and material resources.

There are four major sources of overall growth, such as bringing more land into production, extending irrigation to land, intensifying capital use, labor, and material inputs per unit of land, and improving TFP.