Agricultural Productivity

​​Productivity measures the quantity of output produced with a given quantity of inputs. Agricultural productivity is measured as the ratio of agricultural outputs to agricultural inputs. Long term productivity growth reflects improvements in farmers’ production efficiency and technological progress. While individual products are usually measured by weight, their varying densities make measuring overall agricultural output difficult. Improving productivity on farms contributes to profitability and competitiveness because it allows farmers to produce more output using fewer inputs.

Agricultural productivity is measured as the ratio of agricultural outputs to agricultural inputs. Improving agricultural productivity has been the world’s primary means of assuring that the needs of a growing population don’t outstrip the ability to supply food.

Therefore, the output is usually measured as the market value of the final output, which excludes intermediate products such as corn feed used in the meat industry. This output value may be compared to many different types of inputs such as labor and land (crop yield). These are called partial measures of productivity. Rapid agricultural growth will sustain high growth of the economy with better capacity to reduce poverty through enhancing rural wages, creating synergies for diversifying the rural economy, and enabling the supply of low-cost food to improve the nutritional status and food security of the people.

Agricultural productivity may also be measured by what is termed total factor productivity (TFP). This method of calculating agricultural productivity compares an index of agricultural inputs to an index of outputs. This measure of agricultural productivity was established to remedy the shortcomings of the partial measures of productivity; notably that it is often hard to identify the factors that cause them to change. Changes in TFP are usually attributed to technological improvements. The future of food and agriculture depends on the capacity of agricultural innovation systems to provide farmers with innovations that address an increasingly diverse and complex range of needs, including improved farm productivity and environmental performance, as well as better responses to climate change.

Agricultural productivity is an important component of food security. With the goal of enhancing agricultural production and ensuring food security, the main target under any agricultural and economic development plan must be to attain and maintain self-sufficiency in staple food (rice) production and meet the nutritional requirement of the population through the supply of an adequate and diverse range of foods. Increasing agricultural productivity, especially amongst smallholder farms, is an important way to decreasing the amount of land needed for farming and slow environmental degradation through processes like deforestation. Production and consumption diversification with high-value crops has to be the target for food production in the country.


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