3 Recent Findings Regarding Efforts to Realize Sustainable Agriculture

June 28, 2021

Did you know that according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, agricultural output must increase by 70 percent if we are to continue to feed our growing population? And we must also do this sustainably, even if we are now facing alarming climate change.

Take a look at these 3 recent findings regarding efforts to realize sustainable agriculture.

1. Global TFP Growth Is Stagnant

According to the Global Agricultural Productivity (GAP) Report, TFP is a ratio that measures changes in how efficiently agricultural inputs (land, labor, fertilizer, feed, machinery, and livestock) are transformed into outputs (crops and livestock). It means that TFP allows us to measure how sustainably we are growing our agriculture output.

Based on the USDA Economic Research Service data, globally, TFP is rising by an average annual rate of 1.63 percent. Nevertheless, it is indicated that TFP growth is not increasing fast enough. To sustainably meet the demand for food, feed, fiber, and bioenergy needed in 2050, TFP must grow by 1.73 percent globally. 

2.  Food Loss And Waste Must Be Reduced By 50 Percent

Based on data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), around 690 million people are currently hungry and three billion cannot afford healthy food. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic threatens food security and additional nutrition for up to 132 million people.

Food loss occurs from farms, while food waste occurs at the retail, food service, and household levels. Food loss and waste is caused by poor handling, inadequate transportation or storage, lack of cold chain capacity, extreme weather conditions, and lack of planning. Simply put, less food loss and waste means more food for all.

3. New Agricultural Technologies And More Sustainable Farming Practices Are Needed

Today's modern technology has greatly helped the agricultural industry in simplifying the agricultural process and increasing production. However, the existing technology should be combined with sustainable agricultural practices such as precision farming, no-till and cover crops, etc.

In addition, to achieve agricultural activities that are more productive, sustainable, and resilient while facing climate change, efforts are also needed such as managing pollination, preventing erosion, sequestering carbon, recycling nutrients, increasing soil fertility, improving water and water quality, and better managing pests and diseases.

Key Takeaway

By understanding the findings above and implementing the efforts, the annual growth target of Total Factor Productivity can be achieved. Ultimately, this will also have an impact on the fulfillment of food demand throughout the world and the realization of sustainable agriculture.

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