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About the GAP Report™ and GAP Index™

The Global Harvest Initiative has developed the Global Agricultural Productivity Report (GAP Report™) and Global Agricultural Productivity Index™  (GAP Index™) with input from agricultural experts including the US Department of Agriculture, Farm Foundation and others to serve as a benchmark that will be updated and released on an annual basis, integrating new agricultural challenges and advancements worldwide. Measuring progress each year is critical to obtain the right measures to boost agricultural output through timely increases in productivity in order to sustainably meet the growing needs.


GAP Report 2010
2010 GAP Report™ - Measuring Global Agricultural Productivity

Just Released: Rate of Increase in Agricultural Productivity Lagging World’s Growing Needs by 25 Percent Annually


The GAP Report and GAP Index

The Challenge

In just over 40 years world population will pass 9 billion people, and agricultural output must double to provide the necessary food, feed, fiber and fuel to meet the needs of the growing, more affluent world population in a sustainable manner.

Sustainably meeting the world’s growing demand for agricultural production suggests we must also freeze or shrink the environmental footprint of agriculture; we cannot depend on bringing more new land into production, using more water than today, or employing vast fertilizer and pesticide inputs that could impact the environment.


Closing the Productivity Gap

Sustainably doubling agricultural output by 2050 will require total agricultural productivity to grow at an annual average rate of at least 1.75 percent from a relatively fixed bundle of agricultural resources. Yet over the past seven years, that rate has averaged 1.4 percent (USDA).

The difference between the prevailing historical trend and the required higher rate is a productivity gap. To close this gap, the rate of growth must be 25 percent faster than the recent trend rate, a daunting challenge given the low and moribund rates today in many parts of the world.

But the Global Harvest Initiative believes that this goal can be sustainably achieved by focusing on key priorities such as expanded and better focused research, approvals of new science-based technologies, liberalizing and strengthening the global rules-based trading system, strengthening and streamlining international development programs, and finding ways to mobilize private sector investment and involvement.

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