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2013 GAP Report® – Digital
Feeding the world in 2050, when global population is expected to reach 9.6 billion, presents one of the most daunting challenges of our time. In the face of climate change, and with limited land and water resources, the private sector, governments, and civil society must immediately set in motion the policies and investments that will increase productivity and reduce waste and loss throughout the agricultural value chain — boosting agricultural output while conserving resources and improving people’s lives. Together, we must identify and implement sustainable pathways to sufficient, nutritious and affordable food.
Improving the productivity of agriculture and food systems is an integral part of achieving global food and nutrition security. The Global Harvest Initiative (GHI) releases our annual Global Agricultural Productivity Report® (GAP Report®) to serve as a benchmark for monitoring agricultural productivity growth. In 2010, GHI’s inaugural GAP Report® calculated that global agricultural total factor productivity (TFP) must grow by an average rate of at least 1.75 percent annually in order to double agricultural output by 2050 at current resource levels. Each year the GAP Report® is updated to mark the progress made toward sustainably doubling agricultural output to meet the 2050 demand for food, fiber, fuel and other industrial products derived from agriculture. The annual GAP Report® also highlights key policies required to encourage more investment and innovation, and to build efficient, sustainable agricultural value chains.
The 2013 GAP Report® explains the critical importance of TFP and measures and analyzes the most recent global agricultural rate of TFP growth, discussing how TFP improvements contribute to farmer livelihoods and conservation of the natural resource base. Sustainably improving productivity means growing more while using less water, land, labor, and other inputs. Protecting productivity gains and reducing waste and loss in the post-harvest phase and through the entire value chain is equally critical. This year’s analysis indicates that global TFP is growing at an average annual rate of 1.81 percent, but regional challenges and variations in TFP growth continue. Three challenges are highlighted: (1) TFP growth rates are generally lagging in low-income countries and particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, requiring ramped up research and development, technology transfer to producers and enhanced value chains; (2) trade facilitation is vital for connecting countries with growing demand, such as China, to countries with surplus, such as Brazil; and (3) high-income countries need to continue their public investments in research, development and technology and focus on global solutions to food security and trade.
This year’s report also demonstrates how productive and sustainable value chains contribute to food and nutrition security: they conserve the environment and natural resource base; adapt to climate change, price fluctuations and consumer needs; and improve people’s lives and livelihoods. GHI consultative partner organizations and others share their successful case studies in the 2013 GAP Report®. GHI’s five key policy areas are described, including how they apply to each of the 13 cases studies and create an enabling environment for investments and innovations that unlock the potential of value chains. Case studies in lower-income countries, where agriculture is the source of income for 70 percent of the population, demonstrate the importance of technology transfer and improved agricultural, conservation and trade policies for improving the incomes and productivity of smallholders and women. We must continue to build sustainable pathways to sufficient nutritious and affordable food and agriculture to meet the 2050 challenge.