Important legal notice
AGRILIFE- Agriculture and life sciences in the economy
SUSTAG - Sustainable Agriculture
Agricultural Productivity and Growth

In a world scenario of increasing competition for resources where demand for food is expected to increase by 70% in 2050 (due to the effect of population growth and per capita incomes), greater growth in agricultural supply must be based on enhanced productivity growth. The examination of agricultural productivity and its contribution to economic growth and social wellbeing is thus the key framework of this project which encompasses a series of independent academic papers.


The following research project addresses the following key questions: What countries/regions are making the most and the least efficient use of their available agricultural inputs? What has driven Total Factor Productivity growth rates in the past decades and what has been its general trend? What is the role of enhanced agricultural productivity in overall economic growth?


To conduct such analyses in the context of both developed and developed economies, a parametric stochastic frontier analysis is considered rather useful because it allows identifying the effects of changes in technical efficiency, technology and (economies of) scale. Results will reveal if countries are converging towards the frontier thus experiencing a positive efficiency change (or vice versa) or if the frontier itself is shifting over time indicating advances in technology as well as if countries have improved the scale of operations towards the technologically optimum scale (i.e. scale change).

The posed research questions are highly relevant not only in terms of food supply and food security but also in terms of an effective access to inputs, efficient use of natural resources and poverty reduction.


The first output has been a paper entitled: A Bayesian Total Factor Productivity Analysis of Tropical Agricultural Systems in Central-Western Africa and South-East Asia Presented at the EAAE 2011.

The second paper is focused on selected tropical agriculture-based countries from Latin America and the Caribbean.



Silvia Saravia Matus

Sergio Gomez y Paloma

Joint Research Centre