Global agricultural production has in fact grown strongly for a number of years. During the 2000s, global annual compound production growth rates surpassed 1990s levels, returning to rates of around 2.5% per year recorded for previous decades. The 2000s also saw the fastest per capita agricultural production growth rates, close to twice those seen in previous decades. This suggests strong productivity in a period when agricultural production growth outstripped population growth at a faster pace than at any time over the previous 40 years. The balance of global production growth appears now to be shifting to emerging markets. The 2000s saw strong production growth in South America and Southeast Asia, continuing trends from the 1990s. Other regions in Asia also experienced relatively strong growth. However, production growth in Europe was significantly lower, and even fell in per capita terms in North America, indicating the reduced importance of these regions in global agricultural output growth. Meanwhile, overall production growth in Africa ran at more than 3% per year, but growth in per capita terms was significantly slower than in other developing regions.
©OECD Observer April 2016