Agricultural Total Factor Productivity (TFP), 1991-2014: 2018 Global Food Policy Report Annex Table 5


International Food Policy Research (IFPRI)


International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)


Increasing the efficiency of agricultural production—getting more output from the same amount of resources—is critical for improving food security. To measure the efficiency of agricultural systems, we use total factor productivity (TFP). TFP is an indicator of how efficiently agricultural land, labor, capital, and materials (agricultural inputs) are used to produce a country’s crops and livestock (agricultural output)—it is calculated as the ratio of total agricultural output to total production inputs. When more output is produced from a constant amount of resources, meaning that resources are being used more efficiently, TFP increases. Measures of land and labor productivity—partial factor productivity (PFP) measures—are calculated as the ratio of total output to total agricultural area (land productivity) and to the number of economically active persons in agriculture (labor productivity). Because PFP measures are easy to estimate, they are often used to measure agricultural production performance. These measures normally show higher rates of growth than TFP, because growth in land and labor productivity can result not only from increases in TFP but also from a more intensive use of other inputs (such as fertilizer or machinery). Indicators of both TFP and PFP contribute to the understanding of agricultural systems needed for policy and investment decisions by allowing for comparisons across time and across countries and regions.

The data file provides estimates of IFPRI’s TFP and PFP measures for developing countries for three-sub-periods between 1991 and 2014(1991-2000,2001-2010 and 2010-2014). These TFP and PFP estimates were generated using the most recent data on outputs and inputs from the Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (ERS-USDA), an internationally consistent and comparable dataset on production and input quantities built using data from the FAOSTAT database of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), supplemented with data from national statistical sources.


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