Frederic Ang (WUR-BEC) Adjusting for greenhouse gas emissions in agricultural productivity analysis: A global perspective

Organised by Section Economics

Tue 10 December 2019 12:30 to 13:30

Venue Leeuwenborch, gebouwnummer 201
Room C82
A growing population leads to rising food demand, which requires a substantial increase in food supply. Being defined as the ratio of aggregate output to aggregate input, “total factor productivity” (TFP) is considered a useful monitoring tool by policy makers in the context of global sustainable food provision. Its growth indicates that production becomes progressively decoupled from input use. There is a consensus that agricultural TFP has increased consistently at the global scale in the last decades. The main weakness of this conventional approach to TFP measurement is that it only takes into account marketed inputs and outputs, ignoring non-marketed pollutants. Most notably, almost one quarter of the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions originate from agriculture. GHG emissions are an important by-product of agricultural production. Moreover, deforestation for agricultural purposes leads to a deteriorating carbon sink. There exists thus a complex, global challenge for the agricultural sector to simultaneously increase agricultural production and minimize GHG emissions associated with agricultural production and deforestation. Appropriately adjusting for these emissions, we assess the GHG-adjusted TFP growth at the global level for the period 1992-2016. The results show that this adjustment leads to considerably lower TFP growth rates.