Agricultural productivity is an important component of food security

05Feb 2020
The Guardian
Agricultural productivity is an important component of food security

​​​​​​​Agricultural productivity is measured as the ratio of agricultural outputs to agricultural inputs.  While individual products are usually measured by weight, their varying densities make measuring overall agricultural output difficult. Therefore, output is usually measured as the-

-market value of final output, which excludes intermediate products such as corn feed used in the meat industry. This output value may be compared to many different types of inputs such as labour and land (crop yield). These are called partial measures of productivity.  

Agricultural productivity may also be measured by what is termed total factor productivity (TFP). This method of calculating agricultural productivity compares an index of agricultural inputs to an index of outputs. This measure of agricultural productivity was established to remedy the shortcomings of the partial measures of productivity; notably that it is often hard to identify the factors cause them to change. Changes in TFP are usually attributed to technological improvements.  

Agricultural productivity is an important component of food security: increased yields, lead to markets which rely on certain volumes of food. The IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land and the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C both project mostly negative changes in productivity of crops as global warming happens with some Breadbasket regions losing productivity, while other crops increase ranges and productivity—but resulting in a net reduction of crop productivity.

Firm raises hope of small scale farmers and millers with protein-rich insect product

With the global urban population expected to grow approximately 1.84 per cent per year between 2015 and 2020 putting pressure on food production among cities, there is need to put more effort on agricultural production for sustainable development.

The growth is expected to further worsen the growing scarcity of protein-rich resources used in feed production by millers and small scale farmers such as fishmeal (omena), cotton seed cake, sunflower meal and soybeans, that is already consumed as food by human.

To bridge that gap, researchers have found the solution in insect protein that offer an important replacement for expensive protein sources from fish or plants used in aquaculture and poultry production.

Insects add more value to the feed and food basket thanks to high nutrition component and as a source of income to those venturing in the innovative agriculture sector.

The main aim of the product is to empower the average farmer who are the drivers of the food basket.  

Africa must be the leader in the production of a consistent and high quality raw materials that will benefit both farmers and feed millers by investing in the use of sustainable resources like the black soldier fly.

Some of the most promising insect species for industrial production of feed includes; Black Soldier Fly(BSF), the common housefly, the yellow mealworm, the lesser mealworm, silkworms (Bombyx mori), and several grasshopper species.

Prohibitive costs, seasonality and adulteration of fishmeal, for example, she continues, are some of the major constrain hampering growth of the livestock feed sector in East Africa.

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