Brazil leads agricultural productivity in a list of 187 countries

Brazil leads agricultural productivity in a list of 187 countries

USDA data show Brazil’s agricultural productivity has risen 3.7%, only below China (4.41%)

2 minutes read

Brazil has been leading world agricultural productivity in agribusiness since the 2000’s, in a list of 187 countries, according to a study from the Economic Research Service, a department of USDA (United States Department of Agriculture).

The research points out that Brazilian agricultural products grew up 3.75% per year, in average, between 1961 and 2019, just lower than China (4.41% per year).  The product includes 162 crops, 30 types of animal and insect products, 8 products from fish farming, as well as inputs: land, workforce, capital and materials.

Brazil leads agricultural productivity

On the other hand, if compared to recent years (2000 to 2019), agricultural productivity in Brazil rose 3.18% per year, the highest rate amidst selected countries. 

According to the study, several factors may explain how the national agriculture met such level. 

The general coordinator of Information Policy Assessment of Brazilian Agricultural Policy Secretariat, José Gasques, states that, in recent years, the national funding system has undergone many reforms. In addition to that, pricing policy, cut of subsides, rural insurance, and other measures have been implemented, which caused significant impact in agricultural productivity.

The researcher who analyzed USDA data explained that “amongst the numerous actions, the increase of resources has focus on credit for investment; many options for funding have been made available to commercial and family farming.” 

Between 2000 e 2018, for instance, the volume of resources for rural credit (financing, investment, and commercialization) rose 298% in actual figures, according to data from Brazilian Central Bank.


Investments in researches also fostered the gain in productivity, as well as the adoption of agricultural practices for low emission of carbon, as direct planting, and crop-livestock-forestry integration systems.

Some researches figure that direct planting may increase productivity up to 30% in maize plantations.  “These systems brought sharp productivity gains for agriculture”, says Gasques.

The analysis of USDA data, was performed by the Agricultural Policy Secretariat (a sector from Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply), along with the Center for Advanced Studies on Applied Economics of Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture (CEPEA-ESALQ). 

Read here the technical note about agricultural productivity.