Agriculture has been an essential industry for nearly all major economies in the world. These countries use agriculture to drive international trade and create jobs. In the United States, agriculture is one of the most export dependent sectors of the economy with one-third of US agricultural production exported annually. Developing countries have realized the importance of creating economic growth through agricultural production and exports. With an increasing global population, agriculture has provided emerging economies opportunities for growth and integration into the global economic picture.

Over the past few years, global agricultural output has grown by 2.6 percent, led by growth in the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, and China. According to the OECD, output in developing countries is expected to grow each year, resulting in a continual increase in their share of global production. Emerging economies have used their growth in agriculture as a way to strengthen international trade relationships. Brazil has become the world’s largest food exporter and has become a critical trade partner for many countries such as China, the world’s largest food consumer. Agriculture has proven to be a crucial industry for countries looking to expand their presence in the international trade marketplace.

Trade benefits are just one positive by-product of a strong agricultural industry.  Less developed countries are also using agriculture to create an economic future and to reduce the poverty that has stricken these countries. Many experts agree that the economic development prospects of Africa depend on an efficient and sustainable agricultural industry. In several African countries, food insecurity has been traced to low agricultural productivity despite vast arable land, good agro-ecological conditions, and water for irrigation. The path to unlocking prosperity in Africa lies in promoting effective agribusiness strategies and receiving capital investments from business abroad. If Africa is able to turn-around its agriculture industry, the International Monetary Fund projects a large boost in economic growth between now and 2020.

For trade reasons and economic development opportunities, agriculture is one of the most important industries across the world for many countries. Moving forward, agriculture will remain a critical industry for sustainable development as production must keep pace with the expanding global population. This will not be an easy feat for agribusinesses and will require collaboration among small farmers worldwide and multinational agribusinesses. However, great challenges provide great opportunity, and there’s no doubt that agriculture can pave the way for growth in the global economy.

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