It should not be too surprising that countries like China and India feature prominently on the lists of top agricultural producers;

These countries have large populations and internal food security (that is, producing enough to feed a nation’s population from internal resources) is a major priority.

Country and Exports (in billions)

United States-  $118.3
Netherlands-  $79
Germany-  $70.8
France-  $68
Brazil-  $55.4

Here, again, it is important to note the difference between volume production and high-value production.

The Netherlands is a tiny country; its presence on the list is to the high value of flowers and live plants (the Netherlands supply two-thirds of the global total) and vegetables (the Netherlands is a leading supplier of tomatoes and chilies).

When it comes to the staples that feed the world (rice, corn, wheat, beans, lentils and animal proteins), countries like the United States, Germany, Canada, Brazil and Thailand feature more prominently.

Commodity and Leading country (% ) of Global Exports

Corn- United States

50.1% ($9.1 billion)

Fish- China

9.2% ($6.6 billion)

Palm Oil- Indonesia

51% ($10.4 billion)

Rice- Thailand

34.5% ($6 billion)

Soybeans- United States

50.5% ($16.5 billion)

Wheat- United States

18% ($5.4 billion)

How Will the World Make More?

Almost every country wants to increase its agricultural productivity, but how they intend to go about that varies greatly with the country or region in question.

In countries like the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe, there is very little land allowed to go to waste and infrastructure like roads are well-developed.

Likewise, irrigation is widespread, and farmers use fertilizer extensively.

This has led many countries and farmers to turn to genetically modified seeds to increase yields and reduce the need for costly (and potentially polluting) fertilizer and herbicides.

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