The State of Food and Agriculture 1973

Review by Regions - Agricultural Employment in Developing Countries

image of The State of Food and Agriculture 1973

In addition to the usual review of the recent world food and agriculture situation, each issue of The State of Food and Agriculture from 1957 has included one or more special studies of problems of longer-term interest. This year’s edition focuses on the review of agricultural employment in developing countries by region.



World review

World agricultural production declined slightly in 1972, probably for the first time since the second world war. Fishery production also fell, by about 1 percent, while forest production increased by some 2 percent. The total output of agricultural, fishery and forest commodities showed a slight decline (Table 1-1). Widespread unfavorable weather particularly drought was the principal factor responsible for the reduction in agricultural output. This drop, together with a world population growth of 2 percent, led to a 3 percent decline in the per caput level of food production. The disappointing performance of agriculture mainly reflected a lower output of cereals from the record level of 1971. An unusual scarcity of wheat coincided with a rice shortage in the Far East. Even so, world cereal production was the second largest ever recorded. By the end of 1972, however, a precarious balance developed between supply and demand, and world prices rose sharply. The 1973/74 season opened with stocks at levels so low that they gave little assurance of adequate supplies to meet world demand if output was below normal in one or two major producing areas. The world food situation is therefore almost entirely dependent on the 1973 harvests.


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