Concept of crop productivity for better agricultural & sustainable development


Faran Muhammad, Muhammad Dilawaiz Khan and Ahmed Mukhtar

Agricultural productivity is measured as the relationship between agricultural outputs and agricultural inputs. While individual products are usually measured by weight, their varying densities make it difficult to measure the overall agricultural output.          

Concept of crop productivity for better agricultural & sustainable developmentAgriculture also known as farming or husbandry is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi, and other forms of life used to sustain life for food, fiber, biofuel, and other products.

Productivity is a measure of the production efficiency. Productivity is a production output ratio to what is needed to produce it (inputs) or the productivity measure is defined as a total output per unit of total input.

Indices of agricultural productivity

Some indices of agriculture productivity are;


Mechanization mean the use of various power resources and improved farm tolls to enhance the cropping intensity, precision and efficiency of utilization of various crop inputs and reduce the losses at different stages of crop production.

High yield varieties

The high yielding varieties of crops possess certain desirable characteristics as given under

  • High yield
  • Dwarfness
  • Better response to fertilizer
  • Early maturation


It estimated that nutrient inputs are responsible for between thirty to fifty percent of crop yield. Crop need sixteen different nutrient elements for their growth and fruit and fiber or grain production. Nitrogen, phosphorus and in recent years, zinc, boron and sulfur are the nutrients of most concern in the grain production region.


Liming of acid soils to raise pH and to provide calcium and magnesium. When the pH fall below 6.0 the availability of nutrients decreases such as,

  • Phosphors
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium

The availability of the metallic micro nutrients increases as the pH decreases such as,

  • Zinc
  • Manganese
  • Copper
  • Iron

Soils are limed to reduce the harmful effects of low pH and to add calcium & magnesium to the soil. The amount of lime needed to achieve a certain Ph depend on,

  • pH of the soil.
  • The buffering capacity of the soil.

The most common liming materials are calcite, dolomitic agricultural lime stone. These are natural products made by the finely grinding natural lime stone.


It the artificial application of water to the land or is used to assist in the growing of agricultural crops.

  • Flood irrigation
  • Sprinkler irrigation
  • Drip irrigation


Herbicide and pesticide contribute effectively and profitably to

  • Weed control
  • Increase food production
  • Saving labor
  • Reduce soil erosion (by reducing tillage)
  • Save energy
  • Increase crop production
  • Reduce the cost of farm

Increased plant density

Increased plant density High density planting is one of the most effective measures to increase productivity per unit area.

  • Efficient method of cropping system
  • Easily manageable, high yield potential with higher return per unit area.
  • More efficient way of harvesting radiant energy.
  • Animal feed Made more digestible by processing. Keeping animals indoors in cold weather.

Importance of agriculture productivity

  • Aside from providing more food, increasing the productivity of farms affects the region’s prospects for growth and competitiveness on the agricultural market, income distribution and savings, and labor migration.
  • An increase in a region’s agricultural productivity implies a more efficient distribution of scarce resources.
  • As farmers adopt new techniques and differences in productivity arise, the more productive farmers benefit from an increase in their welfare while farmers who are not productive enough will exit the market to seek success elsewhere.
  • As a region’s farms become more productive, its comparative advantage in agricultural products increases, which means that it can produce these products at a lower opportunity cost than can other regions.
  • Increases in agricultural productivity lead also to agricultural growth and can help to alleviate poverty in poor and developing countries, where agriculture often employs the greatest portion of the population.
  • Agricultural productivity is becoming increasingly important as the world population continues to grow.
  • India, one of the world’s most populous countries, has taken steps in the past decades to increase its land productivity.
  • As farms become more productive, the wages earned by those who work in agriculture increase. At the same time, food prices decrease and food supplies become more stable.
  • Laborers therefore have more money to spend on food as well as other products. This also leads to agricultural growth.
  • People see that there is a greater opportunity earn their living by farming and are attracted to agriculture either as owners of farms themselves or as laborers.
  • However, it is not only the people employed in agriculture who benefit from increases in agricultural productivity. Those employed in other sectors also enjoy lower food prices and a more stable food supply. Their wages may also increase.

Agricultural productivity and sustainable development

  •  Increase in agricultural productivity is often linked with questions about sustainability and sustainable development.
  • Changes in agricultural practices necessarily bring changes in demands on resources. This means that as regions implement measures to increase the productivity of their farm land, they must also find ways to ensure that future generations will also have the resources they will need to live and thrive.
  • A productive farm is one that provides most of the resources necessary for the farmer’s family to live, such as food, fuel, fiber, healing plants, etc.
  • It is a farm which ensures food security as well as a way to sustain the well-being of a community. This implies that a productive farm is also one which is able to ensure proper management of natural resources, such as biodiversity, soil, water, etc.
  • For most farmers, a productive farm would also produce more goods than required for the community in order to allow trade.

Change farm production by

  • Increase farm income & productivity.
  • Increase farm size.
  • Allied activities.
  • Use of high yielding verities.
  • Decrease costs in farm.

Challenges of agriculture market

  • Increase in demand food, biofuel and other non-food usage.
  • Increased prices of ecological products etc.
  • New products.

How to face challenges

  • Infrastructure for production e.g. Roads transport etc.
  • Knowledge: Research, Advisory service etc.
  • Service: machinery, marketing.
  • Information and communication technology.
  • Life quality in rural areas.
  • Provide different government subsidies.
  • Easy access to bank loan.

Integrated farm management

  • It combines the best of traditional farming methods with modern technology, allowing farmers to manage their farms in an informed, professional and caring way.
  • Traditional farming methods include crop rotations, animal production, poultry and fisheries would necessary to keep animals and crops healthy.
  • IFM ensures the highest standards of food production with the minimum environmental impact.

Key principles of Integrated Farm Management

  • A commitment to good husbandry and animal welfare.
  • Efficient soil management and appropriate cultivation techniques.
  • The use of crop rotations.
  • Minimum reliance on crop protection chemicals and fertilizers.
  • Careful choice of seed varieties.
  • Maintenance of the landscape and rural communities.
  • Enhancement of wildlife habitats.
  • A commitment to team spirit based on communication, training and involvement.

Advantages of integrated farm management

  • To good husbandry and animal welfare.
  • To know the cropping and environmental risks on the farm.
  • To minimize the use of fertilizers, crop protection chemicals, and fuels.
  • To maintain the soil and its fertility.
  • To improve wildlife habitats appropriate to the farm concerned.
  • To maintain and improve landscape and farm buildings.
  • To continuous farm income of farmer.
  • To regulate repayment due to continuous source of money.
  • Less chances of failure of our project. 
  • To improve farmers’ life style.


If we properly manage all these indices of crop productivity, we can increase our productivity by many folds.

Faran Muhammad1, Muhammad Dilawaiz Khan1 and Ahmed Mukhtar1

Faran Muhammad

An agronomist by profession, deal with scientific data analysis with statistical tools.

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