Ag Policy Blog

Global Harvest Initiative GAP Report to Move to Virginia Tech

Jerry Hagstrom
By  Jerry Hagstrom , DTN Political Correspondent
The Global Agricultural Productivity (GAP) Index showed last fall that for the fifth straight year agricultural output has not kept pace with the growth needed to provide food, feed, fiber and fuel to meet the expected needs in 2050. (Chart provided by the Global Harvest Initiative)

The ownership and production of the Global Agricultural Productivity (GAP) Report, an annual analysis of the gaps between agricultural production and future global population growth, is moving from the Global Harvest Initiative, a Washington-based nonprofit organization whose members are major American agribusinesses, to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., in January.

Global Harvest Initiative, which was formed in 2010, will dissolve, and its board of directors will transfer all assets and intellectual property to Virginia Tech, GHI said in a news release today.

“The GAP Report has expanded our understanding of the role of productivity in sustainably feeding the world and achieving the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals," said Margaret Zeigler, executive director of the Global Harvest Initiative.

“Virginia Tech has long been a leader in empowering the next generation of agricultural leaders to help people around the world produce sustainable food while increasing productivity. We are thrilled that they will be the next host of the GAP Report.”

The report aligns with the mission of Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Global Programs Office (CALS Global), a unit within the college that was formed in 2016 with the goal of building partnerships, creating new opportunities, and empowering success while serving globally, Zeigler added.

Zeigler will begin a research program across four countries in Latin America, exploring the nexus of agriculture, food security and sustainability in the region.

GHI Deputy Director Ann Steensland will become project coordinator for the GAP Report at Virginia Tech.

The report has been released annually on the sidelines of the World Prize ceremonies in Des Moines each October, and plans call for the release of the 2019 report in the same manner.

The GAP Report tracks agricultural productivity growth, a key indicator of innovation adoption and a foundation for sustainability. The 2018 report revealed a downward trend in productivity growth globally and explored the challenges and opportunities for U.S. producers.

GHI’s member companies are Corteva Agriscience, the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, John Deere, Monsanto Company (acquired by Bayer AG), The Mosaic Company and Smithfield Foods.

GHI also has the following partners who consult and share their knowledge and experience in agriculture, conservation, nutrition and the needs of small-scale farmers: 9b Group, ACDI/VOCA, Congressional Hunger Center, Conservation International, Farm Foundation, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, Inter-American Development Bank, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture, The Nature Conservancy, New Markets Lab, Purdue University School of Agriculture, Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska, and Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation.

-Global Harvest Initiative — 2018 Global Agricultural Productivity Report…

Jerry Hagstrom can be reached at

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