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News Article

New global food security report: total food producers and exporters

Report into worldwide agricultural produce and trade authored by team at University of Potomac

Research conducted by a team at the University of Potomac examines the global agricultural market worldwide to find out exactly where food comes from and how that impacts worldwide food security.

The team analysed the world’s biggest exporters of agricultural products, including total global outputs of key agricultural products like wheat, rice, sugar cane and cows’ milk.

Using widely available published data from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and other sources such as The World Bank, the researchers were able to rank countries around the world via output of agricultural produce and also by export of food products.

Top agricultural product producers

Their findings cemented the United States (US), Russia, Brazil, India, and China, as top the world’s top agricultural powerhouses, with the US being among the top producers and exporters of a variety of agricultural products, such as wheat, corn, potatoes, and sunflower seeds, with US agricultural exports in 2020 being valued at  $147.9 billion.

While India, China and Brazil are global powerhouses for agriculture production the majority of their produce is consumed by their growing populations, leaving only a small percentage for global export.

Top exporters of food

The Netherlands took second spot, after the US, for total global export of commodities, an interesting finding by the team at Potomac, which they attributed to fertile land, advancements in agricultural technology and re-export of agricultural products through international shipping ports.

The Netherlands is also a top global exporter for eggs and chicken meat, as well as tomatoes and potatoes, despite its rather diminutive size.

Food security, rising prices and general unease

Concerns over the Russian Ukrainian conflict has caused prices of staple foods to surge, as agricultural production has been hindered by war and exports of wheat and sunflower oil from the two countries are minimal in comparison to previous seasons.

While the researchers mentioned uncertainty around supply might mean US agricultural export products could reach higher prices, with global inflation and increased transporting costs farmers won’t necessarily see more profit.

The most exported agricultural goods worldwide are cereals and oil products, over a quarter of total global wheat products was exported. According to the report, the largest exporter of wheat in 2020 was Russia (37.2 million tons), followed by the United States (26.1 million tons) and Canada (26.1 million tons), though it remains to be seen if Russia will continue as top exporter in 2021 due to the Ukrainian conflict, changes in demand and trade sanctions. 

Researches said that the globalization of food production and trade of produce can cause uncertainty over food security when only a handful of top producing countries are responsible for the majority staple food exports.

This crucial trade of food has to become more robust to withstand economic shock, political tensions and climate emergencies to prevent food insecurity in many nations which rely on imported food.

To read the University of Potomac’s report in full, please visit:


Reference: Gjata, L. ;  Maloku, F. ;  Zhubi, R. (2022) Where does our food come from? The largest agri producers and exporters University of the Potomac Washington DC USA



Article details

  • Date
  • 26 July 2022
  • Source
  • University of Potomac - Washington DC
  • Subject(s)
  • Food technology