East Meets West: How Asian Agriculture Compares to North America
Sep 01, 2015

In the United States and Canada, technology plays a heavy hand in farming, and most farms are mechanized. The machines used to run most of North America’s farms are the same machines that some countries in Asia have adopted to improve their agricultural markets. Asia is growing rapidly, and making a huge impact on agricultural trade.

The Rise of Asian Agricultural Trade

Asia is a vast region, with a population of 4.427 billion in 2014. Half of Asia’s 4.427 billion population relies on agriculture to fund their lives. Amazingly, most of these crops are located in North Asia where agriculture exports account for $6 billion in profits. As the years go on, the billions earned from agriculture continue to rise.

Compared with North America, Asia is experiencing a boom while the North American agriculture industries are slowing down or remaining steady. In the United States, farmers actually account for less than two percent of the population, but that two percent is responsible for feeding the country, as well as providing agriculture for export.

North Americans are encouraged to learn from their Asian neighbors, and explore the benefits of farming. With fewer farmers, there’s low competition in many areas. Moreover, North America continues to export agriculture, including grain, dairy products, wheat, and more. It’s beneficial for farmers to choose one specific export and focus on creating that.

To remain competitive with other markets, North America needs more farmers and more agriculture to export. Luckily, this business is one that’s relatively easy to start. Simply acquire farm land, and search for the equipment needed to manage that land. Farms rely on machines to operate, and you can garner machines for less than retail cost if you search used farm equipment online.

Common Agriculture in Asia and the United States

In Asia, the number one crop is rice. 90 percent of the world’s production of rice occurs in Asia, which makes sense considering 90 percent of the rice consumed worldwide happens in Asia. Asia also produces oats, millet, sugarcane, cabbage, beans, eggplant, and onions.

North American crops include a lot of the same (cabbage, beans, oats, eggplant, etc.), but North America also exports fruits and legumes. Despite having a relatively small farming population, North America has a varied agricultural offering with many types of plants used for food and nonfood uses. Some of North America’s crops are actually designated for clothing, and not food.

Rice on its Way Out

Despite the popularity of rice, many economists refer to it as an inferior good. This is due to the rapid development of Asia, and less poor communities on the continent. As incomes grow larger, the desire for rice decreases. So, Asia’s good fortune may result in farmers growing new foods.

It will be exciting to see how Asia’s agriculture market continues to develop, and how North America will adapt to these developments. It’s estimated that Asian crops will change in coming years, and that there will be less rice produced. If such is the case, it’s likely Asian farmers will embrace a new good, something that is as popular or more popular than rice.

Written by Jane Brown