Sustainable Development Goals

Indicator 2.3.1 - Volume of production per labour unit by classes of farming / pastoral / forestry enterprise size

This indicator refers to the value of production per labour unit operated by small scale producers in the farming, pastoral and forestry sectors. Data will be produced by classes of enterprise size. The indicator will measure progress towards SDG Target 2.3.

Target 2.3

By 2030, double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists and fishers, including through secure and equal access to land, other productive resources and inputs, knowledge, financial services, markets and opportunities for value addition and nonfarm employment.

Agricultural output per labour day, PPP (constant 2011 international $)

  • Non-small-scale producers
  • Small-scale producers


Together with indicator 2.3.2, it offers a complete breakdown of who small-scale producers are, what they earn and how much they produce. These indicators are vital for government efforts to drive the nation’s economy, eliminate hunger and poverty and reduce inequality.

Key results

The productivity of small-scale producers is systematically lower, on average, than for larger food producers.

Across developing regions, indicator 2.3.1, which measures average labor productivity of small-scale food producers, can range from around 3 USD a day in countries such as Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda, to 13.5 USD as in Mali in 2017. In developed countries, the productivity of small-scale food producers ranges from 45 USD a day in Hungary (2016) to 142 USD a day in Austria (2016).

In all developing countries, small-scale producers have a lower productivity than that of larger-scale producers. Countries with the largest differences in average productivity between small-scale producers and other producers include India and Malawi. By contrast, Uganda in the past years has been progressively closing the gap between small-scale producers and other producers.

In developing countries, sex-disaggregated data for the productivity of small-scale food producers does not reveal any particular pattern, suggesting that in many countries, the productivity of women small-scale food producers is on par or even exceeds the productivity of men small-scale producers. By contrast, based on data provided recently by Eurostat, the same is not the case in the EU, where men small-scale food producers systematically achieve higher productivity compared to women, with only one exception.

Measuring progress toward the SDG target 2.3 entails significant challenges. While relevant data is available for a wide range of countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America, the ideal type of farm-level information required, allowing to identity the population of small-scale producers and measure progress in the two indicators of target 2.3, is seldom available. This is particularly the case of indicator 2.3.1. Computing this indicator requires information on labour input and revenues to be simultaneously available for the same production unit. Available national agricultural surveys rarely collect these data. The evidence presented here is based on household surveys, which are a valid proxy for the indicators only to the extent to which households overlap with food production units. In the same line, the head of the household is assumed as a proxy to disaggregate the information by sex. No information is provided, in the available surveys, on the indigenous status of food producers.

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