Technology and innovation in world agriculture: prospects for 2010-2019

Huffman, Wallace
Huffman, Wallace
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The objective of this paper is to assess prospects for increasing agricultural productivity through advances in technology and innovation in farming techniques for developed and selective developing and transition countries over 2010-2019. Over this period of time, the net impact of climate change is expected to be small, perhaps positive on cereal yields. However, environmental concerns (carbon dioxide release from bringing new lands into crop production and erosion on marginal lands brought into crop production, additional agricultural chemicals applied, and less biodiversity) may grow if meeting future demand for food, feed, fiber and bio-fuels require the conversion of forests and pastureland to cropping. The paper first provides a review of agricultural TFP growth for OECD countries and other large developing or transition economies. Second, a discussion of the organization of science and technology for agriculture is presented. Third, new agricultural technologies for cereal, oilseed, and potato production and for livestock production are discussed and their impacts assessed. Fourth, the contributions of public and private agricultural research capital to agricultural productivity are summarized. Fifth, prospects for new agricultural technologies primarily developed by the private sector over the next decade are described and evaluated. Although not everything is rosy for future developments of agricultural technologies for farmers in developed countries to 2019, the combined efforts of public and private agricultural research will provide a steady stream of new crop and to a lesser extent livestock technologies for farmers over this time period.

world agriculture, agricultural technology