From Policy Aims and Small-farm Characteristics to Farm Science Needs
Summary This paper examines the agricultural science needs of small farms. The green revolution successfully negotiated two tightropes: agricultural productivity increases were larger than the fall in prices that resulted from producing more food; and output per hectare rose faster than output per worker, thus increasing the demand for labor. The current challenge is to generate technology that helps poor farmers in low potential areas. Since research capacity is increasingly private, incentives to produce the needed technology are needed, perhaps through contracts to produce varieties with specific characteristics. Development of seeds needs complementary work on water, for which economists, plant scientists, and engineers need to pool their skills.
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