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Working Paper 260 - Transforming Traditional Agriculture Redux


Over the past 50 years, while the world’s population has more than doubled, the quantity and real value of agricultural output has more than trebled, even though land in agriculture increased by only about one-tenth (Alston and Pardey 2014). This remarkable accomplishment belied predictions in the early 1960s of trouble in the world food equation and hopeless hunger for generations to come in much of the world. These dark Malthusian prophecies reflected a perspective based on traditional agriculture and conventional inputs; the pundits did not anticipate the imminent transformation of agriculture.

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