The World Bank’s latest blockbuster report, Harvesting Prosperity: Technology and Productivity Growth in Agriculture, argues that we can’t afford to take our eye off the ball of raising agricultural productivity just yet, despite past successes. The report weighs in at over 200 pages, but there’s a nice summary in a blog post by one of the authors. I haven’t read the whole thing yet, but I was quite pleased — and not a little surprised — to see this on a quick first run-through:
Although agricultural technologies need to be tailored to location-specific conditions, much of the pool of knowledge and genetic resources that scientists draw upon to make these adaptions is supplied by universities and research institutes in developed countries or centers participating in the CGIAR, which are sometimes referred to as advanced research institutes, or ARIs. Basic and applied research at ARIs continues to make major methodological advances in the scientific tools used in agricultural research… ARIs are also sources of broad and accessible collections of crop genetic resources, such as those maintained by the CGIAR centers and the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service.
Productivity growth in #agriculture has the largest impact of any sector on #poverty reduction — roughly twice that of manufacturing. Check out the @WorldBank new report Harvesting Prosperity. https://t.co/ceb4rxkiVd pic.twitter.com/dboGLGZhhm
— Jess Fanzo (@jessfanzo) September 20, 2019