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close this bookBriefs for Food, Agriculture, and the Environment - 2020 Vision : Brief 1 - 64 (IFPRI)
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View the document2020 BRIEF 1 - AUGUST 1994: ECONOMIC GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
View the document2020 BRIEF 2 - AUGUST 1994: WORLD SUPPLY AND DEMAND PROJECTIONS FOR CEREALS, 2020
View the document2020 BRIEF 3 - AUGUST 1994: WORLD PRODUCTION OF CEREALS, 1966-90
View the document2020 BRIEF 4 - AUGUST 1994: SUSTAINABLE FARMING: A POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY
View the document2020 BRIEF 5 - OCTOBER 1994: WORLD POPULATION PROJECTIONS, 2020
View the document2020 BRIEF 6 - OCTOBER 1994: MALNUTRITION AND FOOD INSECURITY PROJECTIONS, 2020
View the document2020 BRIEF 7 - OCTOBER 1994: AGRICULTURAL GROWTH AS A KEY TO POVERTY ALLEVIATION
View the document2020 BRIEF 8 - OCTOBER 1994: CONSERVATION AND ENHANCEMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
View the document2020 BRIEF 9 - FEBRUARY 1995: THE ROLE OF AGRICULTURE IN SAVING THE RAIN FOREST
View the document2020 BRIEF 10 - FEBRUARY 1995: A TIME OF PLENTY, A WORLD OF NEED: THE ROLE OF FOOD AID IN 2020
View the document2020 BRIEF 11 - FEBRUARY 1995: MANAGING AGRICULTURAL INTENSIFICATION
View the document2020 BRIEF 12 - FEBRUARY 1995: TRADE LIBERALIZATION AND REGIONAL INTEGRATION: IMPLICATIONS FOR 2020
View the document2020 BRIEF 13 - APRIL 1995: THE POTENTIAL OF TECHNOLOGY TO MEET WORLD FOOD NEEDS IN 2020
View the document2020 BRIEF 14 - APRIL 1995: AN ECOREGIONAL PERSPECTIVE ON MALNUTRITION
View the document2020 BRIEF 15 - APRIL 1995: AGRICULTURAL GROWTH IS THE KEY TO POVERTY ALLEVIATION IN LOW-INCOME DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
View the document2020 BRIEF 16 - APRIL 1995: DECLINING ASSISTANCE TO DEVELOPING-COUNTRY AGRICULTURE: CHANGE OF PARADIGM?
View the document2020 BRIEF 17 - MAY 1995: GENERATING FOOD SECURITY IN THE YEAR 2020: WOMEN AS PRODUCERS, GATEKEEPERS, AND SHOCK ABSORBERS
View the document2020 BRIEF 18 - MAY 1995: BIOPHYSICAL LIMITS TO GLOBAL FOOD PRODUCTION
View the document2020 BRIEF 19 - MAY 1995: CAUSES OF HUNGER
View the document2020 BRIEF 20 - MAY 1995: CHINA AND THE FUTURE GLOBAL FOOD SITUATION
View the document2020 BRIEF 21 - JUNE 1995: DEALING WITH WATER SCARCITY IN THE NEXT CENTURY
View the document2020 BRIEF 22 - JUNE 1995: THE RIGHT TO FOOD: WIDELY ACKNOWLEDGED AND POORLY PROTECTED
View the document2020 BRIEF 23 - JUNE 1995: CEREALS PROSPECTS IN INDIA TO 2020: IMPLICATIONS FOR POLICY
View the document2020 BRIEF 24 - JUNE 1995: REVAMPING AGRICULTURAL R&D
View the document2020 BRIEF 25 - AUGUST 1995: MORE THAN FOOD IS NEEDED TO ACHIEVE GOOD NUTRITION BY 2020
View the document2020 BRIEF 26 - AUGUST 1995: PERSPECTIVES ON EUROPEAN AGRICULTURE IN 2020
View the document2020 BRIEF 27 - AUGUST 1995: NONDEGRADING LAND USE STRATEGIES FOR TROPICAL HILLSIDES
View the document2020 BRIEF 28 - AUGUST 1995: EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMS FOR FOOD SECURITY IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
View the document2020 BRIEF 29 - AUGUST 1995: POVERTY, FOOD SECURITY, AND THE ENVIRONMENT
View the document2020 BRIEF 30 - JANUARY 1996: RISING FOOD PRICES AND FALLING GRAIN STOCKS: SHORT-RUN BLIPS OR NEW TRENDS?
View the document2020 BRIEF 31 - APRIL 1996: MIDDLE EAST WATER CONFLICTS AND DIRECTIONS FOR CONFLICT RESOLUTION
View the document2020 BRIEF 32 - APRIL 1996: THE TRANSITION IN THE CONTRIBUTION OF LIVING AQUATIC RESOURCES TO FOOD SECURITY
View the document2020 BRIEF 33 - JUNE 1996: MANAGING RESOURCES FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE IN SOUTH ASIA
View the document2020 BRIEF 34 - JUNE 1996: IMPLEMENTING THE URUGUAY ROUND: INCREASED FOOD PRICE STABILITY BY 2020?
View the document2020 BRIEF 35 - JULY 1996: SOCIOPOLITICAL EFFECTS OF NEW BIOTECHNOLOGIES IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
View the document2020 BRIEF 36 - OCTOBER 1996: RUSSIA'S FOOD ECONOMY IN TRANSITION: WHAT DO REFORMS MEAN FOR THE LONG-TERM OUTLOOK?
View the document2020 BRIEF 37 - OCTOBER 1996: UNCOMMON OPPORTUNITIES FOR ACHIEVING SUSTAINABLE FOOD AND NUTRITION SECURITY - An Agenda for Science and Public Policy
View the document2020 BRIEF 38 - OCTOBER 1996: WORLD TRENDS IN FERTILIZER USE AND PROJECTIONS TO 2020
View the document2020 BRIEF 39 - OCTOBER 1996: REDUCING POVERTY AND PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT: THE OVERLOOKED POTENTIAL OF LESS-FAVORED LANDS
View the document2020 BRIEF 40 - OCTOBER 1996: POLICIES TO PROMOTE ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE FERTILIZER USE AND SUPPLY TO 2020
View the document2020 BRIEF 41 - DECEMBER 1996: STRUCTURAL CHANGES IN THE DEMAND FOR FOOD IN ASIA
View the document2020 BRIEF 42 - MARCH 1997: AFRICA'S CHANGING AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES
View the document2020 BRIEF 43 - JUNE 1997: THE POTENTIAL IMPACT OF AIDS ON POPULATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH RATES
View the document2020 BRIEF 44 - JUNE 1997: LAND DEGRADATION IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD: ISSUES AND POLICY OPTIONS FOR 2020
View the document2020 BRIEF 45 - JUNE 1997: AGRICULTURE, TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE, AND THE ENVIRONMENT IN LATIN AMERICA: A 2020 PERSPECTIVE
View the document2020 BRIEF 46 - JUNE 1997: AGRICULTURE, TRADE, AND REGIONALISM IN SOUTH ASIA
View the document2020 BRIEF 47 - AUGUST 1997: THE NONFARM SECTOR AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT: REVIEW OF ISSUES AND EVIDENCE
View the document2020 BRIEF 48 - FEBRUARY 1998: CHALLENGES TO THE 2020 VISION FOR LATIN AMERICA: FOOD AND AGRICULTURE SINCE 1970
View the document2020 BRIEF 49 - APRIL 1998: NUTRITION SECURITY IN URBAN AREAS OF LATIN AMERICA
View the document2020 BRIEF 50 - JUNE 1998: FOOD FROM PEACE: BREAKING THE LINKS BETWEEN CONFLICT AND HUNGER
View the document2020 BRIEF 51 - JULY 1998: TECHNOLOGICAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR SUSTAINING WHEAT PRODUCTIVITY GROWTH TOWARD 2020
View the document2020 BRIEF 52 - SEPTEMBER 1998: PEST MANAGEMENT AND FOOD PRODUCTION: LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
View the document2020 BRIEF 53 - OCTOBER 1998: POPULATION GROWTH AND POLICY OPTIONS IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD
View the document2020 BRIEF 54 - OCTOBER 1998: FOSTERING GLOBAL WELL-BEING: A NEW PARADIGM TO REVITALIZE AGRICULTURAL AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT
View the document2020 BRIEF 55 - OCTOBER 1998: THE POTENTIAL OF AGROECOLOGY TO COMBAT HUNGER IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD
View the document2020 RESUMEN No. 56 - OCTUBRE DE 1998: AYUDA A LA AGRICULTURA EN LOS PAÍSES EN DESARROLLO: INVERSIONES EN LA REDUCCIÓN DE LA POBREZA Y NUEVAS OPORTUNIDADES DE EXPORTACIÓN
View the document2020 BRIEF 57 - OCTOBER 1998: ECONOMIC CRISIS IN ASIA: A FUTURE OF DIMINISHING GROWTH AND INCREASING POVERTY?
View the document2020 BRIEF 58 - FEBRUARY 1999: SOIL DEGRADATION: A THREAT TO DEVELOPING-COUNTRY FOOD SECURITY BY 20207
View the document2020 BRIEF 59 - MARCH 1999: AGRICULTURAL GROWTH, POVERTY ALLEVIATION, AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY: HAVING IT ALL
View the document2020 BRIEF 60 - MAY 1999: CRITICAL CHOICES FOR CHINA'S AGRICULTURAL POLICY
View the document2020 BRIEF 61 - MAY 1999: LIVESTOCK TO 2020: THE NEXT FOOD REVOLUTION
View the document2020 BRIEF 62 - OCTOBER 1999: NUTRIENT DEPLETION IN THE AGRICULTURAL SOILS OF AFRICA
View the document2020 BRIEF 63 - NOVEMBER 1999: PROSPECTS FOR INDIA'S CEREAL SUPPLY AND DEMAND TO 2020
View the document2020 BRIEF 64 - FEBRUARY 2000: OVERCOMING CHILD MALNUTRITION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: PAST ACHIEVEMENTS AND FUTURE CHOICES
View the document2020 BRIEF 65 - MARCH 2000: COMBINING INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL INPUTS FOR SUSTAINABLE INTENSIFICATION

2020 BRIEF 3 - AUGUST 1994: WORLD PRODUCTION OF CEREALS, 1966-90

Mercedita C. Agcaoili and Mark W. Rosegrant

Mercedita C. Agcaoili is a post-doctoral fellow and Mark W. Rosegrant is a research fellow in the Environment and Production Technology Division, IFPRI.

TRENDS IN CEREAL PRODUCTION

World production of cereals increased from 1,075.8 million tons in 1966 to 1,913.2 million tons in 1990, representing an average annual growth rate of 3.9 percent during the period (Figure 1). Although the developed market economies (DME) produced the bulk of world cereals, their share decreased from 54 percent in 1966 to 46 percent by 1990. At the same time, the developing countries' share in total production increased, primarily in Asia, which is the major contributor to cereal production. Asia's share increased from 33 percent in 1966 to 41 percent in 1990. Paddy rice, 90 percent of which came from Asia, accounted for most of this gain. The shares of many other developing countries rose slightly, except Sub-Saharan African countries, which maintained a 3 percent share throughout the period.

SOURCES OF GROWTH

Yield growth primarily accounted for cereal production increases, particularly in paddy rice and wheat (Figure 2). Area expansion contributed about a third during 1966-74 but virtually halted after that. Productivity growth rose to its peak in 1974-82, the period when green revolution technology became widespread, especially in Asia. The synergistic interaction of irrigation, high-yielding varieties, and fertilizer, the main components of the new technology, increased yield levels of paddy rice from 2 tons per hectare in 1966, the early years of the green revolution, to more than 3 tons per hectare in the 1980s.


Figure 1 - World cereal production by region, 1966 and 1990

Source: FAO, Agrostat-PC database.
Note: Other market economies are primarily North Africa and the Middle East.

Irrigation expansion was extremely rapid in Asia, especially during 1966-74. By the end of the 1980s, 136 million hectares of arable land in the region was under irrigation. This represented about 78 percent of total irrigated area in all developing countries. Growth in irrigated area paved the way for wider adoption of the modern seed varieties. By the end of the 1980s, some countries - the Philippines, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka - in Asia had about 75 percent or more of their rice farms covered with high-yielding rice seeds. Fertilizer use grew at about 12 percent per year between 1964-88, with some countries increasing their rates of application to 260 kilograms per hectare.

Not all countries in Asia, however, had the resources available during this period to increase productivity levels. South Asian countries seem to be catching up, however, as indicated by the dramatic increases in rice and wheat yield growth rates in the 1980s. This is due to the relatively rapid spread of high-yielding varieties during the decade and the continued increases in irrigated area, mainly through investments in surface water systems in India and private investments in tubewells in Bangladesh.

SUSTAINING PRODUCTIVITY GROWTH

After 1982, growth in aggregate cereal output, particularly rice and wheat, started to decline. A number of factors contributed to this slowdown. The deterioration of commodity prices reduced incentives to invest in the development of more irrigation and other infrastructure facilities as well as in research and extension. Reduction in expenditures for irrigation was accompanied by a decline in the quality and performance of irrigation systems. Another set of factors related to the decline in yield potential due to inefficiency of fertilizer use and increased crop losses from pests. Maintaining yield growth has become increasingly difficult and costly. Nevertheless, research efforts are under way to develop new technology that would break through present yield potentials. One research undertaking in progress is the development of a hybrid rice in China, which yields 15-20 percent more than the semi-dwarf varieties.

To sustain these efforts, however, the following innovations in policies are required:

· invest more in research and extension and increase farmer input and feedback into technology generation and the dissemination process;

· shift fertilizer policy from an emphasis on increasing the level of use to improving efficiency of nutrient balance and timing and placement of fertilizer;

· shift crop protection policy from dissemination of chemical pesticides to use of integrated pest management;

· shift emphasis in irrigation policy from investment in new systems to improvement of water-use efficiency and productivity in existing systems;

· adopt appropriate economic incentives through price policies that keep domestic prices in line with long-term world price trends; and

· reform trade and macroeconomic policy regimes that penalize agriculture to stimulate production by improving short-term input-use efficiency and encourage long-term investment and technological change in the agriculture sector.

Figure 2 - Sources of production growth, 1966-90


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Source: FAO, Agrostat-PC database.