Agricultural R&D Policy and Long-Run Food Security

Julian M. Alston, William J. Martin, Philip G. Pardey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Agricultural research and development (R&D) has reduced poverty by making food more abundant and cheaper. It may also have affected the variability of agricultural production, prices, and incomes-but food price variability is less important to richer people. Recent evidence of a slowdown in agricultural productivity growth, combined with the rise of biofuels, foreshadows a reversal of the past trend of rising agricultural abundance and a corresponding increase in vulnerability of a greater number of poor people to price variability. This chapter explores the role of agricultural R&D and related policy in contributing to or mitigating the consequences of variability in agricultural production. It emphasizes the implications of a slowdown in agricultural productivity growth in the face of a growing global population, combined with the rise of biofuels and changing climate, and the potential for agricultural innovations to address the attendant challenges to global food security.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSustainable Economic Development
Subtitle of host publicationResources, Environment, and Institutions
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780128004166
ISBN (Print)9780128003473
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was partly supported by the University of California, Davis; the University of Minnesota; the HarvestChoice initiative, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and the Giannini Foundation of Agricultural Economics. The authors gratefully acknowledge excellent research assistance provided by Jason Beddow, Maros Ivanic, and Connie Chan-Kang, and helpful comments from Jim Roumasset.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Agricultural R&D
  • General equilibrium
  • Poverty
  • Productivity
  • Vulnerability

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