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FOOD PRODUCTION, FoOD SUPPLY, AND NUTRITIONAL STATUS* John W. Mellor Social, humanitarian, and economic concerns dictate that the pressing problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing countries be solved. Although authori- tative figures vary widely (see Poleman, 1981), the National Research Council (1977) cited the FAG and World Bank estimate of more than 450 million hungry or malnourished people. - ~ ~ ~, . . . . . . . . . In my view, around a billion people lack one standard or nutrition needed to support an active, healthy life; most of them live in the developing countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. In most developing countries, productivity-increasing technological change in agriculture is necessary for solving chronic problems of hunger and malnutrition. Preliminary results from research of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Malaysia, India, and Africa (Kumar, 1981; Pinstrup-Andersen, 1985) indicate a strong positive relationship between increased food production and calorie consumption by the poor. A recent major analysis of time-series data for India showed that per capita food production and the price of food are two of the dominant determinants of fluctuations in rural poverty. Increases in per capita food produc- tion and reductions in the price of food can be achieved only through cost-reducing technological change in agriculture (Mellor and Desai, 1985~. This close relation between food production and poverty means that it is necessary to understand the dynamics of food production growth if one is to understand changes in nutritional status. To set the more general framework for analyzing these issues, a review of recent trends in population, food production, and trade in the Third World is needed, together with an examination of the prospects for food production and consumption in various areas of the Third World. On the basis of those data, we can discuss the need for an agricultural strategy of development in the *The assistance of several colleagues at the Interna- tional Food Policy Institute, particularly Richard H. Adams, Jr., is acknowledged. 25
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26 Third World and the impact of such a strategy on the rural and urban poor . PAST ADS IN POPUIATION AND FOOD PRODUCTION IN THE THIRD WORLD 1 Between 1961 and 1980, food production in the developing world increased at an annual average of 2.6% (Table 1), only slightly faster than the average annual population growth of 2.5~. Thus, on a per capita basis, food production in the Third World as a whole increased by only 0.1% per year. However, this aggregate figure covers sharply different rates of food production growth in various regions. For example, in Asia, an area that was once considered famine prone, per capita food production increased by 0.4% per year, but in sub-Sahara Africa, the new food-deficit area, per capita food production fell by a shocking 1.1% per year. The sharp decline in food production in sub-Sahara Africa commands our immediate attention. On the one hand, the roots of this food crisis in Africa go back a long way, to include such factors as a series of poor crop years, low government investment in agriculture, and unfavorable public agricultural policies (see Mellor et al., in press; Eicher, 1982~. On the other hand, the crisis includes the notable absence of any proven tech- nological packages for small farmers in most of the rain- fed farming systems of Africa. The new seed-fertilizer technologies commonly associated with the green revolu- tion have only barely touched Africa; the principal green revolution crops, wheat and rice, have not been staple food crops in Africa (Etcher, 1982~. l According to Table 1, consumption growth outraced production in all the major areas of the developing world. In sub-sahara Africa and in North Africa and the Middle East, the rate of growth of consumption greatly exceeded that of production. Yet in these two regions, the large flow of imports from the developed world actually helped to raise consumption. Only in sub-Sahara Africa have recent agricultural years been so poor that even massive imports of food have been unable to stave off a decline in per capita consumption. Net imports of
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27 cereals to the developing countries (excluding China) rose from 14 million tons in the late 1960s to nearly 50 million tons in the early 1980s. For sub-Sahara Africa, the increase was from 1.5 to 8.5 million tons. In the Third World, two principal forces tend to fuel a steady rise in food consumption: population growth and TABLE 1 Growth in Population and in Production and Consumption of Major Food Crops in the Developing Worlda Average Annual Average Annual Growth Rate in Growth Rate in Average Annual Production of Consumption of Growth Rate Major brood Major Food Country in Population, Crops, Crops,b Group 1961-1980, % 1961-1980. % 1966-1980. % Devel°Pincg 2.5 2.6 3.0 countries Asia 2.4 2.8 3.0 (excluding China) North Africa 2.7 2.5 3.9 and Middle East Sub-Sahara 2.8 1.7 2.2 Africa Latin America 2.6 2.8 3.1 aReprinted with permission from Paulino (1986~. bIncludes cereals, roots and tubers, pulses, groundnuts, bananas, and plaintains. Rice is in husked form at 80% of unhusked paddy. CIncludes 104 Asian, African, Middle Eastern, and Latin American countries. People's Republic of China not in- cluded, because of lack of consistent consumption data for the period covered.
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28 per capita income growth. The manner in which these two dynamic forces interact is illustrated in Table 2, which depicts five stylized phases of food demand and economic growth. The first row of the table shows an early stage of economic growth in which people are very poor, desperately wishing to consume more food, yet unable to do so because of low incomes. In this stage, poverty causes high death rates and hence only modest rates of population growth. TABLE 2 Hypothetical Comparison of Growth in Demand for Agricultural Commodities at Different Stages of Developmenta Propor tion of Rate of Rate of Income Level Popula- Popula- Per Elasti- Rate of of tion in tion Capita city Growth in Devel- Agricul- Growth, Income, of Demand,C opment sure, % % % Growth Demandb % Very 70 2.5 0.5 1.0 3.0 ow income Low 60 3.0 1.0 0.9 3.9 income Medium income High income Very high income 50 2.5 4.0 0.7 5.3 30 2.0 4.0 0.5 4.0 10 1.0 3.0 0.1 1.3 - aAdapted from Mellor (1966). bPercent increase in demand for each 1% increase in per capita income. CSum of population growth rate and the product of per capita income growth rate and income elasticity.
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29 The result is a 3% or less growth rate in the effective demand for food--a rate that can be met by more effort on - slightly expanded land base. As development occurs, the population growth rate increases; even more important, income begins to grow rapidly. The two together increase the growth rate of demand for food by some 30% over that in the earlier phase (see the third row of Table 2~. Such a rate of growth in food demand exceeds all but the highest rates of food production growth. Thus, a high rate of technological change in agriculture is needed in this stage of development (row 3 of Table 2~. However, even the countries with the most impres- sive rates of technological change in agriculture have recently been unable to keep up with growth in food demand. For example, the 16 developing countries with the highest growth rates in production of basic food staples in the period 1961-1976 collectively more than doubled their net food imports during the period (Bachman and Paulino, 1979~. Most countries in the high-growth- rate, medium-income stage of development find it necessary to rely on food imports to meet their surging food demand. In the later stages of development, population growth rates decline, and growth in income has less effect on the demand for food. Meeting food demand then becomes more manageable, particularly because high rates of growth in food production have become institutionalized. Food imports becomes unnecessary, and agricultural surpluses begin to accrue. In the modern Third World, many developing countries are currently in the high-growth-rate, medium-income stage of development. They therefore depend heavily on food imports to meet their food needs. According to Table 3, between the periods 1961-1965 and 1973-1977, net food imports by the Third World increased by a factor of 4.3, from 5.3 to 23 million tons per year. They have since doubled. A close reading of the data in Table-3 suggests that increasing per capita income is the dynamic factor underlying the surge in food imports in the Third World. For example, in the table, countries with the highest rate of per capita growth in gross national product experienced a 6.6% annual growth in food imports between
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30 TABLE 3 Net Imports and Growth Rates for Imports and Exports of Food Staples in Developing Countries, 1961- 1965 and 1973 - 1977 and Projections of New Imports to Cocoa Country Group Developing countries Net Imports per Year, Millions of Tons b 1961- 65 1973 - 77 2000 5.3 23.0 80.3 2.1 Annual Growth Rate, 1961-65 to- 1969-73 % Exports Imports 5.4 Y cg Asia 6.3 10.9 -17.9 2.5 3.5 North America and Middle East 3.6 10.6 57.3 - 2.0 7.3 Sub-Sahara Africa -0.9 2.9 35.5 -4.6 7.1 Latin America -3.7 -1.4 5.4 3.6 6.9 By GNP per capita growth rate: <1.0% 1.6 8.0 39.5 -5.1 7.7 1.0-2.9% 2.8 -1.1 -48.5 1.8 3.3 3.0-4.9% 1.7 4.0 24.1 4.8 5.5 >5.0% 4.7 12.1 65.2 2.9 6.6 aPersonal communication, Paulino et al., International Food Policy Institute. bProjections are based on differences between extra- polations of 1961- 1977 country trends in production and aggregate projections of demand for food, animal feed, and other uses; projections of demand for animal feed were assumed to follow country growth rates of meat consumption, i.e., no change in feeding efficiency. A basis for this assumption is being pursued at Interna- tional Food Policy Research Institute, but results are not yet available. CExcluding People's Republic of China.
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31 1961-1965 and 1969-1973. The countries in the next highest growth category also had a high rate of increase in food imports, more than doubling their imports from the first to the second period. The only exception to this finding is the slowest-growth countries (less than 1.0% per capita increase in GNP), many of which are in sub-Sahara Africa. On the whole, the magnitude of food imports by these countries reflects the impact of food aid and assistance programs. During the period 1976- 1978, these slowest-growth countries received about 35% of their total cereal imports from food aid (Huddleston, 1984). FOOD PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION PROJECTIONS TO THE YEAR 2000 ~V On the basis of a straight-line projection, by country, of 1961-1980 production data, food production in the developing world is projected to increase at an average annual rate of 2.9% between 1980 and 2000 (Table 4~. That is slightly faster than the United Nations projection of an average annual increase of 2.1%. On a per capita basis, food production in the Third World as a whole is projected to grow at 1.0% a year between 1980 and 2000. This impressive aggregate figure covers widely different rates of food production growth in various regions. For example, in Asia per capita food production is projected to increase at an average annual rate of 1.4%, and in sub-Sahara Africa per capita food production is projected to fall by 1.2% per year. With respect to consumption, if present trends in per J capita income growth continue, the consumption of major food crops in the developing world as a whole is pro- iected to increase at an average annual rate of 2.7% from 1980 to 2000 (Table 41--nearly as fast as the production of these commodities. Among the regions, the projected growth of food consumption is slowest in Asia: 2.3% a year. Annual consumption growth in Asia would be about 0.6% slower than the increase in food output, but signi- ficantly faster than population growth. In sub-Sahara Africa, food consumption is projected to grow at the fairly high rate of 3.6% a year, which would be over 1.0% a year faster than production.
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32 TABLE 4 Projected Growth Rates of Population and Consumption of Major Food Crops in the Developing World, 1980-2000a Projected Average Annual Growth Rate in Population, 1980-2000 % 1.9 Country Group Developing countries Projected Average Annual Growth Rate in Production of i b Crops, 1980-2000 2.9 Projected Average Annual Growth Rate in Consumption of i ~ c Crops, ' 1980-2000 2.7 Asia (including China) North Africa and Middle East 1.5 2.7 Sub-Sahara 3.3 Africa Latin America 2.9 2.9 2.1 2.1 3.0 2.3 3.8 3.6 3.2 aReprinted with permission from Paulino (1986~. bIncludes cereals, roots and tubers, pulses, ground- nuts, bananas, and plaintains. Rice is in terms of milled form and thus excludes rice bran. CBased on 1977 trend estimates and 2000 projects of trend income growth. dIncludes 105 Asian, African, Middle Eastern, and Latin American countries. People's Republic of China included. What caveats should we have in mind in using such simple projections based on past food production and consumption? First, the base period for consumption estimates (1966-1980) was one of unusually rapid income
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33 growth in many developing countries. Extrapolation from that period therefore assumes that rapid income (and economic) growth will reassert itself in the near future. The current view on this point is ~ener~llv pessimistic. The slowdown in world trade and the overcharge of debit make it difficult for the nascent potentials for increased productivity from research successes to assert themselves. Second, for the least developed countries, this base period was one of rapid growth in foreign aid, which sustained food consumption in otherwise retrogressing economies . Third, there are signs that major countries with a potential to increase the rate of growth of demand, in contrast with the fast-growth countries of the 1960s and 1970s, are misallocating their capital sufficiently to cause demand for food to grow more slowly than supply. Given the technological potential of the 1980s and l990s, it appears that the developed countries will be able to meet the increasing import needs that inevitably accompany increased economic growth in the developing world. STRATEGIES OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Given the key role of agricultural production in reducing poverty and improving nutrition, it is useful to examine the outlines of an agricultural strategy of development. Such a strategy can best be distinguished by reference to other strategies of economic development. In the 1960s, much attention was given to the so-called capital-intensive strategies of development. These strategies, which may be typified by reference to G. S. Feldman (Mellor, 1976), the intellectual father of the growth strategy of the Soviet Union, focus on the production of capital goods. In such a strategy, the great bulk of resources is channeled to large-scale industries--notably steel and machine-building--that maximize capital formation and economic growth. The diversion of capital resources into agriculture and production of consumer goods is actively discouraged in the short run, so as to maximize long-term industrial growth. A capital-intensive strategy of development thus
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34 places little emphasis in the short term on improving agricultural production or the nutritional status of the poor. Over the long term, these problems are supposed to be solved by the massive growth in capital investment in factories and machines that is to take place. The inability of any capital-intensive strategy of' development to produce economic growth with equity has prompted renewed interest in an agricultural strategy of development (see Mellor, 1966; Mellor and Johnston, 1984~. Such a strategy has three basic characteristics: it emphasizes the production of consumer goods, espe- cially food; it emphasizes increased employment, with respect to both labor supply and labor demand; and it emphasizes international trade and comparative advan- tage. Each of these characteristics has important implications for the pattern and pace of food production growth, and each constitutes a sharp contradiction of a capital-intensive strategy of development. Emphasis on consumer goods is central to an agricultural strategy, because agriculture is basically an industry that pro- vides consumer goods. But several other features need to be stressed. First, food and employment are two sides of the same coin. As shown in Table 5, budget shares for food among the poor range between 47% and 79%. A high-employment policy creates a large increase in the demand for food. If more food is not forthcoming, food prices will rise, the real cost of labor will increase, and investment will swing to more capital-intensive processes (Mellor, 1976~. Thus, any strategy of development that entails labor mobilization will also require the wage goods-- particularly food--to support economic growth. Second, by stimulating the growth of employment opportunities for the poor, an agricultural strategy of development also increases the ability of the poor to buy food. Technological change in agriculture increases the income of land-owning farmers, who spend a large propor- tion of their new income on a wide range of goods and services. Studies in Asia (e.g., Bell and Hazell, 1980; Hazell and Roell, 1983) have suggested that typically 40% of increments in income of farmers is spent on locally produced nonagricultural goods and services. This expenditure helps to provide new income and employment opportunities for the poor, because it focuses on such
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35 TABLE 5 Budget Shares Spent on Food among the Poor in Selected Cities and Countriesa City/ Country Bogota/ Lowest 25% Colombia Barranguilla/ Lowest 25% Low-Income Population Budget Group Share, % Reference Musgrove (1979) 59 65 Musgrove (1979) Colombia Cali/ Lowest 25% 68 Musgrove (1979) Colombia Caracas/ Lowest 25% 47 Musgrove (1979) Venezuela Maracaibo/ Lowest 25% 58 Musgrove (1979) Venezuela Brazil, Lowest 30% 51 Gray (1982) urban Brazil, Lowest 30% 65 Gray (1982) rural India Lowest 20% 71 Mellor (1978) Sri Lanka Lowest 10% 79 Sahn (unpublished) Thailand Lowest 10% 67 Trairatvorakul (1984) aReprinted with permission from Pinstrup-Andersen (1985). labor-intensive sectors as local transport, consumer services, health, and housing. It also helps to build the type of small-scale industry that stimulates further rural growth and development. Third, an agricultural strategy of development helps to produce the export goods needed to fuel the develop- ment process. To succeed, a development strategy requires the importation of large quantities of capital- intensive goods--for example, fertilizer and pesticides for agriculture and steel and petrochemicals for indus- try. In most developing countries, such imports must be paid for through increased exports. An agricultural strategy of development, which stresses the increased production of agricultural and labor-intensive goods, helps to supply goods for export.
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36 AGRICULTURAL DEVE=P~ ~ ME ~ITION~ STATUS OF WE POOR In most developing countries, an agricultural strategy of development is an important--but not necessarily sufficient--means of improving the nutri- tional status of the poor. Changes in total food supplies affect their nutritional status only to the extent that their food consumption is directly affected. In many developing countries, calorie-protein deficien- cies might well exist in the presence of plentiful food. Thus, efforts to increase total food output should be coupled to attempts to determine how they will affect the nutritional status of various types of consumers. During the last 15 years, urban consumers in many developing countries have benefited greatly from tech- nological efforts to increase food production (Pinstrup- Andersen, 1985~. Much of the economic surplus generated by new high-yield seeds and fertilizers has gone to urban consumers in the form of cheaper and more plentiful food. The effect of these efforts has sometimes been magnified by trade and pricing policies that ensure the flow of low-priced food staples to urban consumers. However, the extent to which the poor and the malnour- ished have shared in these consumer gains is not clear. On the one hand, it appears that the absolute gain obtained by low-income consumers was smaller than that obtained by higher-income consumers. On the other hand, if expressed as a percentage of current income, the gains were larger for the poor (Hayami and Herdt, 1977; Pinstrup-Andersen, 1977~. The reason is that the poor tend to spend a smaller total amount, but a larger percentage of their income on food. One of the problems involved in assessing the impact of technologic change in agriculture on the poor is related to the makeup of their diets. Contrary to what might be expected, the poor tend to spend a substantial percentage of their food money on relatively expensive calorie sources. For example, it is not unusual for the urban poor in Latin America to spend more on meat than on any other commodity. Musgrove (1979) found that meat expenditures exceeded cereal expenditures among the poorest quartile of the population in 5 of 10 Latin American cities surveyed.
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37 Relatively little research has been done on the impact of technological change on nutritional status in rural households. However, recent research at IFPRI has indicated that such change--under the appropriate circum- stances--can have a significant impact on the poor. For ~r ~ - - ~ V - _ instance, in the Muda region of Malaysia, the introduc- tion of high-yield seeds and fertilizer led rice yields to increase from 700 to 1,200 kg/hectare (Pinstrup- Andersen, 1985~. As a result, expenditures on food increased by 10%, and consumption of home-grown rice increased by 15%. Total calorie consumption by all the households in the region rose by 7%. Even more impor- tant, calorie consumption by the poorest 30% of the households increased by 14%. Improvements in protein consumption were equally impressive. In Muda, the number of households with protein consumption below the recom- mended daily allowance fell from 16% to 3.4%, for a reduction of about 80%. CONCLUSIONS Protein-calorie deficiencies are widespread in many Asian, African, and Latin American countries. Absolute poverty, poor health, and lack of knowledge of nutrition are among the principal reasons for the high prevalence of malnutrition. Under these circumstances, most developing coun- tries would be well-advised to pursue an agricultural strategy of development. Technological change in agriculture is often an important, but not necessarily sufficient, condition for solving the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world by not only increasing the total amount of food available to mal- nourished groups, but also helping to increase their ability to purchase food. Through direct and indirect multiplier effects, technological change in agriculture helps to increase the purchasing power of the poor by supporting the creation of new employment opportunities in a variety of labor-intensive sectors (e.g., agri- culture, trade, and transport). In the short run, growth in technology might not be sufficient to meet the immediate needs of nutritionally disadvantaged groups, and specific efforts might be
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38 needed to increase the availability of food and the ability of poor households to obtain it. These efforts might include attempts to reduce the price of food commodities to malnourished groups (e g., food subsidy. programs) and efforts to increase their purchasing power (e.g., food-for-work programs). The pursuit of such efforts will require developing countries to increase their attention to nutritional goals and objec- tives. Policy decisions, for example, must consider the types of people in greatest nutritional need and the policy instruments that are most appropriate for aiding them. The developed countries have a critical role to play in ensuring the success of nutritional policies in the Third World. Food aid and imports are often essential for the creation of effective food-for-work and food subsidy programs. The developed countries have the funds and the technical expertise to assist developing countries in pursuing a long-term strategy of techno- logical change in agriculture. Such assistance by the more mature economies can help to relieve the onerous problems of malnutrition and food deprivation in the Third World. Hunger is an affront to the dignity of all mankind, particularly if we have the means to prevent it. REFERENCES Bachman, K. L., and L. Paulino. 1979. Rapid Food Production Growth in Selected Developing Countries: A Comparative Analysis of Underlying Trends, 1961-76. Research Report 11. Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute. Bell, C. L. G., and P. B. R. Hazell. 1980. Measuring the indirect effects of an agricultural investment project on its surrounding region. Am. J. Agric. Econ. 62~1~:75-86. Eicher, C. K. 1982. Facing up to Africa's food crisis For. Aff. 61~1~:151-174.
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39 -a r Gray, C. W. 1982. Food Consumption Parameters for Brazil and Their Appli~i~n ~o Fond Poling Research Report 32. Food Policy Research Institute. Washington, D.C.: ___,, . International Hayami, Y., and R. W. Herdt. 1977. Market price effects of technological change on income distribution in semisubsistence agriculture. Am. J. Agr. Econ. 59~2) (May):245-256. Hazell, P. B. R., and A. Roell. 1983. Rural Growth Linkages: Household Expenditure Patterns in Malaysia and Nigeria. Research Report 41. Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute. Huddleston, B. 1984. Closing the Cereals Gap with Trade Research Report 43. Washington, D.C. and Food Aid. International Food Policy Research Institute. Kajar, S. K. 1981. Nutrition concerns in policy for sub-Saharan Africa. In Food PolicY Issues and Concerns in Sub-Saharan Africa. Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute. Mellor, J. W. 1966. Economics of Agricultural Develop ~ ~ ~ .. · · ~ ~ meet. Ithaca, N.Y. : Cornell university tress. Mellor, J. W. 1976. The New Economics of Growth: A Strategy for India and the Developing World. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press. Mellor, J. W. 1978. Food price policy and income distribution in low-income countries. Econ. Devel. Cultur. Change 27~1~:1-26. Mellor, J. W., and G. M. Desai, Eds. 1985. Agricultural Change and Rural Poverty: Variations on a Theme by no_ A_ Hi_ ~_:~ no ~ ;~ Me · Tack= V&1~ I1L Lip ~ ~ Hopkins University Press for International Food Research Policy Research Institute. Mellor, J. W., and B. F. Johnston. 1984. The world food equation: Interrelations among development, employment and food consumption. J. Econ. Lit. 22:531-574.
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40 Mellor, J. W., L. Delgado, and M. J. Blackie, Eds. In press. Accelerating Food Production in Sub-Saharan Africa. Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press. Musgrove, P. 1979. Consumer Behavior in Latin America. Income and Spending of Families in Ten-Andean Cities. -~ ~ ~ Washington, D.~.: Brookings Institution. National Research Council, World Food and Nutrition Study Steering Committee. 1977. World Food and Nutrition Study: The Potential Contributions of Research. Washington D.C.: National Academy of Sciences. Paulino, L. 1986. Food in the Third World: Past Trends and Projections to 2000. Research Report 52. Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute. Pinstrup-Andersen, P. 1977. Decision-making on food and agriculture research policy: The distribution of benefits from new agricultural technology among consumer income strata. Agric. Admin. 4~1~:13-28. Pinstrup-Andersen, P. 1985. Agricultural Policy and Human Nutrition. Prepared for Agricultural Policy Workshop, Santiago, 1985. Washington, D.C.: Research Institute. Dominican Republic, April 1-3, International Food Policy Poleman, T. T. 1981. Quantifying the nutrition situation in developing countries. Food Res. Inst. Stud. 18~1~:1-58. Food Consumption Patterns and and Control of Sahn, D. Unpublished. Parameters in Sri Lanka: The Causes Malnutrition. Mimeograph. Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute. Trairatvorakul, P. 1984. The Effects on Income Distribution and Nutrition of Alternative Rice Price Policies in Thailand. Research Report 46. Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute.
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41 DISCUSSION OF DR. MELLOR'S PAPER DR. GARZA: With respect to technological break- throughs, we seem to be at a crossroads in agricultural policy and nutrition in this country. What do you think developed countries should do to maximize the benefits of these breakthroughs for developing countries? There is a greater potential than ever before to widen or narrow the production gap between developed and developing coun- tries, if we realize the full promise of these techno- logic breakthroughs. It might be useful to ask what we should do, rather than what the developing countries should do, to maximize the benefits of new technologies. DR. MELLOR: The principal thing we can do is to help them build a modern basis for applying scientific HA" T - ~ - ;~ Thai ~ .^.~ ~.^.11~= ~=V I 1~& =~1~ ~ ~ ~ in,& ~_~,^__~ . This requires that national agricultural research systems be developed. The stronger the national agricultural research system, the greater the speed with which basic science can be borrowed and strategic science can be adapted from other countries. National systems of this kind require higher education, and the process can be accelerated by assistance with institutional development. We always comment that developing countries have to do most of it themselves; here we are talking about what we can do around the periphery This is very critical, and it is going to become much more critical over the next decade. There has been considerable anti-elitism in the world over the last decade with respect to developing coun _ tries; but it is the countries which have been somewhat elitist, in the sense of developing a large cadre of highly trained people, that have been able to implement the more personnel-intensive projects needed to reach the poorest people. From the point of view of the poorest people, more trained personnel are needed. It might be useful to compare Africa and Asia. Training of personnel has been extensive in many parts of Asia. We are now seeing a tremendous range of programs reaching the countryside in Asia and an increase in emphasis on reaching the poorest people. Africa does GAL ~.~ The ~.^.~-D1 t.^. do, ~,h,~L and the development L1~J~ tt~ V~ ~= e~_~-^~ 7 to problem appears to require increased labor productivity more than land productivity. However, it can be shown
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42 that labor productivity in Africa cannot be raised without raising land productivity, in terms of yield per acre. Thus, even in Africa, the problem is to apply modern science and technology to increase crop yields. DR. GALDI: I am puzzled as to why this discussion has emphasized production, rather than consumption. Over the world as a whole, it is evidence that there is-sufficient food, in the form of vegetable products. Use of meat is costly and wasteful. What should the policy be in the Third World to press for the importance of nonmeat diets? DR. MELLOR: The reason I have emphasized production is that I am talking about a strategy in which agriculture is central, and production puts income into the hands of many people. The purchasing power of the majority of the rural people in Asia and Africa cannot be raised unless their productivity--which is primarily agricultural--is increased. Increasing nutritional status will require improving incomes of the lowest socioeconomic groups and increasing their production. The critical view of livestock consumption is derived from the United States. Livestock production in Asia, by contrast, tends to be very labor-intensive; in the Gujarat state in India, almost without exception, pro- ducers are very poor women. You have to think about what you are doing to increase purchasing power when you increase demand for milk by higher-income people. My impression is that nutritionists are again recognizing that there are problems in trying to meeting dietary needs entirely from vegetable sources, or even entirely from carbohydrate sources. There is a problem in raising the fat content, in view of the difficulty of ensuring sufficient caloric requirements. We are seeing the wisdom of consumption of at least a small amount of animal protein, and that small amount is probably somewhere near the Taiwanese consumption, but not the U.S. consumption. We need to consider where the developing countries are today; their problem is related to production more than you might think.
Representative terms from entire chapter: