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WORLD HUNGER Approaches to Engineering Actions REPORT OF A SEMINAR Pommittee on Public Engineering Policy Assembly of Engineering National Research Council NAS-NAE MAY \71975 LIBRARY National Academy of Sciences Washington, D.C. l975

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The seminar was supported by the National Science Foundation under Contract No. NSF-298 to the Committee on Public Engineering Policy Available from the Committee on Public Engineering Policy National Research Council 2l0l Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 204l8

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COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC ENGINEERING POLICY Edward Wenk, Jr. (Chairman), Professor of Engineering and Public Affairs and Director of the Program in Social Management of Technology, University of Washington Myron Tribus (Vice-Chairman), Senior Vice-President, Research and Engineering, Information Technical Group, Xerox Corporation; presently Director, Center for Advanced Engineering Study, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Vinton W. Bacon, Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Raymond Bauer, Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School Samuel S. Baxter, Consulting Engineer, Chairman of the Board, East Girard Savings Association, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Gordon S. Brown, Dugald C. Jackson Professor of Engineer- ing, Massachusetts Institute of Technology William D. Carey, Vice-President, Arthur D. Little, Inc.; presently Executive Officer, American Association for the Advancement of Science Daniel C. Drucker, Dean, College of Engineering, University of Illinois Joseph Fisher, President, Resources for the Future, Washington, D.C.; presently Member of Congress, l0th District, Virginia Bernard R. Gifford, Deputy Chancellor, Board of Education, Brooklyn, New York Walter R. Hibbard, Jr., Professor of Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute iii

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W. Deming Lewis, President, Lehigh University Charles J. Meyers, Professor of Law, Stanford University Law School Milton Pikarsky, Chairman of the Board, Chicago Transit Authority; presently Chairman, Regional Transit Trans- portation Authority, Chicago Metropolitan Area Nelson W. Polsby, Professor of Political Science, University of California-Berkeley Louis H. Roddis, Jr., President, Consolidated Edison Company of New York; presently President and Chief Executive Officer, John J. McMullen Associates, New York, N. Y. Abe Silverstein, Consultant, Cleveland,' Ohio Chauncey Starr, President, Electric Power Research Institute Franklin Williams, President, Phelps-Stokes Fund Abel Wolman, Professor Emeritus of Sanitary Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University iv

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CONTRIBUTORS Robert C. Seamans, Jr., was President of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) at the time of the COPEP seminar. In December l974, he was appointed Administrator of the newly created Energy Research and Development Administration. Dr. Seamans was Deputy Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration from l965 to l968. Between l969 and l973, he served as Secre- tary of the Air Force. Edward Wenk, Jr., is Professor of Engineering and Public Affairs and Director of the Program in Social Man- agement of Technology at the University of Washington. He is Vice-Chairman of the Advisory Council to the Tech- nology Assessment Board of the U.S. Congress. Between l966 and l970, Dr. Wenk served as Executive Secretary of the White House National Council on Marine Resources and Engineering Development. Hubert H. Humphrey was re-elected to the U.S. Senate from Minnesota in l97l. He is Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee and a member of three other Senate Committees and of the Technology Assessment Board of Con- gress. He served as Senator between l949 and l965 and as Vice-President of the United States from l965 to l968. John Mellor is Professor of Agricultural Economics at Cornell University. Dr. Mellor has written extensively on problems of agricultural development in Third World countries, including the books entitled The Economics of Agricultural Development (l966), and (as co-author) Developing Rural India: Plan and Practice (l968).

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Don Paarlberg is Director of Agricultural Economics of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Between l96l and l969, he was Hillenbrand Professor of Economics at Purdue University. He served as Special Assistant to the Presi- dent and Food for Peace Coordinator from l958 to l96l, and as U.S. Assistant Secretary of Agriculture from l957 to l958. Dr. Paarlberg is the author of several books and articles, among them Great Myths of Economics (l968). Charles S. Dennison has had extensive experience as an executive in international business. He was a Vice- President of the International Minerals and Chemical Corporation from l958 to l970. Mr. Dennison served as a member of the President's Science Advisory Committee Panel on World Food Supply in l967. Peter Cott is Executive Director of the Population Institute. He was Executive Director of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences from l956 to l964. Charles Cargille, a physician, is Assistant Dean of the School of Medicine, University of North Dakota. He is the President and a founding member of the World Population Society in affiliation with The American University. vl

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Foreword Robert C. Seamans, Jr. Hunger is the persistent enemy of mankind. The Old Testament chronicles a succession of terrible famines. Every generation in the cities of ancient and medieval Europe suffered severe food shortages. Into the 20th century, wars, plagues, and such natural disasters as droughts, earthquakes, and floods have resulted in millions of deaths from starvation and malnutrition. After World War II, however, it seemed at last that man was winning the age-old battle against hunger. From l954 to l972, world food production surged by 69 percent, exceeding by far the growth in population. As more land was opened to intensive farming, with the introduction of such crop-improvement techniques as high-yielding "miracle" varieties of grain, heavy doses of chemical fertilizers, irrigation, mechanization, and skilled management, it appeared that the nightmares of famine and chronic mal- nutrition could be avoided. Optimism, then, was the keynote in l970 when the National Academy of Engineering conducted its Sixth Annual Meeting on "The Food-People Balance" and concluded that equilibrium could be achieved through technological inno- vation and resource conservation in combination with population control. In a foreword to the published pro- ceedings of that symposium, Richard D. DeLauer observed that achieving the food-people balance first requires vii

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understanding of the total system—ecological, sociological, biological, financial, cultural, and political, as well as technological. By the time the Committee on Public Engineering Policy (COPEP) held its seminar in l974, designated by the United Nations as "World Population Year," events had so altered the balance—with food in short supply, energy enormously expensive, and populations expanding nearly everywhere — that the plight of some one-fourth of the world's people was desperate. In the course of only two years, poor harvests had reduced world food reserves to a 22-year low. Not surprisingly, at the World Food Conference held in November l974 in Rome by the United Nations, many voices called for stepping up humanitarian relief activi- ties and raising yields through approaches like the Green Revolution. The trouble is that, except for meeting emer- gencies, relief missions can never solve the world's food problems and that agricultural strategies based on new seeds, irrigation, fertilizers, machines, fuels, and ware- houses involve large capital outlays and critical cultural dynamics. Many engineers only dimly perceive the opportunities and limitations for feeding a hungry, crowded world. This is why COPEP undertook the seminar in the first place—to create a greater awareness of the technological options for coming to grips with this important issue. The par- ticipants recognized the vital interconnection between farm production and social organization, between resource requirements and trade balances, between the rational use of the ecosystem and the wellbeing of all people. What they advocate, it turns out, is a coordinated strategy of actions for achieving worldwide food security. Until such act ions--spec ifically requiring massive infu- sions of scientific and technological knowhow—are adopted and practiced, much of the Earth's population will be living on borrowed time. viii

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Contents INTRODUCTION l A NATIONAL FOOD POLICY: WHY WE NEED ONE Hubert H. Humphrey 5 TECHNOLOGY TO INCREASE FOOD SUPPLY John Mellor l5 TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE AND DELIVER FOOD Don Paarlberg 25 PLANNING IMPLICATIONS FOR INCREASING FOOD SUPPLIES Charles S. Dennison 33 CALL TO ENGINEERS Peter Cott 39 Charles M. Cargille 4l DISCUSSION 45 PARTICIPANTS 54