People, Land and Food Production - Potentials in the Developing World

Shah MM, Fischer G, Higgins GM, Kassam AH, & Naiken L (1985). People, Land and Food Production - Potentials in the Developing World. IIASA Collaborative Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: CP-85-011

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Abstract

Understanding the nature and dimension of the land and water resources available for food and agriculture development, and the policies available to develop them, have been among the focal points of the work of the Land and Water Development Division of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations and of the Food and Agriculture Program at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.

As we anticipate, over the coming decades, a technological transformation of agriculture which will be constrained by resource limitations and which could have environmental consequences, a number of important questions arise: (a) What is the stable, sustainable production potential of the world? of regions? of nations? (b) How does this production potential in specific areas (within countries and groups of countries) compare to the food requirements of the future populations of these areas? (c) What alternative transition paths are available to reach desirable levels of this production potential? (d) What are the sustainable and efficient combinations of techniques of food production? (e) What are the input requirements of such techniques? (f) What are the policy implications at national, regional and global levels of sustainability?

Stability and sustainability are both desirable properties of agricultural land resources development. We hold ecological considerations to be of critical importance in answering the questions posed above.

This paper presents the results of a recent study entitled "Land Resources for the Populations of the Future" carried out by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Program of IIASA with financial support from the United Nations Fund for Population Activities.

The study was designed to quantify potential population supporting capacities of land resources in the developing regions of the world, based on ecological and technological limits to food production. An understanding of these limits is critical to agricultural policy formulation and development planning. This paper highlights policy implications for developing countries.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Collaborative Paper)
Research Programs: Food and Agriculture (FAG)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:56
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2016 17:27
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/2737

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