chapter  11
24 Pages

The Role of Agriculture in General Economic Development: A Reinterpretation of Jorgenson and Lewis

ByMarc Nerlove

During the past 30 years or so, the output of food and fiber have more than kept pace with a growing world population overall, although severe problems of distribution remain. Grains, for example, account for more than 80 per cent of food crops consumed in developing countries directly and, of course, for a substantial part of total food consumption in developed countries indirectly through conversion into animal products. The average annual rate of growth of grain output over the last 30 years has been around 2 per cent, more than enough to match growing world demand so that grain prices have actually fallen and are expected to * I am indebted to Anke Meyer and to Bruce Gardner for helpful comments and suggestions, and to the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station for financial support. This paper draws on a larger work on agricultural development, population growth and the environment.