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The Fight Against Hunger and MalnutritionThe Role of Food, Agriculture, and Targeted Policies$
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David E. Sahn

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198733201

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198733201.001.0001

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Agricultural R&D, Food Prices, Poverty, and Malnutrition Redux

Agricultural R&D, Food Prices, Poverty, and Malnutrition Redux

Chapter:
(p.208) 9 Agricultural R&D, Food Prices, Poverty, and Malnutrition Redux
Source:
The Fight Against Hunger and Malnutrition
Author(s):

Julian M. Alston

Philip G. Pardey

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198733201.003.0010

While many of the world’s poor remain undernourished, paradoxically, growing numbers of people from all income and social strata are overweight or obese. These evolving patterns of nutrition and health outcomes have prompted some rethinking about the priorities and purposes for public investments in agricultural R&D, in some cases favoring nutritional objectives over more conventional agricultural productivity objectives. This chapter presents up-to-date evidence on trends in agricultural research investments, productivity, and prices; connect these trends to patterns of human health outcomes around the world, including mortality and its proximal causes; and consider the policy implications. The chapter revisits the primary economic rationale for public investments in agricultural R&D and begin to tackle the empirical and conceptual issues that arise in trading off productivity growth against the other objectives, including nutritional outcomes, obesity, and poverty alleviation, that now pertain in many public agricultural R&D programs.

Keywords:   agricultural R&D, poverty, agricultural productivity, health, obesity, malnutrition, mortality

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