Luncheon with Professor Philip Pardey

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20 February, 2009.

Can Agriculture Feed the World in the 21st Century?

‘A Review and Rethinking of the Productivity Potential of Agriculture’

Sizeable and sustained productivity growth has been key to the economic success of agriculture in Australia and elsewhere in the world, especially during the latter half of the 20th century. The 21st century has begun with new uncertainties about the prospects of carrying forward the past rates of productivity gains into the future.

The promise of new biological and related technologies gives rise to optimism, offset by pessimism arising from recent price spikes and concerns over the quantity and quality of the natural inputs into agriculture. These concerns have been exacerbated by increasing competition for land and water and the additional constraints imposed by climate and high input costs.

This presentation draws on new data to review and re-evaluate the state of play regarding productivity developments in agriculture and the research investment trends that have helped bring them about. It will also outline the new approaches and investments required to boost agricultural productivity, profitability, and sustainability for the coming decades.

Professor Philip Pardey

An Australian native, Professor Philip Pardey is Professor of Science and Technology Policy in the Department of Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota where he also directs the University’s International Science and Technology Practice and Policy (InSTePP) Center.

Previously he was a Senior Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington D.C. where he led the Institute’s Science and Technology Policy Program, and prior to 1994 at the International Service for National Agricultural Research in The Hague, Netherlands. He is a graduate of the University of Adelaide, Australia, and obtained a doctoral degree in agricultural economics from the University of Minnesota. He is a Fellow of the American Agricultural Economics Association and a Distinguished Fellow of the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.

Philip has considerable international experience, leading regional projects in Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean, and country projects in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Indonesia, Kenya, Niger, and the United States. He is author of more than 215 books, articles, and papers.

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