Food in the Third World: Past Trends and Projections to 2000

In 1977, IFPRI published Research Report 3, Food Needs of Developing Countries: Projections of Production and Consumption to 1990, which presented an assessment of the current and prospective food situation of developing market economies. The study covered major food crops (cereals, roots and timbers, pluses, and groundnuts) in 82 countries and used 10960-75 data on cereals from USDA and noncereals from the FAO. It made trend-bases projections of food production and consumption into the future, which pointed to a possible gross deficit of 120-145 million metric tons by the end of the current decade. The report also called attention to the special food problem of the low income countries in Asia and Sub-Saharan African “Whose major option is to increase food production more rapidly while supplementing supplies as far as possible with food aid and commercial imports” (page 27). Thus study expands the coverage of 1977 food gap work to 105 developing countries, including the People’s Republic of China and other Asian centrally planned countries, and it adds bananas and plantains to the list of major food crops. Although Bananas and plantains contribute only about 1 percent of the output of major food crops in developing countries as a whole, these crops represent about 5 percent of the basic food staple produced in each of two regions: Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. The study builds. On data from other international organization, including FAO on food production and consumption, the United Nations Secretariat on Population, and the World Bank on national accounts. Agricultural statistics on the People’s Republic of China are from the data sets organized by Bruce Stone of IFPRI from various government sources, both national and provincial. Compared to previous work, the study investigates in more detail trends in the components of food production, consumption, and trade. It also extends the projection horizon to the end of the century. Appendix I compares the study projections with those in FAO’s 1981 global study Agriculture: Toward 2000. The food projections in this study are developed assuming that trends in developing country production and per capital GNP will continue. These trend- oriented projections provide a “future” scenario from which needed departures may be effected through changes in food and food related polices. However, because of the rapidly changing economic factors, projecting true trends appears to be as difficult as predicting future situations. This should be kept in mind when looking at the projections in this study. Because of its size and importance, we have included China in this food gap analysis to obtain a more comprehensive assessment of the future food situation in developing countries. Largely because of the lack of IFPR data for the purpose, analysts who agriculture in the People’s Commissioned to collect data.. later developments on the international scene, however, led to a large flow of official data from the Chinese government. IFPRI therefore undertook a systematic collection and organization of agricultural statistic for China, coupled with continuing analysis of changes in China’s food and agriculture situation. In presenting these data, we implicitly accept that in matter as complex as the interacted of supply and demand a simple approach of supply and demand a simple approach of measuring past changes may be more useful than complex attempts to analyze component parts or to perform large-scale modeling exercises. What we present here is a base for further analysis, derived from past development. From this solid base, modifications can be made depending on changes in technological possibilities, income growth, and other factors.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-16

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