Millions Fed

Proven successes in agricultural development

David J. Spielman, Rajul Pandya-Lorch

Learning from successes in agricultural development is now more urgent than ever. Progress in feeding the world’s billions has slowed, while the challenge of meeting future food needs remains enormous and is subject to new uncertainties in the global food and agricultural systems. In the late 1950s around a billion people were estimated to go hungry every day. Scientists, policymakers, farmers, and ordinary people initiated a concerted push to boost agricultural production and productivity in developing countries. Great strides were also made in improving the quality of food and the ability of vulnerable people to access food needed for survival. All these efforts have done more than just feed millions. They have also demonstrated that agriculture can be a key driver of growth and development for many of the world’s poorest countries.

This book examines how policies, programs, and investments in pro-poor agricultural development have helped to substantially reduce hunger across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The 20 success stories presented here provide both lessons and inspiration for continued efforts to eradicate hunger and malnutrition among the one billion people still facing this scourge.

Table of Contents:

  • Front Matter
  • Chapter 1 - Fifty Years of Progress
  • Chapter 2 - Fighting a “Shifty Enemy”: The international collaboration to contain wheat rusts
  • Chapter 3 - Transforming Agriculture: The Green Revolution in Asia
  • Chapter 4 - Breeding an “Amaizing” Crop: Improved maize in Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
  • Chapter 5 - Resisting Viruses and Bugs: Cassava in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Chapter 6 - Seeing the Forest Through the Trees: Community forestry in Nepal
  • Chapter 7 - Re-Greening the Sahel: Farmer-led innovation in Burkina Faso and Niger
  • Chapter 8 - Innovating in the Pampas: Zero-tillage soybean cultivation in Argentina
  • Chapter 9 - Leaving the Plow Behind: Zero-tillage rice-wheat cultivation in the Indo-Gangetic Plains
  • Chapter 10 - Pumping up Production: Shallow tubewells and rice in Bangladesh
  • Chapter 11 - Pushing the Yield Frontier: Hybrid rice in China
  • Chapter 12 - Improving Crops for Arid Lands: Pearl millet and sorghum in India
  • Chapter 13 - Navigating through Reforms: Cotton reforms in Burkina Faso
  • Chapter 14 - Unlocking the Market: Fertilizer and maize in Kenya
  • Chapter 15 - Counting on Beans: Mungbean improvement in Asia
  • Chapter 16 - Conquering the Cattle Plague: The global effort to eradicate rinderpest
  • Chapter 17 - Connecting the Milk Grid: Smallholder dairy in India
  • Chapter 18 - Farming the Aquatic Chicken: Improved tilapia in the Philippines
  • Chapter 19 - Crossing the River While Feeling the Rocks: Land-tenure reform in China
  • Chapter 20 - Exiting from Collective Agriculture: Land-tenure reform in Vietnam
  • Chapter 21 - Diversifying into Healthy Diets: Homestead food production in Bangladesh
  • Annex A - Map of Case Studies
  • Annex B - Methodology
  • Annex C - Improving the Proof: Impact Assessment in Agricultural Development
  • Annex D - Advisory Committee Members and IFPRI Project Team
  • Annex E - List of Contributors
  • Annex F -Discussion Papers