Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Book: The Shifting Patterns of Agricultural Production and Productivity Worldwide

I am very interested in global food security and the difficult challenges the subject faces going forward: peak oil, climate change, overpopulation, economics, scientific influences, required infrastructure, and last but not least, political stability and policy. Trying to figure out how these factors are playing out is the reason this blog exists.

Now, I've just found out that the book that I've always wished were available is available! And it is free online, too. It was pointed out by Andrew Revkin in his NYT's Dot Earth post on which this blog was quoted yesterday, "Egypt, Inkblots, Agendas and Feeding 9 Billion."

The Shifting Patterns of Agricultural Production and Productivity Worldwide

Edited by Julian M. Alston, Bruce A. Babcock, and Philip G. Pardey

—From the Introduction and Overview

In this book we assemble a range of evidence from a range of sources with a view to developing an improved understanding of recent trends in agricultural productivity around the world. The fundamental purpose is to better understand the nature of the long-term growth in the supply of food and its principal determinants. We pursue this purpose from two perspectives. One is from a general interest in the world food situation in the long run. The other is from an interest in the implications of U.S. and global productivity patterns for U.S. agriculture.

LINK TO THE ONLINE BOOK: “The Shifting Patterns of Agricultural Production and Productivity Worldwide


  1. Be sure to read the comments on the Revkin article. Some gems there.

    The Shifting Patterns book looks interesting. A little too long for just a quick read but maybe taking it in small bites is the best approach.

    Hope we have a chance to discuss the book here in the coming weeks and months.

  2. DB
    Agree. When I saw this I immediately wanted to take some time off to read & study it, but I will have to do it in bits and pieces, too. As you read it, if you make any interesting observations, please post them in the comments under this post - that goes for any other readers here, too. If the day ever comes that I get caught up I will make a post on my reading of it, too.