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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 November 2020

Population Increases and Agricultural Productivity

Population Increases and Agricultural Productivity

(p.279) 12 Population Increases and Agricultural Productivity
The Fight Against Hunger and Malnutrition

Barbara Boyle Torrey

E. Fuller Torrey

Oxford University Press

The race between expanding agricultural productivity and increasing human populations began in the Middle East 11 millennia ago. The Neolithic transition from foraging to agriculture caused a demographic transition from low to higher fertility and mortality rates. The small net difference between increasing Neolithic fertility and mortality rates led inexorably to world population increases. As agriculture caused the earlier demographic transition, industrialization caused the later one. Only in the 1960s, however, did the demographic transition begin in non-industrial countries, where the race between agriculture and people became the most intense. Fortunately, the Green Revolution kept up with rapidly growing populations in most countries. Today, sub-Saharan Africa is the only major region in the world not adequately feeding its populations. Therefore, although the race between increasing population and agricultural productivity began in the Middle East 11 millennia ago, its conclusion will likely be determined in Africa in the next half century.

Keywords:   expanding agricultural productivity, increasing populations, Neolithic agricultural transition, green revolution, Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa

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