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Sunding - Agricultural Innovation Process

Sunding - Agricultural Innovation Process

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Published by rbmalasa

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: rbmalasa on Dec 09, 2012
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The Agricultural Innovation Process:Research and Technology Adoption in a ChangingAgricultural Sector
(For the
 Handbook of Agricultural Economics)
David Sunding and David Zilberman
David Sunding is Cooperative Extension Specialist, Department of Agricultural andResource Economics, University of California at BerkeleyDavid Zilberman is Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics,University of California at Berkeley
Revised January , 2000
Abstract: The chapter reviews the generation and adoption of new technologies in theagricultural sector. The first section describes models of induced innovation andexperimentation, considers the political economy of public investments in agriculturalresearch, and addresses institutions and public policies for managing innovation activity.The second section reviews the economics of technology adoption in agriculture.Threshold models, diffusion models, and the influence of risk, uncertainty, and dynamicfactors on adoption are considered. The section also describes the influence of institutions and government interventions on adoption. The third section outlines futureresearch and policy challenges.
2Keywords: innovation, diffusion, adoption, technology transfer, intellectual propertyDavid Sunding: tel: 510-642-8229; fax: 510-643-8911; email: sunding@are.berkeley.edu.David Zilberman: tel: 510-642-6570; fax: 510-643-8911; email:zilber@are.berkeley.edu.
The Agricultural Innovation Process:Research and Technology Adoption in a ChangingAgricultural Sector
Technological change has been a major factor shaping agriculture in the last 100 years[Schultz (1964); Cochrane (1979)]. A comparison of agricultural production patterns inthe United States at the beginning (1920) and end of the century (1995) shows thatharvested cropland has declined (from 350 to 320 million acres), the share of theagricultural labor force has decreased substantially (from 26 to 2.6 percent), and thenumber of people now employed in agriculture has declined (9.5 million in 1920 vs. 3.3million in 1995); yet agricultural production in 1995 was 3.3 times greater than in 1920[United States Bureau of the Census (1975, 1980, 1998)]. Internationally, tremendouschanges in production patterns have occurred. While world population more thandoubled between 1950 and 1998 (from 2.6 to 5.9 billion), grain production per person hasincreased by about 12 percent, and harvested acreage per person has declined by half [Brown, Gardner, and Halweil (1999)]. These figures suggest that productivity hasincreased and agricultural production methods have changed significantly.

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