In order to feed the growing population of the world, expected to reach 9.6 billion people—a 29 percent increase over 2013—by 2050 without causing immense environmental damage and hunger, society must increase agricultural productivity. Investing further in public agricultural research and extension will help alleviate this problem. Developed countries, like the United States, have been a leader in this area for most of the twentieth century. For example, US public agricultural research grew rapidly from 1960–1980, but slowed considerably from 1980–1995, showed negative growth from 1995–1998, then flattened by 2010.
Jin, Yu and Huffman, Wallace E.
"Measuring Public Agricultural Research and Extension and Estimating their Impacts on Agricultural Productivity: New Insights from US Evidence,"
Agricultural Policy Review: Vol. 2016
, Article 3.
Available at: http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/agpolicyreview/vol2016/iss1/3