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    Harvesting Prosperity: Technology and Productivity Growth in Agriculture; Investing in Innovation
    Agriculture's sustainability and productivity depend heavily on research and development (R&D) efforts to overcome resource limitations and adapt to changing environmental conditions. This paper examines the role of innovation policies in shaping agricultural R&D investments and their impact on productivity growth, especially in the context of evolving global markets and technological advancements. Key factors influencing agricultural innovation include the need for local adaptation, challenges in technology dissemination, and addressing market failures. The paper emphasizes the importance of public investment in R&D, private sector engagement, and international collaborations to enhance agricultural productivity. It also highlights the significance of creating an enabling environment and building human capital to support innovation in agriculture.
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    Socio-Economic Considerations in Biotechnology Regulation: Producer Choice
    (2014) Ari Novy; Latha Nagarajan
    SECs relevant to producer choice include freedom of choice, income security, control over production, contamination of organic agriculture, and farmers’ rights to save seeds; however, producer concerns are heterogeneous in time and space.
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    Water Productivity and Potato Cultivation
    (2003) Walter Truman Bowen
    This chapter provides a review of work done at the International Potato Center (CIP) on improving water productivity in potato. Generally, potato is shallow-rooted and sensitive to even mild water deficits. Most of CIP’s work related to water productivity was done in the 1980s as part of a research programme to develop improved germplasm and agronomic practices for potato production in warm tropical environments. Heat-tolerant as well as drought-tolerant materials were selected and tested under a range of warm climates, with studies conducted to quantify evapotranspiration, stomatal conductance, leaf water potential, soil water dynamics and root growth. These same parameters were also determined in agronomic field experiments designed to quantify the effects of mulching, intercropping and close plant spacing on yield and water-use efficiency. Although needed, similar detailed studies on water-productivity components have yet to be done for potato grown more commonly in cooler environments at high altitudes in the tropics.
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    Intensity Cultivation Induced Effects on Soil Organic Carbon Dynamic in the Western Cotton Area of Burkina Faso
    (2006-10-13) Badiori Ouattara; Korodjouma Ouattara; Georges Serpantie; Abdoulaye Mando ; Michel P. Sedogo; Andre Bationo
    The soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamic is a key element of soil fertility in savannah ecosystems that form the key agricultural lands in sub-Saharan Africa. In the western part of Burkina Faso, the land use is mostly linked to cotton-based cropping systems. Use of mechanization, pesticides, and herbicides has induced modifications of the traditional shifting cultivation and increased the need for sustainable soil fertility management. The SOC dynamic was assessed based on a large typology of land cultivation intensity at Bondoukui. Thus, 102 farm plots were sampled at a soil depth of 0–15 cm, considering field–fallow successions, the cultivation phase duration, tillage intensity, and soil texture. Physical fractionation of SOC was carried out by separating the following particle size classes: 2,000–200, 200–50, 50–20, and 0–20 lm. The results exhibited an increase in SOC stock, and a lower depletion rate with increase in clay content. After a long-term fallow period, the land cultivation led to an annual loss of 31.5 g m–2 (2%) of its organic carbon during the first 20 years. The different fractions of SOC content were affected by this depletion depending on cultivation intensity. The coarse SOC fraction (2,000–200 lm) was the most depleted. The ploughing-in of organic matter (manure, crop residues) and the low frequency of the tillage system produced low soil carbon loss compared with annual ploughing. Human-induced disturbances (wildfire, overgrazing, fuel wood collection, decreasing fallow duration, increasing crop duration) in savannah land did not permit the SOC levels to reach those of the shifting cultivation system.
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    Restoring Soil Fertility in Semi-Arid West Africa: Assessment of an Indigenous Technology
    (2006) Abdoulaye Mando; Dougbedji Fatondji; Robert Zougmore ; Lijbert Brussaard; Charles Bielders; Christopher Martius
    Low soil fertility and surface sealing, leading to severe water loss through runoff and to a drastic decline in vegetation cover, are major Sahelian agricultural constraints (Casenave and Valentin, 1989; Bationo and Mokwunye, 1991). Owing to lack of financial resources it is often not possible for farmers to utilize external inputs to solve these problems. Increasingly, attention has focused on low-cost but effective alternative solutions. Given the region’s poverty, new innovations will only get adopted if they are cheap, easily accessible, and minimize the use of external inputs. Further, the chances for adoption will be higher if the proposed technology is based on some improvement of traditional practices.