EEP101_lecture10n11

EEP101_lecture10n11 - EEP 101/ECON 125 Technology and the...

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Unformatted text preview: EEP 101/ECON 125 Technology and the Environment Lecture 10 David Zilberman Interdisciplinary Research The notion of multidisciplinarity has various interpretations. People in several disciplines work together as a team. They each have their own approach on how to address the same problem. National Research Council committees use this method. Individuals or groups integrate knowledge of several disciplines in their research. Management and policy decisions require the second approach. Economics, engineering, and operation research can integrate disciplines that rely on natural sciences. Technology and Food Increase in food production was much greater than land expansion, mostly due to technology. The global population grew from 1 billion in 1800 to 2.5 billion to 6 billion in 2000. Grain per capita today is 1.12 the 1950 level and at least 1.25 the 1800 level. Today we produce at least 7 times more food than in 1800 and 2.8 times the level of 1950. The growth in food production led to expansion of the agricultural land base in the 19th century. Since 1950, farms have not increased much. Increased Production from Increased Water Use Irrigated land has increased from 50 mha (million hectares) in 1900 to 267 mha today. Between 1962 and 1996, the irrigated area in developing countries increased at 2% annually. Irrigation increases crop yields. The 17% of land that is irrigated produces 40% of the global food. The value of production of irrigated cropland is about $625/ha/year ($95/ha/year for rain-fed cropland and $17.50/ha/year for rangelands). Irrigation allows improved timing and spatial distribution of water. It allows double cropping. It enables supply stabilization and production of vegetables and fruits . Increased Production in Relation to Other Changes New inputs (fertilizers and pesticides) have been introduced. Energy use has increased. Labor in farming has declined; in the developed world 5% or less of the population are in agriculture. The agribusiness sector is growing. The overall food sector is less than 25% of the economy. Agricultural productivity per capita and industrialization occur in India, China, Brazil, and Argentina. Increased agricultural productivity benefited the urban poor and allowed industrialization. About 20% of humanity are in agrarian societies and have not been exposed to modern technologies and related changes. The Change in Production Technologies Input/output ratios have altered; the growth in population was accompanied by much less than proportional expansion of cultivated land and probably greater relative increase in energy use....
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EEP101_lecture10n11 - EEP 101/ECON 125 Technology and the...

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