Doug Gollin, Oxford University, UK
Economic Perspectives on Farm Size and Agriculture-Nutrition linkages
Over the next several decades, urbanization will occur alongside the continued growth of rural populations. Millions of people will remain in quasi-subsistence in the world’s developing areas. But at the same time, the growth of rural non-farm economies and the process of urbanization together imply that growing fractions of the population in developing countries will depend on food supply chains that are longer and involve more industrial processing than those typical today. The lengthening of supply chains will create both opportunities and challenges for agriculture and nutrition. On the one hand, there will be expanded opportunities for nutritional supplementation and for regulatory control of food processing. On the other hand, the increased distance (both physical and social) between producers and consumers adds to the incentives for adulteration and the potential for food safety disasters. A challenge for science is to engineer food systems, appropriate for developing countries, that are robust to adulteration and can assure the integrity of commercialized food supply chains.