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									South Asia Conference on Technologies for Poverty Reduction, New Delhi
10 -11 October, 2003




      FOOD AND POVERTY: TECHNOLOGIES FOR POVERTY
                     ALLEVIATION

                                                         By

                               Professor H.P.M. Gunasena
                                   Executive Director
                   Council for Agriculture Research & Policy (CARP)
                                       Sri Lanka

                                                   ABSTRACT
South Asian countries have made remarkable advances in food production accompanied by a dramatic reduction of
poverty during the past two decades. This has been due to the result of trade and investment reforms, which have
generated economic growth in this region. Despite these changes South Asia generates only 2% of the global
income, yet supports 22% of the world’s population and 44% of the world’s poor. Over 75% of the population
depend directly or indirectly on agriculture for their livelihoods. Therefore, agriculture will play a major role in the
future and massive productivity increases and product diversification will be required. Due to escalating population
and urbanization, natural resource are gradually depleting posing major challenges to reduce poverty in this region.
The problems confronting these countries are complex and enormous of which the major issues are; declining
agricultural land and agricultural population, marginal producers with small land holdings, decreasing per capita land
availability, conflicting demands for scarce water resource, urbanization and youth evading traditional farming. This
region will be required to produce food for larger and larger populations from less and lees land. The biggest
challenge is how to increase output from the shrinking agricultural sector, while sustaining the productivity potential
of the available natural resources.

The poverty is widespread in the region and there are over 800 million Asians living in abject poverty, nearly 20
million children are malnourished or undernourished. The levels of achievement of the Millennium Goals indicate
that pervasive poverty yet haunts the South Asian countries. The most paradoxical situation is that some affluent
Asians are enriching and changing diets while the many impoverished are scavenging. There is high-income disparity
in these conflict engulfed countries and the purchasing power of the poor rural population is highly limited. The
technologies have made a tremendous impact to improve the livelihoods of these people and even with a time lag
they have benefited them. The technologies have benefited the rich than the poor, landed than the landless and men
rather than women. The current globalisation is affecting all these countries and agriculture is getting
commercialised. The technologies are generated based on demand and these are beyond the reach of the small
farmers. They become inappropriate because of the scale, cost or managerial complexity. The agricultural production
systems are also changing rapidly, trend being intensive agriculture using high- tech that provide maximum
potential benefit of improved crop germplasm. Furthermore, a paradigm shift is taking place in agriculture towards
the development of value added secondary products to be competitive in the international markets. In this situation,
policy level government intervention will be required to safeguard the poverty ridden small producers by judicious
investment in technology, infrastructure and human capital.

Despite the significant progress made in improving food production and consumption levels in many of these
countries, there are numerous questions regarding technologies for reducing poverty in the future. Therefore, a
participatory regional technology assessment is proposed to examine how agricultural research should be focussed to
alleviate poverty among the rural communities.




Gunasena, H.P.M., CARP Colombo, 2003                                                                                  1
South Asia Conference on Technologies for Poverty Reduction, New Delhi
10 -11 October, 2003
Background

In the past 20 years, South Asian countries have generated economic growth and
strengthened their macro-economies by implementing production, trade and investment
reforms. Despite of these changes, the total contribution of global trade has remained at
1%. South Asia also generates less than 2% of the world’s income, yet supports 22% of
the world’s population and 44% of the world’s poor. Most of these people are
dependant on agriculture for their livelihoods and survival. Approximately 60% of the
Asian labour are involved in agriculture which accounts for about 25% of South Asia’s
GDP. More than 2/3 of the rural population derive their livelihoods from land. To feed
the increasing population adequately, it is estimated that food production has to doubled
within the next 30 years. Meeting this demand will require massive productivity
increases and product diversification to ensure broad based economic growth capable of
improving the livelihoods of the poor. Therefore, agriculture and rural development
should receive priority and policies and appropriate technologies will have to play a
dominant role for the upliftment of living standards of the poor in this region.

Special characteristics of the region

The largest user of natural resources in this region is the agricultural sector. Unlike in
the past natural resources base has been declining gradually due to population explosion
in the region. Over 75% of the very poor live and work in rural areas and depend on
agriculture for their livelihoods and this figure is as high as 91% in Nepal. Further
demands on the resource base are evident due to urbanization as a result of trade
liberalization and investments by the industrial sector. Future challenges to
agricultural growth are immense and those challenges have to be faced if poverty is to
be alleviated among these countries.

The constraints are many, of which the major issues are; declining agricultural land and
agricultural population, land degradation and declining per capita land, both of which
pose a major threat to future productivity. This region is characterized by a majority of
small and marginal producers with land holding less than 0.3 ha. The small farm size is
a dominant factor in agricultural production. As indicated earlier, farm size is very
small and continues to decline under population pressure.


*Executive Director, Sri Lanka Council for Agricultural Policy
 114/9, Wijerama Mawatha, Colombo 7, Sri Lanka


Paper presented at the South Asia Conference on Technologies for Poverty Reduction,
organized by ITDG, South Asia, 10-11 October, 2003, New Delhi, India




Gunasena, H.P.M., CARP Colombo, 2003                                                    2
South Asia Conference on Technologies for Poverty Reduction, New Delhi
10 -11 October, 2003
The decline in agricultural population is evident in all these countries, and the changes
from 1988 – 1999 are as follows; Bangladesh 58.7-56.7%, India 56.3-55.4%, Nepal
93.3-93.1%, Pakistan 52.2-51.2% and Sri Lanka 47.2-46.6% (FAO 2000). In these
countries urbanization is also taking place rapidly resulting in cities expanding into
farmlands and fragmentation will continue. The per capita land will shrink further. The
per capita land availability in these countries in 1998 were: Bangladesh 0.12, India 0.29,
Nepal 0.14, Pakistan 0.28 and Sri Lanka 0.23 ha (FAO, 2000). This records a decline by
7.69%, 14.71%, 17.65% and 4.35% respectively, except Nepal which recorded zero
decline from 1988. Up to 50% of the rural households are functionally landless.

Rising population, shrinking agricultural land, increasing demand on limited water
resources, from the expanding industrial and urban sectors, widespread land degradation
and inadequacy of governing infrastructure appear to be major concerns now than ever
before. Water resource scarcity is a major constraint in all the countries of the region.
There is competitive demand for water by the domestic, agricultural and the industrial
sectors. There is always a political desire to satisfy the domestic demand and the
emerging industrial demands, while the agricultural demand becomes the least
important. This has lead to serious mismatch between irrigation demand and supply.
Excessive exploitation of ground water is causing falling water tables and underground
aquifers are getting exhausted. The depletion of ground water now stands among the
most serious concerns of Indian agriculture. Chadha (2002) states that in many parts of
India the ground water level has gone many times lower so that the centrifugal tube well
irrigation technology which was well within the means of the small farmers is beyond
the investment capacity of even the larger farmers. For this reason, the larger states
such as Punjab and Haryana which were the beneficiaries of the green revolution are
now in the midst of crisis. Soil salinity is common in many such agricultural lands.
These issues cannot be separated from poverty and food security. The challenge for the
South Asian region is how to increase output from the agricultural sector while
sustaining the productivity potential of the available agricultural resources.

In the years to come this region will have to produce food for larger and larger
populations from less and less land. This is an ardent task, complicated by lags in
agrarian and structural reforms. Easier options such as expansion of land and migration
has been already used up. In the midst of this ecological degradation has set in
depriving the resources base from where future food is be produced. This will be a
great threat to the food security and poverty alleviation in the region.

This region is recognized as one of the mega centres of biodiversity of the world, but
the biodiversity is also under threat due to ever escalating human activity. Loss of
agricultural biodiversity due to deforestation and urbanization is taking place at an
accelerated pace associated with loss of wild genetic materials much needed for crop
improvement considerably affecting the livelihoods of the rural people. The variability
of the climate, the global warming is a new threat which will affect agricultural
production and coastal ecosystems. Furthermore, this region is also very disaster prone,
50% of the world’s disaster damage occurs here. Both drought and floods take their
annual toll upon agriculture adding transient hunger to the vulnerable groups who are



Gunasena, H.P.M., CARP Colombo, 2003                                                    3
South Asia Conference on Technologies for Poverty Reduction, New Delhi
10 -11 October, 2003
chronically food and nutrient insecure. Broadly, most of the rain fed agricultural areas
are drought prone in the region, although the intensity varies, Pakistan and India are the
worst affected. The globalization of agricultural markets brought about by trade
liberalization and world wide changes in markets and marketing channels have brought
about special challenges to the rural farmers living in the resources poor areas of the
region. South Asian region therefore faces a unique set of challenges and also
opportunities to compete in the global markets. Agriculture remains as the main source
of livelihood of the people in the region as more than 2/3 of the population drive their
livelihoods from land. Agricultural growth is crucial to bring them out of poverty.
Understanding the realities, this region will have seek for new and innovative
approaches to investments in technology and infrastructure in order to enable the
majority of vulnerable farmers to participate in the global agricultural markets. How
effectively they could face these challenges are questions that have to be answered and
the respective governments will be called upon to develop strategies to face this arduous
task.

The focus in this region has been on the people; millions of them increasing at an
unprecedented rate. The population figures for the South Asian region is presently 1335
million, with India over one billion, Pakistan 147.66 million, Bangladesh , 133.4
million, Nepal 23.87 million and Sri Lanka 19.57 million. Each year India adds more
people to the region and to the world’s population than any other country. In 1997
alone there were 25 million babies born in India than in any other country in the world.
The annual rate of population growth rate of these countries varies from 2.4% in
Pakistan and Nepal to 1.7% in India and Bangladesh, and lowest in Sri Lanka 1.49%
(World Bank, 2002). The high population growth rates and the deteriorating
agricultural production have made it difficult for many of these countries to meet their
basic needs.

With such large numbers living in this region, could lead to mass migration to urban
areas unknown in history. It is estimated that in another two decades half of the
region’s population will be urban. The cities will become over crowded, slum living
under poor sanitary conditions will prevail and quality of life will deteriorate as seen in
some of the major South Asian cities. Therefore, managing urbanization, and
particularly urban poverty will pose as another major threat to the region.

Status of poverty in the region

Poverty remains an enormous problem worldwide, despite major reductions in the past
50 years. Reducing poverty, in all forms is the greatest challenge for the developing
countries and to the international community. Of the world’s 6 billion people, 1.2
billion people live on less than one dollar a day and 2.8 billion live on less than two
dollars day. As the ADB (2001) indicates eight of every 100 children born do not live
to see the 5th birthday, 9 of every 100 boys and 14 of every 100 girls reach school age
without enrolling in schools. Poverty is most visible among the people who have no
political representation or voice, who have limited access to basic social services, and
those who are vulnerable to ill health, ethnic conflicts, economic dislocation, social



Gunasena, H.P.M., CARP Colombo, 2003                                                     4
South Asia Conference on Technologies for Poverty Reduction, New Delhi
10 -11 October, 2003
injustice and natural disasters. The above represents the dismal global dimensions
indicating the gravity of pervasive poverty among the developing countries worldwide.

Poverty can be defined from different angles and the most widely used descriptor is
income poverty and unsatisfied human needs. But poverty can also be defined more
broadly than by income poverty alone. The Human Poverty Index, developed by the
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is an aggregate index that measures
all forms of deprivation, including low life expectancy, illiteracy and access to health
services, safe water and adequate nutrition. According to the UNDP one quarter of the
world’s population lives in this condition. The human poverty is widespread in sub
Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Poverty has been the greatest concern and the challenge for most of the developing
countries and south Asian nations are not an exception. Poverty is rampant among most
of these countries, and people are in a state of human deprivation with regard to
incomes, clothing, housing, health care, education, sanitary facilities and human rights.
As all the countries are agriculturally based, poor agricultural systems also worsen
poverty. It is for this reason the poverty is more in the rural areas than in the urban
areas, for instance, overall rural poverty in India is reported as 36.6% compared with
30.5% in 1993/94( Chandel and Perrault, 1999). The situation is similar in most of the
other Asian countries and in many instances these include rural landless women.

Poverty has also geographical dimensions. There are large differences between the
living standards of people living in different geographical regions which are pockets of
poverty common in all the developing countries. The reasons are many; distance to the
urban centres, hospitals, schools, main truck roads, availability of natural resources etc;
makes these differences. These differences are easily recognized, for example the per
capita consumption of the rural population in the State of West Bengal is about half that
of Punjab. The head count measure of poverty in West Bengal is four times that of
Punjab. Similarly head count measure of poverty in the rural areas of Bangladesh
varies between 10% in some rural districts to more than 60% in the others (Ravillion
and Wodon, 1997). In Sri Lanka also the people living in drier regions are much less
blessed than those living in the wet areas. Also the people living in the tea plantation
areas are the worst affected due to a very complex reasons. The larger the country the
larger are these differences due to varied climatic and soil differences. The specific
factors that cause poverty may vary with different countries. One of these is the lack of
adequate income generating opportunities. This could arise in situations where income
generating opportunities and abundant but not equally distributed. In some other cases
there is hardly any income generating activities due to imbalanced development
programmes. To worsen the situation the poor may lack financial credit and land size to
exploit the opportunities. In addition to these, government policies also play great role.

The political instability in this region is another major cause adversely affecting poverty
alleviation. All the South Asian countries are hot beds of politics grossly engulfed in
both internal and external conflicts. These countries being multi-ethnic, multi-religious
and multi-cultural lacks harmony and constant turmoil prevails. These conflicts bear on



Gunasena, H.P.M., CARP Colombo, 2003                                                     5
South Asia Conference on Technologies for Poverty Reduction, New Delhi
10 -11 October, 2003
the lives of the people and the governments are more involved in crisis management
than in development activities. For example, the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka which
lasted over the past 20 years, has resulted in over 50,000 deaths and severe damage to
infrastructure. Many people in the North and East are displaced, misery prevails and
poverty is abundant. The government commits about Rs. 56 billion annually on the war,
mostly to purchase firearms and support the armed services. If those funds were
diverted to development programmes, their economic well being would have been
accelerated. In Sri Lanka the on going peace process if materialized soon will help to
reduce the incidence of poverty by diverting valuable financial resources spent on war
to development activities, by targeting on the poor sections of the population. Similarly,
in Nepal violent clashes between the government forces and the insurgents have
escalated. It is reported that over 8000 people have already lost their lives.
(UNICEF,2003). This will apply equally well to all the countries of the region, as
military confrontation will not ensure justice and support for the malnourished
destitutes of the region.

The issues confronting governments in densely populated countries where core of
poverty festers therefore are extraordinarily complex. Their populations are young and
volatile. Their potential to make contributions to agricultural production, food security
and poverty alleviation can quickly turn into destructive terrorism in a political climate
of powerlessness and despair. This type of unrest are very common in some of the
countries of South Asia.

Despite these conflicting issues, South Asia has made considerable progress in poverty
alleviation, although the progress made has been uneven. There is much to be done yet
in many of the countries and concerted effort is needed to reduce the incidence of
poverty in the region. It is necessary to focus on all aspects of poverty and not restrict to
a single or few aspects, a holistic approach is needed to attack poverty from all the
dimensions. Also, in tackling poverty, both urban and rural poverty should be
considered.

The Millennium Development Goals adopted by 189 countries in 2000 serves as a
bench mark on the strategic efforts pursued by different countries for the reduction of
poverty. It is necessary to examine the levels of achievement of the 7 goals by different
countries in South Asia in poverty the reduction. Recently, Asiff Hussain, UNDP
(2003) reported on these issues as follows:

Eradicating extreme poverty, Millennium Goal 1, by halving between 1990 – 2015, the
proportion of people whose incomes are less than one dollar a day. In this regard the
performance of the South Asian countries have been highly variable; the proportion of
the population living on one dollar a day in Sri Lanka was 6.6 which compares
favourably with the rest of South Asia, Pakistan 13.4, India 34.7, Bangladesh 36.0 and
Nepal 37.7. It is noted that the last three countries, India, Bangladesh and Nepal yet
have over one third of their populations at high poverty level ( UNICEF,2003).




Gunasena, H.P.M., CARP Colombo, 2003                                                       6
South Asia Conference on Technologies for Poverty Reduction, New Delhi
10 -11 October, 2003
Goal 2, Universal primary education by ensuring that children every where irrespective
of their sex will be able to complete a full course of primary education. The literacy
rates have increased since 1990 in all countries of the region (Table 1 ). In 2001 the
youth literacy (ages between 15-24 years) rate in Sri Lanka was 96.9%, which compares
well with India 73.3%, Nepal 61.1%, Pakistan 57.8% and Bangladesh 49.1% (UNDP,
2003). The above 15 year literacy rates in 2001 were much lower in three countries,
Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan (40.6- 44.0) compared with India (58.0) and Sri Lanka
(91.9). In Sri Lanka, high literacy rates have been attributed to the government policy
on free education up to university level since independence. In Nepal the situaion is
different, although the primary education is free attendance decline in the higher classes
as children are expected to help the parents at home and field (UNICEF,2003).

Goal 3 is in relation to gender equality and empowering women, Sri Lanka had a ratio
of 0.94 girls to boys in primary education and 1.03 in secondary education in 2000,
which also compares well with Bangladesh 0.96 and 0.99, Nepal 0.79 and 0.69, India
0.77 and 0.66, and Pakistan 0.55 and 0.63. The ratio of literate females to males in Sri
Lanka was 1.00, compared with India 0.82, Bangladesh 0.71, Pakistan 0.60 and Nepal
0.57. The representation in the country’s legislature was highest in Pakistan 22%, in the
other countries it varied between 2-6%, lowest in Bangladesh (2%). Education or
human capital enhancement is crucial for poverty alleviation which has been
emphasised by many authors ( Chadha, 2002;Dasgupta,1989).

Reducing child mortality and the under five mortality rates which is Goal 4, the infant
mortality rate per 1000 live births in Sri Lanka was 17, compared with Bangladesh 51,
Nepal 66, India 67 and Pakistan 84. Under five mortality per 1000 births in 2001 in Sri
Lanka was 19 compared to Bangladesh 77, Nepal 91, India 93 and Pakistan 109.
Improving maternal health by reducing three quarters by half, the maternal mortality
ratio per 1000 births which is Goal 5, the figure for 1995 indicates that Sri Lanka is well
ahead of the other South Asian countries, 60 for Sri Lanka compared with 200 for
Pakistan, 440 for India, 600 for Bangladesh and 830 for Pakistan. This is also a
reflection of the free health services provided by the Sri Lankan government.

Combating major diseases such as malaria, the Goal 6 reverses the trend so far observed
for Sri Lanka. The malaria related mortality per 100,000 in 2000 was 9 in Sri Lanka
compared to 8 in Nepal, 4 in Pakistan, 3 in India and 01 in Bangladesh. Goal 7 refers to
environmental sustainability by integrating sustainable development into policies and
programmes and reversing environmental degradation, the percents land area covered
by forests in the different countries were, highest in Sri Lanka 30%, Nepal 27.3%,
India 21.6% Bangladesh 10.25 and Pakistan 3.1%. These are in reference to the ozone
depleting potential.

The Human Development Index (HDI) an index of adult literacy rate, life expectancy at
birth and per capita income is also highly variable in the region, highest in Sri Lanka
0.730, India 0.590, Bangladesh 0.502, and Nepal 0.499 and Pakistan 0.499. The life
expectancies at birth ranges from 72 years in Sri Lanka to 59 years in Nepal. The per
capita incomes also vary widely, Bangladesh 370 US$, India 470 US$, Nepal 250 US$,



Gunasena, H.P.M., CARP Colombo, 2003                                                     7
South Asia Conference on Technologies for Poverty Reduction, New Delhi
10 -11 October, 2003
Pakistan 420 US$ and Sri Lanka 830 US$ The access to safe water and adequate
sanitation follows a similar pattern ( Table 1). The figures above are some indication of
the status of poverty prevailing in the region. Despite these efforts, there is a wide gap
between the reality and promise. If the trends in statistical information are any
indication of the poverty alleviation, taking into consideration the above figures it is
seen that Sri Lanka is well ahead of the other South Asian countries. However, Sri
Lanka still faces severe economic difficulties that have the strongest impact on the rural
poor communities.

The largest concentration of poverty in different countries of the region is indicated by
the proportion of the population who live on one dollar a day, and South Asia accounts
for one third of this population. This poverty exists in the region where abundant food
is available, but other factors such as low incomes, trade policies, civil and political
instability, low yielding farm practices and deficits in infrastructure, inputs and
information impede access to sufficient food, in quantity and quality for optimum
nutrition. Today, the main issue is poverty. Unless some positive action is not taken
now, it will be too late produce agricultural products in sufficient quantities to meet the
demand in the face of increasing populations and dietary transitions.

South Asia has made a remarkable transition from food deficits in 1960s to national
food surpluses accompanied by a dramatic reduction in poverty. The production of
major staples in the region during 1996-2002 clearly shows the increasing trend. (Table
2) Although there are variation in different years, rice production has increased from
163 – 168 million metric tons over the seven year period. The highest production was
in 2001 when the production reached 189 million metric tons. Similarly, wheat yield
increased from 83 – 95 metric tons, with the highest production of 102 million metric
tons in 2000. India remains the highest producer of cereal grains, both rice and wheat in
the South Asian region. However, there is a paradoxical situation. On the one hand the
rich and the affluent Asians are enriching and changing their diets and this is taking
place at a rapid rate. These few merely rearrange their menus, the poor and the
impoverished who are many scrounging. Due to phenomenal change there is a high
demand for meat and milk products, fruits and vegetables with an increasing demand
for feed grains. The changing pattern of consumption will intensify the demand for fast
convenient foods, easy to prepare and consume, a trend evident in most of the urban
areas. Despite this increasing affluence, there are as many as 800 million Asian living
in abject poverty and nearly 20 million children remain undernourished. In Sri Lanka,
35% of children below 5 years of age are reported as malnourished or undernourished.
Although the food is available poor people have no access to them due to widening
income disparities. This is then the core of human misery, deprived of the most
fundamental human right, the right to have sufficient food.

Technology development for Poverty Alleviation

There is considerable evidence that agricultural research has led to significant increases
in productivity and enhanced incomes in developing countries (Lipton and
Longhurst,1989; Kerr and Kolavalli,1999). The development of improved cultivars and



Gunasena, H.P.M., CARP Colombo, 2003                                                     8
South Asia Conference on Technologies for Poverty Reduction, New Delhi
10 -11 October, 2003
management practices, mechanization, improved plant nutrition and crop protection
technologies have been in the forefront of agricultural technologies contributing to
increased crop yields in many developing countries. The Green Revolution, which is
commonly referred to as “ seed revolution” which predominated in the early 1960s
contributed to unprecedented increases in food production, wheat and rice yields
increased by several folds. Due to the impact of green revolution the incidence of rural
poverty declined as agricultural growth and purchasing power of the people rose.
Advances in agricultural science and technology has increased productivity, hence it
will be an important drive to improve food and nutritional security and reducing the
number of poor in the coming years. As more than 90% of the of the food consumed in
poor countries are produced locally, the efficiency of production has to be improved for
the well being of the poor, through the use of appropriate technologies.

It is also seen that seed technologies have benefited the rich than the poor, landed than
the landless and men rather than women. This will bring about some discrepancies in
the effort to reduce poverty in all the developing nations. The uptake of modern
technologies associated with commercialisation is an inequitable process that at best
worsens the rural inequality but more likely to increase rural poverty. As evident in the
Asian countries the shift into cash cropping will press farmers to sacrifice their own
food crops and lead to more food insecurity. All areas with favourable conditions will
benefit and worsen the regional inequities.

It is often assumed that technologies could benefit the poor farmers due to increased
yield levels. This will enable them to meet the family consumption needs and also
market the excess produce and earn income. The technologies could also create
employment among the rural poor, particularly the landless labourers and earn higher
wages. It can also benefit a wide range of the rural poor through growth of off-farm
income. Displacement of labour from agriculture with the development of economies is
a common phenomena in most of the countries.(Schuh, 1999) Although this will have a
negative effect on the agriculture sector, this is an inevitable trend that has to be
encouraged. Therefore, poverty alleviation should focus on helping the poor to get off
farm income. Thus the research resources have to be cautiously spend, as poverty
cannot be alleviated within agriculture alone. Although these are the expectations, the
benefit to the levels expected may not accrue to the poor due to various conditions that
determine who benefits.

If the poor farmers are to have any benefit from technologies generated, they will have
to adopt them. This often does not happen due to many complex problems. One of the
main issues is the human capital. This is a wide area which include education and
development of skills which will not only include individual farmers but the entire
household. If technologies are to be adopted investment on education also should go
hand in hand. Education is directly relevant to the capacity to and willingness to
acquire skills adopt new technologies. Then the new technologies have to be
appropriate to the farming conditions and they should also have the knowledge and
skills and the required inputs. The most valuable resource in South Asia is the human
population, about 1335 million people. Even illiterate men and women can learn new



Gunasena, H.P.M., CARP Colombo, 2003                                                   9
South Asia Conference on Technologies for Poverty Reduction, New Delhi
10 -11 October, 2003
skills rapidly provided that the training is relevant. Unfortunately technical and
vocational training is declining in the Asian region. Rural education should be afforded
the highest priority, more in relation to rural populations, particularly youth . This will
groom a new generation of farmers in more effective use of technology. As most of the
youth are evading agriculture in search of white-collar jobs this will be a best
investment, which could earn a higher return on capital. Attracting youth to farming
will be the gate way for the future in the Asian countries. They will be able to harness
better flow of increasingly sophisticated knowledge in developing agriculture.
Abundance of labour in this region often regarded as a liability is in fact an asset, an
opportunity that should be exploited to spread the frontier technologies.

Improved crop varieties could easily adopted by small farmers, but it may not be the
case with other technologies such as irrigation, machinery, high tech agriculture etc.
These are more favourable for commercial farmers, then the poor may not adopt them
or with a long time lag when conditions may be unfavourable. Studies in India by
Chandal and Perrault (1999) also indicated that the technologies generally benefit the
poor after a time lag. Even the green revolution technologies, which had initially gone
against the poor, has benefited them later on. Therefore the benefits of technology will
accrue to the second generation and not to those who are in the grip of poverty. This
indicates that research should be targeted to the poor farmers over short term as well as
for long term development. This cast some light on the research – poverty alleviation
linkage. There is evidence provided by Hazell (200) that the current research were not
suitable for the poor farmers on four counts:

      Technologies are not directed to the resource poor farmers. This is because the
       cash requirements are high for off farm inputs and they require more water. Due
       to these reasons poor farmers have achieved lower yields from modern
       technologies. These technologies also carry increased uncertainty and risks in
       poor farmers fields.
      Some of the technologies developed for harsh climates are highly unreliable due
       to lack of research into development, assessment and refinement
      Physical resources are lacking to adopt modern technology
      Poor access to knowledge as agricultural information          first reach farmers
       through mass media and extension agents. Poor farmers, who are of low socio
       economic status, rely on informal sources for technology information
       (Dasgutpta, 1989) and their knowledge about technology can be easily distorted.
       Poor knowledge about technologies is an important constraint to adoption
       (Reddy and Reddy, 1972).
      Sometimes technology reaches the farmer at the declining stage of product
       prices. This is, as indicated before the early adaptors are usually large farmers
       who earn a sizable income.

Therefore to realize the full potential, the technology should effectively reach the poor
farmers and for the poor to adopt the technology they should have a reduced or balance
of resource requirements. Furthermore, small and medium farmers should receive



Gunasena, H.P.M., CARP Colombo, 2003                                                    10
South Asia Conference on Technologies for Poverty Reduction, New Delhi
10 -11 October, 2003
priority in public funded research and extension. Also research should target on women
as they are more involved an agriculture in the rural scene.

 Even if technologies are attractive, under marginal or risky conditions farmers will be
reluctant to adopt them as investment could be lost in an unfavourable year. Larger
farms will be will be able to handle such risks due to accessibility to credit and
insurance. Another issue is the land ownership. Even if the technology is appropriate
the small farmers may not adopt them, as they may not have immediate returns. This is
particularly true in the case of tree crop cultivation in which the gestation period is
longer than annual crops. Insecure tenancy problems will increase the poor farmers
vulnerability, although the situation may be different with countries. If the farmers
adopt the technologies the unit costs could be reduced and they will be able to compete
in the market. If all adopt the technology there will be excess production which will
lead to lowering market prices. Then those who do not adopt this technology will be at a
disadvantage, However, farmers may benefit as consumers than as producers for
markets.

The farmers living in densely populated, high to medium rainfall areas normally grow
high value crops; fruits and other horticultural crops while those living in the low
rainfall areas will have few choices, mainly drought resistant crop, so they will not
benefit from the research on high value crops. The research should focus on
commodities of the poor, and on areas where the poor is concentrated, rain fed
highlands, semi arid tropics and marginal lands. In these areas due to poor eco-physical
conditions, even if the land sizes are large the poor will not benefit unless the research
is focussed on the available resources. This will indicate that research had to be oriented
to the natural resources of the region and design research in order to seek ways out of
poverty ( Walker and Ryan, 1990). Agricultural research for the poor farmers in these
regions should help to raise their incomes with technologies requiring fewer inputs.

Current globalisation has affected all the countries with an aggressive market based
economy. The industrial sector is dominating and agriculture is getting commercialised
due to private sector investment. The technologies are generated based on demand.
These technologies may not be within the reach the small farmers and the old
technologies are also getting out dated as the products are not of the right quality to
compete in the new global markets. The poorer farmers will require knowledge and
skills so that the new technology could benefit them. These changing patterns of both
production and consumption in Asia provide opportunities for poverty reduction. It is
expected that globalisation and trade liberalization will enable more farmers to
participate in supplying international markets. Only those farmers who are well
equipped, with adequate infrastructure and technology will benefit more than the
others. These are basic needs such as roads, transport, electricity, improved crop
varieties etc and marketing and distribution systems for high value crops. These will
include refrigeration, food processing and storage, food safety regulations and
communication. According to Hazell (2001), this trend in agricultural growth could
increase income and reduce poverty among the farmers of Asia. However, if left alone
to the market forces this may not happen.



Gunasena, H.P.M., CARP Colombo, 2003                                                    11
South Asia Conference on Technologies for Poverty Reduction, New Delhi
10 -11 October, 2003


Hazell (2001) suggests two public interventions to overcome any problems in the
current agricultural growth. First are, interventions to help the small farmers to capture
the currently expanding markets, even within regions that have good infrastructure. In
this case research must give adequate attention to the problems of the small holder
farming and smallholders should be better reorganized for efficient marketing and input
supply. Second are interventions to spread the benefits of new markets to less favoured
areas where many of the poor farmers live. This requires long term economic
investments and policy should be geared to such investments. If investments are not
made in the less favoured areas, the people living in poverty in these areas are likely
increase further in the future. Without adequate investment in infrastructure, technology
and human development these areas are likely to deteriorate further. Technologies like
to succeed in these areas are mixed farming systems; livestock and agro forestry,
improved fallows, cover crops etc; due to poor and marginal soils, but access to
markets have to be developed. Non farm activities in less favourable areas have high
potential to alleviate poverty. In all cases marketing institutions need to be developed to
support the smallholder farmers.

Research funding is a major issue in poverty alleviation. The developing country
research agendas are funded by the national funding agencies through the government
consolidated fund, and also by international donors. The donor funding will be on
research programmes which are prioritised for the developing countries and not tailor
made to any specific country needs. They have a wide scope, and often does not
consider the socio-economic status of the recipients of technology. Some of the donor
funded research programmes have shown high rates success, but this appears to be
highly controversial. The technology packages such as the multiple cropping project
although appropriate were only production oriented and lacked major components
such as post harvest processing, value addition and marketing.

The research funds are often limited for most of the countries, in fact even the global
research funding has shown a decreasing trend. Most of the countries allocate research
funds for public research institutions. These funds are allocated in various ways,
depending on the country research agendas. Most countries have established
competitive research funds to encourage both public and private sector research.
Similar to some of the other countries in the region, recently Sri Lanka has also
established a competitive research grants scheme which is being implemented since
2003. It has to be noted that these competitive funds will operate effectively under
certain conditions. These will be effective only when there is sufficient research and
development capacity, governments lead the institutional reform process and have a
clear vision of priorities. Research fund management is by independent institutions
which do not bid for projects and governing bodies are with a balance of stakeholders.
The problem with competitive funds is that these are allocated on project basis and not
addressing public objectives that require long term and well focussed and integrated
research. Another alternative that may be considered would be to promote public-
private cooperation in agricultural research and joint funding mechanisms with NARS




Gunasena, H.P.M., CARP Colombo, 2003                                                    12
South Asia Conference on Technologies for Poverty Reduction, New Delhi
10 -11 October, 2003
and other stakeholders including farmer associations to generate innovative research
focussed on rural development and poverty alleviation.

R&D funds could also be directly allocated to farmer organizations as a means to
empower them and become stakeholders in technology generation. This farmer–led is
expected to make the research and technology generation more appropriate to suit the
farmers needs in terms of technology and cost. However, evidence from Africa
indicates that the role of farmer organizations in handling research is over estimated.
Although it is attractive in theory, practically for many reasons highly debatable.
Carney (1996) found that these organizations are weak and need to be strengthened
before they could play an effective role in agricultural R&D. The need to invest on the
human capital has to be emphasised again for poverty ridden areas for the development
and promotion of technologies.

Research conducted in collaboration with farmers have also been identified to be more
costly due to transport and scientists time. However, those that are linked to markets
appear to perform better in some African countries. Farmers working with other
organizations, public or private may be able to put pressure on research institutions to
attend to their priorities. This will build an economic network which will be an effective
mechanism to allocate funds for technology development of the small farmers. Other
evidence also indicates that it will be desirable to have a multidisciplinary mix, with
social scientists and farmers to have greater understanding of the farmers’ research
needs.

The systems of incentives that are prevalent in NARS are a major cause of the
discrimination against small farmers in setting and implementing research agendas. If
researchers are evaluated and compensated according to their publications in scientific
journals, they will not be motivated to carryout on farm trials to validate results as these
have no academic gloss. If the researchers not at all evaluated, they will not feel any
pressure to leave the research station and work in remote villages. If they are not paid
adequate salaries, they may become consultants for the larger farms. If agricultural
research is to generate technologies relevant to the poor farmers, research management
too should be considered. In this regard attitudes of the research managers have to be
oriented towards poverty alleviation. According to Tendler (1998), often the motivation
does not entirely depend on wages and evaluation systems. The performance of
research institutions will also depend on the civil servant being dedicated, as they could
feed the researchers a sense of dedication by building confidence and publicising their
programmes and organizing their work in a client and problem oriented manner.

The private sector R&D in agriculture is increasing, although it still accounts for less
than 15% in the developing countries (Berdegue et al, 2001). In this situation it is seen
that the public sector research is becoming less effective and gradually decreasing. This
is due to lack of focus on immediate problems that confront the agricultural producers.
Due to globalization and free trade private sector R&D is likely to increase in the future.
The private R&D on biotechnologies of high value crops and hybrid seed production
are common examples in the developing countries. Private research is mostly applied



Gunasena, H.P.M., CARP Colombo, 2003                                                     13
South Asia Conference on Technologies for Poverty Reduction, New Delhi
10 -11 October, 2003
or adaptive research opposed to strategic or basic research conducted by the public
sector. The public sector research also concentrate on food staples and traditional
commodities. Private sector also will not get involved in natural resources research
unless there is a win-win situation. As private sector R&D is often in specific areas
due to profit motivation, public sector research will continue to be responsible for
research that target public objectives, such as controlling environmental eventualities
of agricultural intensification and creating effective and real opportunities for small
farmers to participate profitable and competitive markets. This approach will be
essential for rural poverty alleviation in the developing countries. However, this does
not seem to happen.

As the private sector R&D is increasing, the national technology policies should have
provision for regulatory frameworks and enforceable property rights to provide
incentives to the private sector to invest on research.

However, innovations in agricultural research alone will not reduce poverty in the
absence of poverty –focussed policy and action. It is noted that the agricultural research
policies often does not mention poverty alleviation as an specific target. In many of
the Asian countries reforms and structural adjustments have had positive impact on
productivity but poverty levels remained static, sometimes increasing. To have
effective research on poverty alleviation, governments should incorporate criteria such
as equity and poverty focus into market driven agricultural development. This means
that the voice of the small farmers in agricultural research in market integrated
agricultural systems should be strengthened. This is because large farmers or
commercial agriculturists have a greater influence over the agricultural agendas,
leaving the small farmers with technology problems that are inappropriate for the
reasons of scale, cost, managerial complexity or simply because they are irrelevant to
the main problems of market integration. ( Rukini et al, 1998).

Emerging research trends

 Modern biotechnology is an undertaking with far-reaching socio-economic
implications. The developed countries have heavily invested on biotechnology R&D
and rapid progress have been made in the development pest resistant crop varieties, bio
pesticides, growth promotants etc, which are being commercialised. All the countries
of South Asia are pinning great hopes on agricultural biotechnology to alleviate
poverty and hunger. Biotechnology seems to offer unlimited potentials for solving old
and new problems. The biotechnological research and generation of new technologies
are high cost and requires highly trained manpower and infrastructure., the settings
which are available only in the industrialized countries. Therefore biotechnologies are
considered as pro-rich technologies. Despite this most of the countries in the region are
in the process of developing manpower in this area. Some countries such as India has
gone far ahead in this process by not only developing the skilled manpower, but also
investing in the sophisticated infrastructure for research. Most of the smaller nations
are struggling to achieve in this field, often constrained by brain drain and inadequate
infrastructure. Although the biotechnological research is costly its application will be



Gunasena, H.P.M., CARP Colombo, 2003                                                   14
South Asia Conference on Technologies for Poverty Reduction, New Delhi
10 -11 October, 2003
within the reach of the farmers and other users in the Asian region, They will also
require skills in their application, hence at the beginning only the progressive farmers
may adopt the technologies . The pro-poor features of biotechnology will include
reduction in the cost of production with the use of less expensive inputs such as bio
fertilizers, biological management of pests, detection of pathogens and their bio control
and applicability of biotechnological tools in a wide range of conditions for dry and
marginal lands. There are also other features of biotechnology, which could be used in
conjunction with traditional farming practices.

There are also massive problems in biotechnology such as bio safety issues and the
displacement of traditional primary products imported from the Asian region such as
flavouring agents and sugar substitutes, which are targets of biotechnology.
Industrialized countries may not demand any more of primary products which the
farmers used to produce, leading to acceleration of poverty. The private sector in
developing countries is investing on biotechnology due to the possibility that new
technologies could be patented. Many of these countries have formulated laws to allow
private companies to obtain propriety rights to new technologies for commercialisation.
As seen from the trends, if legislation is internationally acceptable a few large
companies will hold the ownership of these patents. Under these situations, the
developing countries will not be able to equitably share the genetic resources and likely
to suffer. The people in Asia should probe these new technologies, but novelty should
not sap our continuous commitment for less glamorous but essential programmes which
are crucial for poverty alleviation. These include post harvest losses, renewable energy,
agrarian reform, population policy as well as sharply focussed programmes for small
scale producers and rural women involved in agriculture. This indicates that the public
sector should play an proactive role and control over pursuing agricultural research and
technology. Appropriate policy and programmes are required for grooming new
technologies.

In agricultural technology development some new trends are also evident. In the past
agriculture production was grain based, production led and environmentally
unfavourable. Even though significant increases in food production have been made
following these strategies, the nature of future challenges call for a change. In
mobilizing this change, the intensification of land and water use, efficiency of the use of
inputs like seed, fertilizer, agrochemicals, increase in productivity and the maintenance
of the quality of the environment are the key considerations. Controlled environment
agriculture (CEA), a high technology is expected to answer some of these issues, where
the genetic potential of the crops could be manipulated to the maximum under
controlled conditions. Some of the middle level farmers have taken up to CEA due to its
many advantages mostly the income that could be generated within a short space of
time. Under Sri Lankan conditions many of the entrepreneurs are those living in semi
urban areas. This will be a means to relive some of the urban poverty that exist in the
urban areas. Another emerging trend is the interest in organic agricultural production
oriented to the production of chemical free healthy foods. This low input based
agricultural production system is well established in some of the western countries, but
becoming popular in the Asian continent. Although the crop yields are comparatively



Gunasena, H.P.M., CARP Colombo, 2003                                                    15
South Asia Conference on Technologies for Poverty Reduction, New Delhi
10 -11 October, 2003
lower compared to the traditional production with the use of chemical fertilizers and
pesticides, the product prices are at least twice or more higher and export opportunities
are also available.

A paradigm shift in technology development

The agricultural production has predominantly shifted from the earlier concept of
increase in yield to the utilizable production of the whole chain that links the producer
to the consumer. This could be attributed to several factors. As a result of trade
liberalization most of the countries are moving towards policy setting and infrastructure
development role. The objective of this is to reduce the transaction costs, while
encouraging the private sector with greater access to resources, especially credit and
information.. Presently a paradigm shift has taken place from primary production to
development of secondary products as demanded by the consumer. This will bring
about better utilization of primary products, value addition and income generation at
each stage of production –consumption continuum. This approach will link the agro-
industries to the production system, unlike in the past where agro industry was
considered as a separate entity. This would mean that the modernization of agriculture
will help to alleviate poverty by developing technologies for processing and value
addition and be competitive in the international market. In particular, the export
commodities will be directly employment enhancing due to their labour intensive
nature. If the income from exports are substantial, it will lead to significant reduction of
poverty .

Therefore, in the development of technologies, focus should be on several crucial
issues. Of these product quality will be one of the most important. This will include
biochemical characterization and physical components affecting either the nutritive
value or industrial processing of primary products; developing gene involving such
qualities and germplasm enhancement, development of post harvest mechanization and
storage facilities, integrated pest management in storage, germplasm improvement for
factors that cause storage losses, identifying opportunities for product diversification,
processing of primary products, milling, use of by-products and assessment of demand
for product development. Therefore, institutions involved in agricultural development
will require a change in mind set from technology development from production to
yield to those technologies for product utilization which will generate income and
employment. Therefore, a paradigm shift from technology development for the sake of
it as done on the past has to be reoriented to type and quality of product as determined
by the market demand and not by the availability of technology. To achieve the best
results, policies should be set in place to apply the technologies generated and grading
systems and quality standards should be established and infrastructure developed.

Need for regional assessment of agricultural research

Although there is ample evidence that agricultural research has increased food
production in the South Asian region, there is on going controversy whether agricultural
research has been beneficial to the poor to overcome poverty. Currently the research is



Gunasena, H.P.M., CARP Colombo, 2003                                                     16
South Asia Conference on Technologies for Poverty Reduction, New Delhi
10 -11 October, 2003
demand driven and caters mostly to the large or commercial farmers. Most of the
technological innovations are developed in the developed countries. It is noted that
many of these technologies are not affordable by the small farmers. The market demand
for products too have changed, and product development should take into accounts the
market demand. The question is that how these developments could influence the well
being of the rural poor and alleviate their poverty. At a multi-stakeholder Regional
Consultation held recently, December 2003 in New Delhi under the sponsorship of the
World Bank, the role of agricultural science and technology in global poverty
alleviation was discussed. The Consultation noted that despite the significant progress
made in the past 30-35 years in raising food availability and consumption levels,
improving nutrition levels and reducing poverty, much remains to be done in the future
to achieve the targets. If the current trends are any indication, the number of hungry
people would merely decline from 294 million to 217 million by 2015. Therefore, goals
for reducing poverty cannot be met without substantial momentum and initiative.

 In the South Asian situation also there are many unanswered questions regarding the
technology generation to tackle poverty. Therefore, a regional technology assessment is
proposed with the participation of all the stakeholders. Among the many, a few key
issues that the proposed assessment may address are listed below.:

      What is the potential of agricultural research to make the small farmer more
       viable?
      How can agricultural research be focussed to alleviate the poverty among the
       rural farmers?
      What technologies are suitable for rain fed areas where many of the poor live?
      Is the development of technologies under the diversification strategy addressing
       all issue of the small farmers?
      What is the potential of the emerging technologies such as biotech ( production
       and processing and value addition) to enhance off farm employment in poverty
       ridden areas?
      How can the access to markets be improved for the small farmers?
      How can the technology information disseminated to the small farmers? How
       can one ensure that the small and marginal producers are benefited from the “IT
       revolution”
      What extent is the lack of infrastructure influence access. What are the short
       alternatives to lack of rural roads, electricity, storage etc, and can the private
       investment be mobilized to overcome these short comings?
      What institutional arrangements that are available to assist the rural poor in
       coping with natural disasters, droughts, floods etc; to avoid adverse impacts on
       food and nutritional security?
      What are the actions needed for development human capital, including gender
       balance to make the best use of the technology?
      What are the best mechanisms for research funding to focus on technologies
       needed for the poor and the underprivileged?
      Are the policies and legal frameworks set for developing technology aligned to
       assist the poor farmers?


Gunasena, H.P.M., CARP Colombo, 2003                                                  17
South Asia Conference on Technologies for Poverty Reduction, New Delhi
10 -11 October, 2003


References

ADB .(2001). Moving the poverty agenda forward in Asia and the Pacific. The long
term strategic framework of the ADB 2001 - 2015

Berdegue, Julio A, German Escobar and Carney, Diana (2001). Agricultural research
institutions and poverty alleviation

Carney, Diana .(1996 ). Holistic approach to poverty reduction: Where does agricultural
research fit in? Department for International Development, UK

Chadha, G.K.(2002). Indian agriculture in the new millennium. Human response to
technology challenge. Presidential Address, 62nd Annual Conference of the Indian
Society of Agricultural Economics. December 19 – 21, New Delhi, India

Dasgupta, B. (1989). Diffusion of agricultural innovations in village India. New Delhi,
Wiley Eastern

Dirven, Martine (2000) .Rural poverty and innovation in agriculture. Poverty alleviation
workshop on the political economy of poverty: Extent and dimension, 14-16 September,
San Jose, Costa Rica

FAO .(2000). Selected indicators of food and agriculture development in the Asia and
Pacific Region. 1990-2000. FAO RAP Publication 2000/17: 5-6

Hazell, Peter B.R .(1999). The impact of agricultural research on the poor: A review of
the state of knowledge. International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
International Workshop: Assessing the impact of agricultural research on poverty
alleviation, September 14-16, Cali, Costa Rica

Hazell, Peter B.R .(2000).Technological change. Shaping global poverty and food
security IFPRI 2020 Vision Catalogue

Hussain, Asif. (2003). Ceylon Daily News, August 14, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Kerr, John and Shashi Kolavalli. (1999). Impact of agricultural research on poverty
alleviation. Conceptual framework with illustrations from the literature. Draft paper
prepared for IAEG and IFPRI, Washington DC

Lipton, Michel and Richard Longhurst .(1989). New seeds and poor people. Baltimore.
Johns Hopkins Press

Reddy, K.J and Reddy, B. (1972) Adoption of improved agricultural practices in
Andhra Pradesh. Indian Journal of Agricultural Education 8 : 14-23




Gunasena, H.P.M., CARP Colombo, 2003                                                 18
South Asia Conference on Technologies for Poverty Reduction, New Delhi
10 -11 October, 2003
Rukini,M Blakie, M.J.and Eicher, C.K.(1998) Crafting smallholder driven agricultural
research systems on southern Africa. World Development 26 (6); 1073-1087

Ravallion Martin and Quentin Wodon. (1997). Poor areas or only poor people?.
Research policy working paper No. 78, The World Bank

Tendler, J (1997). Good government in tropics. John Hopkins Press, Baltimore

Schuh, G. Edward (1999). The Household, The neglected link in research and
programmes for poverty alleviation. Paper presented at the International workshop on
Assessing the impact of agricultural research on poverty alleviation. San Jose, Costa
Rica, September 14-16, 1999

UNICEF .(2003). State of world’s children report.
UNDP (2003). undp.org/hdr
World Bank, 2002 –WDI – 2002 CD ROM




Table 1: Human Development Indices of the South Asian Countries (%)

              Population   % ages 15-    Above15       Life       Per     Access    Adequate     HDI
                (Mn)          24          Years    expectancy    capita   to safe   sanitary
                                                     at birth   income    water      facility
                                                                  US $      %          %
Countries       2002       1990   2001    2001       2003         2003     2003       2003       2003

Bangladesh      133.4      42.0 49.1      40.6        60         370        97         48        0.502

India           1,050      64.3 73.3      58.0        64         460        84         28        0.590

Nepal           23.87      46.6 61.6      42.9        59         250        88         28        0.499

Pakistan       147.66      47.4 57.8      44.0        60         420        90         62        0.499

Sri Lanka       19.57      95.1 96.9      91.9        72         830        77         94        0.730

Source: undp.org/hdr 2003
        UNICEF, 2003




Gunasena, H.P.M., CARP Colombo, 2003                                                        19
South Asia Conference on Technologies for Poverty Reduction, New Delhi
10 -11 October, 2003




Table 2 - Cereal Production in South Asian Countries 1996 - 2002
Rice             ('000)

Rice       Production
                           1996      1997       1998      1999      2000     2001       2002
(Mt.)

Bangladesh                 28,184     28,152    29,857    34,600    37,627    36,269   38,134

India                     122,500    123,700   129,055   134,496   131,614   139,735 116,580

Nepal                        3,710     3,640     3,699     3,834     4,216     4,164    4,130

Pakistan                     6,457     6,499     7,011     7,733     7,203     5,823    6,343

Sri Lanka                    2,061     2,239     2,692     2,857     2,859     2,694    2,794

Total                     162,912    164,230   172,314   183,520   183,519   188,685 167,981




Wheat                   ('000)

Wheat Production
                           1996      1997       1998      1999      2000     2001       2002
(Mt.)
Bangladesh                   1,369     1,454     1,802     1,908    1,840     1,673      1,606

India                      62,097     69,350    66,345    71,287    76,368   69,680     71,814

Nepal                        1,012     1,072     1,000     1,086    1,183     1,157      1,258

Pakistan                   16,907     16,650    18,694    17,856    21,078   19,023     18,226


Total                      83,381     90,523    89,839    94,136   102,469   93,534     94,906



Source: FAO 2002




Gunasena, H.P.M., CARP Colombo, 2003                                                   20
South Asia Conference on Technologies for Poverty Reduction, New Delhi
10 -11 October, 2003




Gunasena, H.P.M., CARP Colombo, 2003                                     21

								
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