Technical change in agriculture is examined for two contrasting situations in the developing world: the largely irrigated wheat-based systems of South Asia, where improved seed-fertiliser technology has been widely used for more than two decades, and rainfed maize-based systems of sub-Saharan Africa, where adoption of this technology remains incomplete. Zones of medium to high production potential and relative land scarcity are the primary focus of the analysis. Experience with the adoption of seed-fertiliser technology in these areas helps to identify the key changes in institutions and policies needed to foster continuing growth in food grain production by small-scale farmers, especially changes in research and extension strategies and in input supply policies.


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