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The State of Food and Agriculture 1955

Review of a Decade and Outlook

image of The State of Food and Agriculture 1955

The year 1955 marks the tenth anniversary of the foundation of FAO. It marks also the end of the first decade of agricultural recovery and expansion after the second world war. Unlike its predecessors, this issue does not deal mainly with the current situation and short-term outlook, but instead reviews the progress and experiences of the whole decade. The treatment of this theme has been analytic rather than purely descriptive. An attempt has been made to bring out the underlying causes of the main postwar developments, and to make some appraisal of the results achieved.

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Issues ahead

Seen in retrospect, the changes in the food and agricultural situation over the past decade have been remarkable. World agricultural production was raised by nearly 30 percent. In most Countries the acute postwar food shortages were overcome in the course of a few years. Serious famines were averted, and in many countries food consumption raised to a higher level than ever before. The findings of nutritional science have been widely adopted in welfare schemes, e.g. of child feeding, and also to an increasing extent in planning the broad lines of agricultural development. In the more advanced countries there has been almost a revolution in agricultural methods as a result of mechanization and the widespread adoption of improved techniques. In the less developed parts of the world impressive steps have been taken towards the better use of land and water resources. The productivity of land and farm labor has increased at an unprecedented rate.

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