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Land quality and land degradation affect agricultural productivity and food security, but quantifying these relationships has been difficult. Data is extremly limited and outcomes are sensitive to the choices that farmers make. The contributors to this book - including soil scientists, geographers and economists - analyse data on soils, climate land cover, agricultural inputs and outputs and a variety of socio-economic factors to provide new insights into three key issues: the extent to which differences in agricultural productivity across countries; how farmers' responses to differences or changes in land quality are influenced by economic, environmental and institutional factors and whether land degradation over time threatens productivity growth and food security at local, regional and global levels.
Part 1 Overview and data: land quality, agricultural productivity and food security, Keith Wiebe; soil degradation and global food security - a soil science perspective, Rattan Lal; global consequences of land degradation - an economic perspective, Pierre Crossron; land quality, agricultural productivity and food security - a spatial perspective, Stanley Wood, Kate Sebastian and Jordan Chamberlin; a global assessment of land quality, Hari Eswaran et al; developing geo-spatial land quality indicators for productivity analysis, Vince Breneman. Part 2 Land quality and differences in agricultural productivity between countries: resource quality and agricultural productivity - a multi-country comparison, Keith Wiebe et al; climate, agriculture and economic development, William A. Masters; farm sector total factor productivity - controlling for land quality in an international comparison , V. Eldon Ball et al; land quality and agricultural efficiency - a distance function approach, Scott A. Malcolm and Meredith J. Soule. Part 3 Land degradation and changes in agricultural productivity over time: productivity-related economic impacts of soil degradation in developing countries - an evaluation of regional experience, Sara J. Scherr; crop yield losses to soil erosion at regional and global scales - evidence from plot-level and GIS data, Christoffel den Biggelaar et al; farmer responses to land degradation, Stefano Pagiola; farmers' incentives to conserve soil resources - a dynamic model applied to the North Central United States, Jeffrey W. Hopkins et al; land tenure and the adoption of conservation practices in the United States, Meredith J. Soule and Abebayehu Tegene; transitional and persistent poverty and management of fragile lands - evidence from El Salvador, Jeffrey W. Hopkins and Douglas Southgate. Part 4 Implications for food security: land quality, land degradation and food security in low-income developing countries, Stacey Rosen and Shahla Shapouri; water availability and the future of irrigated and rainfed cereal production, Ximing Cai and Mark W. Rosegrant. Part 5 Implications for research and policy: agricultrual r&d, resouces and productivity, Paul W. Heisey and Mitch Renkow; summary and policy challenges, Keith Wiebe.