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The productivity gains from crop germplasm improvement alone are estimated to have averaged 1.0% per annum for wheat (across all regions), 0.8% for rice, 0.7% for maize, and 0.5% and 0.6% for sorghum and millets, respectively (9).Adoption rates of modern varieties in developing countries increased rapidly, reaching a majority of cropland (63%) by 1998 (9–15).Private firms operating through markets have limited interest in public goods, because they do not have the capacity to capture much of the benefit through proprietary claims; also, because of the global, nonrival nature of the research products, no single nation has the incentive to invest public resources in this type of research.International public goods institutions were needed to fill this gap, and efforts to develop the necessary institutional capacity, particularly in plant breeding, were a central part of the GR strategy.
However, neither private firms nor national governments had sufficient incentive to invest in all of the research and development of such international public goods.
A detailed retrospective of the Green Revolution, its achievement and limits in terms of agricultural productivity improvement, and its broader impact at social, environmental, and economic levels is provided.
Lessons learned and the strategic insights are reviewed as the world is preparing a “redux” version of the Green Revolution with more integrative environmental and social impact combined with agricultural and economic development.
Core policy directions for Green Revolution 2.0 that enhance the spread and sustainable adoption of productivity enhancing technologies are specified.
The developing world witnessed an extraordinary period of food crop productivity growth over the past 50 y, despite increasing land scarcity and rising land values.
Between 19, yields for all developing countries rose 208% for wheat, 109% for rice, 157% for maize, 78% for potatoes, and 36% for cassava (18).