In 1967, ADB conducted a first Asian Agricultural Survey in recognition of the fact that the agricultural sector was the mainstay of the economies of most of the developing countries of Asia and the Pacific. In the wake of the Green Revolution, the survey was planned as an economic and technical study of ADB’s developing member countries and took as its focus of concern the issues surrounding the modernization of regional agriculture through the application of science and technology.
In 1976, ADB undertook a second Asian Agricultural Survey because agricultural development during the late 1960s and early 1970s was slower than had been anticipated and institutional constraints and shortages of resources and inputs had emerged as a barrier to faster development. That survey looked at social, economic, and institutional factors as well as the interrelationships between agriculture and other sectors of the economy, Its intellectual underpinnings were nevertheless akin to those of the first in that the survey team also believed that intensifying production would lead to agricultural development; the only difference was that it intended to pay more attention to the presumed obstacles to such development.
These Knowledge Solutions reproduce a memorandum the author drafted in 1996 to make the case for a third survey, 20 years after the second and in an altogether very different context. The objective was to catalyze attention and action to address rural development concerns over the following decade: food security still featured high on the agenda but the challenges were, increasingly, deemed to be socioeconomic and environmental A new study of rural Asia was launched in 1998.