Japan and the United States relied on different technological paths to expand their agricultural output. Research summarized by Hayami and others (1975) and Binswanger and Ruttan (1978) has established that Japan has long emphasized biological, yield-raising technology, much of it supported by heavy investment in irrigation. This emphasis continued with systematic investment in agricultural research initiated after 1868.
For example, in an extensively farmed area of Africa where hoe cultivation is used yields may be low, while in an intensively farmed tractorized region of India yields may be much higher. The yield differences may be caused in part by differences in other inputs, such as fertilizers or seeds. They could also be caused by better tillage in India-but this does not mean that good tillage is achieved only by tractors and cannot be achieved by hand. Examples from Java show that cultivation by hand can be as thorough as by ox or tractor.