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Does they refer to measures or technological advances? Does that sentence mean they are needed to complement other factors?

The first WDR [1978 WDR] talked of measures to raise agricultural productivity and observed that technological advances, now accelerated by biotechnologies and made more urgent by impending climate change, are a potent force. They will need to complement other factors. The 1978 WDR briefly touched on institutions, which occupy far more space in the 2008 WDR. The 2008 report embraces the agricultural innovation system, mechanisms for promoting technology transfer, market coordination, and many other issues, including, of course, community-based development.


WDR=World Development Report

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As I read it technological advances drive the measures, so even though they refers to the technological advances (based on the rest of the paragraph and also due to proximity), the technological advances influence the measures.

So you can't say that they and measures are unrelated.

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