Realizing the Promise and Potential of African Agriculture

Africa is rich in both natural and human resources, yet nearly 200 million of its people are undernourished because of inadequate food supplies.  Comprehensive strategies are needed across the continent to harness the power of science and technology (S&T) in ways that boost agricultural productivity, profitability, and sustainability -- ultimately ensuring that all Africans have access to enough safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs.  This report addresses the question of how science and technology can be mobilized to make that promise a reality.

Africa is rich in both natural and human resources, yet nearly 200 million of its people are undernourished because of inadequate food supplies.  Comprehensive strategies are needed across the continent to harness the power of science and technology (S&T) in ways that boost agricultural productivity, profitability, and sustainability -- ultimately ensuring that all Africans have access to enough safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs.  This report addresses the question of how science and technology can be mobilized to make that promise a reality.

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  • Annex D. Glossary

    Commercial crops or farms
    Those where a major portion of production is sold in the market. They can be food, beverage or non-food crops and involve smallholders as well as large farms.

    Inter-cropping
    Where in the same field more than one crop species is grown at the same time either by mixing the seeds and broadcasting them at sowing in random associations, or planting rows of the individual species in a specific sequence or spatial arrangement.

    Malnutrition
    When the intake of nutrients falls below some recommended daily allowance or a person's anthropometry is below recognized norms. It is used interchangeably with the term undernutrition in this report.

    Mixed cropping
    Where more than two crop species are grown on a farm, often in association in the same field but sometimes in separate fields.

    Mono-cropping
    Where the same crop species is grown in the same field continuously year after year.

    Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper
    A document describing a country's macroeconomic, structural and social policies and programs to promote growth and reduce poverty, as well as associated external financing needs. They are prepared by governments through a participatory process involving civil society and development partners, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

    Smallholders
    Owners or operators of small farms with primary reliance on family labour who are at or below the poverty line. They can be subsistence or commercial farms, or something in between.

    Sole cropping
    Where one crop species is grown in a field or farm on its own in a given year rather than in a mixture.

    Subsistence crops or farms
    Those where the bulk of production is retained for home consumption rather than sold on the market. Usually restricted to food crops.

    Undernutrition
    When the intake of nutrients falls below some recommended daily allowance or a person's anthropometry is below recognized norms. It is used interchangeably with the term malnutrition in this report.

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