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.
Smallholder farmers in Africa manage their environmental diversity by matching crops and crop mixtures to the variations in the bio-physical environment, resulting in farming systems that involve 10-15 food and cash crops in a wide array of mixtures. The earlier descriptions of the farming systems indicated the need for interventions at all production ecological levels to generate productivity increases. The diverse conditions of the African continent demand specific measures, and the following sections focus on integrated and technological approaches to overcome constraints.