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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  • Study Director
    Jim RYAN is an Australian agricultural economist with a PhD in economics from North Carolina State University in 1972, a Master of Science in Agriculture in 1969 and a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 1962, both from the University of Sydney. He was awarded membership of the Honor Societies of Phi Kappa Phi and Gamma Sigma Delta in the U.S. and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology. He has specialized in studies of the economics of agricultural research and technological change in developing countries, including implications for employment and human nutrition. He has more than 120 publications. He was Leader of the Economics Program at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Hyderabad India (1974-83), Deputy Director and Chief Scientist of the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research in Canberra Australia (1983-91), and Director General of ICRISAT (1991-97). Since May 2000 he has been a Visiting Fellow in the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies of the Australian National University in Canberra. He has been a member of the Boards of the Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center (AVRDC) in Taiwan and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Mexico, and served as a member of the Technical Advisory Committee of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. He has led a review of the Australian agricultural aid program for Aus-AID, chaired the Sixth External Program and Management Review of AVRDC and was a member of the first External Program and Management Review Panel of the International Service for National Agricultural Research. Current interests and recent assignments include the assessment of the economic impacts of agricultural and policy research, future strategies and priorities for international livestock research, and the prospective challenges and opportunities for agricultural R&D in the semi-arid tropics.
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