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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  • Boxes

    Box 1.1
    Letter from the Secretary-General of the United Nations

    Box 3.1
    Importance of livestock in African farming systems

    Box 3.2
    Farming system characteristics

    Box 3.3
    Systematically disentangling factors that affect growth and yield

    Box 3.4
    Yield gap analysis

    Box 3.5
    Best technical means

    Box 4.1
    Production potential of Sub-Sahara Africa

    Box 4.2
    New Rice for Africa (NERICA)

    Box 4.3
    Grazing land requirements and manure for arable farming

    Box 4.4
    Lethal animal diseases constrain production

    Box 4.5
    Putting Africa's rich biodiversity to work

    Box 4.6
    Agroforestry

    Box 4.7
    The challenge of integrated water resource management

    Box 4.8
    Legumes and plant-bacteria associations

    Box 4.9
    Multidisciplinary fight against Striga

    Box 4.10
    African Agriculture Technology Foundation

    Box 4.11
    Some promising biotechnologies

    Box 4.12
    Application and adoption of biotechnologies

    Box 4.13
    Enhancing the benefits of intercropping maize and sesame

    Box 4.14
    The evolution of crop-livestock systems in West Africa

    Box 4.15
    Nutrient monitoring at farm level (NUTMON)

    Box 5.1
    The evolution of African universities

    Box 5.2
    Institutional innovations

    Box 5.3
    New thoughts on agricultural extension

    Box 5.4
    Roles of information and communications technology in the participatory knowledge quadrangle

    Box 5.5
    North African National Agricultural Research Systems

    Box 7.1
    The benefits of globalization and trade liberalization to Africa

    Box 7.2
    Increased investment in infrastructure lifts productivity and benefits the poor

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