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.

Read More

Search this Publication

Table of Contents

  • Previous
  •    Table of Contents
  • Next
  • Figures

    Figure 2.1
    The nutritional challenge over the life cycle

    Figure 3.1
    African farming systems

    Figure 3.2
    Land productivity trends of the major commodities in Afrian farming systems

    Figure 3.3
    The relative impact of radiation, water, nitrogen and phosphorus on growth of annual grasses in the Sahel

    Figure 3.4
    Principles of production ecology and factors affecting growth and yield and food availability

    Figure 3.5
    Yields analyzed according to production ecological principles and under actual field conditions

    Figure 3.6
    Schematic relation between nutrient recovery and agro-ecological conditions

    Figure 3.7
    Trends in the use of fertilizers in farming systems in Africa

    Figure 3.8
    Characteristics of the priority systems

    Figure 3.9A
    Underweight densities and proposed hunger hotspots

    Figure 3.9B
    Hunger hotspots in major farming systems

    Figure 3.9C
    Population density 1995

    Figure 3.9D
    Soil constraints combined

    Figure 3.9E
    Soil texture constraints

    Figure 3.9F
    Soil fertility constraints

    Figure 4.1
    Changes in the total agricultural (crop plus livestock) production index number (PIN), agricultural land use (arable land, permanent crops and permanent pasture) and labour input in the four priority systems

    Figure 4.2
    Changes in the crop production index number (PIN), crop land use (arable land and permanent crops) and fertilizer use in the four priority systems

    Figure 4.3
    Changes in the livestock production index number (PIN) and non-crop land use (permanent pasture) in the four priority systems

    Figure 4.4
    Calculated potential (a) and water-limited (b) yields (tonnes per hectare)

    Figure 4.5
    Actual average cereal yields at the national level

    Figure 5.1A-B
    Distribution of African agricultural research capacity by FTE researchers and R&D expenditures

    Figure 5.2
    Agricultural priorities as reflected by the poverty reduction strategies of 24 African countries

    Figure 5.3A-B
    Total African agricultural R&D spending and staff by institutional category, 2000-2001

    Figure 5.4
    Trends in public spending by institutional category in selected African countries, 1971-2000

    Figure 5.5A-D
    Trends in public expenditures, researchers, and expenditures per researcher in selected African countries, 1971-2000

    Figure 5.6
    Share of female researchers in selected African countries, 2000

    Figure 5.7
    Africa's agricultural research intensity compared regionally and globally, 1995

    Figure 5.8
    Funding sources for national agricultural research in selected African countries, 2000

    Figure 5.9
    Cost-category shares in expenditures for the main agricultural research agencies in selected African countries, 2000

    Figure 5.10A-B
    Commodity focus of agricultural research expenditures in selected African countries, 2000

    Figure 5.11
    Modern variety diffusion by decade and region (percent area planted to modern varieties)

    • Previous
    •    Table of Contents
    • Next