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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  • The Policy Environment

    Markets and trade

    • Globalization and subsidies by countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) are placing undue challenges and constraints on African countries in pursuing an export-oriented agricultural marketing strategy. African countries will need to develop more effective international advocacy with the North, perhaps on a regional basis.
    • Barriers are limiting African intra-regional trade opportunitiescountries must harmonize their intra- and inter-regional trade policies.
    • Domestic agricultural markets are not functioning effectively due to poor infrastructure and inadequate availability of timely market information.

    Resources and governance

    • There are inadequate incentives for the private sector to invest in the agricultural sector, resulting in underinvestment and capital flight.
    • Poor governance is leading to a breakdown of the democratic institutions that are critical to a more participatory involvement of stakeholders in agricultural R&D agenda setting and resource
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