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.
Recommendation 5.1: Employ the Study Panel's recommended strategies to implement a series of Participatory Science and Technology Pilot Programs
The Study Panel's recommended strategies should be employed to implement a series of Participatory Science and Technology Pilot Programs, focusing on the priority continental farming systems identified by the Study Panel and on institutional innovations that aim to realize unexploited yield potentials, thereby improving food security. As described in this report, the Study Panel undertook a priority assessment of 10 major African farming systems, using two indicators - an agricultural value-added index and a composite underweight children index. Based on this analysis, four priority farming systems were identified: maize mixed, cereal/root crop mixed, irrigated, and tree crop based. The highland farming systems were not fully represented in this analysis, and they may also have potential. For all these farming systems, there are many technological opportunities for enhancing productivity and profitability in Africa on an environmentally sustainable basis.
As 'seeing and harvesting are believing' to resource-poor farming families, the Study Panel proposes the following action agenda: