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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  • Commercial Largeholder and Smallholder System (5 percent land area, 4 percent agriculture population in Sub-Saharan Africa)
    This farming system extends across the northern part of the Republic of South Africa and the southern part of Namibia, mostly in semi-arid and dry subhumid zones. It comprises two distinct subtypes - scattered smallholder farming in the homelands and large-scale commercialized farming. Both subtypes are largely mixed cereal-livestock systems, with maize dominating in the north and east, and sorghum and millet in the west. Both cattle and small ruminants are raised. The level of crop-livestock integration is moderate. Vulnerability is high in the smallholder subsystem, since a considerable part of the farming system has poor soils and is drought-prone.
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