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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  • Sparse (Arid) System (62 percent land area, 5 percent agriculture population in Middle East and North Africa; 17 percent land area, 1 percent agriculture population in Sub-Saharan Africa)
    This system covers the extensive desert areas of the region. It contains some oasis farming and a number of irrigation schemes (notably in Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia) where dates and other palms, vegetables, and cereals such as maize and rice are grown. Crop residues provide opportunistic grazing for the herds of pastoralists, and other fodder grows after scattered storms and in good seasons. The boundary between pastoral grazing and sparse agricultural systems is indistinct. Constraints are those already described for the component systems (pastoral, agro-pastoral and irrigated).
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