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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  • Urban and Peri-urban Based System (less than 1 percent land area, 6 percent agriculture population in Middle East and North Africa; less than 1 percent land area, 3 percent agriculture population in Sub-Saharan Africa)
    Within the estimated total urban population of over 200 million in the region, there are many farmers in and around cities and large towns - in some cities it is estimated that 10 percent or more of the population are engaged in urban agriculture. This farming system is very heterogeneous, encompassing small-scale but capital-intensive, market-oriented, commercial vegetable growing, horticulture, dairy farming and livestock fattening, and part-time farming by the urban poor to cover part of their subsistence requirements. But the level of crop-livestock integration is often low. There are some environmental and food quality concerns associated with urban farming, but overall this is a dynamic farming system that has considerable growth potential.
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