The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa

The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa

The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa

The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa

Synopsis

African agriculture is currently at a crossroads, at which persistent food shortages are compounded by new threats from climate change. But, as this book argues, Africa faces two major opportunities that can help it to transform its agriculture and use agriculture as a force for economic growth. First, advances in science and technology worldwide offer African countries new tools needed to promote sustainable agriculture. Second, efforts to create regional markets will provide new incentives for agricultural production and trade. Filled with case studies from within Africa and success stories from developing nations around the world, The New Harvest is a report outlining the policies and institutional changes necessary to promote agricultural innovation across the African continent. Incorporating research from academia, government, NGOs, and private industry, the book suggests multiple ways that individual African countries could work together at the regional level to develop local knowledge and resources, harness biotechnological innovation and encourage entrepreneurship, increase agricultural output, create markets, improve infrastructure, and expand Africa's role within the global economy.

Excerpt

In his acceptance speech as Chairman of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) in February 2010, President Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi said:

One challenge we all face is poverty, hunger and malnu
trition of large populations. Therefore achieving food
security at the African level should be able to address
these problems. I would therefore request the AU
Assembly to share the dream that five years from now no
child in Africa should die of hunger and malnutrition. No
child should go to bed hungry. I realize that this is an
ambitious dream but one that can be realized. We all
know that Africa is endowed with vast fertile soils,
favourable climates, vast water basins and perennial
rivers that could be utilized for irrigation farming and
lead to the Green Revolution, and mitigate the adverse
effects of climate change. We can therefore grow enough
food to feed everyone in Africa. I am, therefore, proposing
that our agenda for Africa should focus on agriculture
and food security. I propose that our slogan should be:
“Feeding Africa through New Technologies: Let Us Act
Now.”

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