Africa needs “A Real Green Revolution”

By Amanda Stone

(Photo Credit: Bernard Pollack)

A recent report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development calls for a necessary and vital “green revolution” to be led by smallholder African farmers. The 2010 Technology and Innovation Report: Enhancing Food Security in Africa Through Science, Technology and Innovation was released last week, warning that sub-Saharan Africa is the region most likely to miss the first Millennium Development Goal of eradicating extreme hunger and poverty.

Although per capita food production in Africa has declined over the past 40 years, the report urges that farmers can benefit from incorporating technologies such as low-cost drip irrigation and plastic water tanks for runoff.  The report also argues that smallholder farmers need to be at the center of policy in order for research, development, technology transfer and capacity building to meet real needs. While the report realistically recognizes that there are no quick fixes, it identifies several steps with the highest potential to improve productivity and food security in the short term.

To learn more about ways that technology and policy are helping small-scale farmers improve their livelihoods and food security see Innovation of the Week: Slow and Steady Irrigation Wins the Race, What Is an Appropriate Technology?, Re-Directing Ag Funding to Small-Scale Farmers for Improved Food Security, Seeding Food Security and Creating Game Plans for Investment and Policy to Improve Food Security.

Amanda Stone is a media and communications intern with the Nourishing the Planet project.

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