ScienceDaily (Dec. 3, 2010) — Africa can feed itself. And it can make the transition from hungry importer to self-sufficiency in a single generation.
The startling assertions, in stark contrast with entrenched, gloomy perceptions of the continent, highlight a collection of studies published December 2 that present a clear prescription for transforming Sub-Saharan Africa's agriculture and, by doing so, its economy.
The strategy calls on governments to make African agricultural expansion central to decision making about everything from transportation and communication infrastructure to post-secondary education and innovation investment.The approach is outlined in an independent study, "The New Harvest, Agricultural Innovation in Africa," led by Harvard University professor Calestous Juma.African agriculture is currently at a crossroads, at which persistent food shortages are compounded by threats from climate change. But, as this book argues, Africa faces three major opportunities that can transform its agriculture into a force for economic growth: advances in science and technology; the creation of regional markets; and the emergence of a new crop of entrepreneurial leaders dedicated to the continent's economic improvement.
Filled with case studies from within Africa and success stories from developing nations around the world, The New Harvest outlines the policies and institutional changes necessary to promote agricultural innovation across the African continent. Incorporating research from academia, government, civil society, and private industry, the book suggests multiple ways that individual African countries can work together at the regional level to develop local knowledge and resources, harness technological innovation, encourage entrepreneurship, increase agricultural output, create markets, and improve infrastructure.