Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, January 10, 2011

Successes in African agriculture: Lessons for the future

Edited by Steven Haggblade and Peter B.R.Hazell 
Published for IFPRI by The John Hopkins University Press 
2010, 436pp, ISBN 978 0 80189 503 6(Pb), US$45
To read of widespread and sustained successes in African agriculture is rare indeed yet, as the contributors to this book convincingly describe, not only is success possible but the means of achieving success may be readily identified.
The aim of the book, commissioned by IFPRI, is to demonstrate that the sustained decline in Africa's agricultural productivity over past decades can be arrested; with the current concerns about global food security, the replicable successes analysed deserve to be widely disseminated, boosting morale as well as productivity. As Joachim von Braun, concludes in his foreword, "We believe that the time is ripe to review, reflect, and build upon what has worked well in the past."
Following an editorial overview of the challenges facing African agriculture, six 'success stories' are detailed; cassava transformation in West and Southern Africa; hybrid maize in East and Southern Africa; Mali's cotton revolution; horticultural exports in Kenya and Côte d'Ivoire; smallholder dairying in East Africa; and soil fertility management systems. The book concludes with a summary of lessons and draws out implications for future planning and action.

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