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Sustainable intensification of African agriculture: a necessity, but not yet a reality

Creator: Gerard, B.
Year: 2020
Language: English
Publisher: Higher Education Press
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Type: Article
Country focus: Africa
Place of Publication: Beijing (China)
Pages: 383-389
Issue: 4
Volume: 7
DOI: 10.15302/J-FASE-2020361
Description: After decades of well-intentioned and professional research for development, agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa is still dominated by low-input, subsistence food crop production on small, rainfed land holdings using hand labor. What are the drivers and constraints to development in African agriculture, and how can the region intensify farming in economical and environmentally sustainable ways to satisfy its rapidly rising and shifting food demands? Looking at the evolution of global agriculture over the past 60 years[1], one cannot miss the striking differences between continents, regions and countries. Agriculture in developed countries followed the path begun during the industrial revolution in England more than 250 years ago, benefiting from agrochemicals and mechanization. Emerging countries in Asia and Latin America efficiently caught up during the Green Revolution of the mid- twentieth century[2,3]. Worldwide, farm output has met the growing demand for food from rapidly expanding populations (Fig. 1(a,b)) and, more recently, for animal products in developed and emerging economies. This did not happen without unintended effects on social equity or the environment and natural resources. Still, although for many the challenge is to produce more and better food with fewer resources, one region—sub-Saharan Africa—has not shifted gears in productivity or escaped subsistence farming. It urgently needs to do so[4].
ISSN: 2095-7505
Journal: Frontiers of Agricultural Science and Engineering

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  • Sustainable Intensification
    Sustainable intensification agriculture including topics on cropping systems, agronomy, soil, mechanization, precision agriculture, etc.

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