Thursday, March 22, 2012

Resilient Agriculture that is Productive and Sustainable

Agriculture in Africa has long been considered as a real basket case. Production unable to meet societal needs, low productivity of crops, ravaged by pests and diseases, constant drought, flood or pestilence.

That can be changed, and is changing for the better in a number of African countries. Ghana has halved hunger in 2011, well before the goal of 2015, through a postive environment within government as well as adoption of innovation and newer technologies.

In Zambia, conservation technology and use of no-till for cropping has reduced crop water use and yields for maize are now five times the sub-saharan average.

Genetic engineering to improve bananas by developing plant disease resistance in Uganda also seems to offer a path towards major yield improvements and longer life of banana plantations, mostly owned by small land holders.

Also importantly, creation of new and effective grain storage and grain trading systems are leading to better grain trading across Africa and reducing food price volatility.

Improvements in the tropics of the world are critical to improving food security, and better food security also reduces tensions and conflicts.

A lot is founded on agricultural science, some on enabling conditions.........but it is happening.

Resilience in agriculture is critical..........and the gains in productivity need to be sustainable. Some of the system enhancements are making a real improvement, and improvement that will slowly translate into better fed, healthier people. Particularly when you also factor in some of the other improvements across other fields eg into malaria management, control and maybe eradication that can greatly improve the health and working productivity of people.

But the agricultural development is real, and a monster driver of better conditions.

The article below covers this in more detail, but the majority of people in the western countries still think agriculture is a dead end in many parts of the developing world. Not so!

Read more -

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