The African Green Revolution

Food yields in Africa are about the same as they were 50 years ago – one metric ton of grain per hectare. Almost everywhere else in the world, farmers are getting three metric tons per hectare. India experienced a Green Revolution when poor farmers started using modern farming techniques – but this has not happened yet in Africa. By using high-yield seeds, fertilizer, and small scale irrigation, crop production could be increased and farmers could go from subsistance farming to commercial farming.

Jeffery Sachs, in an editorial in the Scientific American, (May 2008, p 42) says that poverty could be greatly reduced if farmers had the capital and the know-how to increase their agricultural production. It would be very possible to double grain production in Africa by 2012,  make 3/4 of the subsistance farmers into commercial farmers in a decade, and cut the ranks of the hungry by at least half  by 2015. It would only cost 10 billion dollars a year from the rich countries of the world – which amounts to only $10 per person in donor countries.




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Filed under Africa, Sustaining Technologies

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