Increasing agricultural productivity in Africa calls for broader policy and strategic frameworks that encompass agro-industrial and agribusiness services along with farming. The agricultural system’s transformation will have the most impact when innovators have the explicit perspective that the green revolution and agro-industrial and agribusiness development must go hand-in-hand. This perspective will result in innovations that reduce poverty through broad-based economic growth, which includes enhanced food security, employment creation, and added value and wealth across the economy’s farming and nonfarming sectors.
The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), in conjunction with the African Union Commission, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), and the Forum for Agricultural Research for Africa (FARA), organized an international conference on November 1–3, 2011, titled “Increasing Agricultural Productivity and Enhancing Food Security in Africa: New Challenges and Opportunities” in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
This conference provided a forum for the exchange of ideas, experiences, and innovations on improving agricultural productivity for achieving food security in Africa by: (i) showcasing research results on the trends, determinants, constraints, and opportunities for improving agricultural productivity in Africa within the framework of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP), national agricultural and rural development strategies, and investment plans; (ii) identifying areas for policy actions, further research, and innovations toward enhancing food security and reducing poverty in the continent; and (iii) encouraging appropriate communication strategies for conveying and implementing research results that improve agricultural productivity, enhance food security, and reduce rural poverty in Africa.