Sub—Saharan Africa is one of the poorest regions of the world. Because most Africans work in agriculture, escaping such dire poverty depends on increased agricultural productivity to raise rural incomes, lower food prices, and stimulate growth in other economic sectors. Per capita agricultural production in sub—Saharan Africa has fallen, however, for much of the past half—century.
Successes in African Agriculture investigates how to reverse this decline. Instead of cataloging failures, as many past studies have done, this book identifies episodes of successful agricultural growth in Africa and identifies processes, practices, and policies for accelerated growth in the future. The individual studies follow developments in, among other areas, the farming of maize in East and Southern Africa, cassava across the middle belt of Africa, cotton in West Africa, horticulture in Kenya, and dairying in East Africa.
Drawing on these case studies and on consultations with agricultural specialists and politicians from across sub—Saharan Africa -- undertaken in collaboration with the African Union's New Partnership for Africa's Development -- the contributors identify two key determinants of positive agricultural performance: agricultural research to provide more productive and sustainable technologies to farmers and a policy framework that fosters market incentives for increasing production. The contributors discuss how the public and private sectors can best coordinate the convergence of both factors.
Given current concerns about global food security, this book provides timely and important resources to policymakers and development specialists concerned with reversing the negative trends in food insecurity and poverty in Africa.