Towards a green revolution in Africa

October 15, 2010 at 9:28 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Towards a green revolution in Africa: stakeholders pledge greater investment, more policy support

The Africa Green Revolution Forum, held last month in Accra, Ghana, outlined a series of concrete steps to transform African agriculture. The Forum was attended by national leaders, farmer groups, researchers, development specialists and representatives of government agencies and the private sector. The partners reiterated their commitment to scale up investments in research and infrastructure, and to improve the availability of seed, fertilizer and other agricultural inputs. They also pledged support for the new Impact Investment Fund for African Agriculture, which will help farmers and agri-businesses to access finance.

Concluding the meeting, Mr Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General and now Chair of the Alliance for the Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), said: “I am thrilled to see that a genuine, collective, all-inclusive movement has emerged.” He was particularly encouraged by the presence of every stakeholder group, from farmers to bankers and business leaders. Mr Annan highlighted two areas as being key to food security in Africa – improved water productivity and integrated crop-livestock systems. ICARDA is well placed to contribute to technology initiatives in both areas.

ICARDA was represented at the meeting by Dr Kamil Shideed, Assistant Director General for International Cooperation and Communications. Dr Shideed described a number of currently available technologies tailored to conditions in Africa, and the potential entry points to scale out these technologies for maximum impact. Key areas include seed production and delivery systems, on-farm water management, food legumes and crop-livestock integration. The meeting also helped identify specific areas where ICARDA and AGRA could work together. An AGRA team will visit ICARDA’s headquarters to develop a formal program of collaboration.

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