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Africa can feed itself in a generation: Study
Date:12/2/2010

scuttled, because a bridge on the route to the project can't handle the weight of a turbine unit or other component. Instant information about prices isn't helpful if there's no way to get farm products to markets.

To develop its infrastructure, Africa will need to train an army of engineers, Prof. Juma notes.

  • Science-based agriculture: Scientific advances have the potential to revolutionize agriculture, the report says.

Nanotechnology, for one, could be used to quickly and effectively detect and treat crop diseases, and for water purification - a critical issue given that 300 million Africans lack access to a clean supply.

Prof. Juma notes the use of improved seeds through biotechnology could dramatically increase farm yields. South Africa, for example, had 2.1 million hectares of biotechnology-improved corn in production in 2009, up 18 per cent over the previous year. From 2008 to 2009, Burkina Faso's cotton producers recorded the world's fastest adoption rate of a genetically improved crop.

  • Regionalization: African nations have begun to develop regional organizations to remove barriers to trade and promote economic expansion, and that process must accelerate the report states. Many of the countries are either relatively small or landlocked, thereby lacking the financial resources needed to invest in major infrastructure projects. Their future economic prospects depend on being part of larger regional markets.

  • New relationships: Farming areas would be recognized as "clusters" in which growers, supported by governments, would work together to develop crops and markets. "As farmer productivity is often constrained by lack of relevant technology or access to best-practice knowledge, inputs, and services, clusters may be able to provide pronounced benefits," the report says.

There would also be new strategies and relationships for spreading information and promoting adoption
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Contact: Terry Collins
tc@tca.tc
416-538-8712
Harvard Kennedy Schools Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Source:Eurekalert  

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