Agricultural Science the Key to African Farming

According to recent studies, agricultural technology is the key to solving Africa’s agricultural sustainability woes. Africa is currently facing a grim future. Nearly one-third of sub-Saharan Africans are chronically hungry, more than anywhere else in the world. In addition to chronic hunger, agricultural productivity has declined in sub-Saharan Africa, compared to a 140 percent increase across the rest of the world.

The causes of these difficulties are several. First, many African farmers do not have access to advanced agricultural technology that has allowed for increased crop harvests. In many ways, African agriculture has changed little over the last several generations. Without new pesticides, fertilizers, and farming techniques, Africa’s food production remains stagnant while the population continues to grow.

Second, Africa is currently facing a serious climatological crisis. Despite their miniscule carbon emissions, Africa’s people are facing the fallout of climate change, which has already warped weather patterns and threatens to reduce productive land and water.

In light of this impending crisis, new agricultural technologies and techniques are needed to prevent famine and potential political instability. A lack of food can easily lead to social unrest and even revolution (as occurred in the Egypt earlier this year).

By harnessing science, African famers stand a better chance of creating a sustainable future. In Ghana, for example, farmers were able to vastly increase their production of Cocoa, a major cash crop, as well as vital staple crops and cereals. Thanks to assistance from agricultural non-profits, Ghana, which once struggled to feed its people, is now exporting surplus agricultural products. Technological developments and agricultural flexibility are vital tools in the creation of a safer, more sustainable future.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer