African agricultural research and development in support of food production in the African food systems
Keywords:Agricultural Research & Development, Food production, African food systems
African agricultural R&D is a decisive component of agricultural and food production in African food systems (AFS). However, despite efforts to conduct agricultural R&D through the decades, its impact on the continent’s food systems has been questioned due to its shortcomings in generating visible agricultural production gains. African agricultural R&D initiatives have failed to address the perennial food production problems and improve African food systems. These concerns need to be addressed by making food systems more efficient, inclusive, and resilient through re-examining African Agriculture’s R&D agenda. The realignment of the African Agricultural R&D that focuses on the agriculture and food production needs of the greater small-scale farming sector who are the majority becomes critical in improving the continent’s food systems. On the other hand, due to the advent of climate change, any Agricultural R&D that target the promotion of local animal genetic resources will minimize exposure of the smallholder farming sector more to climate change risks. Mini-livestock is a small niche in smallholder agriculture that can contribute immensely to smallholder agriculture food production package. Of late urbanization has been a real demographic threat that seems to be consuming Africa, hence cannot ignore. Regularized program of action grounded on appropriate African Agricultural R&D initiatives will enable urban agriculture to significantly contribute to the optimization of urban food production on a sustainable and environmentally sound basis. However, Africa should be wary of any inappropriate prescriptive agricultural R&D agendas that miss the intended benefits to enhance its food production capacity later on improved African food systems. The purpose of the discussion is to explore how African agricultural research and development can support food production initiatives in the AFS.
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