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A Breadbasket for Africa: Farming in the Guinea Savannah Zone

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Morris, Michael; Binswanger, Hans; Byerlee, Derek; Staatz, John
Journal: Solutions
Volume: 3
Page(s): 44-49
Date: 2012
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/7948
Sector: Agriculture
Region: Africa
Subject(s): agricultural development
Abstract: "Over the past five decades, African agriculture has failed to meet the demands of a continent set to become the most populous region on earth by 2025. During that half century, two relatively backward and landlocked agricultural regions--the Cerrado region of Brazil and the northeast region of Thailand--have developed at a rapid pace and have become leading agricultural exporters. The success of these regions defied the many skeptics who had asserted that their challenging agroecological characteristics, remote locations, and high levels of poverty would prove impossible to overcome. Similar perceptions for many years also fueled pessimism about the prospects for African agriculture, although this may now be changing. During the past decade, strong agricultural growth has been recorded in several African countries, and recent increases in international prices of agricultural commodities have opened up new opportunities. Africa’s Guinea Savannah zone covers about 600 million hectares, of which about 400 million hectares could be used for crop agriculture. With sustainable and inclusive growth of commercial agriculture, this region has the potential to feed Africa and create a booming export business."

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