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The African Green Revolution and the Role of Partnerships in East Africa

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Abstract

Sub-Saharan African (SSA) region continues to experience perennial hunger, poverty and poor health of its people. Agricultural production has remained low over decades and is declining to extremely low staple maize yields below 0.5 t ha–1 season–1 at the smallholder farm scale, against the potential of 4–5 t ha–1 season–1 given modest levels of inputs and good crop husbandry. Constraints contributing to low productivity are numerous, but the planting of poor-quality seed, declining soil fertility, poor markets and value addition to products significantly contribute to poor productivity. Partnerships for development are weak even though there are numerous technologies to improve and sustain agricultural production arising from extensive research and extension in SSA. But, technology adoption rates have been extremely slow, and in some cases we find no adoption. In this chapter we highlight constraints which are bottlenecks for achievement of a green revolution in Africa. Success efforts are reported, but we moot a focus on efficient utilization of abundant and affordable African natural resources, such as phosphate rocks to replenish depleted phosphorus in soils. We argue that to achieve an African green revolution, partnerships with concerned global communities and national institutions, including universities, NGOs, CBOs and farming communities, need to be strengthened. Specifically, human capacity at all levels should be built through training. Without private sector’s strong participation on acquisition of inputs and marketing proven products, it will be difficult to achieve a green revolution.

Keywords

  • African green revolution
  • Bottlenecks
  • Partnerships
  • Food security
  • Poverty alleviation
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Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to The Rockefeller and McKnight Foundations in USA, RUFORUM in Uganda and TSBF-CIAT for funding the research and training activities which enabled the generation of data presented in this chapter. They also extend their gratitude to FORMAT (K) and SACRED-Africa NGOs for fine collaboration together with farmers in western Kenya, whose land was used for experimentation. We record our thanks to the technical staff and Mary Nancy (Secretary – for all typing and editing of this chapter) of Moi University for their willing participation in both field and laboratory activities. Finally, the senior author is grateful to TSBF-CIAT for funding to attend this symposium. He also records thanks to the vice chancellor, Moi University, for permission to attend the symposium.

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Correspondence to J. R. Okalebo .

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Okalebo, J.R. et al. (2011). The African Green Revolution and the Role of Partnerships in East Africa. In: Bationo, A., Waswa, B., Okeyo, J., Maina, F., Kihara, J. (eds) Innovations as Key to the Green Revolution in Africa. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-2543-2_6

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