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Insights: Africa’s future … can biosciences contribute?

Insights Africa’s future can biosciences contribute?By 2050 the world’s population will rise to 9 billion. To satisfy demand, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has predicted that food production will need to increase by 70 per cent. Meanwhile, land and water resources are increasingly being degraded and depleted, which has serious implications for developing countries, and in particular for the African continent. These are huge challenges, but one possible solution is for farmers to combine their expert local knowledge with recent advances in biosciences.

The 18 short essays in Insights were commissioned to examine the implementation of biosciences for farming in Africa ( The essays are eclectic and personal, sharply focused and intended to inform decision-makers whether relaxing on long-haul flights, or in deepest deliberation with colleagues. They do not advocate a position, rather they argue from experience, and offer an authoritative, independent and peer-reviewed brief. All address the grand challenge facing the best brains and entrepreneurs alike, whether in laboratories, farms, in businesses or partnerships – how will we be able to produce 70 per cent more food sustainably, sufficient to feed a predicted population of 9 billion in 2050.

Read individual essays

Brian Heap and David Bennett
Dannie Romney, Roger Day, Daniel Karanja and Niels Louwars (Kenya, Netherlands)
Eric Yirenkyi Danquah (Ghana)
Denis T. Kyetere, Sylvester O. Oikeh and Grace Wachoro (Kenya)
Jennifer A. Thomson (South Africa)
Jürgen Mittelstrass (Germany)
Brian Heap and David Bennett

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