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May 2nd, 2018 / CTA, Netherlands

Professor Sir Gordon Conway writes:
“There are three pillars of sustainable intensification:

Ecological: harnessing nature to support agricultural production. For example, crop rotation or agroforestry are production methods that work with nature to improve soil fertility and build a more sustainable food and nutrition system.

Genetic: new hybrid crops and improved livestock breeds. The introduction of improved seeds and selectively bred livestock provide higher yields, better nutrition and more resilience against climate change.

Finally, socio-economic: far too often smallholders participating in food value chains do not receive sufficient rewards. African smallholders require better access to input and output markets so that they can be a part of better-paying value chains. It is critical that farmers are compensated sufficiently for their efforts.

Each of these pillars have to be more productive, but they also have to be more sustainable in order to unlock the potential of Africa’s agricultural sector. And a stronger agricultural sector in Africa will contribute to improved food security and nutrition, poverty eradication, inclusive economic growth, and resilient communities.” Read more