Africa’s potential for intensifying production by practising ‘ecological agriculture’ (New Agriculturist)

Read at :

http://www.new-ag.info/en/book/review.php?a=2149

Climate change and food systems resilience in Sub-Saharan Africa

Edited by Lim Li Ching, Sue Edwards and Nadia El-Hage Scialabba
Published by FAO
Website: Earthprint (to purchase this book) or FAO website (to download a free copy)
2011, 448pp, ISBN 978 9 251068 762

To meet the demands of a growing population, global food production must increase. Climate change and food systems resilience in Sub-Saharan Africa outlines Africa’s potential for intensifying production by practising ‘ecological agriculture’.

In Tigray, Ethiopia, crop yields have almost doubled using ecological practices, including composting, soil conservation, agroforestry and crop diversification. “Ecological agriculture holds significant promise for increasing the productivity of Africa’s smallholder farmers, with consequent positive impacts on food security,” the authors state.

Degraded soils and increasingly unreliable rainfall constrain agricultural production in many developing countries. Governments have responded by encouraging the use of chemical fertilisers but, due to escalating prices, the authors warn that this is not a sustainable approach to increasing productivity.

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Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.