Thursday, 5 June 2008

Scientific Innovations will Trigger Green Revolution in Africa

Scientific innovations can help bring about Africa’s Green Revolution. The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), headquartered in Patancheru near Hyderabad in southern India, is working with other institutions in the global initiative to bring about a green revolution in the drylands of sub-Saharan Africa.

Speaking at an international conference titled Israel and the Green Revolution in Africa held on 1 June in Jerusalem, and addressing politicians, policy makers, scientists and other distinguished participants, Dr William D Dar, Director General of ICRISAT, said, “I am certain that MASHAV and ICRISAT can provide critical leadership in this Revolution, particularly in the dry areas, which are our bread and butter.” The drylands cover about 40% of Africa’s arable landmass, and about 25% of Africa’s populations live and work in these areas. According to the United Nations Human Development Index these areas cover most of the poorest nations on earth, and the farmers here earn less than one US dollar a day.

“African governments need to be more supportive of their rural poor, “ Dr Dar added, “They need to adopt policies that encourage, rather than penalize agriculture. Developed countries need to break with their past habits of huge subsidies to domestic farmers that create unfair competition with the poor in the developing world.”
Reference: ICRISAT press release 02/06