Analysis & Opinions - Breakthrough
Revolution in Africa
A Response to Breakthrough's Essay on Precision Agriculture
Africa imports a staggering 83% of the food it consumes, though it holds nearly 50% of the land available worldwide. Amidst decades of crop yield increases in other parts of the world, sub-Saharan African agriculture stands out as less mechanized, low-yielding, and insecure.
Might the techniques and technologies that fed North America, Europe, and other regions in the latter twentieth century now feed Africa? "The Green Revolution has not yet reached every corner of the world," write Linus Blomqvist and David Douglas in their new essay on precision agriculture. "Sub-Saharan Africa stands out as the region where farming has modernized the least."
But it is precisely the approaches Blomqvist and Douglas advocate, among other innovations, that will allow Africa to largely leapfrog the Green Revolution. Its ambitions to feed itself will need to be shaped by a new paradigm that focuses on sustainable intensification led by precision farming....