28 Items

Analysis & Opinions - The Conversation

Local Start-ups Hold the Key to Transforming Africa's Seed Industry

| September 2, 2015

"The seed industry in sub-Saharan Africa is informal in nature, with approximately 80% of farmers saving and replanting seeds from year to year. This gives them security of access. But improved varieties — including high-yielding and hybrid crops — will increase productivity and income. To get these seeds into the hands of farmers, a better marketing and distribution system is needed. Local small and medium-sized seed enterprises have a comparative advantage in reaching this underserved market due to their size and market reach."

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- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

Newsmakers

Spring 2014

A sampling of Belfer Center affiliates who have been honored or otherwise recently featured recently in the news.

Analysis & Opinions - Global Food For Thought

Biotechnology and Africa's Strategic Interests

| December 3, 2012

"Biotechnology offers Africa a wider range of economic opportunities than the Green Revolution did. It is already being used to improve food production and establish or revive cotton production. Its economic impact is therefore likely to go well beyond the farm sector to include industrial development."

A view of one of the displaced camp in Mogadishu, Somalia, Sep. 14, 2011. A massive aid operation is currently underway to help millions of Somalis affected by the fighting and a famine caused by severe drought.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The Daily Nation

Africa Must Wake Up to the Reality That Hunger is Now a National Security Issue

| August 14, 2012

"The tools available to India in the 1960s are not sufficient to address the challenges that African agriculture now faces. These include a rapidly-growing population, productivity loss due to ecological disruption, environmental decay, droughts, climate change, and conflict. Biotechnology offers additional tools that can help Africa address some of these challenges. It is another moment that calls for the kind of political courage that led to the adoption of the Green Revolution."

Dec. 16, 2011: an Indian laborer sits on bales of cotton at a cotton mill in Dhrangadhra, India. The Indian parliament was informed earlier that week that about 90 percent of India's cotton crop is Bt. The transgenic seeds have increased the yield.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Economic Impacts and Impact Dynamics of Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) Cotton in India

    Authors:
  • Jonas Kathage
  • Matin Qaim
| July 2012

Despite widespread adoption of genetically modified crops in many countries, heated controversies about their advantages and disadvantages continue. Especially for developing countries, there are concerns that genetically modified crops fail to benefit smallholder farmers and contribute to social and economic hardship. Many economic studies contradict this view, but most of them look at short-term impacts only, so that uncertainty about longer-term effects prevails. The authors address this shortcoming by analyzing economic impacts and impact dynamics of Bt cotton in India.

A Chery Riich M1 is seen at an auto show in Shanghai, China, 26 Apr. 2009. Leading private Chinese automaker Chery will set up a joint venture with the China-Africa Development Fund to further explore the car market in Africa.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - CNN

Asian Interest Means Africa Needs New Economic Vision

| August 31, 2011

"The surge in interest in Africa by China and India requires a different approach that does not view the continent as a helpless victim of foreign influence. To that end African countries are seeking to replace classical foreign policy that focuses on access to markets in return for raw materials with a new vision of economic diplomacy."

Southern Sudanese people are seen through a Southern Sudanese flag lining up to vote in Juba, Southern Sudan, Jan. 9, 2011. About 4 million Southern Sudanese voters began casting their ballots on Jan. 9 in a weeklong referendum on independence.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The Guardian

Southern Sudan Has Many Lessons to Learn from Juba University

| July 5, 2011

"Critics of the role of universities in economic transformation argue that higher education takes too long to show results and that its focus is usually too academic. However, the evidence suggests that practically oriented universities offer the fastest and most durable ways to incubate new states. With the right vision, universities can confer their attributes to a new state."

Book Chapter

Entrepreneurship

| January 2011

The creation of agricultural enterprises represents one of the most effective ways to stimulate rural development. This chapter will review the efficacy of the policy tools used to promote agricultural enterprises, with a particular focus on the positive, transformative role that can be played by the private sector. Inspired by such examples, this chapter will end by exploring ways in which African countries, subregional, and regional bodies can create incentives that stimulate entrepreneurship in the agricultural sector. The chapter will take into account new tools such as information and communication technologies and the extent to which they can be harnessed to promote entrepreneurship.

Book Chapter

Enabling Infrastructure

| January 2011

"Enabling infrastructure (public utilities, public works, transportation, and research facilities) is essential for agricultural development. Infrastructure is defined here as facilities, structures, associated equipment, services, and institutional arrangements that facilitate the flow of agricultural goods, services, and ideas. Infrastructure represents a foundational base for applying technical knowledge in sustainable development and relies heavily on civil engineering. This chapter outlines the importance of providing an enabling infrastructure for agricultural development."

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Quarterly Journal: International Security

Belfer Center Newsletter Spring 2011

| Spring 2011

The Spring 2011 issue of the Belfer Center newsletter features recent and upcoming activities, research, and analysis by members of the Center community on critical global issues. This issue highlights the Belfer Center’s continuing efforts to build bridges between the United States and Russia to prevent nuclear catastrophe – an effort that began in the 1950s. This issue also features three new books by Center faculty that sharpen global debate on critical issues: God’s Century, by Monica Duffy Toft, The New Harvest by Calestous Juma, and The Future of Power, by Joseph S. Nye.