A strategy for technology development for semi-arid sub-Saharan Africa
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Pessimistic views are often advanced about the future of agricultural development in sub-Saharan Africa, where rapid population and declining food production growth trends have been observed. This has especially been the case with regard to semi-arid Africa where rainfall is low and irregular, and soils fragile and with low fertility. Such views ignore the fact that there have been successful technological break-throughs in the semi-arid region which have resulted in substantial agricultural productivity gains. Successful technology introductions have addressed principal constraints of water availability and soil fertility in the semi-arid region. A strategy for the rapid introduction of inorganic fertilizers, combined with the techniques that increase water availability and increased organic fertilizer use is proposed here for semi-arid Africa.