About the Topic: Considering continued population growth, increasingly limited availability of uncultivated land, and persistent rural poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, it is imperative to improve crop yields in this region by disseminating yield-enhancing technologies. This presentation explores recent experiences in the effort to bring about a Green Revolution in sub-Saharan Africa, based on case studies of rice and maize, which are promising and strategic smallholder crops. We find that an African Rice Green Revolution has already began in many irrigated areas as well as in some rain fed areas, using Asian-type modern varieties, chemical fertilizer, and improved management practices. This suggests that the pace of Africa’s Rice Green Revolution can be accelerated by strengthening extension capacity. The story for maize is wholly different, where most farmers use traditional farming systems. However, in the highly populated areas of Kenya, a number of farmers have adopted high-yielding hybrid maize varieties and chemical fertilizer, applied manure produced by stall-fed dairy cows, and intercropped maize with legumes. This finding suggests that the success of Africa’s Maize Revolution will require a new farming system approach based on crop-livestock interactions and improved management practices.
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About the Speaker: Keijiro Otsuka is a Professor of Development Economics at the Graduate School of Economics at the Kobe University and a Chief Senior Researcher at the Institute of Developing Economies. He was a professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies from April 2001 to April 2016. He received a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago in 1979.He has been conducting comparative analyses on land reform and land tenure, Green Revolution, poverty and income distribution, and cluster-based industrial development between Asia and Africa. He is a Fellow of Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (formerly American Association of Agricultural Economics), an Honorable Lifetime Member of IAAE, and a Distinguished Fellow of African Association of Agricultural Economists. He received a Purple-Ribbon Medal from the Japanese Government in 2010. He has been an editor of Global Food Security since 2015.