Montpellier Panel Report 2013 on Sustainable Intensification: A New Paradigm for African Agriculture

In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) a rapidly growing population and increasing food demand, alongside scarcities in resources such as land, water and soil fertility, are compounded by stagnant yields for some crops and alarmingly high rates of hunger and malnutrition. Many of the farming systems in Africa are far from their productive potential while accelerated economic growth in Africa now offers demand-side opportunities for agriculture.

The challenges are complex as are the technologies and processes required to find appropriate solutions. The paradigm of Sustainable Intensification shows the way forward.

None of the components of this paradigm are new. They comprise techniques of ecological and genetic intensification, within enabling environments created by processes of socio-economic intensification. What is new in this report is the way in which they are combined as a framework to find appropriate solutions to Africa’s food and nutrition crisis.

This report was authored by Agriculture for Impact, an advocacy initiative that convenes the Montpellier Panel to encourage better European donor support for the advancement of agricultural development in sub-Saharan Africa. The contributors to this report were Gordon Conway, Katy Wilson and Elizabeth Wilson with advice and inputs from members of the Montpellier Panel. The report was designed by Robb Whiteman and Hoevel & Associates.

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