Thursday, 1 May 2008

SALZBURG DAY 1: AFRICAN CONTEXT IS ALL

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member

See photos from Salzburg

A Green Revolution in Africa must be grounded firmly in an African context, taking African biodiversity, climates, cultures and peoples into account. So the continent’s initiatives must be significantly different to those put in place in Latin America and Asia.

An the many different contexts within Africa must also be considered. That no one-size-fits-all solution will work across the continent was discussed.Whereas Asia’s Green Revolution focussed on seeds and fertilisers as the key to growth, some delegates stressed today that it is crucial a wider perspective is taken in Africa.

In fact for some there had already been too much discussion about seeds and fertilisers, and the idea that the African Green Revolution pivots on boosting production was questioned. It was felt this could detract discussions from the bigger picture, taking issues such as better management of water, environmental issues and the political economy of agrarian change into account.

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