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Africa: Agricultural Knowledge

AfricaFocus Bulletin
Jan 22, 2009 (090122)
(Reposted from sources cited below)

Editor's Note

"The key message of the report [by the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD)] is that small-scale farmers and agro-ecological methods provide the way forward to avert the current food crisis and meet the needs of local communities. More equitable trade arrangements and increased investments in science and technologies and in sharing knowledge that support agroecologically based approaches in both small farm and larger scale sectors are urgently required." - Civil Society Statement, April 2008

This AfricaFocus Bulletin contains the Sub-Saharan Africa Summary from the IAASTD meeting last year in South Africa, as well as a statement by civil society organizations released at that meeting.

Another AfricaFocus Bulletin sent out today contains several articles on the food input subsidy program in Malawi and its impact on policy thinking on the continent, as well as links to several additional references.

For previous AfricaFocus Bulletins on agricultural issues, see

For additional background on the IAASTD, see,, and

++++++++++++++++++++++end editor's note+++++++++++++++++++++++

Civil Society Statement from Johannesburg, South Africa

A new era of agriculture begins today

International agriculture assessment calls for immediate radical changes

12 April 2008, Johannesburg. Statement from 20 civil society organizations on the outcome of the "International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD)"

African Centre for Biosafety (South Africa), AGENDA for Environment and Responsible Development (Tanzania), Asociación Peruana de Consumidores y Usuarios (Peru), Consumers International, Environmental Rights Action (Nigeria), European Centre on Sustainable Policies for Human and Environmental Rights (ECOSPHERE), Friends of the Earth International, Greenpeace International, International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, Organisation Bénoise pour la Promotion de l'Agriculture Biologique (Benin), Pesticide Action Network Japan, PAN Philippines, PAN North America, Practical Action (UK), RAPALMIRA (Colombia), Red de Acción en Agricultura Alternativa (Peru), Third World Network, Uganda Environmental Education Fund, Vredeseilanden (Belgium), Women For Sustainable Development (Tunisia)

The report of the International Agriculture Assessment, approved last week by 57 governments in Johannesburg, is a sobering account of the failure of industrial farming. It calls for a fundamental change in the way we do farming, to better address soaring food prices, hunger, social inequities and environmental disasters.

The report reflects a growing consensus among the global scientific community and most governments that the old paradigm of industrial, energy-intensive and toxic agriculture is a concept of the past. The key message of the report is that small-scale farmers and agro-ecological methods provide the way forward to avert the current food crisis and meet the needs of local communities. More equitable trade arrangements and increased investments in science and technologies and in sharing knowledge that support agroecologically based approaches in both small farm and larger scale sectors are urgently required. For the first time an independent, global assessment acknowledges that farming has a diversity of environmental and social functions and that nations and peoples have the right to democratically determine their best food and agricultural policies.

The IAASTD process itself was a path-breaking one, in which governments, major research institutions, industry and civil society shared equal responsibility in its governance and implementation. Its success proved that civil society participation as full partners in intergovernmental processes is critical to meeting the challenges of the 21st century. The global community's widespread acceptance of this report is reflected in its approval by the vast majority of participating governments. Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States have as yet not signed on to the final report. After watering down the formulation of several key findings during the meeting in Johannesburg, the US still claimed the assessment was unbalanced. The exact same allegation came some months earlier from the agrochemical and biotech industry. However, the report's lack of support for the further industrialization and globalization of agriculture as well as for genetically engineered plants in particular, was based on a rigorous and peer-reviewed analysis of the empirical evidence by hundreds of scientists and development experts. These experts had been selected, together with other stakeholders, by the very same governments and companies that are now calling the assessment "unbalanced."

The civil society groups that have participated in the IAASTD process over the past six years may not fully agree with some of the government-negotiated statements in the report, but they respect the fact that the central messages accurately reflect the conclusions of this scientific assessment. We call on all governments, civil society and international institutions to support the progressive findings of the IAASTD and jumpstart the revolution in agricultural policies and practices that is urgently needed to attain more equitable and sustainable food and farming systems in the future.

Statements from civil society representatives present in Johannesburg, 7-12 April 2008

"This report proves one thing: Yes, we can produce more and better food without destroying rural livelihoods and our natural resources," Kevin Akoyi, Uganda, for Vredeseilanden (Belgium)

"This marks the beginning of a new, of a real Green Revolution. The modern way of farming is biodiverse and labour intensive and works with nature, not against it." Benny Haerlin, Germany, Greenpeace

"This is a wake-up call for governments and international agencies. The survival of the planet's food systems demands global action to support agroecological farming and fair and equitable trade." Marcia Ishii-Eiteman, USA, Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA).

"This report clearly shows that small-scale farmers and the environment lose out under trade liberalization. Developing countries must exercise their right to stop the flood of cheap, subsidised products from the North." Lim Li Ching, Malaysia, Third World Network

"It is heartening to see that the scientists refuted the usual propaganda on genetically engineered (GE) crops. They focused on the real problems and saw very little role for GE crops in their solutions." Juan Lopez, Spain, Friends of the Earth International.

"The scientific evidence gives unequivocal support to organic agriculture. Organic Agriculture is a credible solution for the 21st century as a sustainable production method social, economic and environmental sustainability put into practice." Prabha Mahale, India, International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements ( IFOAM)

"The IAASTD provides the evidence to show that locally-controlled, biologically-based intensification of farming is the only way forward. In short, it supports food sovereignty." Patrick Mulvany, UK, Practical Action

"The Green Revolutionaries of the past, with all their expensive and toxic products, have left a trail of destruction. The IAASTD essentially says it's time to clean that up and move on." Romeo Quijano, Philippines, Pesticide Action Network Philippines

Contact Information of Civil Society Participants (available for interviews)

Kevin Akoyi, (IAASTD CSO Bureau Member from Uganda) Vredeseilanden, Email:

Jaime Delgado, Asociación Peruana de Consumidores y Usuarios (ASPEC), Peru. Email:, Web, Phone. +51-1-222 5000

Luis Gomero (Lead Author, Latin America Regional report Spanish only) Red de Acción en Agricultura Alternativa, Peru. Email:, Tel: (51-1) 425 7955

Benny Haerlin ((IAASTD CSO Bureau Member from Germany) Greenpeace Intl., Email:, Phone: + 49 173 9997555

Marcia Ishii-Eiteman, PhD (Lead Author, Global Report) Pesticide Action Network North America (in US) Email:, Office: +1-415-981-1771, Mobile: +1-510-684-6860

Jamidu Katima, PhD. AGENDA for Environment and Responsible Development (Tanzania). Email:, Tel: +255 22 2410024 or +255 787 717102

Koa Tasaka (PAN Japan). Email:, T: +81-42-675-0723

Lim Li Ching (Lead Author, Asia report; note surname Lim) Third World Network, Email:, mobile: +60 12 2079744

Juan Lopez, (IAASTD CSO Bureau member from Spain) Friends of the Earth International, Email:, Phone (Maputo): +258842420298

Prabha Mahale, PhD (IAASTD CSO Bureau member from India) IFOAM, Email: , Phone: + 91 124 2560886

Khadouja Mellouli (IAASTD CSO Bureau Member from Tunisia) Women For Sustainable Development (WFSD), Tunisia. Emails:,; Mobile :+ 216 22 892 595

Patrick Mulvany, Senor Policy Advisor, Practical Action (UK) Email:, mobile: +44 7949 575711, Web:

Elsa Nivia (Lead Author, Latin America Regional report) Spanish-speaking RAPALMIRA, Colombia, Email:, Tel: (57-2) 5525889

Romeo Quijano, MD (IAASTD CSO Bureau member from Philippines) PAN Philippines, Email:, mobile: +63-9-27-602-4947

Erika Rosenthal, LLD (Lead Author, Global & Synthesis Report; Trade Theme) Email:, Office: +1-202-742-5846, Mobile +1-415-812-2055.

Nicholas Senyonjo, Uganda Environmental Education Foundation (UEEF) Email:,, T: 256-414-289740

Jan Van Aken, Greenpeace International. Email:, Phone: +49 40 306 18-389, Mobile: +49 151 1805 3415

Davo Vodouhe (Review Editor, SSA report). Organisation Béninoise pour la Promotion de l'Agriculture Biologique, Benin. Email:, Tel: +22921351497, 22990929418

More information at and

International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD)

Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)

Summary for Decision Makers

Authors: Carol Markwei (Ghana), Lindela Ndlovu (Zimbabwe), Elizabeth Robinson (United Kingdom), Wahida Shah (Kenya)

Statement by Governments

All countries present at the final intergovernmental plenary session held in Johannesburg, South Africa in April 2008 welcome the work of the IAASTD and the uniqueness of this independent multistakeholder and multidisciplinary process, and the scale of the challenge of covering a broad range of complex issues. The Governments present recognize that the Global and sub-Global Reports are the conclusions of studies by a wide range of scientific authors, experts and development specialists and while presenting an overall consensus on the importance of agricultural knowledge, science and technology for development also provide a diversity of views on some issues.

All countries see these Reports as a valuable and important contribution to our understanding on agricultural knowledge, science and technology for development recognizing the need to further deepen our understanding of the challenges ahead. This Assessment is a constructive initiative and important contribution that all governments need to take forward to ensure that agricultural knowledge, science and technology fulfills its potential to meet the development and sustainability goals of the reduction of hunger and poverty, the improvement of rural livelihoods and human health, and facilitating equitable, socially, environmentally and economically sustainable development.

In accordance with the above statement, the following governments approve the sub-Saharan Africa Summary for Decision Makers:

Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia (17 countries)


In August 2002, the World Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations initiated a global consultative process to determine whether an international assessment of agricultural knowledge, science and technology (AKST) was needed. This was stimulated by discussions at the World Bank with the private sector and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) on the state of scientific understanding of biotechnology and more specifically transgenics. During 2003, eleven consultations were held, overseen by an international multistakeholder steering committee and involving over 800 participants from all relevant stakeholder groups, e.g., governments, the private sector and civil society.

Based on these consultations the steering committee recommended to an Intergovernmental Plenary meeting in Nairobi, Kenya in September 2004 that an international assessment of the role of agricultural knowledge, science and technology (AKST) in reducing hunger and poverty, improving rural livelihoods and facilitating environmentally, socially and economically sustainable development was needed. The concept of an International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) was endorsed as a multi-thematic, multi-spatial, multi-temporal intergovernmental process with a multistakeholder Bureau cosponsored by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the World Bank and World Health Organization (WHO).

The IAASTD's governance structure is a unique hybrid of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the nongovernmental Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA). The stakeholder composition of the Bureau was agreed at the Intergovernmental Plenary meeting in Nairobi; it is geographically balanced and multistakeholder with 30 government and 30 civil society representatives (NGOs, producer and consumer groups, private sector entities and international organizations) in order to ensure ownership of the process and findings by a range of stakeholders.

About 400 of the world's experts were selected by the Bureau, following nominations by stakeholder groups, to prepare the IAASTD Report (comprised of a Global and 5 sub-Global assessments). These experts worked in their own capacity and did not represent any particular stakeholder group. Additional individuals, organizations and governments were involved in the peer review process.

The IAASTD development and sustainability goals were endorsed at the first Intergovernmental Plenary and are consistent with a subset of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): the reduction of hunger and poverty, the improvement of rural livelihoods and human health, and facilitating equitable, socially, environmentally and economically sustainable development. Realizing these goals requires acknowledging the multifunctionality of agriculture: the challenge is to simultaneously meet development and sustainability goals while increasing agricultural production.

Meeting these goals has to be placed in the context of a rapidly changing world of urbanization, growing inequities, human migration, globalization, changing dietary preferences, climate change, environmental degradation, a trend toward biofuels and an increasing population. These conditions are affecting local and global food security and putting pressure on productive capacity and ecosystems. Hence there are unprecedented challenges ahead in providing food within a global trading system where there are other competing uses of agricultural and other natural resources. AKST alone cannot solve these problems, which are caused by complex political and social dynamics; but it can make a major contribution to meeting development and sustainability goals. Never before has it been more important for the world to generate and use AKST.

Given the focus on hunger, poverty and livelihoods, the IAASTD pays special attention to the current situation, issues and potential opportunities to redirect the current AKST system to improve the situation for poor rural people, especially small-scale farmers, rural laborers and others with limited resources. It addresses issues critical to formulating policy and provides information for decision makers confronting conflicting views on contentious issues such as the environmental consequences of productivity increases, environmental and human health impacts of transgenic crops, the consequences of bioenergy development on the environment and on the long-term availability and price of food, and the implications of climate change on agricultural production. The Bureau agreed that the scope of the assessment needed to go beyond the narrow confines of S&T and should encompass other types of relevant knowledge (e.g., knowledge held by agricultural producers, consumers and end users) and that it should also assess the role of institutions, organizations, governance, markets and trade.

The IAASTD is a multidisciplinary and multistakeholder enterprise requiring the use and integration of information, tools and models from different knowledge paradigms including local and traditional knowledge. The IAASTD does not advocate specific policies or practices; it assesses the major issues facing AKST and points towards a range of AKST options for action that meet development and sustainability goals. It is policy relevant, but not policy prescriptive. It integrates scientific information on a range of topics that are critically interlinked, but often addressed independently, i.e., agriculture, poverty, hunger, human health, natural resources, environment, development and innovation. It will enable decision makers to bring a richer base of knowledge to bear on policy and management decisions on issues previously viewed in isolation. Knowledge gained from historical analysis (typically the past 50 years) and an analysis of some future development alternatives to 2050 form the basis for assessing options for action on science and technology, capacity development, institutions and policies, and investments.

The IAASTD is conducted according to an open, transparent, representative and legitimate process; is evidence-based; presents options rather than recommendations; assesses different local, regional and global perspectives; presents different views, acknowledging that there can be more than one interpretation of the same evidence based on different world views; and identifies the key scientific uncertainties and areas on which research could be focused to advance development and sustainability goals.

The IAASTD is composed of a Global assessment and five sub-Global assessments: Central and West Asia and North Africa - CWANA; East and South Asia and the Pacific - ESAP; Latin America and the Caribbean - LAC; North America and Europe - NAE; sub-Saharan Africa SSA. It (i) assesses the generation, access, dissemination and use of public and private sector AKST in relation to the goals, using local, traditional and formal knowledge; (ii) analyzes existing and emerging technologies, practices, policies and institutions and their impact on the goals; (iii) provides information for decision makers in different civil society, private and public organizations on options for improving policies, practices, institutional and organizational arrangements to enable AKST to meet the goals; (iv) brings together a range of stakeholders (consumers, governments, international agencies and research organizations, NGOs, private sector, producers, the scientific community) involved in the agricultural sector and rural development to share their experiences, views, understanding and vision for the future; and (v) identifies options for future public and private investments in AKST. In addition, the IAASTD will enhance local and regional capacity to design, implement and utilize similar assessments.

In this assessment agriculture is used in the widest sense to include production of food, feed, fuel, fiber and other products and to include all sectors from production of inputs (e.g., seeds and fertilizer) to consumption of products. However, as in all assessments, some topics were covered less extensively than others (e.g., livestock, forestry, fisheries and agricultural engineering), largely due to the expertise of the selected authors.

The IAASTD draft Report was subjected to two rounds of peer review by governments, organizations and individuals. These drafts were placed on an open access web site and open to comments by anyone. The authors revised the drafts based on numerous peer review comments, with the assistance of review editors who were responsible for ensuring the comments were appropriately taken into account. One of the most difficult issues authors had to address was criticisms that the report was too negative. In a scientific review based on empirical evidence, this is always a difficult comment to handle, as criteria are needed in order to say whether something is negative or positive. Another difficulty was responding to the conflicting views expressed by reviewers. The difference in views was not surprising given the range of stakeholder interests and perspectives. Thus one of the key findings of the IAASTD is that there are diverse and conflicting interpretations of past and current events, which need to be acknowledged and respected.

The Global and sub-Global Summaries for Decision Makers and the Executive Summary of the Synthesis Report were approved at an Intergovernmental Plenary in Johannesburg, South Africa in April 2008. The Synthesis Report integrates the key findings from the Global and sub-Global assessments, and focuses on eight Bureau-approved topics: bioenergy; biotechnology; climate change; human health; natural resource management; traditional knowledge and community based innovation; trade and markets; and women in agriculture.

The IAASTD builds on and adds value to a number of recent assessments and reports that have provided valuable information relevant to the agricultural sector, but have not specifically focused on the future role of AKST, the institutional dimensions and the multifunctionality of agriculture. These include: FAO State of Food Insecurity in the World (yearly); InterAcademy Council Report: Realizing the Promise and Potential of African Agriculture (2004); UN Millennium Project Task Force on Hunger (2005); Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005); CGIAR Science Council Strategy and Priority Setting Exercise (2006); Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture: Guiding Policy Investments in Water, Food, Livelihoods and Environment (2007); Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Reports (2001 and 2007); UNEP Fourth Global Environmental Outlook (2007); World Bank World Development Report: Agriculture for Development (2007); IFPRI Global Hunger Indices (yearly); and World Bank Internal Report of Investments in SSA (2007).

Financial support was provided to the IAASTD by the cosponsoring agencies, the governments of Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, US and UK, the European Commission, and CropLife International. In addition, many organizations have provided in-kind support. The authors and review editors have given freely of their time, largely without compensation.

The Global and sub-Global Summaries for Decision Makers and the Synthesis Report are written for a range of stakeholders, i.e., government policy makers, private sector, NGOs, producer and consumer groups, international organizations and the scientific community. There are no recommendations, only options for action. The options for action are not prioritized because different options are actionable by different stakeholders, each of whom have a different set of priorities and responsibilities and operate in different socio-economic-political circumstances.

IAASTD Sub-Saharan Africa Report

Summary for Decision Makers

Agriculture, which incorporates crops, forests, fisheries, livestock and agroforestry, accounts for an average of 32% of the region's GDP, and is woven into the fabric of most societies and cultures in the region. Even though the population is growing and rapidly urbanizing, most families will continue to have ties to land and water.

Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology (AKST) has had some notable successes in SSA including the widespread adoption of improved crop and tree varieties and livestock breeds; the development of pest-resistant and drought-tolerant varieties; biocontrol of pests and parasites such as cassava, mealybug, green mite and ticks; integrated natural resource management; development of biodiversity products; and methods and tools for improved productivity and management in water availability, crops, livestock, fodder, trees and fisheries. Yet in SSA, unlike in other regions, overall per capita agricultural yields declined from 1970 to 1980 and since then have stagnated. The number of poor people is increasing, 30% of the population lives with chronic hunger, and similar levels of malnutrition in children under the age of five persist.

Increasing agricultural productivity remains a priority for SSA, given the very low yields in the region and widespread hunger, poverty, and malnutrition. However, the development and sustainability goals of reducing hunger, achieving food security, improving health and nutrition, and increasing environmental and social sustainability will only be reached if the focus of agriculture and AKST moves away from simply the production of food, fiber, feed, and bioenergy.

A broader perspective encompasses an integrated agricultural commodity value chain from production through to processing and marketing with a local and regional perspective. It accounts for the multiple functions of agriculture that include the improvement of livelihoods, the enhancement of environmental services, the conservation of natural resources and biodiversity, and the contribution of agriculture to the maintenance of social and cultural traditions. It recognizes that women, who account for approximately 70% of agricultural workers and 80% of food processors in SSA, need significantly increased representation in research, extension and policy making, and equitable access to education, credit and secure land tenure. It also recognizes the need for higher quality education, research and extension that addresses the development and sustainability goals.

Challenges and Options

Current low levels of agricultural productivity in SSA prevent much of the population from escaping poverty, hunger and malnutrition. On average, livestock and crop yields in SSA are lower than all other regions, though these averages mask considerable variation. Cereal yields, for example, cereal yields range from 185 kg ha-1 in Botswana to 2,100 kg ha-1 in Cameroon. Low yields have been difficult to overcome because they are the result of a wide range of agronomic, environmental, institutional, social and economic factors.

Low input use, including total fertilizer input of less than 10 kg ha-1 on average, contributes to SSA's low crop yields. Although there is considerable variation across farming systems and countries, in the mid-1990s every country in SSA was estimated to have a negative soil nutrient balance for nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. Increased fertilizer use is seen by most practitioners as essential, reflected in the resolution by African Union members to reduce costs through national and regional level procurement, harmonization of taxes and regulations, the elimination of taxes and tariffs, and improving access to fertilizer, output market incentives, and credit from input suppliers. The cost of fertilization can also be reduced directly through fertilizer subsidies. These are currently being implemented in some SSA countries to support farmers. The cost of fertilization can also be reduced through the intensified use of organic fertilizer.

Agrochemicals, especially some synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, have caused negative effects on human and animal health and the environment in some parts of SSA; this has been exacerbated by unsafe application processes and inadequate access to information concerning handling and disposal practices. Pollution, particularly with respect to water bodies, may also result from inappropriate use. The economic, environmental and health costs associated with greater use of agrochemicals suggest that AKST options involve reorienting research away from high-input blanket doses towards technologies that enable technically efficient applications specific to local soil conditions [Ch 5] and towards integrated nutrient management approaches.

More than four fifths of agricultural land is affected by soil moisture stress that limits the uptake of nutrients, implying the need to conserve both water and soil organic matter in parallel [Ch 5]. Current efforts to improve soil fertility and regenerate the land include research into integrated soil fertility management that builds on farmer practices such as improved natural fallows, rotations, mixed livestock-cropping systems [Ch 3] and incorporation of green and livestock manures where available. The adoption of animal manure is limited by transport costs, the quantity needed per unit area of land and labor costs of weeding. Green manures help to revive degraded land, but often compete with edible and cash crops, and the benefits are often unnoticed in the short run. These are the types of tradeoffs that AKST needs to evaluate and minimize with farmers. Organic, agroforestry and noor low-till farming offer integrated agroecological approaches to reducing soil degradation, but further studies are required to determine the conditions and incentives required for farmers to adopt these methods.

Increases in the exploitation of both surface and groundwater are required for SSA to increase productivity. Agricultural production in SSA is predominantly rainfed. Only 4% of agricultural land is irrigated compared to 37% in Asia and 15% in Latin America. This situation is exacerbated by high rainfall variability and uncertainty, especially in arid and semiarid areas [Ch 3], and projected rising temperatures in SSA and decreased precipitation in the Sahel and southern Africa as a consequence of climate change. The characteristics of agriculture in SSA suggest that smaller-scale irrigation, greenwater technologies such as water conservation, rainwater harvesting and community level water management need to be explored as alternatives to large-scale irrigation projects. Increases in the level of irrigation can come from both surface and ground water, drawing lessons from within and outside the region on viable small to medium scale irrigation techniques that require limited infrastructural development and can reach many farmers. Methods such as pumping from the rivers on an individual and small group basis, and locally manufactured drip systems are still to be fully exploited [Ch 5].

Efficient and equitable water allocation, a component of AKST, requires a better understanding of the value of water for different competing users, appropriate mechanisms for allocating water, (e.g. pricing, allocation of property rights, regulation) and negotiations that create incentives for farmers to adopt water-efficient technologies [Ch 5]. The appropriate approach will require integrated research that builds on local knowledge, existing technologies, existing water institutions and the ability to enforce rights through formal systems, and also on complementary institutions such as land rights and farmers' access to credit. Poor households may simply not be able to afford water priced at its true cost, in which case approaches such as that taken in South Africa (households get a free allocation per month) need to be explored.

Increasing the performance of agriculture requires an improvement in productivity on the 80% of SSA farms that are smaller than two hectares. Earlier paradigms that typically attempted to fit farmers into the existing linear top-down structures of
research-development-extension worked relatively well for major cash crops, but there has been less success on small-scale diversified farms [Ch 5]. Options for AKST include integrated and participatory approaches that can increase the likelihood that appropriate technologies for production are developed and adopted by small-scale farmers. Alternative approaches include moving farmer engagement closer to priority setting and funding decisions, increasing collaboration with social scientists, and increasing participatory and interdisciplinary work in the core research institutions. There is evidence from East Africa that innovative approaches to AKST development such as farmer research groups are more successful in reaching women farmers than traditional extension activities. By understanding farmers' contexts and priorities, grounding new technologies in an understanding of farmers' motivations and constraints, and explicitly including groups that are often socially excluded such as women and minorities, AKST is more likely to be relevant and adopted.

Many farmers in SSA use indigenous animal breeds which are able to withstand harsh conditions and tolerate many diseases, but their meat, milk and egg productivity is low. Options for AKST to improve livestock productivity include the use of open nucleus breeding schemes and improving the genetic potential of indigenous breeds, e.g. through characterizing genetic diversity in order to provide insights into genetic relationships. Given that animal disease management is one of the key explanations for movements, herd size and growth, AKST has a role to play in addressing the impact of disease at the smallholder level.

Scaling-up integrated approaches is difficult because successful innovations tend to incorporate local knowledge and to be specific to the particular agro-climatic conditions. Public good aspects of baskets of prototype technologies, whether originating from farmers, researchers or collaborative efforts, that match the diversity of farmers' fields can be transferred with appropriate scaling up and dissemination strategies. Where current structures are ineffective, new institutional and organizational arrangements may be required to support the empowerment of local communities to develop, adapt and disseminate AKST. Despite the increasing use of participatory and integrated approaches to AKST development, institutional resources still tend to be compartmentalized. For example, water management is often undertaken independently of pest, soil, livestock and forest management. Reduced water availability is the main cause of loss of productivity in more than half of the grazing land. Improved water management would improve livestock health through quantity and quality of grazing resources and reduced walking distance to watering points.

Knowledge, understanding and uptake of new agricultural technologies on the whole are poor and patchy in SSA. In the IAASTD assessment, biotechnology is defined according to that in the Convention on Biological Diversity. In this context it includes much of the traditional knowledge and many of the traditional technologies used in SSA for the production, processing and preservation of food plus modern molecular tools such as genetic engineering, marker assisted selections or breeding and genomic techniques. In this broader sense biotechnology, as an AKST subset, has a role to play in addressing development and sustainability goals but it needs to be managed to avoid derivative problems from its use [Ch 3].

Genetic engineering is considered by some to have important ramifications for productivity but some of its uses and impacts are hotly contested. Contamination of farmer-saved seed and threats to biodiversity in centers of origin are key concerns with respect to biotechnology and genetic engineering in particular. The environmental risks and evidence of negative health impacts mean that SSA's ability to make informed decisions regarding biotechnology research, development, delivery and application is critical. In part, the current limited capacity of individual countries to address risk assessment and management of transgenics is being addressed through regional capacity building and harmonization of guidelines, policies, legislation and creating an understanding of biosafety issues. However, individual countries could develop and advance their own biotechnology capacities. The development of comprehensive national biosafety frameworks works in conjunction with effective enforcement institutions and implementation mechanisms [Ch 3].

Biological control is an option for integrated pest management and involves augmentation or conservation of local or introduced natural enemies to pest populations. There are several examples where staple and important crops have been saved by biological control over wide areas. There are a number of economic assessments showing biocontrol's successes including coffee mealybug and more recently the campaigns against cassava mealybug, green mite and water hyacinth that show large and accruing gains. These controls are still in place and contribute to small farmers' food security in the long term [Ch 2].

SSA countries are the most intense users of biomass in the world, meeting more than 50% of their total primary energy consumption from this source. This biomass energy predominantly consists of unrefined traditional fuel such as firewood and crop and animal residues [Ch 2]. Use of biomass as a source of energy in its traditional forms results in inefficient energy conversion, environmental and health hazards, is time-consuming in terms of collection and contributes to the degradation of forests. AKST has played a role in improving the traditional bioenergy technologies, such as design and supply of efficient cooking stoves, and helping people to move to more sustainable, efficient and less harmful forms of energy. Some SSA countries have realized this potential and have programs for the cogeneration of electricity. [Ch 2]

Research and development in improving biofuel yields per unit of land and in reducing economic costs of production are needed. Biofuel production involves tradeoffs that have not yet been evaluated. Globally, output from first generation biofuels produced from agricultural crops is growing rapidly supported by government policies, but these fuels are rarely economically competitive with petroleum fuels. The production of first generation biofuels in particular in SSA is likely to put pressure on forests and marginal lands. A major debate centers around whether this use of biomass will remove land from production of food crops and/or result in increased prices of staple commodities, such as maize, if used for biofuels. Next generation biofuels may have greater potential for SSA. Many use residues, stems and leaves and so could reduce pressure on land requirements, but concerns remain, e.g. over the environmental impact of harvesting agricultural residues. AKST has a large role to play concerning the careful analysis of biofuel technology appropriate for SSA, in parallel with the development of policies and capacity building to reduce the negative effects of growing biofuels and determine the health, environmental, energy and food security tradeoffs in the region. Increased research will also enable SSA countries to determine their appropriate entry points.

Rapid depletion of SSA's natural resources and the genetic erosion of indigenous germplasm threaten the sustainability of agriculture in SSA. Land use change, including deforestation and expansion of agriculture into marginal areas, results in nutrient and biodiversity losses, water and soil degradation, loss of pasture, adversely affects ground and surface water availability and reduces the resilience of agricultural systems, especially in semiarid regions. These issues affect every aspect of AKST as environmental degradation affects the productivity and sustainability of agriculture. Over-exploitation of freshwater and oceanic fisheries, controlled breeding and the development of livestock, crop and tree breeds with a narrow genetic base further threaten the resource base [Ch 5].

Integrated natural resource management options include diversifying farming systems, enhancing natural capital and building on local and traditional knowledge. For instance, significant investments have been made in the development of high value products from indigenous plant species for the pharmaceutical, neutraceutical and cosmetic industries. Such localization approaches place agriculture squarely in the context of society and ecosystems and so can empower local communities to address depletion of natural resources and loss of biodiversity, in conjunction with poverty and food security. Integrated approaches allow the generation of substantive knowledge concerning the tradeoffs among economic, social, cultural and ecological goals, the roles of various actors such as producers, the private sector, civil society and government, and can accommodate new challenges such as changes caused by climate change, including the increased problem of invasive species. These sets of activities and interventions will not reach system level goals without an explicit analysis of who wins and who loses and how the potential tradeoffs and synergies will be managed. Strategies of rapid agricultural development need to be coordinated more directly with strategies for biodiversity and water conservation such as retaining areas of natural vegetation in production areas, keeping areas where pollinators can thrive, promoting organic agriculture and incorporating trees in agricultural landscapes.

The public good nature of many natural resources lends itself to consultative and collective approaches in the development of policies and institutions. Involving local communities in determining land use and land tenure policies and giving them control and responsibility over the resources increases the likelihood of efficient, equitable and sustainable use of common pool natural resources and compliance with rules and regulations. Examples include participatory forest management, which is being introduced in a number of countries in SSA [Ch 5]. The collective, public goods aspect of on-farm agricultural biodiversity can be supported through international mechanisms such as Farmers' Rights' provisions under the FAO International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

Farmers in SSA often integrate trees on their farms and on landscapes in order to harness multiple benefits, including timber and other high value products, fuel wood, fiber, feed, medicinal products, fruits and ecosystem services, such as land rehabilitation and soil fertility through sequential fallow systems and systems with intercropped trees [Ch 5]. Barriers to clonal forestry and agroforestry have been overcome by the development of robust vegetative propagation techniques, which are applicable to a wide range of tree species. Domestication, intensive selection and conventional breeding have had positive impacts on yield and the production of staple food crops, horticultural crops and timber trees. Agroforestry research builds on local knowledge and has the potential to reduce pressure on forests and provide ecosystem services such as biodiversity conservation, carbon sequestration and land restoration. Women and men have different priorities, which suggests scope for AKST to identify trees with multiple uses. Factors that need to be taken into account in agroforestry research include impact assessments, e.g., ensuring that trees do not jeopardize water supplies, especially in dry areas, and that exotic species are not introduced that cause social equity issues relating to land use and land rights. Other issues that need to be addressed include increasing adoption of agroforestry technologies, pests and diseases, markets for agroforestry products, availability of planting materials and adaptation to climate change [Ch 3].

Because livestock genetic diversity is being lost relatively rapidly, short-term strategies are required to provide information for priority setting. This might include as a first step, rapid surveys and population estimates and data on genetic distances. In the longer term, policies and market strategies to promote the use of indigenous breeds can provide economic incentives to conserve these breeds. Community participation in livestock breeding increases the likelihood of appropriate traits being identified and developed. Yet information is still required with respect to how livestock owners make livestock selections and how livestock production fits with other livelihood activities.

SSA is the only region where per capita fish supplies are falling (from 9 kg per person in 1973 to 6.6 kg in 2005) as a result of stagnation in capture fish production and a growing population. Where capture fisheries are over-exploited, institutions need to be strengthened for allocating fishing rights, ensuring sustainable catches, and enforcing rules and regulations. Improved management of capture fisheries will also require strategies to reduce and use by-catch, and reduce postharvest losses [Ch 5]. Working with local fishing communities and understanding their perspectives on externally enforced rules and regulations may reduce tensions between biological realities and community acceptance. Investment in supporting local fishers in modern fishing techniques could also go a long way in reducing tensions and improving livelihoods.

Unlike in other regions, aquaculture currently makes a very small contribution to total fish production in SSA just 2% compared with 38% worldwide. Aquaculture has the potential to improve livelihoods and nutrition, and reduce the pressure on capture fisheries. AKST has a role to play in reducing the potential negative effects of aquaculture through learning from other regions, increased research into integrated farming systems that avoid using wild-caught fish as feed, and strengthening the capacity for impact monitoring, such as the impacts of chemical inputs and the conversion of mangroves to fisheries. Additional options for AKST include the need to develop post-harvest technologies, value chain and product development, farmer training and increasing access to inputs [Ch 5].

Agricultural intensification tends to be accompanied by decreasing agricultural biodiversity. However, farmers naturally play a role in conserving agricultural biodiversity that can be exploited and incorporated into more formal conservation approaches. Genetic erosion is of particular concern in SSA because many countries have a wide range of crops and livestock species that are considered relatively unimportant on a global level but are important as local staples. In situ conservation and protection is particularly important for conserving genetic resources, helping to maintain evolutionary processes and having a positive effect on biodiversity and equity.

Working with local communities has been shown to be key to conserving biodiversity and maintaining or enhancing ecosystem services in the long term. Market-oriented incentives enable local communities to benefit financially from sustainably managing soils, water, sequestering carbon and conserving biodiversity. These could include direct payments to farmers or to particular agricultural sectors; other types of rewards include well-defined property rights over natural resources in favor of local communities; the development of markets for indigenous species; and strengthening intellectual property rights.

Agriculture, health and nutrition in SSA are closely linked. The emphasis of agricultural policies in SSA on the production of a few staple food crops to the neglect of indigenous species with good nutritional properties, and micronutrient rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, has reduced agriculture's potential to improve the livelihoods of households, including health and nutrition.

Increasing yields will have a direct impact on the nutritional status of the rural poor. General options to reduce malnutrition encompass increasing households' access to income and calories and encouraging a diet of diversified foods with the needed nutrients. There is scope for AKST to target micronutrient deficiency through increased research into the nutritional value of local and traditional foods, particularly fruits and vegetables, and the extent to which they contribute to diets. To ensure that the direction of AKST research is relevant to local communities and that its outputs will be widely adopted, additional research is required into the conditions under which farmers will choose to cultivate and market these traditional food sources and households will choose to consume and purchase. The empowerment and increased involvement of women can help with the development, adoption and demand for more nutritious foods, such as orange-flesh sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas). Malnutrition is increasingly becoming an urban as well as rural problem. Options that are particularly relevant to the urban population include product development to increase the variety and quality of food, including fortified foods, and targeted information campaigns to increase awareness and encourage adoption of more nutritious foods.

Malnutrition and ill health in SSA are exacerbated by tropical diseases, such as malaria and schistosomiasis, and by HIV/AIDS-associated diseases, such as tuberculosis, that result in reduced workforces available to agriculture and other productive sectors [Ch 5]. Animal-linked diseases affecting both human and animals have also been a significant setback to livelihood security, aggravated by unregulated cross-border movements resulting in the spread of transboundary diseases such as Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP), African Swine Fever (ASF) and Rift Valley Fever (RVF). AKST options to address these diseases include efficient vaccine development, rapid and accurate diagnostic techniques and breeding of animals with high tolerance to diseases. Policy options include control of animal movements across boundaries and this requires regional cooperation.

Most farmers in SSA operate in an environment of high risk and uncertainty. Farmers therefore tend to adopt strategies that minimize risk and vulnerability at the expense of profit-maximizing strategies, resulting in an agricultural sector in SSA that is well below its potential. SSA already experiences high variability in rainfall and other climatic extremes, which will be exacerbated by climate change. Resilience in much of SSA is inhibited by fragile ecosystems, weak institutions, ineffective governance, and poverty; those most vulnerable are the poor who have the least adaptive capacity. When AKST builds on farmers' and pastoralists' coping strategies and innovations thereby placing local people's knowledge and actions, such as diversified production practices used by 90% of SSA farmers, at the center of research efforts, the multiple functions of agriculture are better realized and the threats of climate change mitigated. Options include undertaking collaborative research with farmers, including the integration of crop, livestock, tree and fish components where applicable that spread risk and deliver various benefits at different periods throughout the year [Ch 3].

Few households in SSA have private and transferable property rights to the land that they farm. Although secure land tenure correlates with long-term investments in natural resource management, land titling in itself has not been shown to increase credit transactions, improve production or increase the number of land sales. Any benefits are often offset by the high transactions costs of titling land and loss of rights of disadvantaged groups including women and pastoralists. However, land tenure reform in some cases may be necessary to secure individual or collective rights to resources in order to reduce farmers' vulnerability and strengthen women's access to resources. It is more likely to be effective and equitable if it is sensitive to the impact on the rights of disadvantaged groups and undertaken in parallel with the harmonization of other laws such as inheritance [Ch 5]. Collective action when resource and land tenure are secure has yielded benefits and reduced risks and costs for members through labor efficiencies, provision of public services and management of natural resources. The inclusion of a gender perspective in these institutions for collective action leads to more equitable outcomes.

Credit, insurance, and other risk-sharing institutions can reduce farmer exposure to risk and uncertainty and therefore enable them to increase expected output and profits. Microcredit is relatively well established in SSA. Much is provided through NGOs and not all may be economically sustainable without the injection of external funds to cover the relatively high administrative costs [Ch 5]. Recently retail banks are becoming involved in commercially viable microcredit by providing capital to organizations that then provide the microcredit directly to farmers. An appropriate policy environment for easy access to affordable microcredit is most likely to benefit farmers. Alternatives to credit from the financial sector include the development of contracts that allow for advanced payment and provision of inputs and extension services from agribusiness companies to farmers, such as contract farming and outgrower schemes.

Weather insurance can reduce farmers' exposure to highly variable rainfall and hence crop yields provided they are in a position to pay for such services [Ch 5]. Private provision of weather and crop insurance is only likely to occur for larger farms and high value crops. Some initiatives are being piloted by the World Bank that pay out depending on rainfall rather than crop output, thereby eliminating moral hazard (farmers may put less effort into their farming activities if they are insured against losses). Such insurance may be more relevant to drought rather than climate variability and the problem of covariance remains (if one farmer is negatively affected the likelihood is that most farmers in the vicinity will be), suggesting that private companies on their own may not be willing to provide such insurance. Micro-insurance is already being introduced for small-scale farmers in a number of SSA countries through partnerships between private companies, donor governments, and NGOs, but has not been rigorously evaluated.

Rangeland management approaches practiced by pastoral livestock farmers have been recognized as the appropriate response to knowledge of the spatial and temporal availability of resources. These strategies include movement of livestock to follow quality and quantity of feed and water, flexible stocking rates and herd diversification sustained by a system of communal resource tenure. AKST needs to address emerging constraints and new realities for these pastoral systems brought about by land tenure changes, which conflict with traditional tenure, institutions, and carrying capacity in the context of emerging challenges such as climate change and associated stresses. These strategies are most likely to work if countries develop regional strategies to enhance the evolution of pastoral farming systems.

Options for AKST include the application of geographic information systems and quantitative modeling processes to provide further insights into productivity patterns of the system and offer policy options to ensure sustainability. Incentives and arrangements for local communities that designate rangelands for other uses such as biodiversity conservation have been attempted in some countries. The development of reliable early warning systems to avoid catastrophic effects of droughts and designing livestock management systems can help to alleviate the shortage of dry season grazing. Improving understanding and documentation of the role of livestock in livelihoods and motivations behind pastoralist practices will be most effective if conducted in pastoralists' languages using participatory methods.

The lack of connection between SSA farmers and the market has seen agriculture remain rudimentary, unprofitable and unresponsive to market demand. Farmers' poor access to markets reduces incentives to apply AKST innovations and to make investments in modern technologies and so inhibits the shift of poor farmers from subsistence to market-oriented production. Weak markets result in expensive inputs and poorly developed output markets result in low farm-gate prices for internationally traded products. Weak business service sectors reinforce small producers' isolation from any but the most local markets and barriers to entering the formal market reinforce the inefficiencies and limitations inherent in the informal sector, with the result that the benefits of informality are outweighed by reduced competitiveness and increased vulnerability. SSA farmers have fared no better internationally. Between 1980 and 2000, most SSA countries' agricultural exports to international markets stagnated at just 2% of the global market in spite of globalization trends that were expected to open new markets to SSA products. It is critical that terms of trade between SSA and international partners improve.

Options to improve the connection between farmers and the market include improving technical assistance in production and postharvesting techniques; training and capacity development and access to credit for long-term investments and product upgrading; investment in organizational and institutional development of farmer organizations to enhance farmers' management, negotiating, and bargaining skills; and promotion of agro-processing in small urban centers. AKST has an important role to play in increasing production efficiency along the value chain by making modern technologies available and providing viable processes for transmitting marketing information and including information related to consumer preferences and price signals to farmers and agro-processors. Contract farming and outgrower schemes, which offer benefits related to guaranteed market access, access to credit and market information are being explored in the region.

The absence of processing and storage infrastructure located near the main producing areas inhibits value addition. Further, market development calls for infrastructure inputs, including rural road networks and electricity. There is a positive correlation between the development of transportation infrastructure and agricultural intensification; yet SSA has the lowest density of paved roads of any world region. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) development is increasing access to and contribution of AKST knowledge in some parts of the region, but there is potential to achieve more impact.

Increasing the scope of marketing opportunities at the regional level, as stipulated in the Lagos Plan of Action and the Abuja Treaty, will increase trade and marketing opportunities. Further options include implementing existing regional agreements towards meeting targets; improving and harmonizing customs procedures and instituting policies for more efficient cross-border trade; and removing infrastructural and other barriers to the movement of commodities across borders.

Payments for environmental services (PES) are a market-based tool that has received substantial interest in SSA. It creates incentives for managing natural resources, directly rewarding management practices that contribute to maintaining and enhancing environmental services that result in biodiversity conservation, carbon sequestration, water quality and availability, and land rehabilitation and nutrient cycling [Ch 5]. There has been some recent experience in SSA where those that provide an environmental service are compensated for this by the beneficiaries of the service.

There is also increasing potential for African countries and small-scale farmers to be involved in voluntary markets for carbon and international market mechanisms such as the CDM (Clean Development Mechanism). Knowledge and strategies to reduce carbon emissions through community based afforestation and reforestation projects, agroforestry and reduced deforestation and degradation (REDD) are being generated, but need to be tested and adopted. These strategies have the potential to create synergies for increasing productivity and achieving the multiple functions of agriculture [Ch 5].

Other mechanisms such as certification, which may result in a premium paid to farmers, have to be carefully designed so that appropriate prices are set and the requirements for certified products are jointly negotiated. However, at present the costs of certification for small-scale farmers can be prohibitive [Ch 5]. AKST has a role to play in assessing and monitoring the impacts of these different, novel market approaches decreasing transactions costs for local communities, and setting up appropriate policies and institutions that provide level playing fields for negotiation between buyers and sellers and determine whether the poor can benefit.

The dominance of external funding for AKST in SSA has resulted in unreliable long-term funding and loss of control over the relevance and direction of new AKST developments.

Even with external funding, if Nigeria and South Africa are excluded, AKST spending in SSA declined by 2.5% per year during the 1990s. A commitment by countries in SSA to reaching the Maputo Declaration's target of allocating 10% of the budget to agriculture has the potential in some cases to ensure more sustained and reliable public funding for AKST, increase the relevance of AKST for SSA, and be a catalyst for increased coherence between donor and national policies. In parallel, better use can be made of current limited resources through existing regional and sub-regional networks enabling resource and expertise sharing; leveraging funding through cost-sharing with end users; the use of competitive grants, matching grants, trust funds, and specific surcharges such as levies and voluntary contributions. Furthermore, a strategic action at the national level on stimulating local private sector investment in food and agriculture and local agri-business could help.

Establishing funding mechanisms through performance based competitive research funds and matching grants can enhance collaboration between various research partners. Public-private partnerships offer a way to leverage public funding, but AKST research and development may be pulled towards commercial outputs at the expense of public good outputs and so still need to be evaluated against development and sustainability goals. Given the contribution of agriculture to improving human health and nutrition, a strategy of integrated planning and programming among ministries of health, agriculture, livestock and fisheries would provide opportunities for joint funding of, and better synergies among programs. More generally, shifting to a multifunctional localized approach to agriculture will require political will on the part of policy makers, agribusinesses and donors of publicly funded research to make more community-centered decisions about how to invest limited resources.

Current education, training and extension structures are incompatible with innovative approaches to AKST development. Most agricultural scientists in SSA are trained and rewarded within a narrow discipline, reflecting the typically linear approaches to research and extension that value "formal" scientific research and learning over more tacit forms of farmer learning and local and traditional knowledge. Proven approaches to research for development have evolved recently, with more attention paid to integrated solutions, spatial heterogeneity, tradeoffs, and livelihood and environment outcomes rather than only productivity issues. There has also been considerable emphasis in establishing coherence and synergies among basic applied and adaptive research as well as dissemination of results by encouraging collective participation of universities, private sector, public research organizations and civil society. New players, including some international NGOs, have joined in knowledge generation.

In SSA, the generation of formal knowledge and scientific development rests predominantly with a research system comprising national and international agricultural research organizations, universities and the private sector [Ch 3]. Often this research system is slow and inadequate in its response to challenges. This is partly due to poor access to current global literature and expertise. Typically it can also be attributed to education systems that inadequately prepare scientists to carry out effective research, and to poor linkages between education, research and extension. Education is still centered on learning facts rather than developing skills in problem solving and is constrained by disciplinary boundaries.

Options include improving the connections between education, research and extension systems, moving to problem-based learning, removing outdated disciplinary paradigms and updating the research approaches and tools being taught. Training can be expanded to include the socioeconomic and policy environment in which agricultural development occurs, and field-based research with farmers. A new cadre of specialists is needed who are able to offer technical support in appropriate tools and approaches. However, scientists are less likely to choose to undertake longer-term participatory and integrated research unless there are changes in the professional reward system that is currently based predominantly on the generation of data at meso and macro levels.

There is scope to explore the potential for efficiencies in regional graduate training models. The large number of small countries in Africa means it is often difficult for individual universities to achieve a critical mass of teachers in specialized areas such as biotechnology. Appropriately designed regional training approaches may provide a solution. However, rather than creating new regional institutions, self-initiated efforts building on regional specializations within existing universities and then developing networked training programs to attract students from a regional watershed are likely to be more cost effective and have more impact, particularly in the short term.

New approaches to AKST generation that increase farmer involvement and include local and traditional knowledge naturally incorporate and enhance farmers' own technical skills and research capabilities. However, SSA is the only region where formal education and government services function formally in languages different from the first languages of almost the entire citizenry. This linguistic divide, which reduces the scope for combining formal science and technology and local and traditional knowledge, can be addressed in part through the increased use and understanding of local languages when working with farmers.

Increasing the functional literacy and general education levels among rural communities, especially women, has already been proven to increase the likelihood of achieving development and sustainability goals. Additional options include specific curriculum reform that addresses the key skills required to empower individuals and communities to engage in the development and use of AKST, increase the likelihood of local and traditional knowledge being incorporated, and drive and contribute to agricultural product and service development. Specific actions to mainstream women's involvement include strategies that encourage women to study agricultural and engineering sciences and social sciences; and effort to ensure that extension, data collection and enumeration involve women both as providers as well as recipients. For example, 83% of extension officials in SSA are men who, due to cultural norms cannot, or may choose not to speak to women.

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