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The Millennium Development Goals and the African Food Crisis – Report from the Afrint II project

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SIDA, Swedish Agency for International Development Cooperation

This report summarizes research carried out between 2007 and 2010 in the Sida-financed Afrint II project. Afrint stands for intensification of food crops agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa. The most salient, policy relevant conclusions deal with maize – which is the biggest food crop in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and with seed-fertilizer technology, commercialization and impacts of government policies.
Some of the main findings are: Yield gaps are high. Ordinary farmers in the nine countries studied produce between 34 and 46% less per hectare than the 5% best producing farmers in the same village. Farmers who are using improved or hybrid seed and inorganic fertilizer produce 40 to 50% more per hectare than their peers. Facilitating for smallholders to participate in markets for food crops is likely to have strong dynamic effects on production. Changing trade policies, implying less dependence on imports of food crops, have had positive effects on domestic staple food production. Production increase of maize from 2002 to 2008 had a pro-poor profile and was largely the result of smallholders
cornering a larger share of the maize market.

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