Knowledge for better food systems

Farming systems and food security in Africa

This book, edited by John Dixon et al., sets out different farming systems used across Africa and their relationships to food security.

Publisher’s summary

An improved knowledge of Africa’s complex farming systems, set in their socio-economic and environmental context, is an essential ingredient to developing effective strategies for improving food and nutrition security.

This book systematically and comprehensively describes the characteristics, trends, drivers of change and strategic priorities for each of Africa’s fifteen farming systems and their main subsystems. It shows how a farming systems perspective can be used to identify pathways to household food security and poverty reduction, and how strategic interventions may need to differ from one farming system to another. In the analysis, emphasis is placed on understanding farming systems drivers of change, trends and strategic priorities for science and policy.

Illustrated with full colour maps and photographs throughout, the volume provides a comprehensive and insightful analysis of Africa’s farming systems and pathways for the future to improve food and nutrition security. The book is an essential follow-up to the seminal work Farming Systems and Poverty by Dixon and colleagues for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the World Bank, published in 2001.

 

Reference

Dixon, J., P. Garrity, D. P., Boffa, J., Williams, T.O., Amede, T., Auricht, C., Lott, R. and Mburathi, G. (eds.), 2019. Farming Systems and Food Security in Africa, Priorities for Science and Policy Under Global Change, 1st Edition. Routledge, Abingdon.

Read more here. See also the Foodsource building block What is food security?

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Africa

The 54 countries in Africa – from the dry northern African nations, through those in deserts and rainforests, all the way to the temperate parts of South Africa – are hugely varied in their ethnic, cultural, climatic, geographic, and economic aspects. The continent’s population of over a billion inhabitants, with a median age of 19.7 years, is the youngest in the world. Due to both its localised epidemics of hunger and its huge untapped agricultural potential, Sub-Saharan Africa specifically is a key focus area for many NGOs and development agencies interested in food production and security.

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