Is the world ready for a 'green revolution' in Africa?

U.N. Hunger Task Force leader reports on a five-component approach for Africa at Nov. 13 symposium

The United Nations Secretary General called for a "uniquely African Green revolution for the 21st Century" because the original green revolution of the 1960-80's essentially bypassed Sub Saharan Africa. Unlike the original green revolution, which emphasized improved crop germplasm in an environment with good soils and much irrigation, the African green revolution is envisioned to have five main components: agriculture, nutrition, markets, environment, and policies.

The 12 Millennium Villages established in Africa demonstrate how effective this approach can be. For example, after one year, the people in one village have eliminated hunger by tripling their grain production, increased their health by building a clinic and sleeping under treated bed nets, and improved their soil by planting 5.5 million trees and shrubs. This was achieved with minimal investment. The United Nations Millennium Project estimates that targeted investment of the equivalent of $110 U.S. per capita, per year for the next 10 years will be needed to achieve all of the Millennium Development Goals in Africa.

Dr. Pedro Sanchez, Director of Tropical Agriculture and Senior Research scholar at the Earth Institute of Columbia University, and Co-chair of the Hunger Task Force of the United Nations' Millennium Project, is one of several speakers participating in a symposium, "The African Green Revolution," as part of the Annual Meetings of the American Society of Agronomy-Crop Science Society of America-Soil Science Society of America in Indianapolis. Dr. Sanchez will be joined by six other speakers, who will report on the progress and strategies of the U.N.'s Millennium Development Project.

EVENT: "The African Green Revolution" Symposium
DATE: Monday, Nov. 13, 2006
TIME: 9:25 am to 12:25 pm
PLACE: Sagamore 4, Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis

Other presentations during the symposium include, "Solving Africa's Fertilizer Crisis: The Africa Fertilizer Summit," presented by Akin Adesina, Rockefeller Foundation; and "Balancing Agriculture, Environment, and Health Sciences in the Millennium Villages," presented by Cheryl Palm, Earth Institute at Columbia University. For a list of presenters, and their presentation abstracts, go to: http://a-c-s.confex.com/crops/2006am/techprogram/S2960.HTM

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Members of the media are invited to attend the symposium as well as the Annual Meetings' full scientific program. The Annual Meetings are held Nov. 12-16 in Indianapolis at the Indiana Convention Center. Thousands of scientists from around the world will be in attendance, presenting papers on such topics as climate change, urban planning, crop production, hazardous waste, human health, bioenergy, and more. For more information, and to view the exciting program, including searching for sessions by keyword, author, and affiliation is online at: www.acsmeetings.org.


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