January 2, 2019

Guest Commentary: Africa, Israel Exploring a Joint Agriculture Innovation Center

This piece was originally posted on Agri-Pulse

By Marshall Matz

Editor's Note: Agri-Pulse and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs are teaming up to host a monthly column to explore how the US agriculture and food sector can maintain its competitive edge and advance food security in an increasingly integrated and dynamic world.

A team of leading African scientists organized by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) recently visited Israel to explore the possibility of establishing an Israel-Africa Agriculture Innovation Center. The African scientists were from Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Ethiopia. The African delegation was hosted by the Volcani Institute in Israel.  The purpose of the proposed center would be to develop, together with African partners, new solutions designed for Africa’s smallholder farmers and determine which Israeli technologies would be the most appropriate to Africa’s diverse and unique agro-ecological conditions. Then the big challenge will be to determine how best to transfer these technologies.

 Africa’s increased production, adoption, and continent-wide distribution of agricultural technologies, including improved and high yielding seed varieties, irrigation and appropriate fertilizer application, has created progress in the lives of millions of people but the potential is still huge. The momentum thus far is leading to even greater aspirations for the years ahead with many African nations pushing to achieve middle income status in the next 30 years, with others gunning for high income status. To meet this demand, organizations like AGRA and its partners continue to build partnerships with other regions to identify relevant technologies and best practices that can be applied by African farmers, entrepreneurs, and policymakers. 

Israel, widely acknowledged as a world leader in agricultural development, especially in arid areas, is coming forward to develop, adapt and transfer appropriate technologies and practices to partners across Africa.

 

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