03 May 2008

Salzburg Global Seminar: My 3 Take-Aways from Green Revolution in Africa Dialog

Readers of this blog will note that my "Three Take-Aways" exercise is becoming more formalized. Here are my three from this week's Salzburg Global Seminar "Towards a 'Green Revolution' in Africa?"

1.) A Green Revolution in Africa must be people-centered, including farmer households, consumers, and local communities.

2.) A range of solutions must be considered and deployed, including a judicious use of inputs (inorganic fertilizer, improved seed), as well as a longer-term view that promotes organic inputs to improve soil health and structure and increase production. We also can't rely on monocultures of a few major staples, but must employ the full diversity of locally and culturally appropriate food crops.

3.) Investments are needed to create the infrastructure to improve market access, including significant road development and incentives for entrepreneurial business generation. Without roads, in particular, market access will continue to be limited and success out of reach.

And, finally, words of encouragement from Kofi Annan concerning entrepreneurs in Africa (especially women): "Don't underestimate the entrepreneurial spirit of our African women. Our women entrepreneurs can succeed against any multinational."

My bottom line: An entrepreneurial Green Revolution in Africa is possible indeed.

(En route to Munich from Salzburg. Composed on BlackBerry. Links to follow.)