An African Green Revolution

Finding Ways to Boost Productivity on Small Farms

  • Keijiro Otsuka
  • Donald F. Larson

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Keijiro Otsuka, Donald F. Larson, Peter B. R. Hazell
    Pages 1-14
  3. Climate and the Transferability of Asian Green Revolution to Sub-Saharan Africa

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 15-15
    2. Jonna P. Estudillo, Keijiro Otsuka
      Pages 17-42
    3. Yuko Nakano, Ibrahim Bamba, Aliou Diagne, Keijiro Otsuka, Kei Kajisa
      Pages 43-70
  4. Prospects for Upland Rice and Maize Green Revolution in Sub-Saharan Africa

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 121-121
    2. Yoko Kijima, Keijiro Otsuka
      Pages 123-141
    3. Aliou Diagne, Soul-Kifouly Gnonna Midingoyi, Florent M. Kinkingninhoun-Medagbe
      Pages 143-163
    4. Melinda Smale, Derek Byerlee, Thom Jayne
      Pages 165-195
    5. Tomoya Matsumoto, Takashi Yamano
      Pages 197-221
  5. The Role of Fertilizer Markets and Fertilizer Application

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 223-223
    2. Kei Kajisa, N. Venkatesa Palanichamy
      Pages 225-241
    3. Daniel Zerfu Gurara, Donald F. Larson
      Pages 243-259
  6. Conclusion

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 279-279
    2. Keijiro Otsuka, Donald F. Larson
      Pages 281-300
  7. Keijiro Otsuka, Donald F. Larson
    Pages E1-E1

About this book


This volume explores the usefulness of the Asian model of agricultural development for Africa, where, even before the recent world food crisis, half the population lived on less than on dollar a day, and a staggering one in three people and one third of all children were undernourished. Africa has abundant natural resources; agriculture provides most of its jobs, a third of national income and a larger portion of total export earnings. However the levels of land and labor productivity rank among the worst in the world. The book explains Africa’s productivity gap and proposes ways to close it, by examining recent experience in Africa and by drawing on lessons from Asia.

Part I surveys the transferability of Asia’s Green Revolution to Sub-Saharan Africa and explores whether Africa should focus on staple crops and small farms. Coverage spans technology, irrigation, climate and agricultural policies in the Asian Green Revolution, and probes whether geography explains why such a revolution has eluded Africa.

Part II discusses two crops which have been considered highly promising, and addresses the issue of low-input vs. high-input agriculture. The authors explore NERICA, a variety of upland rice developed for Africa, and the challenges of establishing a chain of production that improves agriculture and reduces hunger. The section also details the adoption of high-yielding maize varieties throughout Africa, citing case studies on the possibilities of maize Green Revolutions in Kenya and Uganda.

Addressing the poor quality of Africa’s soils and the limited reach of fertilizer markets, Part III shows how markets shape farmer incentives and fertilizer demand and discusses the role of governments in achieving substantial productivity growth.

A recurring theme of the book is that while a handful of innovations in rice and wheat helped bring about large and sweeping changes for farmers and the urban poor in Asia, a broader set of innovations are needed to launch Africa’s Green Revolution. It is the editors’ belief that the conditions for success in Africa are growing rather than diminishing and that the seeds for Africa’s Green Revolution have been sown.


Green Revolution Potential for productivity growth Small farmers Sub-Saharan Africa Transferability of Asian technology

Editors and affiliations

  • Keijiro Otsuka
    • 1
  • Donald F. Larson
    • 2
  1. 1.National Graduate Institute for Policy SMinatoJapan
  2. 2., Research GroupWorld BankWashingtonUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank 2013
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Earth and Environmental Science
  • Print ISBN 978-94-007-5759-2
  • Online ISBN 978-94-007-5760-8
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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