Ensuring Impact for Development
It is essential that the strengths of the global scientific community and recent advances in technology are harnessed to improve food crops for Africa.
Alliance for Accelerated Crop Improvement in Africa
Improvements in food production have played a pivotal role in the emergence of modern human society and the development of our economic systems. Since the dawn of agriculture, humans have sought to improve the crops that provide our sustenance. This process of crop improvement has, for many thousands of years, been a slow and gradual process which enabled our species to move into different environments and to cope with expanding population centres.
Today, humankind faces unprecedented global challenges. By 2050 the global population will have risen from two billion to nine billion in just a little over a century. The amount of food required by humans in the next forty years may be more than we have consumed in the last 10,000 years. A changing climate and water scarcity threaten agricultural output in many areas across the globe. Diseases and pests are migrating and evolving. It is therefore crucial that the speed at which we are able to improve our food supply accelerates to match these unprecedented global challenges.
The second United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2 of “zero hunger” could not be clearer or more challenging. In Africa, where demographic change and climate change will impose additional burdens, meeting this goal will require significant improvements in agricultural productivity. One of the strongest routes to improved agricultural productivity is through research and development. However, African science is currently underpowered to deliver the necessary research stimulus for agricultural development.
It is therefore essential that the strengths of the global scientific community and recent advances in technology are harnessed to improve food crops for Africa. JIC has developed partnerships with key African scientific institutions to deliver both research outputs for agricultural productivity and capacity building for international development in Africa and in the UK.