Improving agricultural productivity in Africa is best done through high-quality research undertaken locally in Africa. African researchers have a greater understanding of the issues to be addressed and better connections to the agricultural systems operating in their home country. However, the African research community is currently underpowered. Across all sectors, Africa has only 79 scientists per million inhabitants compared to over four thousand scientists per million population in the UK and the USA.
Agricultural research in Africa is a priority. Eradication of hunger and achieving food security is the first priority in the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa published by the African Union in 2014. It states that “Africa must build its response capacities and capabilities and leverage existing relationships with relevant partners outside Africa, to deal with emerging challenges, such as low commodity yields…”