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International Symposium on the Green Revolution in Africa

The African Network for Soil Biology and Fertility (AfNet) in collaboration with the Soil Fertility Consortium for Southern Africa (SOFECSA) held an International Symposium entitled “Innovations as Key to the Green Revolution in Africa: Exploring the Scientific Facts” in Arusha, Tanzania, under the auspices of the Tanzanian Ministry of Agriculture.

The symposium, held from 17 to 21 September, brought together scientists, agricultural extension staff, NGOs and policy makers from all over Africa to explore the scientific facts and share knowledge and experiences on the role of innovation in soil fertility replenishment as a key to a green revolution in Africa. More than 200 participants from the Soil fertility/agronomy fraternity attended. Financial support came from the Rockefeller Foundation, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), and the International Foundation for Science.

In his opening address, Dr. Akin Adesina, Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) Vice President for Policy and Partnerships acknowledged CIMMYT’s contribution in developing some of the drivers of the African Green revolution–drought tolerant and imidazoline-resistant maize. Moreover CIMMYT’s role in establishing Soil Fert Net for Maize based farming systems and now in hosting SOFECSA was appreciated.

SOFECSA members, Paul Mapfumo, Mulugetta Mekuria, and Florence Mtambanengwe presented papers. SOFECSA country teams had three poster presentations and also served as symposium rapporteurs and chair persons for the different sessions. SOFECSA and AfNet serve as hubs for coordinating integrated soil fertility management and policy related research and development activities in Southern, East, West, and Central Africa.