AGRF 2019. Coping with the quadruple maize demand in sub-Saharan Africa

  • 06th September 2019
  • by secretary

6 September 2019. 3 – 6 September 2019. The African Green Revolution Forum 2019. The Great Challenge: Can sub-Saharan Africa Become Self-Sufficient in Food Production with Minimum GHG Emissions?

Chairs: AFAP, OCP and YARA with support of AfDB, AGRA, BMGF, Corteva, FAO, UPL, USAID and Syngenta

Even though SSA has a huge potential to increase food production on existing cropland it will be an enormous challenge for agriculture to achieve the required level of productivity to meet growing demand. Steep population growth and changing dietary preferences will quadruple maize demand. Can production keep up? At what cost to the environment? To achieve full food self-sufficiency will require, in addition to yield gap closure, contributions from increased cropping intensity (more than one harvest per year) and expansion of irrigated production area in regions that can support these options in a sustainable manner. If these intensification options are not realized, it will increase dependence on cereal imports and vast expansion of rainfed cropland area with severe consequences in terms of loss of biodiversity and increased greenhouse gas emissions due to land use change.

Moderator: Mr. Øystein Botillen, Stakeholder Relations and Business Development Manager, Yara

Keynote Speaker: Prof. Martin Van Ittersum, Professor Plant Production Systems, WaCASA, Wageningen University


  • Hon. Amie Fabureh, Minister of Agriculture, The Gambia
  • Mr. Albin Hubscher, President and CEO, IFDC
  • Dr. Rebbie Hawara, Head of Soil and Fertilizer Systems, AGRA
  • Ms. Marie Claire Kalihangabo, Coordinator AFFM Secretariat, African Development Bank
  • Mr. Emiliano Mroue, CEO, WARC Group Chairperson, Task force for Abuja

Closing Remarks

  • Mr. Antonio Saraiva, Head of Business Sustainability, AME, Syngenta
  • Dr. Christian Witt, Senior Program Officer for Soil Health, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Video interview with Prof. Martin Van Ittersum, Professor Plant Production Systems, WaCASA, Wageningen University: Maize productivity must increase four-fold to meet growing demand in Africa. He answers following questions:

  • How urgent is the need for an increased maize production in Africa?
  • Is this a trade-off between higher production and higher CO2 emissions?
  • Can the current modelling systems allow for seasonal forecasting?
  • Would it be possible to foresee good years from bad years?

Further reference:
25/04/2019. CCAFS Maize productivity must increase four-fold to meet growing demand in Africa; implications for low emissions development?
Using data from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali and Nigeria in West Africa and from Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia in East Africa, this research shows that average production of 1.7 t/ha of maize in 2010 must increase to 6.8 t/ha to meet estimated demand in 2050.