Exploring the Futures of Agricultural Research and Innovations (ARI) Systems in Africa

Abstract

For many African countries, the structure of the economy is still tilted towards agriculture and agro-allied industries. In recent times, investment in agriculture is being championed as one of the key routes to bolstering African economies, providing jobs for the burgeoning youthful population, and lifting many Africans out of poverty. However, the form of agriculture that will deliver these lofty goals (ambitious outcomes) cannot rely on the typical way agriculture has been, and is being practised, in many parts of Africa. It will have to draw heavily on locally relevant, sound science based, and well adopted agricultural research and innovations, tailored to African contexts. In this paper, drawing from the outputs of a foresight workshop by African agricultural experts, we explored the plausible futures of agricultural research and innovations in Africa. In the end, four future scenarios of African agricultural research and innovations derived from the combination of dominant drivers as conceived by African experts are presented.

Keywords: Foresight, Agricultural innovations, Research, Futures, Africa.

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