AAB - President
Aspects 96: Agriculture: Africa's "engine for growth" - Plant science biotechnology hold the key


Toby Bruce

Christine Foyer

Nigel Halford

Alfred Keys

Karl Kunert

David Lawlor

Martin Parry

Graham Russell

 Hunger and the cycle of poverty in Africa are two of the most significant developmental challenges that the world currently faces. Agriculture is considered to be an effective driver of growth in the world’s poorest countries. It is widely accepted that raising agricultural productivity is essential for reducing rural poverty, enhancing food security, and stimulating broad-based economic growth but the productivity of African agriculture remains low. At present, the lack of scientific innovation in African agriculture hampers economic and social development. The chapters in this volume arise from the oral and poster presentations given at the Association of Applied Biologists (AAB) symposium titled “Agriculture: Africa’s engine for growth-Plant Science and Biotechnology hold the key” which was held at Rothamsted Research from the 12-14th of October, 2009. This three-day international symposium brought together scientists from Africa and the rest of the world in order to examine how new advances in plant science research and developing technologies are being used to the benefit of African agriculture.

  Intensification of global synergies and alliances are further required in order to apply multi-disciplinary approaches and make prudent and timely recommendations regarding areas of highest priority for translation of modern plant sciences to the field, as well as devising appropriate actions on key activities in crop improvement. Improvements in farming practices and crop management are essential but biotechnology, genetics and emerging technologies also have key roles to play. The need to enhance education in the new areas of plant research and biotechnology was finally also addressed as was the key question of whether plant science and biotechnology hold the key providing suitable solutions for Africa. The consensus view is clear: plant science and biotechnology may not completely “hold the key”, but these areas are an important part of the solution, as are feasible strategies for generic translational pipelines for introducing genes and traits required for improvement of agricultural crops.

  We hope that this volume will provide interesting and thought-provoking insights in new areas of plant science research and its implementation and that this will prompt further experimentation and breakthroughs in this important field. The papers bring together the expertise and enthusiasm of the participants in this international symposium and provide a state-of-the art overview of key topics in the field. They provide up-to date insights into the prudent application of recent and prospective biological advances in plant science and biotechnology and show how they can contribute to the “sustainable intensification”, of agriculture.


2009 421 pp.

Price £30.00 (AAB Members £21.00)

Plus P&P to be applied on completion of purchase 


for full contents list click here

Code Name Price
96 96 Africa's "engine for growth" - Plant science and biotechnology hold the key £30.00
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