The Role and Contribution of Plant Breeding and Plant Biotechnology to Sustainable Agriculture in Africa

Author Biographies

D. Kyetere

African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), Nairobi, Kenya

E. Okogbenin

African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), Nairobi, Kenya

J. Okeno

African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), Nairobi, Kenya

K. Sanni

African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), Nairobi, Kenya

J. Munyaradzi

African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), Nairobi, Kenya

F. Nangayo

African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), Nairobi, Kenya

E. Kouko

African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), Nairobi, Kenya

 

S. Oikeh

African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), Nairobi, Kenya

I. Abdourhame

African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), Nairobi, Kenya

Main Article Content

D. Kyetere

E. Okogbenin

J. Okeno

K. Sanni

J. Munyaradzi

F. Nangayo

E. Kouko

S. Oikeh

I. Abdourhame

Published Dec 19, 2019

Abstract




Africa’s economy is driven by agriculture, a sector that constitutes 32% of the continent’s GDP. The ongoing Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) in Africa hinges on a system change (from subsistence farming to agribusiness) approach that explores high productivity to strengthen the African economy. During the “Green Revolution” period, increased global yields of cereal crops were achieved through the interactions of breeding and agronomy. However, in the face of current challenges, such as climate change and need for new market niches, there is an increasing exigency to explore modern plant breeding (including biotechnology) to develop new varieties with the capacity for high yields in reduced chemical-input systems and with the genetic diversity needed to maintain yield stability in Africa ́s fluctuating climatic conditions. Biotechnology has significantly shortened the time required for the development of new cultivars, varieties and hybrids. Modern breeding tools include Double Haploid technology, marker assisted breeding, genomics, genetic engineering and genome editing. It is these tools that help accelerate the development of market responsive varieties needed for sustainable agriculture in Africa that will be highlighted.


KEY WORDS: TECHNOLOGY, CROP IMPROVEMENT, GENETICS, MODERN BREEDING TOOLS.





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