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September 2006

Announcement of a publication

A History of agricultural research in tropical francophone Africa

Volume I – The beginning of African agrigulture – from Prehistorical Times to the Middle Ages

by Renι Tourte

Africa is the cradle of humanity and, without doubt, it served as one of the first locations where agricultural activities, herding and forestry were carried out to benefit mankind. Even today, one can witness the shear diversity of traditional production systems, which speak volumes about the diversity of situations beginning from the prehistoric times and continuing up to the systems with which we are familiar today.

Nevertheless, this continent remains, even today, that in which the medium- and long-term perspectives for food security are most uncertain for the majority of its population. In the second half of the Twentieth Century, Africa has not managed to capitalize on its rich patrimony in agricultural technology in order to increase the production and productivity of its agriculture to the required levels to feed its inhabitants. It was not always this way.

The history of agricultural research in francophone tropical Africa describes for us the patrimony resulting from millenia of experience. It illustrates the path followed from the creation of technological innovation, leading us toward the organized and scientific reasearch already underway by the end of the 19th Century, and its related, ultimate objective: the ability to satisfy the food requirements, economic needs and social and cultural aspects of mankind.

(Available in French)

Click here to view the document.

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