Change the world

George Campus

25/06/2013

Transforming African Agriculture: Organics and AGRA (Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa)… This represents both the topic of a paper delivered by Prof Raymond Auerbach at the 19th  annual International Sustainable Development Research Conference (ISDRC19) held near Stellenbosch from 1 – 3 July, and the title of the chapter he wrote in the book, “Organic Agriculture: African Experiences in Resilience and Sustainability” which was edited by himself, Gunnar Rundgren and Nadia El-Hage Scialabba (launched officially at a cocktail function at Spier Estate on 1st July as part of the ISDRC19 Conference).

Prof Raymond AuerbachThe book, which represents a cutting-edge research report, is beautifully illustrated and covers four primary focus areas – Mainstreaming Organic Agriculture into the African Development Agenda; Community-based Livestock Systems; Ecofunctional Intensification and Smallholders Knowledge.

The chapter written by Prof Auerbach resorts under the first focus area and is linked to his work in the field or organic agriculture spanning more than four decades. The book selects the best papers of the Second African Organic Conference in Zambia which he attended a year ago, and is published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Case studies highlighted by Prof Auerbach include the Millennium Villages Project which was initially implemented in 14 village clusters, mainly in West and East Africa; as well as his own research mostly conducted in KwaZulu-Natal, which provided the background for his earlier master’s and doctoral studies. Organic market linkages as vehicles for sustainable development, as well as rainwater harvesting and crop rotation to reduce the risk of crop failure are also highlighted. The chapter concludes with the insight that “a combination of science with social and environmental activism is needed if African agriculture is to move into an era of prosperity, based on increased resilience and sustainability”.

Congratulations to Prof Auerbach on this outstanding contribution to the field of organic agriculture.

  • As a visiting professor at the Sustainability Institute in Stellenbosch, Prof Auerbach recently presented his annual module on “Systems & Technologies for Sustainable Agriculture.” There. He was joined by all fourth year NMMU BTech Agricultural Management students, who joined the international SI students from 2 – 8 June.
  • After attending ISDRC19, Prof Auerbach will be attending the Triennial Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa’s Science Week in Ghana, which will set the Research Agenda for agricultural research in Africa.

Contact information
Ms Alet van Tonder
Manager: Marketing & Corporate Relations
Tel: 27 44 801 5098
alet.vantonder@mandela.ac.za