Assessing the Effectiveness of Agricultural R&D for Groundnut, Pearl Millet, Pigeonpea, and Sorghum in West and Central Africa and Eastern and Southern Africa uri icon


  • Arable land in sub-Saharan Africa is often cultivatedduring seasonal rains in regions where the supplyof rainfall exceeds the demand for rainfall foronly 2?7 months of the year. These rainfall supplyand demand conditions define rainfed agriculturein the semi-arid tropics (SAT). In 1972,the International Crops Research Institute forthe Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) was establishedin India with a global mandate to increaseagricultural production in the SAT, thereby enhancingpoor people?s welfare in these rainfall-unassuredproduction environments. Technically, the SAT encompassed largeareas of Australia, Latin America and Asia, butthe geographic focus at ICRISAT was always onpeninsular India and sub-Saharan Africa wheremost rural and urban poor lived. By 2020, thetotal population of people in Asia?s and Africa?sSAT is projected to be about 850 million, comprisinga 70% share for Asia and a 30% shareevenly split between West and Central Africa andEast and Southern Africa (Walker, 2009). WhenICRISAT was founded in 1972, the relative importanceof the two continental populations wasabout 80% for Asia?s SAT and 20% for Africa?sSAT. The total SAT population in 1972 was onlyabout 35% of the projected population in 2020

publication date

  • 2015