Rocks for Crops: Agrominerals of sub-Saharan Africa.

A productive and sustainable agricultural system is fundamental to the well being of a nation and a cornerstone of its development. In most of sub-Saharan Africa, more than 50% of the population rely on agriculture for their livelihood, which generally contributes more than 30% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Agriculture is the major source of income, employment, food security and survival for the majority of the population. While agricultural production is steadily increasing in sub-Saharan Africa, the population is growing faster than food production. The result is a net decline in per-capita food production, which contributes to increased food deficits and poverty. A high proportion of African farmers are resource-poor in terms of capital, land, labour and livestock and about one-half of the population is classified as ‘absolute poor’ with per capita incomes of less than US $1 per day. Life expectancy in parts of Africa is very low. For example, in Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Malawi, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Uganda, and Zambia, life expectancies at birth are less than 42 years. As well, sub-Saharan Africa has the highest proportion of undernourished children in the world.


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Citation: van Straaten, P 2002. Rocks for Crops: Agrominerals of sub-Saharan Africa. ICRAF, Nairobi, Kenya, 338pp.

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