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Agrarian reforms and the African Green Revolution

Oluwatoyin Dare Kolawole (Okavango Research Institute, University of Botswana, Maun, Botswana)

World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development

ISSN: 2042-5945

Article publication date: 3 October 2012



Agricultural intensification is central to the Green Revolution (GR) programme. This initiative, which dates back to the early 1940s, revolves around the development of high-yielding and disease-resistant seed varieties that aims at bringing about efficient and secure food production. The purpose of this paper is to present a brief genesis and thrust of the GR. Focusing on Nigeria as a typical African case, the discourse addresses the political economy of the Nigerian agriculture, outlines the features of the Nigerian GR and highlights some crucial issues debated during the 2008 Salzburg Global Seminar (SGS) conference for a uniquely African GR as a pro-poor development strategy.


Using a critical discourse analysis and case study design, the paper analyses the political and bureaucratic lapses associated with the introduction and implementation of the reform.


Although wary of some of the socio-political and environmental issues surrounding the production of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) and high external inputs (HEIs) in the push for a new African GR, the paper reports the proceedings of the Salzburg conference as a likely platform for the formulation of new pro-poor policies in the context of the African GR. If sincerely and properly implemented, the paper argues that an African-oriented GR framework is conceived as a possible policy window to address the challenges of the continent ' s poor majority.

Social implications

The policy issues raised in the paper would serve as a pool of information from which policy conceptualisation, formulation and implementation could be derived for the good of the African agrarian economies and poor majority.


Highlighted issues on the debates on a “uniquely” African GR during the SGS conference provide original insights to the implementation of agrarian reforms in Africa. The paper is valuable to policy makers and other stakeholders in re-shaping the agricultural sector in the continent.



Dare Kolawole, O. (2012), "Agrarian reforms and the African Green Revolution", World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, Vol. 9 No. 4, pp. 301-316.



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