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Ep48: Narrowing the yield gap in sub-Saharan Africa

Episode summary

The yield gap refers to the difference between the potential agricultural yield that could be achieved under ideal conditions and the actual yield that farmers harvest. In sub-Saharan Africa, the yield gap is in some cases 80% meaning that farmers have the potential to double, triple or even quadruple their harvests.

The causes of the yield gap are debated and so are the solutions to narrow it. In this conversation with Martin van Ittersum, a professor at Wageningen University, and Klara Fischer, an associate professor and senior lecturer at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, we discuss if increasing yield is the right entry point for reducing hunger in the region; if bottom-up or top-down interventions lead to a more resilient food system; and at what time-scale (short- or long-term) should we be focusing food systems solutions?

[ Transcript available ]