This Chapter describes the approach and impacts of the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) Program. TAAT is an operational framework based upon collaboration between the African Development Bank, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, and many other partners. This Program is designed to deliver modernizing agricultural technologies as a means of achieving food and nutritional security, and to boost employment and agricultural exports across Africa. TAAT consists of nine Commodity Compacts that have assembled technology toolkits for use in development programs and six specialized Enablers that help them to do so. These commodities are rice, maize, wheat, sorghum, millet, cassava, sweet potato, common beans, fish, and small livestock. The Enablers provide policy support, youth empowerment, capacity development, irrigation and soil fertility expertise, and control of invasive pests. Together these Compacts and Enablers design and conduct collaborative agricultural development projects in partnership with national counterparts. To date, TAAT has staged 88 interventions in 31 African countries, including the incorporation of customized technology toolkits within country loan projects of major development banks. Over three years, these efforts have reached about 10.6 million adopter households and increased food supply by 12 million tons worth over US $763 million, resulting in substantial improvements in smallholder farmer’s food supply (0.75 MT yr.−1) or income ($128 yr.−1). Environmental gains in terms of carbon offset average 0.74 MT CO2e yr.−1 per adopter household, an outcome indicative of positive combined rural development and climate actions. This Chapter describes how these technology toolkits are designed, deployed and evaluated, and how TAAT is becoming a leading mechanism for agricultural innovation delivery across Africa. This evaluation is limited to eight critical field crops and does not consider animal enterprises or the strategic roles of TAAT Enablers, two other important activities within the larger Program.
Part of the book: Technology in Agriculture
Maize is a critical staple cereal across Sub-Saharan Africa but attempts to improve its productivity in small-scale farming systems often prove disappointing. The 12 key technologies required to overcome poor yields are mostly known, but the manner in which they are mobilized, packaged, and delivered requires re-evaluation. Combinations of better varieties and their necessary accompanying inputs must become more available and affordable for an African maize revolution to succeed, and land must be managed in ways that enhance, rather than diminish, land quality over time. Adjustments to the bundling and transfer of these technologies as transferable assets pose a solvable dilemma. These interventions must be based upon specific agro-ecological and socio-economic contexts and offered within the scope of well-designed regional and national agricultural development agendas. Success in boosting maize yields and its companion field legumes form the basis for greater food security across Africa and value-adding enterprises, including the growth of blended flours and commercial animal production. This chapter describes how these technologies may be most effectively mobilized within the current thrust to transform African agriculture.
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