Richelle Matthews in The Futurist Magazine

Mar 11, 2013

Richelle was recently inteviewed by The Futurist for a piece about agricultural R&D and farming practices in Africa. Here's and excerpt:

"And there is much room for improvement, according to Richelle Matthews, an associate with the Praxis Strategy Group, whose initiatives include working with farmers in Ghana. Many farmers in Africa’s underdeveloped parts unknowingly undermine their own productivity by using the wrong pesticides or fertilizers, for example, or by relying on outdated methods of planting and growing. Developing better farming practices and teaching them to farmers would help, she explains.

“There are all types of information deficits and capacity deficits, so that farmers either don’t have the types of relevant information to make decisions or they don’t have skills with which to increase efficiencies,” Matthews says.

Matthews is concerned, however, that even the African countries that have increased their funding might not be able to sustain them in the long term. In most of the countries, substantial sums of the funding for R&D comes from outside investors and donors, she says. The governments will have to make much larger increases in their commitments in years to come, or else many projects could collapse once the donor funds cease.

Often what happens is that donor agencies come along [with] some funding, and it goes to funding streams,” says Matthews. “You end up with a lot of projects that fail once the donor agency leaves.”

Download the attached .pdf at the link below to read the full article.

The Futurist: Putting More Stock in Agricultural R&D

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