Inderscience Publishers

Perspective: The role of universities in transforming African agriculture for economic development - producing knowledge farmers and entrepreneurial leaders

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Universities play important roles in socio–economic development by contributing to the advancement and dissemination of new knowledge, and developing human capacity. African agriculture has the lowest yield and productivity compared to the rest of the world. The continent is the most food insecure and has the highest youth unemployment. Transforming smallholder agriculture into industrial agribusinesses is essential in reversing this trend. To achieve these goals, curriculum reform and knowledge intensification, characterised by entrepreneurship, are needed to harness the economic potentials of existing and emerging innovative technologies for yield and productivity growth. The prospect for Africa's green revolution is intertwined with making agriculture attractive for the participation of Africa's educated youth and entrepreneurs who can derive profits from their investment. The 21st century African university is challenged to provide reflective, critical and evidence–based analyses needed to spur a paradigm shift towards the emergence of sustainable industrial agriculture in Africa.

Keywords: tertiary education, agricultural education, universities, higher education, African agriculture, postharvest technology, biotechnology, mechanisation, value addition, entrepreneurial leadership, smallholder agriculture, commercial agriculture, agribusiness development, African green revolution, Africa, knowledge farmers, entrepreneurship, sustainable agriculture, industrial agriculture

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