Unused agricultural land in Sub Saharan Africa is 200 mil. ha. Using it would double cultivated land

May 15, 2015

 

Some 1 billion hectares in sub-Saharan Africa are considered suitablefor rainfed cultivation of at least one crop, but just alittle more than 200million hectares are in use, leaving four-fifths unused.11 Excluding protected areas,land covered by forests and regions already settled,and limiting the definition of suitability to fivecrops, the balance of suitable unused agriculturalland is about 200 million hectares, which, if broughtinto production, would double the amount of cultivated land in sub-Saharan Africa.12The Guinea Savannah—similar to the Cerrado inBrazil, a global agricultural powerhouse—has greatpotential for agriculture.13 But the suitable landavailable is not evenly distributed.14 Sub-SaharanAfrica is also well endowed with water, with 17major rivers and 160 lakes. But as with land, water isdistributed unevenly, with more than a third of theregion’s rain falling in the Congo Basin (which hasless than 10% of the region’s population).15 Waterstress is a perennial challenge in the semiarid Sahel,the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa, with its highdependence on groundwater.Agroecological conditions detUNDP, "Africa Human Development Report 2012: Towards a Food Secure Future." (New York: UNDP) 2012 p.30 http://www.undp.org/content/dam/undp/library/corporate/HDR/Africa%20HDR/...[verified 4/15/14]

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