By: John R Walsh
The West Africa Rice Development Association (WARDA) was established in the early 1970s to help farmers increase rice production. Africa is the only continent whose population has grown faster than its food production; this shortfall provokes the syndrome of poverty, hunger and violence there. WARDA first attempted to alleviate the food deficit by introducing high-yielding imported crop varieties. This strategy drove green revolution in Asia and Latin America but failed in Africa. This book recounts WARDA's revival after nearly succumbing in the 1980s. Not only did the programme have to deal with a harsh agricultural environment, but also with severe economic, political and social constraints. WARDA made crucial advances in rice research and also coped successfully with non-scientific challenges. WARDA serves as a thriving example of a combined international research center and a regional organization. It offers important lessons for international development organizations on dealing with African conditions.
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