Is Sub-Saharan Africa on the cusp of a Green Revolution?

Côte d’Ivoire could soon become known as Côte d’Verde, after a recent discovery that shows the Sub-Saharan African nation is on the cusp of a ‘Green Revolution’ in agricultural farming.

The discovery was made by an analyst researching crop yield data from back in 2013. John McArthur from the Brookings think tank broke the story, writing: “I realised that Côte d’Ivoire’s reported cereal yields surpassed 3 tons per hectare (t/ha) in 2013.”

Why is this important? The obscure statistic marks the first time that a country from Sub-Sahara has ever exceeded the three ton threshold.

Breaking through the three ton roof is a significant indicator of an imminent green revolution, pointing to Côte d’Ivoire reaching a tipping point where locally-produced agricultural goods begin to grow at an exponential rate. The country currently relies heavily on imported goods to feed its population; a reliance that is having a negative effect upon the Ivory Coast economy.

South Korea posted similar figures to Côte d’Ivoire back in 1961 before witnessing a rapid growth of grain yields all the way up to 2013. These yields helped Koreans balance their import-export ratio, attain agricultural sustainability and transform into a highly developed economy.

If the indicator leads to a similar trend in Côte d’Ivoire then a full-scale green revolution right across Sub-Saharan Africa could be on the cards, as farmers posting strong yields share practices and processes with those in their neighbouring countries.

Cautious optimism is growing that the proto-revolution could eventually contribute to a significant decrease in global hunger – and no wonder: Sub-Saharan Africa has the potential to produce more agricultural goods than Europe and the United States of America combined.

Image via Nestlé / cc

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