Coinciding with the conclusion of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, Bill and Melinda Gates talk about their “big bets” for the next 15 years in their Annual Letter this year. Among the questions they ask: How do we feed Africa, and ultimately the world? Their big bet is that Africa will feed itself and will be on the way to helping feed the world by 2030.
Calestous Juma, who heads the Belfer Center’s Agricultural Innovation in Africa project, supported by the Gates Foundation, agrees with the Gates’ bet. In his 2011 book The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa, he provides details on how Africa can feed itself in a generation. Here, he answers questions about what is needed for Africa to make huge strides in agriculture in the next 15 years.