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The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa Paperback – Jan 28 2011

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By nmac - Published on
Format: Paperback
In just about any dimension you can think of, Africa's role in the 21st century is going to be pivotal for the planet. Every one of the 6.7 billion of us have a stake in how Africa does. Fundamental to it all are the people of Africa, their food, their water, their shelter and security, and their health. Food is one vital key, and just about as vital as it gets. At first the subject seems unbelievably complicated and very challenging to understand and to see a way out of the labyrinth. This book is the guidebook we all need to see the potential roadblocks, detours, washouts, and find the clear road ahead to an Africa that will be good for itself and for the planet. It is written by a world-renowned expert on Africa, Professor Calestous Juma of Harvard University and a Fellow of the Royal Society in the UK. In his book, which is so easily and enjoyably read, Professor Juma does the equivalent of taking us up in a small plane with him and showing us all of Africa's agricultural problems, challenges, and enormous potential, not from ground level of course, and not from 35,000 feet, but from about 10,000 feet where we can see the big picture without losing and of the grainy resolution that is so essential in understanding a subject this complex. It is 217 pages of superbly written text that will easily engage you throughout and will leave you with a excellent framework regarding what can and must be done for Africa, and thus all of us, to succeed.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Believing In It Doesn't Make It So Feb. 26 2012
By Britt Brennan - Published on
Format: Paperback
It's uncomfortable to see an academic-turned-advocate in action, and that is Calestous Juma in "The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa." Juma clearly wants Africa to be the next big developing region, for obvious reasons: It's his home continent, and he has always cared about it deeply. He also makes an often persuasive case for why his hopes will become true. Africa has great amounts of arable land, labor is cheap, and in many cases, there's nowhere to go but up.

But his enthusiasm at times clouds his judgment. South Sudan, which he contends could by itself feed Africa, truly could do so, as he cites. It also, at the moment, is embroiled in a civil war and does not have the roads or the resources to even come close to becoming a breadbasket within a generation as Juma contends is possible. Similar overhyping mars other parts of the book. A little William Easterly would make Calestous Juma more credible.

Any reader with a conscience wants to share Juma's dream and do what they can to make it a reality. In this book, Juma's heavy boosterism comes dangerously close to undermining his own words. This book is useful and commendable, just not as much as it could be with a more clear-eyed view.
0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
How we got here Jan. 20 2011
By leggogarn - Published on
Format: Paperback
For a fascinating and somewhat philosophical history of the Green Revolution, anyone who reads The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa will also want to read The Seeds We Sow, Kindness That Fed A Hungry World.