Home Institution

University of Pittsburgh

Publication Date

Spring 2012

Program Name

Switzerland: Global Health and Development Policy


The nature of worldwide food insecurity is staggering, with thirteen percent of the world’s population currently malnourished. The situation is particularly dire in Sub- Saharan Africa, where 265 million people face hunger daily, with 30 to 50 million dying yearly. Solutions to the problem are often unsustainable, save a select few. Once such attempt, coined the Green Revolution, garnered both praise and notoriety through its relatively successful transformation of Southeast Asia in the 1960’s. Aimed at increasing food production, the project focused on small-holder farmers and their acquisition of more productive inputs such as high-yield seeds, fertilizers and pesticides. African nations remained unsuccessful in their implementation of this ‘revolution’ as poor domestic conditions rendered them unable to compete effectively. Now fifty years later, organizations like AfricaRice, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) attempt to refurbish the endeavor for a new generation of self-sufficient and technologically advanced Africans. This paper is a study of the efficacy of this project and its potential to reduce and reverse the high incidences of poverty and hunger in Africa. Through a combination of interviews and an extensive literature review, this study attempts to determine the extent to which AGRA’s new interpretation of the Green Revolution is in line with the successes and failures of the previous endeavors. In conclusion, this paper in defense of the capacity of rural farmers to propel food sovereignty, and upholds bottom-up intervention and its new interpretations as an effective method of improving food production and reducing poverty and hunger


African Studies | Agricultural and Resource Economics | Family, Life Course, and Society | Inequality and Stratification | Natural Resources Management and Policy | Other Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration