MODERNIZING AFRICAN AGRICULTURE: Building on ASABE Global Initiatives in the context of sub-Sahara Africa

A Special Session of the ASABE virtual 2020 Annual International Meeting

Monday, July 13: 2:30-5:00pm EDT Pre-register by Friday, July 3 at:

As part of the 2020 All-Virtual Annual International Meeting of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), we will host a special session entitled “Modernizing African Agriculture on Monday July 13th from 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm. This session is the beginning of a major initiative towards modernizing African agriculture with the goal to improve food security, economic development and quality of life in Africa.
This special session will focus on the role of agricultural and biological engineers in providing a sustainable and productive approach to feeding a growing population in the African continent through the application of appropriate modern technologies.  The population in sub-Sahara Africa (SSA) is expected to grow to 2 billion by 2050 – a 100% increase from its current population. Nearly 80% of farmers in SSA are classified as smallholders. Nearly 70% of farm work is performed manually, about 20% by draft animals and 10% by mechanical means. Furthermore, agriculture in many countries in sub-Sahara Africa is the main source of employment and contributes significantly to national economic growth.  Clearly, the development and deployment of appropriate modern agricultural technologies is critical to agriculture in SSA to improving food security, reducing poverty and to ultimately improving quality of life. This initiative aims to take a systems approach that includes the entire food value chain, which takes a holistic approach to explore/introduce modern technologies in smallholder agriculture from farm to fork. The attached flyer provides a snapshot of the session.

Session Highlights

Keynote Speaker

Soji Adelaja, John H. Hannah Distinguish Professor in Land Policy at Michigan State University

Breakout Working Sessions

1.     Taking stock of the current agricultural landscape (Food security, Nutrition, Climate Change, Land, Water security, Desertification, Energy, etc.) in Africa 

2.     Cultivating entrepreneurship and fostering private investment 

3.     Appropriate capacity building and workforce development

4.     Public and Private Partnerships and Policy needs to support agricultural development.

The output will be used to plan for the next round of efforts in 2021 and will provide materials for an authoritative White Paper.


Pre-registration for the session is strongly encouraged. Please pre-register at and indicate which of the thematic discussion groups you would be interested in attending.

Session Leads: Klein Ileleji (; Margaret Gitau (; Ajit Srivastava ( and The ANGASABE Board