African agriculture development could raise global carbon emissions

By on September 16, 2014
Irrigated farmland in the Sahara Desert (Credit:

Irrigated farmland in the Sahara Desert (Credit:

As Africa improves its agricultural capabilities, the rest of the world could experience increased deforestation rates and carbon emissions, according to a Purdue University press release.

A study by Purdue University researchers shows that agricultural innovations in Africa could negatively impact the environment, depending on whether the future global economy remains fragmented or grows more integrated. In a fragmented agricultural market, a green revolution in Africa would lower carbon emissions, but an integrated market could see Africa raise global carbon emissions by 267 metric tons.

Even in an integrated market scenario, there’s still hope for Africa and the world: Over the course of several decades, Africa would learn to better manage its cropland, producing higher yields over a smaller distance.

Image: Irrigated farmland in the Sahara Desert (Credit:

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