Senior expert Low emission development of cropping in sub-Saharan Africa to triple production towards 2050


Over the past decades, I have built an extensive expertise and network around integrated assessments, investigating how global food production can be increased with minimum impact on the environment. My recent work includes a shift of focus to sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), building upon the Global Yield Gap Atlas work ( that I co-initiated. In SSA, the urgency to increase food production is higher than anywhere else, with multiple challenges. This grant will give me the opportunity to engage more intensively with the low emission development flagship of CCAFS, building on previous and ongoing work, while increasing the scope of applications with the CGIAR to new areas.

The ongoing CCAFS project which I lead revealed that intensification of cereal production with efficient use of fertilizers will lead to much lower GHG emissions than area expansion in SSA. Achieving SDG 2 (zero hunger) and 13 (Climate Action) calls for responsible intensification of SSA’s crop production with minimum emissions, and thus excellent and climate-smart agronomy.

If given the opportunity, I will provide leadership in developing intensification pathways for SSA’s cereal production and their assessment in terms of food production, environmental impacts and economic feasibility. I will perform research at macro-level (SSA) as well as at meso- (country) and micro- (region-farm) level; the latter in Ethiopia and Tanzania. Dialogue, impact and outcome of the work will include consolidating and strengthening cooperation with African institutions (AU and AGRA), the private sector and international fora (SDSN, UN, IPCC), and creating new research projects post-CCAFS.





Prof. dr. ir. M.K. van Ittersum

Verbonden aan

Wageningen University & Research, Plantenwetenschappen, Plantaardige Productiesystemen (PPS)


01/01/2020 tot 31/12/2021