Abstract The food situation in Africa can be expected to become increasingly serious as the end of the century approaches. The gap between domestic supply and food needs in rapidly widening. Yield-increasing technology becomes essential in view of land scarcity in high-potential areas and sustainability problems in marginal zones. The concern of governments for food self-sufficiency, however, must not divert attention from the primary objective of household food security, which is essentially a question of households' real income. Accelerated rural growth and improved rural health and sanitation services accessible to the poor are central elements for household food security improvement.