More than 200 million people living in dryland regions of Sub-Saharan Africa make their livingfrom agriculture. Most are exposed to weather shocks, especially drought, that can decimatetheir incomes, destroy their assets, and plunge them into a poverty trap from which it is diffi cult toemerge. Their lack of resilience in the face of these shocks can be attributed in large part to the poorperformance of agriculture on which their livelihood depends.Opportunities exist to improve the fortunes of farming households in the drylands. Improvedfarming technologies that can increase and stabilize the production of millet, sorghum, maize, andother leading staples are available. Irrigation is technically and economically feasible in some areasand offers additional opportunities to increase and stabilize crop production, especially small-scaleirrigation, which tends to be more affordable and easier to manage. Yet many of these opportunitieshave not been exploited on a large scale, for reasons that include lack of farmer knowledge, nonavailabilityof inputs, unfavorable price incentives, high levels of production risk, and high cost.Future production growth in drylands agriculture is expected to come mainly from raising yieldsand increasing the number of crop rotations on land that is already being cultivated (intensifi cation),rather than from bringing new land into cultivation (extensifi cation). Controlling for rainfall, averageyields in rainfed cropping systems in Sub-Saharan Africa are still much lower than yields in rainfedcropping systems in other regions, suggesting that there is considerable scope to intensify productionin these systems. Furthermore, unlike in other regions, production of low-value cereals underirrigation is generally not economic in Sub-Saharan Africa unless the cereals can be grown inrotation with one or more high-value cash crops. The long-run strategy for drylands agriculture,therefore, must be to promote production of staples in rainfed systems and production of high-valuecereals (for example, rice), horticultural cops, and industrial crops in irrigated systems.Based on a detailed review of currently available technologies, Improved Crop Productivity forAfrica’s Drylands argues that improving the productivity and stability of agriculture in the drylandshas the potential to make a signifi cant contribution to reducing vulnerability and increasing resilience.At the same time, it is important to keep in mind that in an environment characterized bylimited agro-climatic potential and subject to repeated shocks, farming on small land holdings maynot generate suffi cient income to bring people out of poverty.