Producing adequate food to meet global demand by 2050 is widely recognized as a major challenge, particularly for sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) (Godfray et al. 2010; Alexandratos and Bruinsma 2012; van Ittersum et al. 2016). Increased price volatility of major food crops (Koning et al. 2008; Lagi et al. 2011), an abrupt surge in land area devoted to crop production in recent years (Grassini et al. 2013) and extensive labour force mobilization (NEPAD 2013) reflect the powerful forces underpinning this challenge to increase production.