Viewpoint: African Agriculture Without African Farmers
With the passing of the United Nations’ highly contested Food Systems Summit last month, the task of “feeding the world” has taken on a newfound urgency.
But one point apparently lost on the summit’s attendees is that the project of “agricultural modernisation” which many of them have supported for decades is only making food insecurity worse in recent years, especially in Africa.
Since the 2007-08 world food price crisis, Western governments and philanthropies, led by the United States and the Gates Foundation, have backed a multitude of programmes across the continent to raise farmers’ productivity and connect them to commercial supply chains. Together, these efforts carry the banner of an “African Green Revolution” – an approach not unlike the primarily Asian and Latin American Green Revolution before it.
Photo courtesy of Institute of Tropical Agriculture.