On Africa’s agricultural boom

A leader in this week’s The Economist, “Miracle grow”, highlights Africa’s agricultural boom…

“… between 2000 and 2014 grain production tripled in countries as far-flung as Ethiopia, Mali and Zambia. […] African countries are on the whole more peaceful and better run than they were. Farmers are no longer forced into disastrous socialist collectives or banned from selling their crops in open markets. Border tariffs are lower and export bans rarer. As a result, innovation is accelerating.”

The same issue (12th March 2016) also as a more in-depth article, “A green evolution”, on the same topic.

It’s not all good news. In Uganda farmers are being conned…

“The key finding was that the vast majority of fertiliser samples were substandard. Additionally, very few of the allegedly improved seeds showed success in producing large crops. In short, the agricultural inputs sold at retail level in Uganda are often ‘fake’ or of very poor quality. As such, the return on investment from these technologies is much lower than expected. Farmers’ choices can thus be seen to be much more rational than the rejection of modern techniques suggests on the surface.”

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