Shock Report - Africa 'can feed itself in a generation'

#1
A 'new' report says that Africa can feed itself within a generation as long as the corrupt and apathetic governements decide that investing in it's country should actually come before nepotism, brutal defeat of the political opposition and plundering the nations wealth for personal gain. (OK I embellished the main reason, bit but I suspect that the authour was just being nice :wink: )

Even though it's a 'The Pope's a Catholic' annoucement, it's sure to have the leftie Hand-wringers whinging about the damage to needy African charites. Personally I don't touch 'African' (Read Comic relief, Live Aid/8, etc) charites as I feel that I'd rather support UK one's first.

Just look at how Zimbabwe's efficient and profitable agricultural industry was decimated by political wrong-doings (This time I'm being nice)

BBC News - Africa 'can feed itself in a generation'

A new book claims Africa could feed itself within a generation, and become a major agricultural exporter.
The book, The New Harvest, by Harvard University professor Calestous Juma, calls on African leaders to make agricultural expansion central to all decision-making.
Improvements in infrastructure, mechanisation and GM crops could vastly increase production, he claims
No shit . . .

But what was needed above all else was the political will at the highest level.
 
#2
A 'new' report says that Africa can feed itself within a generation as long as the corrupt and apathetic governements decide that investing in it's country should actually come before nepotism, brutal defeat of the political opposition and plundering the nations wealth for personal gain. (OK I embellished the main reason, bit but I suspect that the authour was just being nice :wink: )

Even though it's a 'The Pope's a Catholic' annoucement, it's sure to have the leftie Hand-wringers whinging about the damage to needy African charites. Personally I don't touch 'African' (Read Comic relief, Live Aid/8, etc) charites as I feel that I'd rather support UK one's first.

Just look at how Zimbabwe's efficient and profitable agricultural industry was decimated by political wrong-doings (This time I'm being nice)

BBC News - Africa 'can feed itself in a generation'



No shit . . .
Yes, I saw that report, and when I finished laughing...
Africa will definitely produce more food in the next few years. Just not for Africans. At present, cash-rich and land and water poor nations like the Gulf States, and China, are buying up huge estates to produce food for export back home. What I don't see is any real investment in key infrastructure items-And by that I mean roads and modern drainage and irrigation systems. Big ports to handle container ships full of grain exports don't really count.
What will probably happen is that poor old Africa is going to get done over once again. The incomers will chuck vast quantities of pesticides and fertilisers all over the place, asset strip the land to bedrock, then piss off, leaving a polluted wasteland behind.
 
#6
A 'new' report says that Africa can feed itself within a generation as long as the corrupt and apathetic governements decide that investing in it's country should actually come before nepotism, brutal defeat of the political opposition and plundering the nations wealth for personal gain.
Which is why it isnt likily to happen anytime soon.
 
#7
Yes, I saw that report, and when I finished laughing...
Africa will definitely produce more food in the next few years. Just not for Africans. At present, cash-rich and land and water poor nations like the Gulf States, and China, are buying up huge estates to produce food for export back home. What I don't see is any real investment in key infrastructure items-And by that I mean roads and modern drainage and irrigation systems. Big ports to handle container ships full of grain exports don't really count.
What will probably happen is that poor old Africa is going to get done over once again. The incomers will chuck vast quantities of pesticides and fertilisers all over the place, asset strip the land to bedrock, then piss off, leaving a polluted wasteland behind.
I was watching a program the other day about Chinese investment in Africa. It's a new type of imperialism, except they just want the natural resources and will leave the politics in the hands of the despots/nutters/thieves that currently hold power.

Poverty > mediocre structural investment > Vast wealth for the political elite > Assets stripped > Dimished Investment > Poverty
(In a simplistic way)
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
#8
if america and the eu stopped flooding the market with subsidised food they could do so sooner, its cheaper to buy a tin of eu tomatoes in nairobi than it is to buy fresh grown up the road a bit.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#9
I was watching a program the other day about Chinese investment in Africa. It's a new type of imperialism, except they just want the natural resources and will leave the politics in the hands of the despots/nutters/thieves that currently hold power.

Poverty > mediocre structural investment > Vast wealth for the political elite > Assets stripped > Dimished Investment > Poverty
(In a simplistic way)
They learned well from the "informal imperialism" that marked China's history from 1839/40 onwards, where we, the French, the Germans, the Americans all had seperate spheres of influence within China yet only insofar as it allowed us to extract the goods and resources we required, rather than invest properly. An interesting comparison to make is Railway devolpment in 19th Century China with that in India or Africa.
 
#10
I was watching a program the other day about Chinese investment in Africa. It's a new type of imperialism, except they just want the natural resources and will leave the politics in the hands of the despots/nutters/thieves that currently hold power.

Poverty > mediocre structural investment > Vast wealth for the political elite > Assets stripped > Dimished Investment > Poverty
(In a simplistic way)
Really, it's a very OLD style of Imperialism-Very similar to how the Spanish and Portuguese ran their South American possessions.-Purely for profit, and off the backs of poor black labourers. The only difference here is that the Spanish did at least impose some form of government whereas the modern version simply hires the local Establishment to act as slave masters.
 
#11
They learned well from the "informal imperialism" that marked China's history from 1839/40 onwards, where we, the French, the Germans, the Americans all had seperate speres of influence within China yet only insofar as it allowed us to extract the goods and resources we required, rather than invest properly. An interesting comparison to make is Railway devolpment in 19th Century China with that in India or Africa.
Here we go. It never takes long,in Africa for some squinty-eyed wonk with the Imperialist chip on their shoulder to begin trotting out History-to-be-ashamed-of. The present day Wabenzis** love it as it keeps your kind Aunt's pounds rolling in to fund their life-styles. (This view, of course, identifies me as a racist)

** People of the Mercedes Benz.
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
#12
they dont need colonial overlords as the imf did more damage than european overlords ever could, did anyone read the reports sent ot the UN a few years back calling for a re colonisation of africa by anglo saxon countries (namely america) to stabilise and decorrupt the governments
 
#13
Africa, feed itself......
Yeh right. The savages at the top of the African heap will never have the slightest interest in the welfare of the savages at the bottom of the African heap.
Pick just about any African country and take a look at its recent history, welfare of the people never comes into it. Even the inhabitants of the Rainbow Nation aren't any better off than they were under Apartheid and do you really want to look at Zimbabwe or the DRC?
 
#14
Personally I don't touch 'African' (Read Comic relief, Live Aid/8, etc) charites as I feel that I'd rather support UK one's first.
Happy with that line - while there's an undernourished kiddy in Bedminster, what purpose am I really serving in sending aid to Africa? Other of course than expiating post-imperial guilt or offering a cop out to governments who like some of the trappings of statehood - jets, uniforms, tamks - but aren't so keen on education, hospitals and farming.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#15
Here we go. It never takes long,in Africa for some squinty-eyed wonk with the Imperialist chip on their shoulder to begin trotting out History-to-be-ashamed-of. The present day Wabenzis** love it as it keeps your kind Aunt's pounds rolling in to fund their life-styles. (This view, of course, identifies me as a racist)

** People of the Mercedes Benz.
No it just marks you as an idiot, anyone familiar with my posts on Imperialism and British Imperialism in particular, would know that I feel that on the whole we were fairly benign, however that does not mean we weren't atrociously behaved in many instances, nor does it mean we were perfect. A reasoned critique of Imperialism is not "History-to-be-ashamed-of" it's a way of learning to improve praxis and policy today and in the future to mitigate the excesses of mis-rule by whatever goverment is in power.
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
#16
I did read that zimbabwe was capable for feeding most of subsaharan africa up until the 90's

britain at least didnt make any money on the empire even if the businesses involved did, if we had then we wouldnt have asked american for a post war loan or got rid of it so quick when they said no. we did mess up a bit with the middle east (should have kept


that bit, untill america invaded it anyway) but the colonies we didnt do so well in were war booty anyway and we didnt have time to set them straight.

the south african model is interesting as they went from a straight civil service to a bent one in under 5 years. farmers again getting the land reform stick waved at them (if they go to belarus and ukraine as reported then SA could suffer a similar food crisis to zimbabwe very soon)
 
#17
It will never happen as long as the African is prepared to sit under the banana tree waiting for the banana to drop rather than expend the energy to climb the tree and pick the damn thing!

Name one of the so-called 'developing countries' in Africa that has developed since they kicked out the imperial colonists?

Best regards, from Cote d'Ivoire, sunny West Africa, where the current President has just won the election with less than 40% of the votes, his rival got 60% but has lost 'cos the incumbant President doesn't believe the results.

Troops & UN 'Peacekeepers' on the streets, curfew in force and the violence has just kicked off today. T. I. A. I'm waiting and hoping I'll get on the flight out tomorrow!
 
#18
It will never happen as long as the African is prepared to sit under the banana tree waiting for the banana to drop rather than expend the energy to climb the tree and pick the damn thing!
It will never happen as long as throbbers in this country moan about racism as soon as someone mentions what a shithole most of Africa is.
 
#19
No it just marks you as an idiot, anyone familiar with my posts on Imperialism and British Imperialism in particular, would know that I feel that on the whole we were fairly benign, however that does not mean we weren't atrociously behaved in many instances, nor does it mean we were perfect. A reasoned critique of Imperialism is not "History-to-be-ashamed-of" it's a way of learning to improve praxis and policy today and in the future to mitigate the excesses of mis-rule by whatever goverment is in power.
Now now "Rampant" dont get me started :)
Until the Europeans settled in parts of Sub Saharan Africa, there were no Farms or even towns as we know them, many tribes were nomadic/cattle dependant or as in N. Rhodesia and adjoining countries, employed a primitive "slash & burn" type of existance, where every 10 years or so a village once it had exhausted the local game and nutrients in the soil adjacent to it, would uproot and move to a new location which may have been left fallow for a couple of generations, but probably settled 40/50 years earlier!
The elders/chief would select the new area within its traditional tribal/clan boundaries and the year or so prior to moving the men would cut down the trees & scrub to make room for the new family gardens, in an area adjoining the selected village site and leave it for up to a year or so returning in the following dry season to burn the fallen dried scrub and build the new village (mud & grass huts)!
Hopefully in the time the site was left fallow the soil would heve recovered a little and the ashes from the burning would provide some nutrients, some of the wild animals, antelope etc would have returned & bred in the surrounding bush, allowing renewed hunting or trapping to provide some additional protein! There were no ploughs, just primitive hoes to break & till the soil, mainly done by the women, the men of course were rufty tufty hunters & warriors :) or maybe they just wanted to Drink beer & chat all day, more likely ! :) No fertilisers were used, not even animal droppings in most cases! Each family in the village had an allocated plot of land with which to grow various vegetables , legumes & Millet. Chickens or goats would be kept next to or in the family hut! This was the African Idea of farming, Subsistence at best!
When the Europeans created large productive farms, often running to thousands of acres, using modern machinery, fertilisers and new crops were tried, some Africans became envious and wanted this for themselves! However in many cases in places like Kenya & Zimbabwe, politicians have kept some of the best farms for themselves ala Kenyatta & Mogabe or broken them up into hundreds of small units where without the skill & knowledge of the former European Farmer, these units have been treated the same way the Africans had done for centuries resulting in poor or non existant crops and in some extreme cases desertification!
Its gone to take a massive mind shift to change this in Africa, starting at the TOP!
 
#20
No it just marks you as an idiot, anyone familiar with my posts on Imperialism and British Imperialism in particular, would know that I feel that on the whole we were fairly benign, however that does not mean we weren't atrociously behaved in many instances, nor does it mean we were perfect. A reasoned critique of Imperialism is not "History-to-be-ashamed-of" it's a way of learning to improve praxis and policy today and in the future to mitigate the excesses of mis-rule by whatever goverment is in power.
The targets of all this "learning" don't seem interested.
 

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