The role of agriculture in addressing the [Africa's] economic development is a foregone conclusion. Business as usual will not improve food productivity on the continent. Africa needs to change its ways in order to be able to feed its people and ensure its main source of economic development – agriculture – grows and develops. Prosperity by the farmer will influence economic growth and the management and handling of other factors such as infrastructure. Innovative agriculture, acquired through novel relationships with technology developers, and developed through mutually satisfactory relationships with partners in research, development and commercialisation, should lead to prosperity for the smallholder farmer, to food security and economic growth for Africa.
“The world has declared war on hunger – but in Africa, images abound of pot-bellied, emaciated, wide-eyed and lifeless children – some still sucking their dead mother’s breasts – stretching out empty bowls for something anything to arrest the pangs of hunger they suffer; of vultures, waiting patiently for the only sign of surviving human life – the little boy on stick thin legs – to take his last breath before it pounces.”
“These are the images of Africa that speak of Africa and tell the African story. These are the images that splatter overseas media, from which Africa gains its reputation. But Africa can be beautiful. Where are the beautiful and melodious sounds of African children playing hoop, tending to their parent’s animals and playing tricks on each other? Where are the sounds of singing that fill the air as Africans celebrate bumper harvests or the marriage of their children or the coming of age of their youngsters? Where are the voices of women happily sharing stories as they harvest in the fields among chirping birds and children happily playing around them? Where are the images of the proud African peoples standing majestically and beautifully for all to see?”
“A revival of Africa’s agriculture is necessary for faster realisation of the continent’s development. But it requires commitment to genuine social change that will benefit the continent. Business as usual won’t suffice. A different approach to dealing with issues that have dogged the continent for years is required. To make a real difference in its current state, Africa should aim for a higher state of being in addition to attaining food sufficiency. It should aim to take up its rightful place in world trade and economy and to sit at the same table with the rest of the world as a contributor to issues relevant to the survival of the human race and it can only do this if it achieves its own economic development.”
I recommend following the above link to the three-page article by Max Amuchie, from which the excerpt is taken. In it, he describes the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), including the hunger and poverty problem in Africa and the method the AATF uses to work on solving it.
I think the article raises another point that extends from Africa to all the underdeveloped and/or impoverished places in the world: Generally, impoverished places and poor people have potential, but they just need the opportunity to develop and help themselves; Lest we forget the rich history of Africa, and the many scientific advances from that continent. Globally speaking, so-called “third-world” countries tend to be places abundant in resources, such as oil and diamonds, production, and hard-working peoples.
What do you think?