mead berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn bayles
Feeding the Future
What Smarter Farming Can Do for African Food Security

In southern Africa, a terrible drought is devastating crops and creating severe food shortages. But as Reuters reports, some hopeful solutions are within reach:

In many cases, farmers are simply not aware of potential solutions, said Oluyede Ajayi, a senior program coordinator with the [Technical Center for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation]…Such shortcomings are one reason an ongoing drought in southern Africa has left 23 million people dependent on food aid, with another 13 million in need of help, according to the Southern African Development Community, which launched a $2.8 billion emergency appeal in July. […]

The best ways to assist southern Africa’s farmers, agricultural experts said, are by increasing their access to insurance for crop failure and livestock deaths, and giving them better weather advice via mobile phone.

Helping them diversify their sources of income also is key, they said, as is developing stress-tolerant seeds and better ways of managing land to conserve water.

Modern environmentalism carries in its core a kernel of Malthusianism, and too often greens seem almost resigned to the awful fate to which they say humanity has doomed itself. Climate change is real and it’s a problem, but it’s not something we’re helpless to fight. Similarly, feeding a growing global population presents a wide variety of challenges that vary by region and are deadly important but, again, we’re not resigned to widespread starving in the coming years.

In southern Africa, there’s room to adopt best practices like raising sheep, chickens, and goats—all relatively independent and drought resistant—instead of cattle. As one expert told Reuters, “farmers who are growing stress-tolerant maize using water-conserving techniques have seen their harvests rise by as much as 130 percent.” There’s room for improvement, and while some are already capitalizing on that, there are even more that could stand to improve—and can, if the right technologies and strategies are implemented.

Don’t be fooled by the Chicken Littles: human ingenuity is up to the task of tackling all those many problems greens so enthusiastically describe.

Features Icon
show comments
  • f1b0nacc1

    Sorry, you don’t get to steal a base here….climate change is not real, merely a power grab by statists. If you want to warp the economy and enslave us all, you have to offer PROOF, not simply a ‘trust us, we’re scientists’

    • Andrew Allison

      I hope that you meant to write AGW. The climate is certainly changing, as it always has and will. The fact that the hysterical assertions of the Church of AGW have been shown to be false doesn’t change the situation in Africa. As an aside, this weeks news about arctic sea ice has been, as usual, spun by the media. First, this is a preliminary estimate. Second, as the chart shows, the coverage has already picked up, and looks more likely to follow the 2011 trajectory. What’s clear is that the loss bottomed out in 2012.

      • f1b0nacc1

        Of course I was referring to AGW (climates are always changing, that is the nature of any natural system), but thank you for the clarification.

  • LarryD

    And some “greens” are all for a 90% die off of humanity. The Left has always had a strain of romantic yearning for a return to a pastoral past. With a strong subtext of “there are too many of you other people.” The Malthusianism is a justification for policies intended to kill off the “undesirables”.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2017 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service