FOOD FANTASIES: Africa's organic farms
By Robert Paarlberg
...Nearly all of Africa's farms are thus de facto "organic." Poor and non-productive, but organic.Robert Paarlberg is a professor of political science at Wellesley College in Massachusetts and the author of "Starved for Science: How Biotechnology is Being Kept Out of Africa.
Cereal crop yields in Africa are only one-third as high as in developing Asia, and only one-tenth as high as the United States. Average income from this kind of farming amounts to only a dollar a day, which is why nearly 80 percent of all those officially classified as poor in Africa are farmers, and why one third of all farmers are chronically malnourished.
Without modern agricultural science, food production in Africa has fallen ominously behind population growth. Total agricultural production per capita today has fallen 19 percent below the level of 1970. Increasingly, Africans must depend on imported food aid...
In this fashion, and perhaps without realizing it, wealthy countries are imposing the richest of tastes on the poorest of people. The rich are, in effect, telling Africa's farmers they should just as well remain poor.