African agriculture needs trade not aid
Published 31 December 2013
Food security needs Africa to move from aid-dependent fixes to profitable trade-driven agriculture, says David Bennett.SciDev.Net’s recent Spotlight Ensuring food security for the future featured a number of first-rate articles from various viewpoints. Yet there’s one viewpoint sorely lacking: on the economy — and related to this, the role of aid.Too often people think food security can be achieved by a combination of long term research and short term low-tech initiatives. These depend on donor funding, whether from foreign governments — either directly or via their support for research — or from charitable foundations or NGOs.But for any solution to food security to be truly sustainable, people have to move from depending on aid to depending on trade. That is the elephant in the room when it comes to Africa — clearly evident but all too frequently hidden away and not spoken about.