Feeding the World and Starving Itself

So many things depress me about this article.  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/02/opinion/02Brown.html?_r=2&hpw That Africa’s natural resources –in this case its farming land — are yet again being plundered.  But this time not by the “White Man”.   This time it’s some of Africa’s big brothers and sisters from the South, like India and South Korea.   Oh and this international land grab is taking place in countries plagued byfamine:  Ethiopia and Sudan.   So countries we imagined were dusty strips of parched land actually possess fertile plains perfect for large-scale food production.  Doesn’t that mess with our perception of the starving people we see on TV, usually portrayed as victims of Mother Nature?   What are they really victims of? The avarice of their own governments? The incompetence of their own people to establish effective commercial farming?  Next time we’re asked to save the victims of Ethiopian famine, maybe we should ask its government some hard questions.  Like why it’s feeding other countries but it can’t feed its own.

Oh wait, I forgot the really scary part:  that Africa’s –and, indeed, the world’s, population is growing faster than anyone’s resources can support.  And that’s mostly because women remain thoroughly repressed throughout much of the world.  But that’s a subject for another entry….

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