A strategist’s point of view
Africa holds untold potential. It has been said for so long that a whole generation of African experts have been nicknamed the “potential generation”, with some forgetting to become the “performance generation”.

African agriculture needs good management for African farming potential to feed Africa, and questions demand answers to prevent the continent from falling into the global obesity epidemic: globesity?

Who is entitled to farm even as common law clashes with the rule of law? Must local populations be excluded from the sale or hire land to foreign states?

A field is four roads around a plot.  What can be said for the infrastructure connecting the field to inputs (seeds, fertilisers, water, machinery), cold-storage facilities, auction markets and roads, trains and airports to transport produce to the consumer?

What is the trade-off between agriculture and the environment? What about deforestation, the protection of wild animals, water shortage, GM crops?

Who gets to chose between subsistence farming for local consumption and crops destined for international agro-business? Marginalising subsistence farming means having African’s swap undernourishment for over-consumption of sugar and the spread of globesity and diabetes: diabesity? The continent already has its champions: Maghreb, Egypt, Cameroon, Gabon, Botswana and South Africa. And they are paying the price: care for high blood pressure, cancer and diabetes runs up hospital bills while companies are seeing repeated absenteeism and workers bailing.

Africa must not make a mistake with its agriculture. It will not survive globesity.


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