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Friday, July 29, 2011


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Really interesting Roger. Outrageous, but interesting.

Apparently, no one wants to teach people to fish. You state the problem is lack of funding for the Feed the Future Iniative. The problem seems to be that there is no money in that. There is big money in providing aid and taking a little of the top. Very sad.

Spot on- as long as WFP will belated rush in with food aid while a rich politician will also be awarded tenders to import grain, there will always be little incentive to enhance and boost agricultural research and development. Speaking as a post-doc researcher who 'wasted' 5 years coming up with recommendations that were not effected, and still frustrated with the current debate on GM maize, this thesis doesn't state it all. Lots is lying wasted that could turn round a rich ecosystem to feed not just its own but also for agribusiness exports. However, priorities are reversed from the very top.

Blame should not just be African all- I am sure there are very rich pickings for some mid-US Corn Belt farmers who produce excess grain and have a ready market with WFP. Fine! Better feed some hungry people somewhere than use all the grain for horse feed and bio-fuels. If the WFP would go ahead feeding the destitute in arid Northern Kenya without so much TV drama, the world would be a better place.

If the US alone is spending hundreds of million dollars in food aid, then better than creating prime jobs for its WFP employees, it might do more to support research. That is, if the poor African governments will not be shooting their feet like in the GM maize scenario. Doubted, starving Turkana would care least if the food aid grain is GM or organic or conventional or even the teosinte.

And as soon as agricultural research is boosted, processing of yield need go hand in hand. There is no sin like watching vegetables rot in the Central Highlands' fields and cows 'refusing' to feed on the surplus while an hour's flight away Turkana people are foraging for wild fruits like wild animals.

If market was assured and storage means improved, Kenya and many other African countries would be frontline in feeding themselves as well as exporting. Indeed, Kenya exports lots in cash crops and so would not be too weak to export grain likewise. It is just a matter of focus and priorities. Remember, this is the same country that saw stores full of maize burnt down three years ago!

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