By Anteneh Roba, M.D., International Fund for Africa
(Reprinted with permission of Dr. Roba, originally published in FutureTakes.org, Spring 2011)
Africa, a vast continent, besieged by pestilence, famine, disease and hunger, now faces another threat caused by intensive animal agriculture, also known as factory farming, coupled with a new trend called land-leasing. If not stopped, these threats could spell doom for the continent.
Traditionally, farming in Africa has been small-scale, rooted in
agro-ecological methods that
respect Earth’s resources and provide a decent living for family farmers. Native bananas, sorghum, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, yams, cassava, millet, numerous traditional vegetables, and other crops have sustained Africa for millennia.
An ever-growing concerted effort is transforming the traditional mode of farming to factory-style food- production methods that emphasize growing ever greater quantities of fewer crop varieties (corn, soybeans, cotton) for export around the world; ever intensifying use of chemical pesticides and petrofertilizers; replacing traditional seeds and animals with genetically modified seeds and animals; and land leasing.
All in the name of helping African farmers produce more food to deal with hunger plaguing the continent.
Read the entire article here (PDF).