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February 24, 2009

Improving the agriculture system in Africa

by Holly McCarthy*

Over the last several decades, African agriculture has lost a majority of its funding from major developing nations and the World Bank due to a lack of productivity. There are some things that can and should be done, however, to work toward a solution before African economies suffer any more devastating blows in the current world economic climate.

Education

Above all else, education is required for African agriculture to survive. This will need to be a widespread and concerted effort in which small farmers are taught how to make better use of their land, including crop selection, high-yield seeds, fertilizers, and water allocation. Especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the climate and precipitation can make or break crop yields, education will be a key factor in the future success of African agricultural endeavors.

Funding

With the world falling deeper into economic despair, it is essential that funding for African agriculture is distributed through proper channels to ensure that a food shortage is not on the horizon. Rioting over food shortages has plagued cities around the world, and African nations are at a particularly pivotal position to help alleviate this shortage with the proper funding, research, and education.

Technology

The farming industry in other developed nations comes from widespread use of industrial farming implements for preparing, planting, and harvesting crops. Along with the use of high-yield seeds and environmentally-friendly fertilizers, Africa could ultimately become an agricultural titan with the proper equipment.

Fair Trade

Working conditions in many African nations are sub-standard and require reforms at all levels. Fair Trade practices can help to ensure that workers are treated and paid fairly for their hard work and work to set prices for African goods at a higher level so that infrastructure can be further developed and established. Encouraging Fair Trade deepens a humanitarian commitment and helps foster lasting and beneficial relationships for all parties involved.

Action

We cannot allow things to get any worse in Africa agriculture or other agrarian economies around the world. The results could ultimately be even more devastating to the world economy f something isn’t done—and soon. Working to help out these nations with agricultural infrastructure and funding is rapidly becoming a moral imperative.

*Holly McCarthy writes on the subject of the online universities. She invites your feedback at hollymccarthy12 at gmail dot com

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