Sunday, 28 August 2011

Ag aid, food security aid and increased production - read this post

Great post on AidData about food and agriculture. Really interesting patterns of spending and some things I didn't know about production. I'm fascinated (and a little alarmed) by the differing aid spending trends in ag vs food security in sub-Saharan Africa. If this is really what is happening and food security and agriculture spending are not integrated, what is going on in terms of policy? Is this an example of the extent to which there is still a belief that aggregate food production in a country will automatically address food security?

Perhaps this is just more of an issue in the Southern Africa area where I work, but if a) the new bottom billion live in middle income countries and if b) inequality is the real poverty in these countries, and if c) the food insecure here are insecure because of access not just availability (as suggested by famines that stop at national borders and hunger in plenty), then d) investment in agriculture that does not simultaneously, directly address food insecurity is not going to solve the hunger numbers. Or at least, it might produce enough food to feed the rest of the world's hungry, but the food insecure in Zambia and Cameroon and Malawi are still going to be hungry.

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