The outlook for the African economy and food supply

David Leonhardt gives an interesting assessment of economics and the food supply value chain for Africa in a recent New York Times The Upshot column.

Observing that economic growth on the continent in the past decade has kept pace with growth in the rest of the world (see graphic, below), Leonhardt discusses how a healthy growing economy and a strengthening middle class might transform Africa's food production and value chain.

Image source: New York Times

African agriculture faces myriad challenges, including lack of access to agricultural technology, training, and market information, as well as an underdeveloped infrastructure. Numerous organizations, from the private sector to NGOs and government agencies, are seeking solutions to these challenges. Leonhardt seems optimistic, though he notes that "Progress isn’t inevitable just because it’s happened before."

-- Clara Shen

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