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Food insecurity and implications of production-driven agriculture in the Southern African Development Community

  • Author(s): Baeza, Lauren Tate
  • Advisor(s): Carney, Judith A
  • et al.
Abstract

Initiatives aimed at increasing agricultural outputs in the Southern African Development Community, such as Monsanto trials and Alliance for a New Green Revolution in Africa programs, have been working in Africa long enough to allow for informed evaluations of their impact. Past programs with similarities to these efforts are evaluated to make further predictions regarding the utility of contemporaneous efforts. Modern initiatives mimic methods used by the Green Revolution of the 1940s-1980s, which displaced vulnerable populations and widened wealth gaps. Findings demonstrate that production-driven efforts involve costly upfront investments at high-risks for smallholders and drive resources away from local governments, which could be more productively allocated towards infrastructure and agricultural extension networks. These types of efforts would provide a more immediate and stable route towards food security than export-focused initiatives wherein farmers start off in debt and are frequently uncertain whether they will secure buyers for their surpluses.

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