BBC – ‘Barren future’ for Africa’s soil

Africa’s farmland is rapidly becoming barren and incapable of sustaining the continent’s already hungry population, according to a report.

A World Connected – Norman Borlaug: A Billion Lives Saved (from a year ago)

One would think that saving a billion lives in developing countries, winning the Nobel Peace Prize, and being regarded in many parts of the world as among the leading Americans of this age would be enough to make someone a household name within America.

Hah. But anyway:

…he has chosen to work outside the media spotlight, engaged in the rather unglamorous enterprise of improving crop yields in parts of the world that receive little attention in the Western media, except to report sensational disasters or scandals.

But, an even more significant and disturbing reason is… “Borlaug’s mission — to cause the environment to produce significantly more food — has come to be seen, at least by some securely affluent commentators, as perhaps better left undone. More food sustains human population growth, which they see as antithetical to the natural world.”…

According to David Seckler, the director of the International Irrigation Management Institute, “The environmental community in the 1980s went crazy pressuring the donor countries and the big foundations not to support ideas like inorganic fertilizers for Africa.” As a result, high-profile yet ‘image-sensitive’ organizations such as The Ford and Rockefeller Foundations and the World Bank, once sponsors of Borlaug’s work, have begun disassociating themselves from it.

Support for the International Maize and Wheat Center — where Borlaug helped to develop the high-yield, low-pesticide dwarf wheat upon which a substantial portion of the world’s population now depends for sustenance — has also dwindled. The net result, according to Easterbrook, is that “although Borlaug’s achievements are arguably the greatest that Ford or Rockefeller has ever funded, both foundations have retreated from the last effort of Borlaug’s long life: the attempt to bring high-yield agriculture to Africa.”

And there you have it. The BBC weeps, people starve, and the Seattle Zoo puts up a bunch of material about “education” to control “population growth” to protect wildlife habitat because farmland is spreading.