Science and Technology: GM Crops and Inorganic Fertilizers versus Organics and 'Natural' Farming
There is a new determination, and increased funding, to promote science-based agricultural development in Africa. But why are spending and commitments so sluggish? Is this because 'He that complies against his will is of his own opinion still'?
Many African leaders, now under pressure to respond to the growing demand for fertilisers, irrigation and modern plant breeding, harbour deep doubts about these - as do some opinion-forming NGOs. Do the physical crises of African agriculture - food output per head lower than in the 1960s, soil erosion and nutrient loss, water scarcity - require 'organic', low-input, farming with minimal modern inputs, or science-based, yet conservation-sensitive, farm development and research?