With millions of Africans dying of starvation each year, it is clear that our system of international aid is failing. A crucial mistake is our refusal to provide substantial agricultural assistance to increase African food production. Instead, we ship tons of food in emergency aid after people have already started dying. Much of the donation is wasted on shipping costs, the aid is delayed, and our grain risks depressing local prices and long-term production incentives. We must extend the Green Revolution [major advances in agricultural technology in the 1960s that increased crop yields] to Africa. Many villagers want more fertilizer above all, better seeds, and help with irrigation. Unless we help start a Green Revolution in Africa, the food crisis will continue year after year.
Nicholas D. Kristof [10/11/05]