Africa’s economy is improving. Will its food system follow suit?

David Leonhardt writes an interesting piece about an improving economy in parts of Africa, a growing middle class (particularly in West Africa), barriers for producers, and the role of the Gates Foundation, which has spent several billion dollars investing in projects it hope will improve agricultural productivity. Leonhardt provides an excellent, brief summary of the barriers facing producers and limiting productivity. A link to the Gates Foundation annual letter is included in the article; there are also hyperlinks to Malthus and “The Population Bomb” references, if you need them.

Leonhardt poses some provocative questions:

“Will the economic growth prove lasting and broad enough to end the continent’s tragic famines? Will those Africans who today live almost entirely on starches like cassava be able to switch to a more varied and nutritious diet? How will farmers on the continent likely to suffer some of the worst consequences of climate change cope with it — and how can Africa’s rising food production avoid accelerating that climate change?”

You can read the full article at the New York Times here.