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article imageKofi Annan: Africa Must Have a Green Revolution

By Bob Ewing     May 1, 2008 in World
The former Secretary General of the United Nations has called for an African Green revolution in order to solve the food crisis. Political analyst said the heart of the crisis was property rights, as most farmers do not own land.
Kofi Annan is the former UN Secretary-General and he is calling or a "green revolution". Annan's call is based upon his belief that the green revolution will solve the food crisis that is threatening Africa.
"A genuinely African green revolution could lead to a doubling or tripling of food production," he told the BBC.
The BBC report said that Annan feels that Africa needs direct, immediate help for farmers to stop food imports including new seeds and fertilisers.
However, there are those who disagree, for example, political analyst and South African beef farmer Moeletsi Mbeki said the heart of the crisis was property rights, as most farmers do not own land.
"The farmers in Africa have no secure property rights - their land doesn't belong to them it can be taken away from them just about any time," Mr Mbeki, brother of South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki said.
"If you help them [farmers] all along the value-chain, they are more likely, not only to improve production, but to sustain it," Annan said.
Mbeki is deputy chairman of the South African Institute of International Affairs and believes that Annan's vision would only be feasible as long as land ownership and political accountability were addressed at the same time.
"We've seen the consequences of the farmer not having property rights in the destruction of agriculture in Zimbabwe," he said.
"Zimbabwe had a green revolution - for example their maize is hybrid maize, it wasn't just traditional seed they were using but the Mugabe regime took away the land."
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