A Green Revolution in Africa?  New York Times reports on a controversy over whether or not a Gates Foundation effort to promote agricultural technology in Africa is a good idea or a bad idea.   “The tragedy here is not that Africa hasn’t had a Green Revolution but that the mistakes of the first may be repeated once more, and that one foundation has the power to make the rest of the world bend to its misguided agenda,” say opponents of the effort.  (This quoted from an article in The Nation.)   Support for GM-crops is especially controversial.  Also subsidies for commercial fertilizer, disdained by proponents of organic farming, have been successful in Malawi and other African countries.  "In the Southeast African nation of Malawi, for instance, which as recently as 2004 suffered food shortages that left much of the country near the brink of famine, large new government subsidies for chemical fertilizer have led to bumper crops of corn."

posted February 21, 2010 at 2:30 p.m.


Erlich-Symons bet,  redux.  Julian Symon famously won his bet,  but was it a matter of luck?  For many other periods,  Erlich might have won.    On the other hand,  there's a long run downward trend in commodity prices.

Both of these items brought to my attention by Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution.