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全球粮食安全与营养论坛 · FSN论坛

Re: Examining the linkages between trade and food security: What is your experience?

Dennis Bennett
Dennis BennettAfriGrains, IncUnited States of America

What were the “necessary and sufficient” conditions that enabled the mid-1800’s American Agricultural Revolution and how can we replicate/update/adapt those necessary and sufficient conditions in 2015 for Africa?

Here are my answers on the “necessary and sufficient” conditions:

  1.  Farm improvements (seed, mechanization, etc)
  2.  Storage (grain elevators, aka storage & handling methods)
  3.  Transportation (canals, railroads - adapted to rivers and roads today)
  4.  Markets (grain merchants that travelled to farms, the Chicago, Minneapolis, etc. boards of trade, Liverpool grain market, Chicago Futures Markets)
  5. Communications (often included in “Markets” - the transcontinental telegraph, transatlantic telegraph, adapted to mobile phones, tablets, laptops, radio and television)
  6. Scientific Agricultural Education (adapted today to Primary School curriculum)
  7. Land Policy (enabling farmers to buy government-owned land inexpensively) Plus perhaps an 8th: political stability.

These are based primarily on academic literature, especially Louis Bernard Schmidt’s articles from the 1920s-1930’s, quoted by subsequent researchers in the 1940’s - 1970’s.  Harvard Kennedy School Associate Professor Ryan Sheely and I are collaborating on a much more detailed journal article on this topic.

One final comment to emphasize why these “necessary and sufficient conditions” need to be adapted to local conditions: the locals know where the elephants walk at night.  Never bet against local knowledge.  You will lose the bet. 

Dennis