Will China Feed Africa?
By: Deborah Brautigam
Is China building a new empire in rural Africa? It seems a perfect match: the country with the largest population and the continent with the largest remaining reserves of arable land. Few topics are as controversial and emotionally charged as the belief that the Chinese government is aggressively buying up huge tracts of prime African land to grow food to ship back to China.
In her new book Will Africa Feed China?, CARI Director Deborah Brautigam probes the myths and realities behind the headlines. Challenging conventional wisdom, Brautigam’s engaging research shows Chinese farming investments to be surprisingly modest. China actually exports more food to Africa than it imports. Yet African governments are pushing hard for foreign capital and, to feed their own populations, rural Africa must move from subsistence to commercial agriculture. What role will China play? Will Africa Feed China? introduces the people and politics that will shape the future of this engagement.