Food Aid, Agriculture and the African Farmer : A Curator's Egg
This paper was intended to contribute to the debate about aid and development in Africa by focusing specifically on food aid and its various impacts on African agriculture and, by extension, on African farmers. Our explorations have led us down the path of greater complexities which we, nonetheless, hope will contribute to sober reflections and informed debates about the food aid regimes in Africa. In the meantime, our analysis has shown that food aid, like other forms of development assistance, is like a curate's egg. It has the potential to create difficulties or disincentive effects for African producers, a problem which can be particularly acute at sub-national levels. The balance of this paper is divided into four sections. Firstly, some of the general trends in food aid to Africa, are examined, followed by a survey of debates about the salience of gains and pitfalls of food aid for African agriculture and development. We then turn to specific African cases in order to draw some tentative conclusions about the impact of food aid on the future of African agriculture and development.