The sub-headline screams: More than half of Africa is now in need of urgent food assistance. It continues:
Unchecked population growthIt is so rare that an article in any mainstream media states the obvious: that human overpopulation is a big problem. My hat is off to the BBC on this occasion.
'Sub-Saharan Africa 's population has grown faster than any region over the past 30 years, despite the millions of deaths from the Aids pandemic,' the UN Population Fund says.
A decline in soil quality makes land less productive
'Between 1975 and 2005, the population more than doubled, rising from 335 to 751 million, and is currently growing at a rate of 2.2% a year.'
In some parts of Africa land is plentiful, and this is not a problem. But in others it has had severe consequences.
It has forced farming families to subdivide their land time and again, leading to tiny plots or families moving onto unsuitable, overworked land.
In the highlands of Ethiopia and Eritrea some land is now so degraded that there is little prospect that it will ever produce a descent harvest."
The article concludes:
Some campaigners and academics argue that African farmers will only be able to properly feed their families and societies when Western goods stop flooding their markets.BBC failed to note that some of these campaigners and academics are themselves African.
From 751 million today, at a steady 2.2 percent growth rate, the population will reach a billion and a half in 32 years.
What's the likelihood of a sustained 2.2 percent growth rate? If ever there was a time to read Garrett Hardin's "Tragedy of the Commons", this might be the time. Here.