Thursday, May 15, 2008

No New Books!

NEW CLASS BUT OLD TEXTBOOKS: Students of Harshahi Primary School in Sindhuli district attend class with old textbooks due to unavailability of new ones, to be distributed by the government free of cost. Unavailability of textbooks has largely affected studies in many districts across the country. (Source: The Kathmandu Post, May 15)

Rising Food Prices would help Africa!

This argument comes from the OECD:
"Higher prices in agriculture are actually a positive signal," said OECD economist Denise Wolter as the group presented its African Economic Outlook for 2008 in Berlin.

Over the short term, developed nations should provide aid to Africa to counter bottlenecks in food production, she said.

"But the higher prices are also providing incentives (for farmers) to produce more locally," said Wolter.

The OECD forecast that growth in Africa would accelerate to 5.9 percent this year from 5.7 percent in 2007.

This sounds bizarre especially at a time when the African farmers are deprived of the tools to put their incentives arising from higher prices to practice. Farmers lack credit (see this as well)to buy fertilizers, seeds, irrigation, and agricultural equipment. How can anyone bypass this essential stuff (sometimes lifeline of agriculture) and argue that higher prices would incentivize the farmers and encourage them to produce more!