FINALLY! The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in Gates’s 2012 annual letter, acknowledged that we need to focus on and invest in orphan and staple crops in Africa (cassava, millet, sorghum, and yams, albeit in addition to his favorite row crop: maize). Good news, coming from the world’s largest private foundation and considering how stubbornly ignorant they were on this point two years ago.
One thing Gates stressed in his letter was the decreasing proportion of farmers in industrializing countries. Can we afford for the entire world to make this transition to mechanized agriculture and lose our agricultural intuition as the last generations of farmers leave us?