The news reports of starvation in central Africa are pitiful. But this is a picture of the human race not paying attention to its future. The devastation will not stop in central Africa unless we are much more active in heading off the crisis and it is not just a question of sending a bit of cash and feeding a few people. Logically (this will sound awful and it is), we should abandon the area (we will do that of course). We need to put our own house in order. Produce food at home right here in the UK whenever possible. Do it with much less energy. Stop building on farm land. Wind up production using wastes rather than fertilisers made using energy.
Remember one figure and think about it. 1 tonne of Nitrogen fertiliser (say 3 tonnes of ammonium nitrate) made in a modern, relatively efficient, USA factory, according to UN sponsored research, takes 21,000 KW hours of electricity to make it and deliver it.
We urgently need to change the way we do things and value farming and our future.
Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, March 2017