Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Oh, the local producers produce food for subsistence, and flowers as cash crops, and the money from the flowers goes into mobile phones, which goes somewhere else ... China, Europe, the national capital, for the farmer it doesn't really matter who the yellow bellied surplus suckers are or what part of the globe they live in.

Oh, yeah, and the farmers are charged for the cost of shipping in the mobile phones and diesel generators to recharge the mobile phones, at the same rate that the flowers get charged, even though it is totally back traffic and in a competitive system would cost maybe 1/10 as much as the main traffic freight on the flowers.

Like I said, Pascal Zachary is stronger on reporting than on analysis:

Floral exports from Ethiopia are growing so rapidly that flowers theaten to surpass coffee as the country's leading export earner. In Kenya, tens of thousands of small farmers who live within an hour of the Nairobi airport grow French beans and other vegetables, which are packaged, bar-coded, and air-shipped to Europe's grocers. Exports of vegetables, fruits and flowers, largely from eastern and southern Africa, now exceed $2 billion a year, up from virtually zero a quarter-century ago.

All useful reporting ... when it comes time to see that there are serious risks involved if the agriculture is primarily for export, well, noticing that seems to be an exercise left for the reader.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Apr 14th, 2008 at 01:05:50 AM EST
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