Senior Editor Burt Rutherford writes: "Maybe I’m being too parochial, but I just don’t see Africa becoming a major player. Africa can’t even feed itself. How is it going to feed anyone else? While India may possibly be a competitor, I have my doubts. However, I don’t know enough about India to say. My humble opinion is that we have more to worry about with Brazil and Argentina than we do with Africa and India. If South America can get its act together, they will be worthy competitor."
Editor Joe Roybal replies: "I think Burt is right about Africa, but just 30 years ago or so, it was predicted that India would be a starving wasteland by now and it is, I believe, now self-sufficient in grain production, thanks to high-yield ag techniques like biotech seed. Africa’s food problems are mostly the result of political and social causes; hunger has often been used as a political tool, or is the consequence – intended or unintended - of poor political decisions or conflicts. Burt is also right about South America; while Argentina is a mess thanks to governmental meddling, Brazil’s government has chosen agriculture as the way to a better future, figuring that if it can keep people on the land and prevent a mass migration to the cities, it can better feed itself and avoid the urban problems that plague other countries like Mexico."
As for me, I'm interested to see what develops in Africa and India; however, I think South America holds the potential to shake things up in our global agriculture markets down the road. For the United States, I think it's important to continue to focus on being better trade partners and improving our global relationships with countries here and abroad.
Here is an article on the subject written by Clint Peck in the April issue, Two Countries, Two Directions.
What are your thoughts on the topic? Who will be a major player in agriculture down the road? Africa? India? Brazil? Argentina? China? Weigh in on the global beef markets in the comments section below. Thanks in advance for your participation!