African countries are experiencing a locust plague of biblical proportions. The food supply and livelihoods of more than 20 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, and Uganda and also the Arabian Peninsula are under attack from locusts.
The U.S. has just contributed $8 million towards helping with this dire situation.
Unfortunately, African countries are prevented from using much of this money to fight locusts in the most effective way possible: by spraying pesticides into the air.
The green movement has pretty much ensured that it will be impossible to obtain sufficient supplies of the the insecticides needed to combat this deadly plague.
While the government in Kenya, for example, struggles to obtain insecticides, the green movement is merrily pushing for more bans.
A Wall Street Journal piece by Africa Fights Malaria co-founder Richard Tren (“Africa’s Locust Plague Shows the Danger of Green Colonialism”) explains what is happening:
Since last September, European Union-funded nongovernmental organizations in Kenya have been petitioning the Kenyan Parliament to ban more than 250 registered agricultural insecticides. Foremost among these groups is the Route to Food Initiative, funded by the Heinrich Böll Foundation, which in turn is affiliated with the German Green Party. The chemicals the Greens seek to ban are essential for controlling not only locusts but also common agricultural pests, weeds and fungi. Even as locusts devastate Kenyan crops, NGO lobbyists continue their anti-insecticide crusade.
While the swarms of desert locust present an urgent threat, Africa’s farmers face countless other pests that reduce crop yields. The fall armyworm, a caterpillar native to the Americas, arrived in Africa in 2016 and now affects most of the continent. The pest feeds on many crops but prefers corn, a staple in many African countries, and already it has reduced yields by as much as 50% in some countries.
Greenies may get a righteous rush every time a new Insecticides is banned but insecticides protect crops and people. You can farm without insecticides. Sometimes you can’t live without them. U.S. leaders are beginning to recognize this:
The U.S. ambassador to the FAO, Kip Tom, is taking a lonely stand against this luddite anti-pesticide agenda. In his speech last Thursday at an annual U.S. Department of Agriculture forum, Mr. Tom criticized FAO members for “anti-capitalist” and “anti-trade” ideology and slammed “well-funded NGOs” that spread misinformation and seek to undermine the adoption of vital technology.
“Innovation in agriculture and food is the key to global food security,” he said, and it’s needed “around the world.” The locust plague underscores his point.
Mr. Pompeo called on African countries to liberalize their economies and enact reforms to attract investors. This is wise advice, and many African countries are following it already. Reform and liberalization increase prosperity and reinforce sovereignty. Following through on agricultural reforms would make African countries less reliant on paternalistic donors from the EU and U.N.
Africans can let foreign donors play out their ideological fantasies in Africa, like colonialists of yore. Or they can send them home, where, thanks to modern farming technology, they have the privilege of full supermarket shelves.
Banning pesticides makes green westerners feel good; unfortunately, it kills or starves people in Africa and other developing parts of the world.
IWF’s most recent Champion Women profile is of Magatte Wade, Senegal-born entrepreneur and free market champion. Exporting the free market, not a new form of colonialism that uses African people to make westerners feel good, is will save lives and feed people.