An Imaginary Catastrophe?

Nick Cullather thinks Norman Borlaug's legacy is much more complicated than has been reported:

Another Nobelist, Amartya Sen, convincingly refuted the claim that either food supply or population had anything to do with famine.  Famines regularly occurred at times and places where food was plentiful, and in the most thinly populated places, like Darfur.  But while Borlaug had little respect for the doomsayers, their prophecies were the best justification for a second green revolution for Africa, which Borlaug campaigned for alone before gaining the support of the Rockefeller and Gates foundations and the Obama administration.  Africa produces enough to feed itself and Europe; no French market would be complete without citrus from Ghana, cut flowers from Kenya, or lobster from Mozambique.  But because it is poor, it also receives millions in U.S. food aid, generosity which discourages local farmers from growing cheap grain for local consumption, just as it did in Asia in the 1960s.  A new scientific push is needed, the foundations claim, to save “tens of millions of people who are living on the brink of starvation in sub-Saharan Africa.”