ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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African Development and the Rising Powers

Agricultural Development and Food Security in Africa: The Impact of Chinese, Indian and Brazilian Investments edited by Fantu Cheru and Renu Modi (London and New York: Zed Books), 2013; pp 280, £21.99.

Agriculture is the major sector in Africa in terms of its contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP), employment, food security, export, and industrialisation. In this context its mounting ties with the rising powers, China, India and Brazil, have aroused hope and anxiety.1 This book aims to investigate this relationship focused on agriculture and food security. It is based on papers presented at an international conference in Mumbai, India. The editors state in a technical and terse language:

The aim of this book is to evaluate the extent to which FDI [foreign direct investment] from China, India and Brazil is contributing to the transfer of modern agricultural technology to Africa, improving rural infrastructure such as roads and irrigation, building indigenous research and knowledge capacity in modern agriculture, and helping African host governments overcome the financing gap through increased access to finance (both public and private) in order to enable them to invest in strategic areas and unlock the production potential of African agriculture (p 17).

The book has much information (including tables, graphs and charts). But it is ambitious. The relevance and the quality of the contributions need to be scrutinised.

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