World News and Trends: The human role in creating famine

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The human role in creating famine

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Former Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda, in a BBC interview, blamed the famine on governmental corruption, a perennial African problem. He quite bluntly said that African leaders do not care about their own people. In spite of numerous warnings over recent months of impending famine, nobody did anything to prepare. Even now the former president, affectionately referred to as "K.K." by Zambians, warned that leaders would not distribute foreign aid unless they could see something in it for themselves.

An additional cause of the famine is the forcible seizure of land owned by white farmers whose ancestors settled the region in colonial times. Whatever wrongs may or may not have been committed during the colonial period, the fact remains that these farmers are highly productive, as are their American and European counterparts. Most indigenous African farmers remain subsistence farmers, which means they grow only enough food to feed themselves. The descendants of the original settlers are commercial farmers who grow vast amounts of food for sale, ensuring that the entire population has enough to eat and leaving enough left over for export to pay for essential imports like oil.

The compulsory seizure of farmland has not been just an African problem. The communists took control of all private land in Russia after they came to power. Famine was the immediate result. Only this year have Russians finally been able to own land again. After 70 years of communism and a decade of postcommunist confusion, Russian agricultural production is nowhere near what it was in the last years of czarist Russia before World War I, in spite of the technological innovations that have boosted production elsewhere.

In America and other Western nations, family farms are going out of business at an alarming rate. They are not the victims of compulsory governmental seizures of land, but faulty economic policies that encourage big agribusinesses at the expense of family farms.

The Bible speaks of a time when families will once again be able to settle their land and farm without the fear of government stealing their land or introducing policies that make life more difficult. It will also be a time when there will be no more war, another major factor in declining agricultural production in Africa.

In Micah 4:3-4 Micah 4:3-4 [3] And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. [4] But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken it.
American King James Version×
we read of the coming Kingdom of God, which Jesus Christ will rule: "They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid ..." (Source: BBC.)