Madonna y los niños de África

Normalmente Madonna aparece sólo en los titulares de los tabloides del mundo. Pero su adopción de un niño de Malawi cuya madre murió y cuyo padre campesino no podía alimentarlo ha llenado las páginas de opinión de los periódicos serios de todas partes. Su decisión ha llamado la atención sobre Malawi, lugar donde escasean los alimentos recurrentemente y donde hay hambrunas estacionales.

En Malawi y en otros lugares está en marcha un experimento decisivo que podría ayudar a aumentar la producción agrícola de tal manera que otros campesinos pobres no tengan que entregar a sus hijos en adopción. En los últimos años ha habido un gran cambio de actitud entre los gobiernos africanos con respecto a la importancia de la agricultura. Cuando impulsaron la industrialización a costa de la agricultura, los líderes africanos ignoraban rutinariamente a los campesinos comunes. Ahora están mostrando un nuevo respeto por los labradores de la tierra y se dan cuenta de que, para la gente común, la salida más rápida de la pobreza extrema es el aumento tanto de la producción agrícola como de los precios de las cosechas.

Sin embargo, lograr que los campesinos siembren los cultivos adecuados y en mayor cantidad se dice más fácil de lo que se hace. Los campesinos no tienen dinero para adquirir insumos cruciales como los fertilizantes. También les hacen falta las habilidades necesarias. Lamentablemente, los gobiernos africanos han fracasado rotundamente en enseñar mejores métodos a los campesinos.

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