The intelligent editors at the Yale Global website has taken seriously my argument for disciplined management of rice imports by African nations — as a way of stimulating their own rice farmers to do more. Any forms of protectionism tend to be dismissed by economists and trade policy analysts — but then they don’t have to live in an African country. Africans in the real world need to defend themselves — and advance their own economic prospects — with the very same tools that people in wealthy countries use. These tools work. And employed intelligently, they will work for Africans. The blinding notion of unrestricted trade led Africans don’t a blind alley — and now they are finding their way back towards a middle road between openess and control. Stirking that balance is an endless quest — not only in agriculture but across the range of human activities.
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