Drought Exposes More Complicated Issues Behind High Africa Food Prices

FILE - A woman sells skinned pawpaw, papaya, as she walks in a market on World Food Day in Lagos, Nigeria, Oct. 16, 2012.

JOHANNESBURG — It is tempting, says Godfrey Nwosu, to blame Nigeria’s rising food prices on something as simple as a drought that has battered the Lake Chad basin and sent crop yields tumbling across the region.

If only it were that simple, Nwosu says. As the head of an organization that promotes Nigerian farming, he would be fielding endless calls from young upstarts eager to plant maize and cassava.

Nwosu isn’t, however, and says he worries that the environmental shocks are only a starting point to this ongoing food crisis.

“The younger ones have been encouraged to go into farming, but it is not yet 100 percent because most of them are looking for white-collar jobs,” he told VOA from Abuja.