Tuesday, June 9, 2009
"The Republic of the Congo isn't exactly a hospitable place: Two-thirds of its people are crammed into sweltering cities, and it's still stuggling to get back on its feet after five years of civil conflict. Plus, it rains a lot. But for a growing number of South African farmers, it's the Promised Land. They're scrambling to get on board an ambitious venture to reclaim farmland in Congo's interior and help relieve that country of a reliance on food imports. ... Fueling the mania were early reports the Congo was prepared to set aside 10 million hectacres of rent-free land, nearly the size of Ohio. That turns out to be an exaggeration. ... The South Africans in turn would build infrastructure, employ locals and instruct them in modern farming techniques. People familiar with the matter say the initial focus will be on restarting state-owned farms abandoned in 1992. ... The Republic of the Congo, a former French colony bordering the larger Democratic Republic of the Congo, gets most of its income from oil. ... South African commerical farmers, mostly the descendents of Dutch and French pioneers who began settling the continent's southern tip centuries ago, are renowned for the ability to coax food out of African soil. Eager for their expertise and capital, African countries from Ghana to Nigeria have offered them incentives to set up shop. ... Such programs can be controversial, touching on sensitive issues of race, colonialism and land tenure. ... Some South African farmers are skeptical the venture will get off the ground and they say that, if it does, investors will be vulnerable to land invasions and political instability. 'Nobody around here is going,' said Lionel Hartman, a farmer in Levubu, in the northern part of South Africa. 'They're not stupid'," my emphasis, Michael Allen at the WSJ, 23 May 2009.
IQ and Global Inequality, Lynn and Vanhanen, 2006, page 298 has four Congo-Brazzaville average IQ estimates, from 64 to 73, averaging 66. You don't suppose ... McKinsey, is there any relationship between IQ and the ability to use modern farming techniques? Ah, bring the natives "Christianity". Restart "state-owned farms". Interesting. The "decendents of Dutch and French pioneers ... are renowned for their ability to coax food out of African soil". How, by magic? What is the "sensitive [issue] of race" here? McKinsey, my 24 May 2009 post: http://skepticaltexascpa.blogspot.com/2009/05/mckinseys-pc-extravaganza.html, take note. That goes for you too, Jeffrey Sachs. What's going on? In "AA" terms, the Congo may have "hit bottom", just like Detroit may have, my 5 January 2009 post: http://skepticaltexascpa.blogspot.com/2009/01/wait-listed-by-jail.html.