Protectionism and smuggling routes are blooming across Africa, instead of corn and cassava, as a record drought pushes countries to hoard grain and drives more than 30-million people towards hunger.
The ocean-warming phenomenon known as El Niño is extending Africa’s worst dry spell in three decades, raising the spectre of a second poor harvest in many countries.
Africa’s intensifying food crisis is just one manifestation of El Niño’s advance. An abnormally severe dry season stoked the devastating fires that covered Indonesia and its neighbours in smoke in November. California fruit farms and Brazil sugar plantations are bracing for the violent rains El Niño conditions typically bring to their shores.