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Industrializing Agriculture May Be Harming Africa's Poorest Farmers

Rather than alleviating poverty, a farming revolution aimed at increasing and modernising agricultural production in Africa could be harming the poorest, according to a new study.

The University of East Anglia research details how changes brought on by modernisation programmes disrupt subsistence practices, deepen poverty, impair local systems of trade and knowledge, and threaten land ownership.

The "green revolution" of the 1960s and 70s - when policies supporting new seeds for marketable crops, sold at guaranteed prices, helped many farmers and transformed economies in Asia - has also become increasingly popular in Africa where up to 90 percent of people in some countries are smallholder farmers.

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