Profound changes are underway in food production as agriculture and agribusiness respond to the growth of the global middle class. Harvests of crops for processing, exports and industrial use are booming. Deepak Ray unpacks a research paper that projects what these changes will mean for 10 crops that together account for more than 80% of all calories from harvested crops. The paper estimates that by 2030, 70% of all harvested calories of these top 10 crops will go to uses other than directly feeding hungry people.

African governments have had to manage two major headwinds in recent years – first the COVID pandemic and more recently the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Economies have been shaken to the core. Some countries have ratcheted up their borrowings to cope. As Danny Bradlow and Magalie Masamba explain, 22 are struggling to repay government debt. In a new book, they map out how the terrain has changed and recommend some innovative approaches.

Caroline Southey

Founding Editor

A shrinking fraction of the world’s major crops goes to feed the hungry, with more used for nonfood purposes

Deepak Ray, University of Minnesota

A new study finds that by 2030, less than one-third of the world’s major crop harvests will go directly to feed people.

Debt distress in Africa: biggest problems, and ways forward

Danny Bradlow, University of Pretoria; Magalie Masamba, University of Pretoria

COVID is only one factor contributing to the difficult debt situation in the region.

Say hello to Sagittarius A*, the black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy

Chris Impey, University of Arizona

Sagittarius A* is a massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. Now that astronomers have imaged it, they can begin to learn more about black holes within other galaxies across the universe.