In 1992, I saw a starving African child on the cover of the September 7th issue of Time magazine. I was in high school, planning a career in finance. That magazine reminded me of my childhood—my parents passing envelopes of cash to my grandfather, the community pulling together to ensure everyone ate. These images stayed with me even as I pursued an economics degree. Despite my reservations about agriculture, I found myself increasingly drawn to issues of hunger, poverty alleviation, and the policy reform needed in Africa. Now here I am, researching staple food marketing and trade policies, and teaching agricultural economics to future farmers at the University of Stellenbosch, driven by the idea that everyone should be able to eat.
T.S. Jayne is the University Foundation professor in the department of agricultural, food, and resource economics at Michigan State University and a distinguished fellow of the African Association of Agricultural Economists
Lulama Ndibongo Traub is senior lecturer at Stellenbosch University and the research director for the Regional Network of Agricultural Policy Research Institutes in East and Southern Africa