Western involvement in Africa should go far beyond the purchase of oil and minerals, and requires sacrifices from all wealthy countries, Western and non-Western. The matter of agricultural subsidies ranks high in this category. The majority of Africans today make their living as commercial farmers, and for them, any unfair competition on free markets has devastating results. African farmers earn very low per-hour wages, and they are able to market their tea, cotton, cacao, and bananas at very low prices. But, they cannot compete with farmers who receive state subsidies to plant, harvest, export, and market their produce. It is up to the rich countries to gradually stop these subsidies-if they really believe their own words about free trade-and to give African farmers their chance.
Q) Just with the given passage above, it seems impossible to figure out whether "farmers who receive state subsidies ~" in the passage refers to those in rich countries or those in Africa but receives subsidies from rich countries (either African or rich state nationals). The author talks about a problem arisen by agricultural subsidies which, in fact, lead to unfair competition on free market. But whether the "free market" refers to world market or domestic market in African states is not clear to me. For this, it seems impossible to know whether farmers who create an unfair competition by receiving subsidies are those from rich countries who are now in Africa, those in rich countries, or African farmers in Africa who receives government subsides originated from rich countries. Am I missing something? Or it's the passage?
Depending on which one is correct, I guess the whole point of the passage changes because the problem the author talks about can be understood in two different levels: the problem in the level of world trade (world market) and the problem in the level of domestic market that leads to poverty in Africa.
Is my problematique valid? Thanks in advance.