Potato per capita in Africa

Rwanda has the highest population density in Africa — and also the highest potato density (i.e. kg of potatoes produced per person). As a staple crop, potatoes are nutritionally superior to grains, in that they contain vitamin C, iron, and protein. Under many conditions, potato cultivation they can be much more productive than grain production. In the UK in the 18th century, a 1/2 an acre of land under potato cultivation could sustain a family of 5 (Nunn and Qian 2011). This is what Adam Smith had to say about potatoes, in The Wealth of Nations:

–“The food produced by a field of potatoes is … much superior to what is produced by a field of wheat. … No food can afford a more decisive proof of its nourishing quality, or of its being peculiarly suitable to the health of the human constitution” – Adam Smith 1776, pp. 67–68

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