The agrarian crisis in Africa cannot be explained by a few simple statistics. Insight into the crisis is complicated not only by the lack of accurate data, but also by a lack of knowledge about the dynamics of the subsistence systems of food production in the region. Any serious attempt to understand this complex food crisis must involve a critical analysis of human and natural resources, production factors, labor, capital, availability of appropriate production technology for the region's staple foods, and policy issues. We should also focus on the range of constraints arising from domestic and international macroeconomic developments and decisions imposed upon the agricultural sector in subSaharan Africa.