Falling into the "easier-said-than-done" infographic category, The Gates Foundation and GOOD do have a point: straightforward solutions can often yield high returns.
In The Atlantic last week, Isobel Coleman touches on simple treadle pumps and GMOs as part of Africa's coming agriculture revolution. She goes a step farther, though, by bringing up the more complex infrastructure issues Africa faces that could hinder those well-irrigated and nicely stored crops from ever getting to market and earning a decent price. Unfortunately, roads, ports, refrigeration, power generation and other large-scale projects don't make for nice infographics.
Inexpensive irrigation techniques allow small farmers to grow crops during the off-season, smoothing out the availability of food and increasing their profits.
Will all of these simple solutions increase farmer productivity to the point of tipping the scales, laying the groundwork for more complex, long-term national and international investments to occur?