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Physical and human processes can be linked to explain the deficit of food production in the Sahel. Explain how these factors have caused low agricultural productivity in the Sahel.

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Physical and human processes can be linked to explain the deficit of food production in the Sahel. Explain how these factors have caused low agricultural productivity in the Sahel. The Sahel is a large expanse of semi-arid land that travels from the West of Africa to the East. This area of land traverses across a collection of countries and stands as a boundary between the Sahara in the north and the more tropical areas in the south. Spanning approximately 4500miles across the breadth of Africa, it is constantly expanding by the process of desertification as it is subject to extreme physical and human factors. Whilst the physical extremes of the Sahel may play a large part of its food deficit it is not the only culprit, it is a mixture of physical, economic, technological and political factors that lead to the high numbers of starvation in these arid areas. ...read more.


The heavy rain can also penetrate the soil breaking it up and form gullies as it washes away the little nutrients that are left in the soil. The economic situation of the Sahel is poor, the countries within its boundaries have some of the lowest GNP per capita's in the World. Irrigation, machinery, fertilisers and seeds cannot be afforded by farmers and the government can provide little if any financial support. Banks are also unwilling to loan money to farmers due to the risk of no repayment. Village moneylenders will however loan money to farmers but at extortionate rates that will further add to the farmer's poverty. Another affect of the poor economic situation is the lack of education. Farmers are not educated on how to modify their land to maximise production and achieve high yields. ...read more.


Countries in the Sahel have never had great political stability, whether it's because of civil wars or the huge amount of debt they accumulate. This has been acknowledged as a major factor in the Sahel's food deficit. For instance, British farmers can find financial and moral support from the EC if anything should go wrong. There are so many factors affecting the food shortage in the Sahel that it would take a great deal of time and effort to break the cycle and lessen the troubles that these people face every day. After all it is not just the physical conditions of the Sahel that cause the deficit, technology is available to help these people but their countries just can't afford it. If the Sahel is going to solve its many problems I think it will take a lot of investment, mostly in the form of aid, but this time it should be used effectively. Lee Evans 13MS ...read more.

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