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"Food shortages in Developing (less developed) countries are due at least as much to social and economic factors as they are to physical disasters" Discuss this view using a range of examples.

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Introduction

Agriculture Essay "Food shortages in Developing (less developed) countries are due at least as much to social and economic factors as they are to physical disasters" Discuss this view using a range of examples. Food shortages in developing countries are due at least to social and economic factors as they are to physical factors is a fair comment to make as many of the physical disasters which occur in developing countries can also occur in developed countries. However it is rare to find a case of a developed country having food shortages due to a physical disaster. Therefore there must be a reason that the developing countries suffer in positions which developed countries do not. Simply, the developing countries do not have the infrastructure or the resources to cope with a physical disaster in the same way that a developed country does. This therefore leads to further problems, one of the most obvious and well publicised is food shortages. The reason for this is partly due to the fact that the governments in developing countries is not very efficient or is corrupt which causes problems to the economy of the country. An example of where the government has not helped with the problem of food shortages is in Bangladesh. ...read more.

Middle

For example in Britain if people want a product or a service they pay for it with money, this is not always the case in developing countries as many 'products' or services are paid for with other products or services. This was a big problem in Sudan around 1991-2 where the price of food was on the increase due to poor harvests causing a lack of food. One of the main products which suffered this problem was flour. At the same time the nomadic herdsmen which rely on the price they can get for their livestock had a problem because the price that they could get for livestock dropped. This meant that they could not raise enough money to afford food. In a similar way to the government in Bangladesh, the government of Sudan did not respond in the correct way to suit this situation which affected over 1,000,000 people. Although they did request 75,000 tons of aid, they did so only suggesting it would plug its 'food gap'. However the situation in Sudan was obviously more than a food gap, and the government were either denying their situation and trying to cover it up, or they genuinely were too oblivious to the situation to realise the seriousness of it. ...read more.

Conclusion

This problem in places such as Ethiopia and Bangladesh is not going to get any easy in the future when much of their land is used for agriculture as much of the soil is now being overgrazed and many of the nutrients are slowly being used up from the soil as it is not left fallow as perhaps it should be. This has already led to soil erosion and desertification in many parts and no doubt this will occur in more areas if something is not done sooner. Also with global warming there is likely to be more droughts and higher sea levels causing more flooding in Bangladesh, therefore the governments of these countries and others in similar positions should act sooner to prevent more catastrophic events from occurring. In conclusion to this I believe that if the governments are set up in a way that will act quickly and have the resources to act in a responsive manner to solving the problem, there will not be a problem of famine, even if there is food shortages one year. Therefore in response to the comment which this essay is set around I agree that it is as much down to the social and economic issues, as it is down to a physical disaster that causes food shortages in a country. Mark Johnston 01/05/2007 1 ...read more.

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