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Why is it that whilst some regions in the world consistently produce food surpluses, in others malnutrition is chronic and they have periodic food shortages?

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Introduction

Why is it that whilst some regions in the world consistently produce food surpluses, in others malnutrition is chronic and they have periodic food shortages? In the world today, the three richest people in the world have more money than the 600,000 poorest. It is clear that the main reason for there being food surpluses in some countries and shortages in others, is the widening gap between the rich and the poor. In many LEDCs, such as Ethiopia and Mali in Africa and India in Asia, people are suffering from malnutrition and famine. Whereas in MEDCs, especially in North America and Europe, people are suffering from obesity and food surpluses. Until the late 1980s, both MEDCs and LEDCs were seeking to intensify farming and increase food production. However, in order to convert from extensive to intensive farming, (increasing inputs and efficiency to increase output) intention, planning and investment were needed. In MEDCS such as in the UK, farms began to increase in size due to amalgamation, enabling 'economies of scale' and farming became a business, with agro-scientists developing new seeds to suit certain climates and environments. ...read more.

Middle

Problems of overpopulation in many LEDCs only enhances the problem of food shortages. In India, the population has reached 1 billion and the lack of efficient farming means that they are unable to provide sufficient levels of food for the constantly growing population. In addition, overpopulation has lead to overcultivation of the land which has caused the soil in some areas to become infertile. Soil infertility is a significant problem in Africa as well, especially in the Sahelian countries. However, farmers and companies from the MEDW (mainly European countries) instead of helping, kick locals off their land and set up plantations for export crops on the most fertile land, meaning that local farmers are forced to grow staple crops such as maize and millet on the less fertile land and therefore produce less. The periodic droughts also affect the soil structure and in contrast to the majority of people in MEDCs, many Africans lack the finance and knowledge and education to adopt and develop better growing methods such as crop rotation and contour terracing. ...read more.

Conclusion

A minimum price was set for agricultural produce and the EU guaranteed to buy up any amount at this price. If there was a glut of produce one season, the EU would by some of it and store it. The next season, if there was a shortage, the EU could take the produce out of storage and sell it. (Buffer stocks) However, the constant good seasons meant that food kept building up as the EU could not sell any and the high minimum price set caused severe food surpluses such as the 'butter mountains'. MEDCs developed long before the majority of LEDCs, and in that time, were able to build up their wealth and political status and therefore create the investment and technological intelligence needed for ensuring sufficient food supplies. In addition, the stable climatic conditions and slowing population growth rates have meant that countries such as the UK have less difficulty in sustaining food supplies. Whereas in many LEDCs, vast poverty mixed with unpredictable natural disasters and high population growth rates prevents agricultural development and therefore leads to periodic food shortages and malnutrition. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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