l) Political instability in countries such as Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea Rwanda, Sudan etc have prevented people from concentrating on food production m) There has been declining popularity of food crops e.g. cassava, yams, sorghum, millet which are disease and drought resistant n) Poor economic planning. Most third world countries have got poor agricultural policies that do not encourage farming. o) Poor land tenure systems have also led to low productivity e.g. in Zimbabwe where most of the land has been owned by the minority white population. The majority African people have very small pieces of land which are exhausted due to over cultivation. p) Many third world countries have affected by the HIV/Aids pandemic. It has led to the death of many people who are economically productive. It has led to the loss of agricultural labour in many third world countries. Sick people are too weak to work, and healthy people spend a lot of time nursing the sick at the expense of agriculture. Effects of food shortages a) Loss of lives e.g. the 1884 famine in Ethiopia which led to the deaths of thousands b) It has led to suffering of many people due to malnutrition and starvation. c) Food shortage has led to several problems e.g. stealing of food. A more violent form is the stealing of livestock (cattle rusting) among some communities e.g. the Maasai, Pokot, Turkana, Karamajong etc. d) It has also led to the refugee problem. Many people have migrated to other countries due to drought and famine. e) Lack of food hampers efforts towards economic development. A lot of money is spend on importing food at the expense of other sectors of the economy.Children’s education has been disrupted in many countries.
f) It has also made third world countries to depend much on aid from developed countries g) Stagnation of agro-based industries also affected by food shortages e.g. banking, sugar etc. Remedies/possible solutions to food shortages a) Agricultural research should be encouraged especially in developing drought and disease resistant crops. Research should also be conducted in the control of pests. In Kenya, KARI carries out research. b) Land reclamation should be encouraged. This should be both desert and swamp reclamation to buy more land under cultivation. c) Farmers need to be educated on better farming methods e.g. afforestation, intercropping, terracing. This can be through extension education d) Governments should also channel more funds into agriculture e.g. by giving farmers loans to buy inputs. e) African countries also need to reduce taxes on farm inputs as this will encourage the farmers to increase production. f) Storage facilities should be built so as to minimize losses after harvest. Farmers should also be educated on how to control pests and diseases after harvesting g) Self sufficiency should be emphasized. Families should be encouraged to have a sizeable portion of land under food crops.
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