Why Is Africa Starving

Topics: Africa, Poverty, Overpopulation Pages: 6 (1955 words) Published: April 22, 2007
Why is Africa Starving?

Table of ContentsPage

I.Introduction 2

II.European Colonization and Agriculture 2

III.Modern Agriculture in Africa 3

IV.Population Growth 4

V.Necessary Changes 5

VI.Conclusion 6

Works Cited 7


Throughout the world, people are suffering and dieing from starvation and malnourishment. The largest percent of this famine population lives on the continent of Africa. With African countries' large amounts of natural resources, tropical climate, and vast land, there should be no major reasoning as to why starvation is as much of a cause of death as it is. A recent study done in December 2003 by the United Nation's World Food Program showed that more then 38 million people throughout the continent of Africa are at risk of starvation. (Bond 2003) The continent is home to more then 800 million people, a seventh of the world's population. (Bond 2003) With a population of this size, it creates a draining need on the food supply. This proves to be a great challenge for the country in order to provide enough food for its inhabitants. In order to look at why the continent has such a problem with food shortage, one must look at all aspects of the problem and see how the numbers are unbalanced and why they are that way. The government also has the tough challenge of finding a balance between profitable exports and the most important aspect of providing enough food for the country's residents. Several aspects have been detrimental in the development of this balance, and it is a tough challenge to get the continent back in order.

II.European Colonization and Agriculture

When Africa was settled by the various European countries, no base infrastructure was set up for the continent. The European nations used these colonies for nothing more then raw materials, which only benefited the mother nation. Once the countries got what they needed, they left behind them exhausted land that was under their control. One of the most harmful decisions that these governments made was their crop advisory for the African areas. The Europeans stressed the Africans to plant cash crops that would only benefit the European nation and not provide for the African population that already dwelled there. These crops were the only type the farmers were taught to grow and would get a much higher income if they would plant it, so that was the crops they would produce.

Another problem the farmer's faced with the production of cash crops throughout Africa was that the type of crops the Europeans set up did not fit well into the environments they were established in. The farmers in these regions would have to deal with stressful weather conditions such as drought, flood, to high of temperatures and other challenges that these crops were not used to. The majority of the cash crops, such as cotton and tobacco, are very temperamental and are not used to tougher growing conditions. These stresses placed on the crops would then lead to very low yield for the farmers, wasting a large amount of possible farm land that could be used for food, but instead for nothing.

Of the crops that the farmers were producing, the majority was being exported. The European colonists were setting up tobacco and cotton farms throughout Africa and the crops were being sent back to Europe. This creates a very unbalanced system in which no sustainability is created. This left nothing for the people of Africa except for drained resources and inadequate farmland. Because of the poor establishment of the agricultural infrastructure, the continent is still battling with overcoming the situations it started with.

III.Modern Agriculture in Africa

The current stage of agriculture for the majority of the continent Africa is one that still needs improvement. Over the last fifty years, the world's total average agricultural production increased...

Cited: Bond, Catherine. "Silently, Starvation Stalks Millions in Africa." CNN 25 Jan. 2003. 06
Mar. 2007 .
Gutman, Howard A. "Starvation in Africa." Editorial. Exodus News 7 June 2002: 1-2.
"Demographic Trends by Region." Population Issues. 1999. 05 Mar. 2007 .
Santangelo, Joe. "Reducing Poverty in Africa, Population Growth May Be Bigger Hurdle Than AIDS." Medical News Today 29 Oct. 2005. 04 Mar. 2007 .
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