Is the lack of food distribution in developing countries due to political reasons, overused and infertile soil, or a combination of both?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The poor distribution of food in poor countries is due partly to political factors and partly to scientific factors. 

On the political side, some of the poor distribution of food is due to elite desires to protect their own political and/or economic interests.  For example, when aid is sent to poor countries, it is in the economic interests of the elites to seize as much of that aid as they can and sell it or otherwise use it for their own benefit.  In addition, in many poor countries there are political disputes between people in various regions of the countries.  These disputes are often based on ethnic or religious factors.  In such cases, whichever group controls the government has an interest in preventing rival groups in other regions from getting the food aid they need.  In addition, such conflicts can prevent government from trying to run economic development programs in poor areas.  If the government ran such programs, people might be better able to grow or buy food, but the government does not want to run those programs because it does not want to help its enemies.

On the scientific side, there are problems in some areas with poor soils.  However, there is also the problem of farmers who lack the know-how and the technology to have really efficient farms.  The breakthroughs of the “green revolution” have not reached all areas of all countries.  When there is poor soil or poor climate and the farmers do not have the best technology or techniques, it is hard to grow food.

Thus, the problem of poor food distribution has more than one cause.

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