Africa: Food Production and the Inquiry Model
Hunger is the result of disasters such
as drought, floods, the changing of the jet stream patterns and other natural
disasters. They are beyond our control.
It has been estimated that one third of
the land in Tropical Africa is potentially cultivable, though only about
6% of it is currently cultivated. However, to change farming from a low-input,
low-yield pattern to a high-input, high-yield pattern necessitates the
use of more fertilizer and the planting of high-yielding varieties of crops.
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There are a number of environmental factors,
related mostly to climate, soils and health, resisting easy developmental
solutions. Rainfall reliability is closely connected to rainfall quantity.
The rainfall in the equatorial heart is very plentiful and reliable. However,
there is much less rainfall towards the outer edges of the rain belt. Periodic
and unpredictable droughts are a characteristic feature of these border
There are three climatic zones in Tropical
1. a region of persistent rain at and
near the Equator,
2. a region on each side of this of summer
rain and winter drought, and
3. a region at the northern and southern
edges afflicted by drought.
All the climates listed in the previous
paragraph are modified in the eastern parts of Tropical Africa by the mountains
The soils of Tropical Africa pose another
problem. They are unlike the soils of temperate areas. Soils are largely
products of their climates, and tropical soils are different from temperate
soils because the climate is different. Because of the great heat of the
tropics tends to bake the soils, while on the other hand, the rainfall
leaches them. The combined heat and moisture tend to produce very deep
soils because the surface rock is rapidly broken down by chemical weathering.
All this causes the food’s rate of growth to slow down or maybe even stop
and as a result food production won’t even come close in catching up to
the rate of population increase; therefore starvation and hunger is present.
In the process of a flood and drought,
the roots of trees are shallow and virtually no nutrients are obtained
from the soil. The vegetation survives on its own humus waste, which is
plentiful. If the vegetation is cleared, then the source of humus is removed
and the natural infertility of the soils becomes obvious. As being another
factor, this will cause the soil to produce wasteful and useless products
which in turn will decrease the production.
To conclude this essay, the climates in
Tropical Africa take a big role as being factors that could endanger or
destroy the process of plantation. On the other hand, it could also bring
good fortune if climatic regions are fairly good.