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  1. 1

    Survey of economic and social conditions in Africa, 1991-1992.

    United Nations. Economic Commission for Africa

    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, United Nations, 1994. xvi, 139, 63 p. (E/ECA/SERP/94/1)

    This 1991-92 survey report summarizes economic conditions in Africa. This report differs from the 1990-91 survey report in that it uses 1990 as the base year for constant prices. The topical structure of the survey has remained the same, with the exception of a new chapter on the construction industry. Chapter topics include an overview of the global economy in 1992, the economy of Africa in 1992, fiscal and price developments, external debt and new structural adjustment programs (SAPs), foreign trade, agriculture and forestry and fisheries, petroleum and natural gas, mining, manufacturing, construction, transportation and telecommunications and tourism, and a review of selected social issues. The economy of Africa is stagnating and in crisis. During the 1980s there was not a single African country that successfully industrialized or started to industrialize. The gross domestic product per capita in the region was lower than other regions, and the African share of the global economy and world trade declined. Even African commodities that were almost monopolies declined. The African economy grew by an average of 2% annually during 1980-90 and an estimated 1.3% in 1992. The African region has suffered from the effects of the Gulf War, drought in Southern Africa, and civil wars and conflicts in many countries. The growth rate of the world economy was 1.4% in 1992 and 2.0% in 1994. The growth rate of developing economies was 6.1% in 1992 and 5.7% in 1993. The growth rate in Africa was 2.0% in 1992 and 2.3% in 1993. The extent of outstanding debt in developing countries continued to rise. The African share of developing country debt was $292 billion out of $1478 billion in 1991. Economic conditions in Africa deteriorated sharply in 1992. The prospects for 1993 were not even for modest growth. The crisis in the social sector continued without stop into the 1990s. Women and children are the most seriously affected.
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  2. 2

    Population growth and the food supply: conflicting perspectives.

    Bongaarts J

    New York, New York, Population Council, 1993. 37 p. (Research Division Working Papers No. 53)

    This review aims to expose the diversity of existing views on the consequences of rapid population growth for food production and to summarize the opposing views on the state of natural resources. A deteriorating environment is viewed as inevitable and the developing world improves its standard of living and population increases. Population is expected to reach 10 billion people by 2050. Food consumption varies by quantity, quality, and country. The developed world has a diet rich enough in calories and animal products to impair health, while Africans have the poorest diets and Latin Americans the best in the developing world. The developing world's 4.1 billion population in 1990 consumes an average of 4000 gross and 2500 net calories of food crops per capita every day. Production needs in 1990 are 0.7 billion hectares of harvested land with an average crop yield of 2.2 tons of grain per hectare (tge/ha), or its equivalent in nongrain crops. Net imports are 5% of the food supply in the developing world. The needs for 2050 and a population of 8.7 billion can be estimated based on the following scenarios: 1) no change in diets, 2) a 50% increase in gross per capita intake to 6000 calories per day, or 3) a 150% increase as represented in diets in developed countries. Production needs for option one would be an increase from 2.2 tge/ha to 4.7 tge/ha in 2050. Option two would require 14 tge/ha, which is an impossibility considering the current US cereal production is 4.2 tge/ha. Harvested land would need to increase by 50% by 2050 and yields would have to increase to 3.1 tge/ha for option one, 5.2 tge/ha for option two, and 9.3 tge/ha for option three. Global weather conditions are likely to change due to greenhouse emissions and global warming, which will both positively and negatively affect agriculture. The question remains as to how to apply new technology for growth in agriculture for increased production and acceptable environmental costs. Progress is unlikely to be uniform, and the poor will suffer the most. Three hunger scenarios are possible: poor countries with no reserves of land or water and reliance on food aid, ample resources and unequal distribution and ineffective policies, and political instability and civil strife.
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  3. 3

    Commercialization of agriculture under population pressure: effects on production, consumption, and nutrition in Rwanda.

    von Braun J; de Haen H; Blanken J

    Washington, D.C., International Food Policy Research Institute, 1991. 123 p. (Research Report 85)

    This research reports on the effects of increased commercialization on production, household real income, family food consumption, expenditures, on nonfood goods and services, and the nutritional status of the population in Rwanda. The process by which household food consumption and nutritional status are affected by commercialization is described with emphasis on identifying the major elements and how each element is influenced by the change. The issue was whether agricultural production systems and efficient use of resources can be sustained under population pressure. The study area was the commune of Giciye in Gisenyi district in northwestern Rwanda. The area is mountainous and has very poor quality and acidic soils, with a deficiency of phosphorus. Population increase averaged 4.2%/year. There is a high prevalence of underconsumption and malnutrition. Subsistence food production is becoming increasingly more difficult. New activities include production of tea and expansion of potato production. There is beer processing from sorghum and off-farm employment. The forces driving commercialization are identified, followed by a discussion of the production and income effects of the commercialization process, the consumption relationships and effects, the consumption/nutrition/health links, and the longterm perspectives on rural development. The research design, theory, and data base are described. The conclusions were that increasing the rate of change in agricultural technology for subsistence crops would not maintain even the current levels of poverty; there must be reductions in population growth. The recommended strategy is to encourage diversification of the rural economy with specialization in both agriculture and nonagricultural products and to improve the human capital and infrastructure base. Labor productivity needs to be increased as well as employment expansion. Labor-intensive erosion control methods such as terracing are recommended as a resource investment, which are assumed to take into account women and their time constraints. Tea production which is considered a women's crop has offered off-farm employment opportunities. Consideration must be given to land tenure policy and issues of compensation for loss of land during the commercialization process. Health and sanitation measures are needed concurrently with economic development.
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  4. 4

    Paradigms of sustainable development.

    Kadekodi GK

    Development. 1992; (3):72-6.

    An expansive definition of sustainable development is given to include operationalized measures such as: land and water resources, natural resource related measures, population and quality of life indicators, environmental indicators, welfare and level of living indicators, and institutional and legal indicators. Major global problems still include hunger and poverty. The most crucial issue is the sustainability of the developmental process when social, ecological, and economic environments are deteriorating. Several factors causing this deterioration are constructed using a paradigm. The paradigm entails simultaneously accounting for security and welfare. Care must be taken in assuming that growth is equal to welfare, when welfare includes growth and equity and justice. The concept of resource cost within a market pricing system is necessary to environmental and economic development. Wealth is determined by capital stock and environmental and human resources. The notion of the individual as the basic entity for all welfare computations denies the interdependence of natural resources and humanmade capital, between nations and groups, humanity and animals, biomass and animals. The emerging issues are how to bring about the desired changes. The neoclassical school and the utility approach say to adjust demand (consumption) through pricing which leads to inequality. Marx and Engel suggested demand be treated as secondary. Human welfare is adjusted through productive structures and distribution, which in developing countries has revealed inefficiency and mismanagement of common property resources and misallocation of environmental resources. A crisis is the inability to find perfect substitutes for ecological resources. Environmental theory did not provide for tools for pricing environmental resources. Human capital is limited in acting as a substitute for natural capital. 1) Limits to sustainability, high costs of substitution, and irreversibility of ecological resources pose major problems to economic development. 2) Economic progress has declined even with a high rate of capital accumulation. There is a vicious cycle of poverty and environmental degradation. 3) Population pressure adds to the complexity of the issues. Valuation of resources is problematic. 4) Women's status and responsibilities are at stake and urban challenges are increasing. A social system analysis is an appropriate framework: an ecological paradigm of maintaining resources instead of income. A balance between long and short development is necessary. Dynamic adjustments are possible.
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  5. 5

    Dynamics of population growth: implications for environment and quality of life.

    Panandiker VA

    [Unpublished] 1990. Presented at the Population-Environment Dynamics Symposium, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, October 1-3, 1990. 26 p.

    Basic issues and problems involved in India's population growth, the environment, and the quality of life are identified. India is a populous country (16.5% of the world's population). The nature of the population problem is a growth rate of 2.4%/year. The target for India is to reach NRR-1 by 2000 with a birth rate of 21/1000 and a death rate of 7, which is impossible when in 1990 the birth rate was 31 and the death rate 11/1000. Population growth affects 1) agricultural production, 2) the environment, and 3) the quality of life. Agricultural production increased 333% between 1950 and 1990 while population increased 240%, which reduced the need for imported foodgrains. India's share of the world's arable land is 12% and the share of population is 16%. Yields are low compared with China or Southeast Asia. The Indo-Gangetic Plains have the potential for satisfying carrying capacity. Environmental problems result not just from agricultural practices but also from the patterns of consumption of developed countries and domestic development policies. The 1990 development plan supplies a hopeful approach toward development which promotes ecological balance and conservation and regeneration of natural resources. However, increased agricultural production means intensive use of fertilizers, pesticides, and soil degradation which impact on the environment, as evidenced in the Punjab and Haryana. Currently estimates of damaged or unusable land amount to 60% of available agricultural land. Loss from flooding affects 795 million people. Water logging and salinity are also affected by agricultural development due to inadequate drainage. The implications of population growth on the environment are dwarfed by the pressing political problems of food and employment. Environmental pressure groups are forming. Poverty is a serious problem particularly in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar with >50% of the population below the poverty line. Population pressure strains resources such as education where planned growth still would leave 30% illiterate by the year 2000, and the costs would take a large share of the national budget. Availability of water, health care, housing, and clothing pose similar problems. The concern is whether upheaval will accompany the changes and whether poverty and other problems can be resolved satisfactorily.
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  6. 6

    Evolving food gaps in the Middle East/North Africa: prospects and policy implications.

    Khaldi N

    Washington, D.C., International Food Policy Research Institute, 1984 Dec. 74 p. (International Food Policy Research Institute Research Report No. 47)

    Spurred by the rapid rise in oil revenues and the surge in demand for food that has accompanied them, a widening gap between food supply and demand has led to huge increases in imports in the Middle East/North Africa since 1973. At the same time, changing food preferences have altered the composition of the foods consumed. During the overall period 1966-80, consumption of staple foods in the region increased by 3.9% per year, but the annual average for the years after 1973 was greater, 4.8%. Both comsumption and population grew more rapidly in the oil-exporting countries. Although the infusion of income in the poverty-stricken labor-exporting countries fostered a rise in demand, the slowdown in population growth as a result of migration held down the annual growth in the consumption of staples. On the production side, the performance of agriculture in the region as a whole has not kept pace with the increased demand. Differences in the amounts of food the countries produce have become pronounced in recent years. Regional growth in production shifted from increases in area sown to increases in yield in the later period as land became scarcer. To close the projected regional gap in basic staples of 52 million metric tons by the year 2000, staple food production would have to increase 4.7% annually, but its projected growth is only 2.7% per year. Eventual surpluses might lead to a widening of intraregional trade and greater food security for all of the countries in the region.
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