Social Scientist. v 7, no. 76 (Nov 1978) p. 14.


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DAVID BAYTELMAN

Obstacles to the Solution of the Food Problem in the Third World

THIS paper presents some information about new developments in food production in certain areas of the Third World, which are in painful contrast to most of the strategies and plans recommended or published by international organizations or by specific governments. The basic assumption made is that socio-economic structural changes are at a certain point of more significance for the solution of the food problem and for improving the situation of the poor peasants than is the transfer of technology or the availability of natural resources. This in our view, is the case in most of the Third World.

Almost one billion human beings in the Third World are condemned to exchange their working energy for a far lower amount of calories and proteins than the minimum necessary to subsist. They coexist with powerful and overfed minorities^ which ironically, are entrusted with the elaboration and materialization of strategies intended to bringing an end to famine and malnutrition. Undoubtedly, to live in 1978 is to have the privilege of seeing the great progress that the world has achieved in this respect, given the fact that famine and malnutrition are not new. Europe itself has been deeply afflicted by famine in the past and malnutrition was a chronic disease in the working sectors of those societies which opened the way to the Industrial Revolution. However, famine



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