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Agricultural Issues in the Global South Essay


Food production systems in Asia and Africa at the beginning of the 21st century

Despite the differences in climate and human impact on the environment between Africa and Asia, the similarities tend to unify the two continents. There are similarities in the food production policies that are shared by both regions. According to Thomas-Slayter (2003), there is mixed cropping and integrating different forms of farming in both continents. This policy was put in place to enhance food security, especially because of unpredictable climatic conditions. This policy has worked well, especially for countries with low-income generation projects. A small piece of land can cater to quite some farming options so that adequate food production is made possible for the citizens of these two continents (Jerve, 2012). Food crops have been preferred to cash crops. This has been yet another food security policy. The latter has ensured that food is produced in plenty and that the citizens do not starve at the expense of cash crops. Fish farming is carried out on both continents. The main advantage attached to this type of farming is that fish ponds occupy small pieces of land. Fish farming is also beneficial since it generates huge sums of money after marketing the products.

In contrast, Asia has improved food systems compared to Africa. For instance, soil fertility is different in both cases. Asia is richer than Africa in terms of soil fertility. This explains why Asia has a better food system than Africa. Moreover, Asia’s agricultural climate is better than that of Africa. Their food systems are better because their harvests are usually bumper than the minimal food amounts harvested in Africa.

Food sustainability in some areas of the Global South

Water and land are vital to the sustainability of food and food security. Given the power and energy required to work on these two important aspects, agrarian institutions and technologies would be successful in enhancing food sustainability. The land is the main resource needed to produce crops. In the absence of land, water alone cannot be exclusively used to sustain food security. On the other hand, bare land cannot lead to sustainability. This implies that when land is available, water can be used for irrigation and other support services in the process of food production. Slayter (2003) asserts that water is a vital parameter in food production. Secondly, it is a special nutrient required by food crops for sustainable growth. If food crops are grown in the absence of adequate water resources, minimal harvests will be realized.

Technology includes the tools and machinery that are used to hasten the process of food production. However, sources of power, such as solar energy, electricity, and fossil fuels, are undoubtedly instrumental if the food supply is optimum (Andersen, 2010).

Finally, given the right quantities of each resource, food sustainability will be achieved. This implies that large fields should be provided with adequate water resources.

The roles of women as breadwinners in the rural and the urban areas of the Global South

According to Thomas-Slayter (2003), women’s roles as sole breadwinners are almost similar in both the urban and rural areas. Firstly, women have enormous expectations. It is the role of a woman to control all the responsibilities that society allocates to her. These include taking care of the young ones as well as other house chores. Secondly, both of these women folks enlighten their children even as they grow up. This has been largely contributed by the rising cases of single parenthood resulting from divorce and separation (Aiking, 2004). Thirdly, monetary budgeting for the financial resources at their disposal is yet another responsibility. This helps in minimizing cases of impulse buying. The fourth similarity is that women in the global south have managed to form welfare groups in the form of community-based organizations that cater to common welfares, such as food sustainability (Kohen, 2013).

Zimbabwe’s GMO case

Since Zimbabwe has been poor in food production, it was issued with foods rich in genetically modified organisms. Several tones of corn were shipped into the country to fight famine that had stricken the population (Thomas-Slayter, 2003). The government also refused to accept other hundreds of tones of food following a complaint that GMOs had not been approved in that country. The top leadership of the country would have taken quite a several measures to address the issue. For instance, it could have channeled more funds in buying healthier foodstuffs from other sources. The government should have organized for the foods to be tested to ascertain whether they are suitable for human consumption. After the tests, citizens would be more comfortable to consume imported GMOs.

Putting in place alternative ways of boosting food production will eliminate any fears of consuming GMOs. The leadership of the country should put more effort into ensuring that sustainability in food production can be attained at the local level.


Aiking, H. (2004). Food sustainability: Diverging interpretations. London: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Andersen, P. P. (2010). The African food system and its interaction with human health and nutrition. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Jerve, M. A. (2012). Rural-Urban Linkages and Poverty Analysis. Cambridge: Sage.

Kohen, A. J. (2013).Web.

Thomas-Slayter, B. (2003). Southern exposure. International development and the global South in the twenty-first century. Bloomfield, CT: Kumarian Press.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Agricultural Issues in the Global South." February 16, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/agricultural-issues-in-the-global-south/.


IvyPanda. (2021) 'Agricultural Issues in the Global South'. 16 February.

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