By D. O. Hall, P. J. de Groot (auth.), Karl W. Böer (eds.)
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While many developing countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, struggle to feed their peoples, uncontrolled agricultural policies in developed countries (and especially in the USA and the EEC) are giving rise to embarrassing surpluses. 8 Malnutrition Fine words over the decades. But now, in 1985,40 million people, 15 million of them children, died from hunger and its related diseases. 12 ,74 These people only represent the casualities. About 450 million people-a tenth of the world population-are malnourished, and this figure is probably still increasing.
These findings are significant, because although the major successes III achieving increased yields with HYV's have been with rice and wheat in irrigated regions,123 these two crops are frequently grown by the richer farmers and consumed by people who live in urban areas. Lipton suggests that wheat is not the obvious crop to grow in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, while HYV's of rice will probably be confined to irrigated regions of West Africa. But in any case, these two crops do not predominate in the diets of many African peoples.
Concern is now being expressed over this high level of water utilization and consequent depletion of reserves. However, despite this not inconsiderable problem (which may be relieved through the greater use of desalination plants), the production figures for wheat serve to show what can be achieved if the incentive is available. Wheat subsidies alone cost the government over $1 billion in 1984. The support price has now been cut by $500 M and the signs are that subsidies will continue to decrease.