Agriculture in developing countries

Markt in Kambodscha
market in Kambodscha

of the agriculture in developing countries comes a basic meaning. One of the typical characteristics from developing countries is that a high portion of the population is active in the developing countries in the primary sector. Apart from the production of Bodenschätzen (oil, gold, diamond etc.) the agriculture in the primary sector has an important position. Between 60 and 90% of the population of the developing countries lives directly on the agriculture. The national product is gained to a large part of the primary sector and foreign exchange incomes to originate to a large extent from the export of agricultural products, particularly from cash Crops. Many humans into developing countries supply themselves by the agriculture: one speaks then of an Subsistenz agriculture. The potential of the Subsistenz - agriculture frequently underestimated, there the BSP the resource not to express can

defiance of the considerable increase of the productivity and the successful fight against hunger disasters are hunger and malnutrition a typical problem of developing countries. The cause for the fact lies in the fact that the agriculture is not able to supply the rapidly growing population with a sufficiently high quantity of food. Therefore the development of the rural areas is a special request for development assistance. Rural development must manufacture however apart from the increase of the agricultural produce also the infrastructural, social and economic conditions for a development of the rural area. That means in detail an improvement of the Nahrungsmittelversorgung, the job creation, as well as the supply of fundamental services such as potable water supply, education - and public health services, construction of roads, public means of transport and power supply. One wants particularly to reach this by a reform of the possession structures and forms of management, as well as by the expansion of agricultural utilizable areas.

Table of contents

climatic conditions

Klimadiagramm einer Dornsavanne in Niger
climatic diagram of a Dornsavanne in the Niger

during itself the “classical” industrial nations particularly in the northern moderate zone find letting, lies the majority of the developing countries in the Tropics, Subtropen, to mediterranen and monsoon climate zones. Therefore it became usual particularly in political and economic discussions between Entwickungs and industrialized countries, by a north south problem, and/or. to speak a north south dialogue - even if this allocation does not correspond (more) to the reality (to general linguistic usage see developing country). Due to their geographical location developing countries have often a large portion of deserts and savannahs. These arid areas are suitable only conditionally for the agricultural use. Often this is possible also only using irrigation technology, which causes however often also salting features and which lastingly can damage fruitful areas. The countries of the Sahelzone are particularly concerned of the Desertifikation are threatened. They belong to all-poorest countries the earth and regularly by hunger disasters are afflicted.

agriculture types

Subsistenzwirtschaft and Subsistenzproduktion

far in developing countries the Subsistenzwirtschaft is common. Among them one understands a restaurant way, with which the agricultural products, as well as the yields from hunt and collecting does not market, but directly to be used. It usually practiced of small and Kleinstbetrieben and often regarded primitive “way of life, on low stage, which particularly in peripheral or historically early Entwicklungsstufen one practices as few developed, standing, „. The pure Subsistenzwirtschaft is extremely rare thereby since the farmers in small measure bartering operate or in local markets are involved.

Today one uses more frequently also the term of the Subsistenzproduktion, whatever contain the self-sufficiency with all important everyday life articles, tools and the independent establishment of huts and the like. This restaurant economics mostly within families and small village communities and is basic condition for a market-focused manufacturing is practiced. Since due to in such a way developing division of labor the farmer produces no longer exclusively for his own family, but also for the supply that do not landwirtschafltichen population to arise must, the Sicherstellung of the food basis one does not make more difficult.

In the developing countries work usually only some the family members for the internal requirement, while others use time for some other sources of income. Often the restaurant way changes here within a yearly cycle. Like that it is quite possible that a farmer predominantly works in one year on a Plantage and operates besides something agriculture for the internal requirement, while he in the subsequent year itself specialized in Subsistenzwirtschaft and again one year produces later exclusively for the market.

Subsistenzwirtschaft and particularly Subsistenzproduktion hold also strengthen introduction into the cities of the developing countries. Often in small Vorgärten or between the huts, whatever even results of the Subsistenzproduktion are, agricultural products are cultivated for the internal requirement or held also cattle.

export production

Bananenplantage in Costa Rica - Bananen sind typische Cash Crops
banana plan days in Costa Rica - bananas are typical cash Crops

of the Subsistenzwirtschaft often face in the developing countries export production, the cultivation of cash Crops. It concerns agricultural products, which are produced primarily for the sales, thus the achievement of a money income. The marketing can take place both on the domestic market, and the world market. Typical cash Crops are cocoa, cotton, peanuts, coffee and bananas. Their production usually takes place on large Plantagen. With a high portion of the agricultural export products in relation to the entire export products also disadvantages are connected:

  • In order to be able to produce sufficient quantities for the world market, Plantagen must often their function by the use of machines, fertilizer, chemistry etc. rationalize. This is possible however only by the import of technology and chemical products, which is principal complex and a developing country on the foreign country makes dependent.
  • An economical production is possible only on large plots, which promotes and to displacing the Kleinbauern leads the great land owners or makes these landless agricultural workers.
  • Decrease of the offer from the local markets with that a raising the price of of the food in the inland accompanies.
  • Uncertain price history and large competition pressure with agricultural products.

oasis economy

Oase Dakhla in Ägypten
oasis Dakhla in Egypt

a characteristic of some developing countries with large deserts - portion represents the oasis economy . A sharp definition of the term oasis does not exist, since this term is used both in the specialized terminology, and in the colloquial language. Nevertheless some characteristics are to be found again and again throughout in the technical literature, which characterize an oasis. These are the island character, which results from the aridity and as far as possible unbesiedelte surrounding countryside, which Vohandensein more limited by usable water, closely, surface, lines or pointful vegetation of cultivated plants, whose cultivation serves the population using irrigation techniques as base of life and under those the Dattelpalme dominated and compact settlements (Qsar), which follow the irrigation corridor.


the oasis economy is the traditional, very intensive restaurant form in the oases of dry regions. Typical characteristic of the oasis economy is the three-division by „the building of floors “. In the lowest level wheat, barley, corn, different kinds of vegetable, rice and fodder plants are cultivated. In the second level low tree cultures dominate such as figs and Granatäpfel, while the third level by the Dattelpalmen are formed, their fruits the inhabitant as food basis of the inhabitants and also as export goods serve. Furthermore oil trees, Granatäpfel and apricot trees are cultivated. The water is usually distributed in open channels according to a strictly specified pattern.

Oases were in former times supplying places for caravans and commercial centres of the Nomaden and oasis farmers, which one move here bartering practiced. Since the end of the colonial age and with beginning of the oil and natural gas extraction have the oases at meaning lost, accordingly there are today only very rarely traditional oases. Natural climatic changes and decrease of the stores of water, the end of transsaharischen caravan traffic, the meaning loss of the Dattel by changed consumer habits, the drift of the oasis inhabitants, feudalistische possession structures, nourishing bottlenecks by agricultural effective areas lacking, inefficient irrigation techniques, high working load and established becoming of the nomadischen peoples led to leeways to the marginal notety in the oases.

Some oases in the North African area experienced however a structural change, which is to due to the development of deep lying water reserves. This made possible an intensification and an expansion of the agriculture and the tourism. While in former times in the oases due to its situation a Subsistenzwirtschaft had to take place and only the Dattel found as export property use, agricultural production is today strengthened aligned to the market.

Also the oasis settlements changed themselves, them not only more largely became, but more to the edge the oasis corridor shifted. Reason for this is above all also the tourism, which revalues the socio-economic situation of the population clearly. By the change and the demand for drinking water, increased thereby, the water reserves of the oases are threatened strongly and the water are missing in the oasis economy.

land reform

to the most urgent


measures the land reform belongs to promotion measures [work on ]. The contrast between a small cross-section of large basic owners is characteristic of developing countries (e.g. Latifundien) and the broad mass of the landless hired hands and tenants or the Kleinstbetrieben (e.g. Minifundien), whose production is not often even sufficient for the self-sufficiency and is such a reason for the migration from the land. The high lease deliveries lead additionally frequently to an indebtedness of the tenants. A further problem is pension capitalism often spread in eastern countries. Among them one understands a restaurant way, with which the land properties tax away their yield portions from the agriculture, however not into the agriculture invests. Due to the small plots the farmers must keep house more intensively, which leads to higher hectare yields. However the incomes of the Kleinstbetriebe are not sufficient, in order to transact investments in better seeds , fertilizer or Pestizide.

Can be worked against to that by a new and a rearrangement of the soil property, which is set free particularly by expropriation of the great land owners, at the Kleinbauern and agricultural workers. By education of production communities, up to the perfect collectivization of the agriculture, in order to form larger possession units, conditions for modern production methods are created. Also an improvement of the lease system, approximately by firm of contracts, transition from rent paid in kind to the money lease and the abolishment of intermediate and sublease leads to improved conditions for Kleinbauern.

Many such reforms, partly in connection with radical expropriations and socialistically - Marxist transformations of the social structure led however mostly just to small success, because a land reform alone is not sufficient.

development of new land reserves

a further possibility for the promotion agriculturally coined/shaped area exists moorland in the transformation of forest - , grass country - , - and Sumpfgebieten in agricultural country or in the enlargement of irrigation surfaces in dry regions. Here the possibility exists modern types of firm of promoting and of adapting to the conditions of the individual country cultivation methods and selling systems for the state or for development companies.

This apparently simple method is however particularly difficult, since those cannot be usually applied for this necessary investments by the developing countries. In addition the not opened land reserves often lie in extremely unstable ecological zones, like the tropical rain forest, the damp/drying/Dornsavannen and in mountain regions. Accordingly the agricultural development of these areas leads to erosion damage, salting features, Desertifikation, degradation of the soils and other heavy ecological problems. If the agriculture is not adapted to these conditions, then the entire ecological system and thus the basis for the agriculture collapse after small time.

management reform

ways of the limited possibilities for the development of new field, can be promoted also the intensification of agricultural production. This requires a reinforcement of the employment of the irrigation technology, the mineral fertilization, plant protection and high-quality planting and animal material. Also extensive agriculture (building of travelling waves) must have converted into intensive agriculture (permanent use of land) and crop rotations introduce and improve. The largest effect on the productivity has the irrigation economy, this is however at the same time connected with economic and ecological problems, like the high acquisition and maintenance cost and the danger of the Vernässung or salting of the soils. In the broader sense also the reorganisation of the market and credit system , the promotion of cooperatives and the transformation of the Subsistenzwirtschaft belong in production to these reforms.

the Green revolution

under „the Green revolution “one understands a set of yield-increasing innovations for the 60's. Their goal was it to prevent an initiating hunger disaster in the third world. It concerns an agrarian technology, which was developed particularly for the Tropics and particularly in wheat and cultivation of rice enormous production increases caused there. It consisted of a combination of high-productive, bred seeds (High Yielding Varieties; HYV), high mineral fertilizer employment, a regulated irrigation technology, strong use of plant protection agents and new work methods (v.a. modern machines). The high yield sorts must again and again again be purchased by the farmers however, since their grains are no longer germable. Beyond that they are very susceptible to insects and plant diseases.

The Green revolution for Indonesia is particularly important, where since 1966 the employment of the international tearing places 8 (IR8), which on the Philippines was bred, nationally one promotes. The vegetation period of these tearing places is shorter around a third than the conventional tearing places, which 2-3 harvests per year made possible and which is grain yield of the plant clearly more highly. In addition measures particularly came like the development of the irrigation plants, the mechanism of advisory boards and the settlement of credit company in the villages. Losses on the fields and after the harvest were decreased by a clear Verkürzung of the storage times by approximately 15%; this was possible by improved harvesting, thresh, and meal techniques. The result was a considerable production increase, like in case of of Java of 2,6 t/ha on 5,4t/ha; i.e. a duplication of pro head production despite far increasing population. Beginning of the 90's could supply itself Indonesia perfectly with rice. By the Green revolution was made possible it for Indonesia to develop from the largest rice importer at the beginning of the 80's to the considerable rice exporter.

The Green revolution leads to ecological, economic and social processes of change, why their evaluation remains rather controversial. While macro economists place the increased returns and their overall economic meaning into the center, micro economists see and particularly ecologists rather problems. Like that the high yield sorts are very parasit susceptible. Thereby the brown rice cicada which in former times hardly of importance was, is particularly threatening, since their Brutzyklus was interrupted annually after the harvest by food shortage. With three planting per year, this no more is the case, which led to an explosion of the population of this cicada. In order to work against, large quantities of pesticides were used, which dezimierten over the food chain also the fish brood in the Savas, as well as the birds, ants and spiders. The loss at the natural Fressfeinden makes a still stronger Pestizideinsatz necessary. In the course of the time some insects developed a resistance against the fight means. One could meet this problem however by the cultivation of mixing successfully with traditional tearing places, without thereby production sank.

Despite the Greens revolution pushes rice production in Asia to its borders, due to Wassermangels and limits usable surfaces. In addition the degradation of the soils and raising the price of the workers come. Particularly the recent population prefers acquisition possibilities in the cities in relation to the hard work on the country, whereby close borders are set to the mechanization, particularly in the cultivation of terrace. Therefore new demands become after gene manipulation and Biotechnology loud, which these problems could solve.

see also

portal of developing countries


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