Tropical Africa: Food Production and the Inquiry Model

Essay by IdanHigh School, 11th gradeA+, January 1996

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Tropical Africa: Food Production and the Inquiry Model

Hunger is the result of disasters such as drought, floods, the

.changing of the jet stream patterns and other natural disasters

.They are beyond our control

It has been estimated that one third of the land in Tropical

Africa is potentially cultivable, though only about 6% of it is

,currently cultivated. However, to change farming from a low-input

low-yield pattern to a high-input, high-yield pattern necessitates

the use of more fertilizer and the planting of high-yielding

.varieties of crops

There are a number of environmental factors, related mostly to

.climate, soils and health, resisting easy developmental solutions

.Rainfall reliability is closely connected to rainfall quantity

The rainfall in the equatorial heart is very plentiful and

reliable. However, there is much less rainfall towards the outer

edges of the rain belt. Periodic and unpredictable droughts are a

.characteristic feature of these border zones

:There are three climatic zones in Tropical Africa

,1.a region of persistent rain at and near the Equator

2.a region on each side of this of summer rain and winter

drought, and

3.a region at the northern and southern edges afflicted by


All the climates listed in the previous paragraph are modified

in the eastern parts of Tropical Africa by the mountains and


The soils of Tropical Africa pose another problem. They are

unlike the soils of temperate areas. Soils are largely products of

their climates, and tropical soils are different from temperate

soils because the climate is different. Because of the great heat

,of the tropics tends to bake the soils, while on the other hand

the rainfall leaches them. The combined heat and moisture tend to

produce very deep soils because the surface rock is rapidly broken

down by chemical weathering.