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  • Sara Berry


For over a decade African economies have been plagued by recurrent food shortages, economic decline and growing disparities between the living standards of rich and poor. To a large extent food shortages and rural impoverishment may be attributed to external shocks—world recession, oil price shocks, deteriorating terms of trade and mounting debt service obligations—compounded in the 1970s and early 1980s by drought and war. In addition government policies have exacerbated the effects of adverse environmental and world market trends, aggravating rather than alleviating food shortages and depressing rural output and incomes.



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