Why developing countries are so poor?

Natural, economic and social resources are the major components of economic development. But it is observed that some countries have limited resources yet development has taken place, for e.g. Switzerland, Denmark, Japan, etc. This is mainly due to human efforts and advance technology. On the other hand some countries have lot of resources yet they are less developed. 

Source - Blogger

In these countries, the wealth is unevenly distributed among the people. Rich people have excessive wealth, which is continuously increasing, while the poor are becoming more poor. Most of the people in these countries are engaged in subsistence agriculture. It is associated with low productivity. Manufacturing and employment is low. The geographical distribution of the population is mostly rural, despite recent rapid urban growth. Due to high birth rate and death rate, the structure of the population has a high proportion of non-productive people under the age of fifteen. Due to poverty, people get insufficient and low quality food, therefore, there is a serious problem of malnutrition. Due to the type of food they get, their energy level is low and they develop diseases related to malnutrition. As a result, there is low life expectancy. Infant mortality rate is extremely high.

Most of the countries are facing environmental problems. Climate has a direct effect on human activities. Many developing countries are in regions where activity rates are reduced and the body is more prone to diseases, because of the hot and humid climate. Uncomfortable climate along with poverty, diseases, ignorance and poor diet has led to very less development.

The climate affects agriculture, transport and other economic activities, that influences the development of country. Tropical countries have frequent droughts and occasional heavy rainfall that result in erosion and leaching of soils. Extreme climatic conditions also affect transport facilities, especially roads, which are easily washed out. Similarly heat, dust and water can badly affect transport machinery such as vehicles or railway locomotives.

Natural resources are very important in the process of development, providing a base for industrial growth or earning foreign currency from their export. However, the distribution of the world's energy resources, especially coal and oil is very uneven. Many developing countries lack the raw material. Whereas the developed countries grow their wealth and power with these resources. On the other hand, the potential for hydro-electric and solar-generated energy is quite considerable in many parts of these countries. For example, Africa possesses 40 per cent of the world's hydro-electric power potential. The difficulty is to realize this potential.

Despite their importance, lack of resources is not a problem of underdevelopment, because countries like Denmark, Switzerland and Japan have achieved high levels of development on a very limited resource base. Resources are neutral and only can be useful, when it applies technology & will to use it. Many of the problems arising from climatic difficulties can also be solved by the use of medical facilities, pesticides, scientific farming practices and so on. Those countries with an abundance of natural resources certainly have much better prospects for development, than those which do not have them. But in the regions where natural resources are in abundance, but the region is socio- economically backward, such regions fails to take advantage of the favorable environment. Hence regions remain underdeveloped.

There is a serious shortage of capital in the developing countries to finance the establishment of industry, agricultural improvement, and transport systems and so on. The size of the domestic market in these countries is often not large enough to sustain industrial development, because the purchasing power of the consumer is too low. The problem is compounded by the fact that, it is extremely difficult for a developing country to break into international markets, where they have to compete with the advanced industrial producers of the developed world.

The infrastructure in the less developed countries of the world is poorly developed. Power supply, transport networks, industrial and commercial services, education facilities are the elements that form the framework for the economic activity to develop. Such facilities are very expensive to establish and they give only small returns. The economies of most developing countries are imbalanced and inefficient. Despite the fact that at least 50 to 90 per cent of employment is in agriculture. On the other hand, some primary commodities, such as oil or scarce minerals, are rapidly becoming expensive, so the poor countries cannot afford to buy them. For example, minerals such as Copper, Tin, Zinc, and fuels such as mineral oil have become very expensive. The developing countries may not be able to compete with the developed countries to buy them. It might be argued that, there is a vast hydroelectric power potential in the tropics, which will help to solve these problems, but such installations are very expensive.

Post a Comment