Changing Countryside

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  • Created on: 30-05-13 08:05
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Changing Countryside
85% of the population in Malawi live in the countryside. Malawi faces many issues including debt,
poverty, poor levels of education and poverty
RURAL ISOLATION: Rural areas have very poor communications. In 2007, Malawi had only 1 phone
line for every 139 people. Rural coverage for mobile phones is very poor.
RURAL TO URBAN MIGRATION: Many young men move to the cities. This makes rural problems
worse because there are fewer people to work and to bring in money.
POOR ECONOMY: The rural economy has hardly grown recently. It has poor infrastructure e.g. dirt
roads and during the rainy season they become boggy and the rural areas become inaccessible.
RURAL POVERTY: Each day, rural farmers typically spend 4 hours collecting firewood, walking to and
from farm plots and the market. The only way to cope with this is to involve the whole family, so
many children miss out on school. This leads them to having low skills and therefore they can't get a
well-paid job as an adult.
HIV/AIDS: 20% of Malawians are infected. This means that these people can't work, increased
number of orphans and costs for drugs.
Problems with Farming
LARGE ESTATES: A lot of the land is owned by large British companies (e.g. PG tips) which grow tea,
coffee and tobacco. They hire local labourers but they only get paid 1p per kg of tea leaves.
TOBACCO TENANTS: A lot of the tobacco farms hire children meaning that they don't go to school.
Also a lot of tobacco firms rent their land to labourers to grow tobacco and then do not pay them a
fair price for their crops.
SUBSISTENCE FAMRING: A lot of people in Malawi only farm a small plot of land. They grow enough
food for themselves (subsistence farming) and then hope to sell a small amount in the market.
Because the Malawian currency has recently collapsed it is now very difficult to afford fertiliser.
IDEA 1: Using Lake Malawi to irrigate (water) the land. This will mean Malawi can export food abroad
and earn money. This could cause problems such as reducing the amount of water in the lake,
pollution from fertilisers in the lake, Mozambique also borders the lake and it may be conflicts.
IDEA 2: Introduce GM crops to Malawi. They will allow Malawi to grow more food and create more
jobs and economic growth. The crops are modified to fight disease and drought. Some people argue
that this is not a good idea because most of the seed comes from American TNCs and too little is
known about GM crops.

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IDEA 3: Mushrooms are a potential crop which could help those families affected by HIV/AIDS.
Residents are trained to grow mushrooms and are given small loans to buy the compost needed.
They can sell the mushrooms to the supermarkets and then spend the profits on improving their
quality of life.
IDEA 4: Fish farming can also help those families affected by HIV/ AIDS. A charity called World Vision
supports the project and farmers keep small ponds of fish.…read more

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Footpath Erosion
a) Spending money on repairing the footpaths.
b) Close down areas where erosion is the most serious.
c) Put up notice boards to educate people about footpath erosion.
Traffic Congestion
a) Park and ride schemes in towns such as Windermere. Where people park their car away from
the town and use public transport to get into the town.
b) Build bypasses around towns.
c) Increase the amount of public transport.…read more


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