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Guides: Poverty in Africa

Last Updated: Thursday June 09 2005 15:31 GMT

Growing cash crops

A coffee crop
A coffee crop
Many African nations tried to make money by selling food such as tea, coffee and fruit to other countries.

These products are known as cash crops because they are grown for money rather than as food.

This lead to land, which could have been used to grow food for the population, being used up.

In some countries, such as Tanzania, farmers were forced to grow coffee rather than crops for people to eat.

Also African countries were forced to accept low prices set by countries buying their goods.

Large companies bought land from the African governments and created big farms.

As a result, many local farmers were forced to give up their land and work on the companies' farms.

Not only were African countries unable to grow enough to feed themselves, they were too poor to buy food from abroad.

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