From the Thinking About Issues series – an investigation of the underlying issues in world development and the world-wide implications.
Problems of world development are with us daily, and we are all familiar with the needs of the third world. No longer is it sufficient simply to make a collection for one of the third world charities like Oxfam or Christian Aid. Third world countries themselves have made it clear that their ultimate concern is trade rather then aid.
But then that brings us face with the problems of tea, coffee and many other commodities. Soon we are into realms of land ownership, tariffs, politics and economics – a world where the non-professional is so quickly out of the depth. There is no shortage of information fed to us through the news media and the various charitable bodies and agencies, many of which are extremely good at keeping us up-to-date in a world where the facts constantly change. What most of us need, however, is a summary of the underlying issues against which the day-to-day affairs can be understood and judged. Thinking About Rural Development is written specially for this purpose.
Rural Development is of particular significance because it is now increasingly realised that for many countries their wealth is in their land long before it is in their industry. But even here very often all that is possible is one short step forward. Too many tractors and too much technology can do more harm than good. Because of his personal experience overseas Ralph Whitlock is particularly appreciative of these problems and lucid in writing about them.