Natural Resources

Some poor countries of Africa and Asia have meager endowment ts of natural resources, and such land and minerals as they do possess must be divided among . dense’ populations. Perhaps the, most valuable natural resource of developing countries is arable land. Much of the labor force in developing countries is employed in farming. Hence, the productive use of
land-with appropriate conservation, fertilizers. and tillage-will go far in increasing a poor nation’s output. Moreover, land ownership patterns are a key to providing farmers with strong incentives to invest in capital and technologies that will increase their land’s vield. When farmers own their own land, they have better incentives to make improvements, such as in irrig~tion systems, and undertake appropriate conservation practices. Some economists believe that natural wealth from oil or minerals is not an unalloyed blessing.

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