Population and Environment

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 221–236 | Cite as

Population growth, changing agricultural practices, and environmental degradation in Zaire

  • David Shapiro


This paper examines linkages between the demographic changes taking place in Zaire, particularly overall population growth and rapid urbanization, changes in agricultural practices, and related environmental degradation. Pressures to feed Zaire's rapidly increasing urban population, which fall on a rural population that has been growing relatively slowly in recent years, as well as population growth and increased population density in certain areas of the country, have resulted in changes in agricultural practices that are described in the paper. These changes in turn are leading to declining soil fertility, deforestation, and degradation of the natural resource base. Given present technology and the state of Zaire's economy, the changes in agricultural practices that have emerged in response to population growth, increased population density, and growth in demand for food production do not appear to be sustainable in the long run.


Population Density Natural Resource Population Growth Soil Fertility Food Production 
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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Shapiro
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity Park

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