The climate and topography of a country can affect both the crops it can grow and the infrastructure it can support. Where these are unreliable, foreign companies are unlikely to invest. Many foreign companies will only invest in countries with natural resources such as oil. Developing countries are often in debt and try to improve this situation by growing 'cash crops' such as tobacco or coffee. Returns for farmers are usually low, less land is available for food and large scale monoculture can damage soil fertility. Conflict and war can affect food growing, infrastructure and quality of life.

First broadcast:
4 March 2004

This could contribute to study of the developing world and global trade. It could be used for discussion of the ethics of trade as well as geography. What responsibility do we in the developed world have for the problems of the developing world?