Many Third World villagers raise products for urban markets, but because they lack direct access to these markets they receive a lower return on their sales, having to deal through middlemen. In this way, they lose the profits of direct sales, and money that otherwise could be kept in the village is dispersed. To gain immediate cash, some farmers are forced to lease some of their land to outsiders to plant, harvest and sell the produce, which again deprives them of greater income. The distance to markets, and lack of storage facilities, transport, and of communal decision to enter formal cooperatives to buy and sell merchandise and farm produce, ensures such people will continue to be passive participants in the larger economy.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.