WITH regards to A Davidson’s letter of August 31. I agree with him — give a man a pound and you feed him for a day; give a man water and seed and you feed him for life.

The latter half of that adage may well be true in theory, so may I offer some practical advice on how it could be done.

Take Ethiopia, for instance, as appeals are made for that country every year. Charities could use your donations on building desalination plants on the coast, powered by wind turbines, then pump the water inland to suitable agricultural sites via reservoirs. You could then grow cash crops and produce for the domestic markets of the country.

If this strategy had been adopted in 1985 when Live Aid raised more than £40 million, would Ethiopia be nearly self-sufficient by now? I think so.

B Eccles Daubhill