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I came across the following sentence while I was preparing for IELTS essay. I am having difficulty understanding how the sentence is being constructed grammatically.

This may not pose an immediate problem but its long-term effect could be disastrous with the country needing more and more foodgrains to support its growing population.

the part,

with the country needing more and more...

, which grammatical construct is being used here.

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I can’t name the construct, but I’ll explain its meaning; maybe that will help.

The likeliest meaning is seen if we replace ”with” with ”because it will result in” :

This may not pose an immediate problem but its long-term effect could be disastrous because it will result in the country needing more and more food grains to support its growing population.

or, further expanding the last part of the sentence:

This may not pose an immediate problem but its long-term effect could be disastrous because it will result in the country finding itself in the situation where it needs more and more food grains to support its growing population.

The above (either of them -- their meaning is identical) is, as I say, the likeliest meaning and it's probably the one the author intended. But there is an alternative, albeit less likely interpretation. It can be seen if we replace ”with” with ”in light of” :

This may not pose an immediate problem but its long-term effect could be disastrous in light of the country needing more and more food grains to support its growing population.

or, again further expanding the last part of the sentence (and, for clarity, a little change to the prior part too):

This may not pose an immediate problem but its long-term effect could be disastrous in light of the fact that the country is already in the situation where it needs more and more food grains to support its growing population.

  • Thank you for the reply, are you able to explain to me how the country needing a part break down into a more understandable form. In my understanding, the country is needing should be the correct way. – KItis Dec 3 '18 at 14:03
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    I'm not sure I fully understand you there, but I've added a little to my answer as a possible clarification. Originally I had assumed that your question was about the meaning, in this context, of "with". What I've now added shifts the focus to the meaning of "country needing". Does that help? – tkp Dec 3 '18 at 14:24
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    As to whether "country is needing" is the correct interpretation: now I've been over it several times, I'm actually not sure. It is more ambiguous than even my answer assumes. The writer could be saying that the problems will arise IF the increasing need for grains increases in future; but he might also be saying that the problems will arise BECAUSE the increasing need for grains is already here. Surrounding context is probably needed to clarify. – tkp Dec 3 '18 at 14:28
  • would it be correct if I say, "the country which is needing more and more....." if it is correct, then I can conclude that "country needing" is a short form of relative clause – KItis Dec 3 '18 at 15:34

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