Support and guidance - Unit 4 - Option Guide

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6GEO4 Unit 3 Life on the Margins: the food supply
problem
What is this option about?
• The Life on the Margins :food supply
problem option focuses on why so many
people live at the edge of survival,
whilst there is enough food globally to
provide for all. See the food spectrum
diagram below
• In addition to studying places suffering
inequality in food supply and security,
you will need to understand:
• The complex causes of food insecurity
• The impact of desertification
• Efforts to try to manage food insecurity.
Synoptic context
People
Place
Power
Who
suffers
from food
insecurity
and over
nutrition
Feast or
faminewhere are
the
margins of
survival?
Who are
the
players
involved
in food
security?
Decreasing health------ health balance ------ Decreasing health
Famine--Malnutrition-----good diet -------
Obesity
CONTENTS
1. Food supply and security patterns
2. Complex causes of food supply
inequalities
3. Desertification and life at the
margins of survival
4. Response to food insecurity and
food supply issues
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1. Food supply and security patterns
• There are four subtopics you will need to research- see
below table
• The concept of a global food crisis started in the 1970s
with worries over the basic volume and stability of food
supply.
• The food crisis has since widened, as shown in the FAO
definition
• Food security is a key aim of the UN MDGs: Goal 1 :
Reduce by half the proportion of people who suffer from
hunger by 2015
Current issues:
famine
food miles
ecofootprints
globalisation of
food tastes
Obesity and
over nutrition
Environmental
issues resulting
from food
production
Why
food
supply
varies
spatially
Types of life
on the
margins and
role of food
security:
rural and
urban
•
•
Food security
definition by the
FAO:
‘ a situation that
exists when all
people, at all
times, have
physical, social
and economic
access to
sufficient, safe
and nutritious
food that meets
their dietary
needs and food
preferences for
an active and
healthy life’
What is food security?
• Food
security
depends
on direct
and
indirect
factors
Food must
be:
 Available
 Affordable
 Utilised
Food security -- Insecurity ……chronic hunger (malnutrition) -- acute hunger (famine)
Good health ------------------------------------------------------------------Poor health
Current issues: 1. hunger hotspots
• The main problem in
food supply is its uneven
distribution
• Over 50% of the world’s
population live in low
income, food deficit
countries
•
2009: worldwide 850 million
people suffer from hunger,
1.02 billion are
undernourished , most of
them in developing
countries. (FAO)
LATIN AMERICA AND THE
CARRIBBEAN – drought and
over reliance on imported food
and aid:
GUATEMALA
NICARAGUA HAITI
EASTERN AFRICA - the Horn of
Africa 20 m affected by civil
dispute, displacement, drought
SOMALIA KENYA ETHIOPIA
SUDAN
ASIA –threats from
war, political disputes,
natural hazards
AFGHANISTAN
BANGLADESHNEPAL N KOREA
(DPRK)
-
SOUTHERN AFRICA - Millions continue to be affected by
high levels of domestic prices, and high seasonal food
demand during peak hunger months. : ZIMBABWE
LESOTHO SWAZILAND
Current issues 2 : Future Food supply and famine
• FAO report ‘How to feed the world in 2050’ projections:
• Global population of 9 billion will mean new and traditional demand
for agricultural produce put ting growing pressure on already scarce
agricultural resources.
• Global demand for food, feed and fibre will double.
• Crops increasingly used for bioenergy and other industrial purposes
not food.
• Agriculture forced to compete for land and water with sprawling
urban settlements, 70% population will be urban (50% at present)
• Agriculture will have to adapt to and also contribute to the mitigation
of climate change, helping preserve natural habitats, protecting
endangered species and maintain a high level of biodiversity.
• New technologies will be needed to grow more food with less people
as rural depopulation continues in most regions .!
• Major Hotspot of deficit: Sub-Saharan Africa
Current issues3: Globalisation of food tastes,
under and over nutrition
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Food tastes are becoming more globalised, for example for westernised
habits of meat eating, bread etc.
People have more choices in urban areas
The role of media is important: soap and cookery programmes encouraging
westernised dietary and sedentary habits for the more affluent
The rising middle classes in transition economies such as India and China
are changing their food habits.
This is called the food transition from staple to often high protein and fats
and sugars
This has huge implications : creating obesity and heart disease health risks.
and changes in the social and physical environment of production areas.
In countries where famine and under nutrition was traditionally the main
issue, the reverse: over nutrition is increasing , especially in India and
China.
Obesity has now reached epidemic proportions globally, with approximately
1.6 billion adults and 20 million children under 5 years old being
overweight.(World Health Organisation)
Current issues 4 :Environmental issues resulting from
food production
• The scale and intensity of food production on land and in
the oceans inevitably means changes to natural
ecosystems and loss of biodiversity.
• In the 1990s issues centred on the threats from the
Green Revolution, and later GM crops. Overuse of
chemicals and technology resulted in environmental
pollution and human health issues
• The latest debate centres on deforestation and
replacement of staple food crops by often subsidised
biofuels, especially in Brazil and USA
• There are global concerns over Ecofootprints and food
miles .
• Ethical concerns over food production methods are
rising, centred on animal welfare and exploitation of
workers
Patterns of food supply and Law of diminishing returns
• Some areas are naturally more suited
naturally to food production: eg the
great plains of America and Russia for
instance.
• Peri-urban areas have also been
traditionally important in food supply:
eg Beijing Bangkok, Madrid. Such
areas are under constant threat from
urban sprawl
• Physical factors limit food production
unless technology is available to
overcome temperature, water and
nutrient deficiencies. Irrigation,
chemicals and greenhouses are costly
however.
• Agricultural advances in yields have
shown there is a law of diminishing
returns which limits even GM
products.
Additional
outputs ie
crop
yields,
livestock
Point of
diminishing
returns no matter
what new input
no real
increased output
Inputs ie labour, capital,
machinery
Why food supply varies spatially: factors
Human factors
Physical factors

Accessibility of markets

Soil –nutrient store

Land ownership systems- security of tenure.

Climate -seasonal changes

Inheritance laws- may be gender biased

Precipitation –amount, frequency, type

Market and Trade patterns and regulations
skewed in favour of more developed
economies

Length of thermal growing season

Relief- steep or waterlogged areas less
useful
Competition often unfair , especially if
subsidies, quotas etc involved
Government action and support
Big businesses and TNCs now dominate
research into agricultural production and are
governed by profit margins rather than food
security for poor people
Aid agencies are key players in both long and
short term food supplies

Aspect-slope angle

Altitude- affecting temperature, water supply

Hazards: tectonic, hydro-meteorological and
biological

Recent climate change and weather ‘shocks’
linked to global warming.




Types of life on the margins and role of food security:
rural and urban
URBAN
RURAL
•
•
•
•
Traditional food
insecurity is
characteristic of
rural areas
especially in
poorer economies
Sub Saharan Africa
has highest rate of
undernourishment
India has
increasing URBAN
dwellers facing
scarcity
NB even New York
has soup kitchens!
• The FAO calls this the "century of cities“
identifying food supply as a major challenge
• Supplying cities with safe and affordable food will
strain the food supply and distribution chain to the
breaking point.
• The challenge is greatest in LEDCs , where urban
poverty rates are often over 50%
• On average 30% more spent on food than in rural
areas
• Long distances, bad roads, poorly maintained trucks
and urban crowding cause spoilage of 10 to 30% of
produce in transit.
• City and suburban farms supply food to about 700 m
city dwellers – 25% of the world’s urban population.
• New research increasing on creating ‘hungerproof
cities’!
2. Causes of global inequalities in food supply and
security
•
•





Food production varies greatly
Between 1960-1990:
World cereal production doubled
Food production increased by 33% per person
Daily intake of calories increased by a third
Real food prices dropped by almost 50%
Yet almost 1bn people do not have enough to eat, mainly
in poorer countries. WHY? You will study:
The complexity of
causes of famine
and food
surpluses:
environmental,
economic, social
Long and short
term, direct and
indirect
The role of
population
pressure in
food
insecurity
The
environmental
impacts of
attempts to
increase global
food supply
Who are the
vulnerable
groups?
Direct causes
Population growth, poor
health and reduced labour
especially scourge of
HIV/AIDs pandemic, war,
deliberate food
destruction,
Environment
Direct
drivers
Income ,poverty trap, land Trade restrictions
security/tenure, food
Debt repayments
supply from local, national
or imported sources, aid,
infrastructure ,food
hoarding
Social
Root/
Indirect
drivers
Economic
Factors affecting food
security
Natural disasters: floods,
Pollution, climate
drought, desertification,
change
deforestation, pests,
overcropping, overgrazing,
urban sprawl
Food
security
Since 1992 the % of
short and long term food
crises directly linked to
human causes has risen
from 15 to over 35%
Indirect Root
causes
War, civil disputes,
corruption,
refugees and
displacement, rise
of middle classes
and changed food
tastes, gender
inequality
Who are the vulnerable groups in food insecurity?
There are a
huge range
of people
more
vulnerable
to food
insecurity.
The key
factor is
wealth
Landless rural
dwellers
Anyone on a low income
Ethnic/religious
minorities
People with
poor health
especially
HIV/AIDs,
Malaria
Vulnerable
groups of
people
Urban dwellers with
no formal
employment
Refugees and
displaced people
People with low
literacy rates
Women and
children and
aged
Population pressure and resource relationships
Traditional pessimistic
Boserup /technocentric
Malthusian Model
model
• Population outstrips food • Inventions and technology
keep pace with demands for
supply. Possible in some
food .
localised areas but not at
• For decades, agricultural
global scale-so far!
science has focused on boosting
Africa offers examples of
systemic issues at a continental
scale since pre independence
most countries were self sufficient
in food yet most now rely on
imports and aid and there are
many famine hotspots. Complex
political-demographic and
environmental factors are at play
here
production through the
development of new
technologies -can be :
• low tech : crop resistant plants,
targeted irrigation ....
• high tech: megadams, chemical
pesticides....
The food supply system
INPUTS
Machinery
Chemicals
Antibiotics
Animal/fish
feed
PURPOSE
Increased efficiency
Increase yields
Remove pests, weeds
Reduce disease
Increase density per
area
OUTPUTS
Desired: Food supply
Undesired outputs: Pollution-toxic,
eutrophication
Degradation,
deforestation,
desertification
soil erosion,
antibiotic resistance
more meat=more
methane,more
animal feeds....
Environmental alternatives in food production
Traditional organic
• Relatively low impact on the environment
• EU, reforms of the Common Agricultural
Policy( CAP )foster more environmentally
friendly agriculture, with a growth in LEAF
farms( Linking Environment with Farming).
• However tends to be less profitable than
more technologically based types, and has
suffered with global recession of the early
20th C.
• NB majority of farmers in developing
counties are still rooted in subsistence and
small scale production methods which are
often organic too because of poverty.
•
Modern higher
technology
• High impact on
environment from
modern farming in
westernised countries
since WW 2. Often
large scale intensive
or extensive
commercial.
• Similar issues more
recently in developing
economies adopting
Green Revolution
techniques.
3. The role of desertification in threatening life at
the margins
• The 4 main topics may be grouped as below table summarises
• The UN defines desertification as ‘land degradation in arid,
semi arid and dry subhumid areas resulting from various factors,
including climatic variations and human activities.’
• Land degradation means the reduction or loss of the biological or
economic productivity of drylands.
• 70% of all drylands are classed as degraded ,excluding hyperarid
deserts, and suffering desertification
The scale and impact of The characteristics and
Desertification
vulnerability of dryland
ecosystems
Food production,
supply and
desertification
Drylands and desertification?
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Drylands Include all terrestrial regions
where the production of crops, forage,
wood and other ecosystem services are
limited by water.
41% of Earth’s land surface, 2 billion
people ,33% of world population.
Climate classified as dry subhumid,
semiarid, arid or extreme hyper-arid.
Precipitation often unreliable and
sporadic hence ecosystems fragile and
vulnerable to over use .
On average low human well-being and
development indicator: 90% are in
developing countries.
Asia and Africa dominate, with less
areas in Central America and Europe.
The top 10 are: Australia, China, Russia
and USA
Some smaller countries are almost 100%
classed as dryland : Botswana, Burkina
Faso, Turkmenistan, Iraq, and Moldova
Desertification affects the food
security of over 2billion people in
drylands .
Africa and Central Asia are
particularly at risk, with 3 key
areas of vulnerability in SubSaharan Africa: the Sahel, the
Horn of Africa and SE Africa
Salinisation is a linked problem
Causes of desertification
•
• The Millennium Ecosystem
Assessment identifies the
cause as the result of a longterm failure to balance
human demand for ecosystem
services and the amount the
ecosystem can supply
• See diagram for simplified
complex causes
• Mismanagement and politics
are often root causes
• Climate change is adding
more complexity
Food production in dryland /desertified areas
• Food production generally requires massive amounts of water.
Examples:
 1 kg of wheat needs 1000l of water
 1 kg of rice needs 3,000l.
• Irrigation can ensure an adequate and reliable supply of water which
increases yields of most crops by up to 400%.
• Although only 17% of global cropland is irrigated, it produces 40% of
the world's food.
• Ongoing food availability depends on increasing irrigation efficiency
and limiting environment damage through salinisation, damaged
aquifers or reduced soil fertility
• Human population
Sensitivity to human pressure increases with aridity
Human pressure decreases with aridity
growth in drylands
increased by 18.5%
1990 -2000.
4. Management and Responses to Food insecurity
Strategies and
techniques to
increase global
food supply-:
high and low
technology
Organisations
involved in
management
Role of
sustainable
strategies
A strategy means the overall
aims and tactics of a scheme,
It is implemented by various
delivery techniques involving a
range of policies and actual
technology.
Food security management
mirrors hazard risk
management-see diagram
Do nothing (ignore
the issue/risk of
food insecurity)
Move to a safer
location –
refugees/displaced
people
Attempt to prevent
the risk-
Adapt lifestyle to
the hazard
Management target zones
production
waste
management
processing
consumption
access
distribution
• Increasing food production leads to
greater availability of food and
generates income which can help
break poverty cycles.
• However there is a huge spectrum
of long and short term strategies.
These may involve:
• Fairer trade,
• Reduced debt servicing,
• reduced subsidies to richer
economies,
• Less tied aid,
• More community involvement,
• appropriate technology,
• infrastructure building.....
Players
Player +
Role in sustaining life of the margins
Examples
Individuals e.g.
Farmers



Fair Trade
Survival/ profit






Direct producers of food
Communities harbour stores of valuable local knowledge, coping strategies
and innovation
Their co-operation is critical to ensure environmental sustainability
Funding for agricultural research and development
Creating political and economic conditions creating stability of food supply
Response during times of crisis.
Research and investment into new farming methods and technologies
Resource exploitation and trade in cash crops, fertilizers and farm machinery

Often technocentric large scale
projects e.g. China’s Great Green
Wall, or UK overseas aid projects
GM Golden Rice
Monsanto



Community level support for farmers in the developing world
Education, training and skills providers
Many promote social equity, for instance female empowerment





Scientific research on new species and systems
Education and skills training of farmers






Promote international co-operation
Implementation of global actions such as MDGs
Monitoring and research to identify problems and seek solutions
Development assistance and aid to the developing world


Research and information gathering and Lobbying of agencies



motive
Government
stability
TNCs
Profit
NGOs and
Foundations
-Philanthropic
Research
Organisations
Academic
IGOs
Eg UNEP &
FAO
Stability
Watchdog
pressure groups
Environment



Practical Action ,Water Aid
Emergency aid eg Oxfam
The International Alliance Against
Hunger
The development of HYVs by IRRI
AGRAs work on a ‘Green Revolution
of Africa’
World Bank’s Global Response Food
Programme
1994 UN Convention on
Desertification
World Resources Institute
USA Coalition Food
SUSTAIN
Business as Usual or Sustainability in food security?
•
Seeking ways of providing food,
water and energy that are longlasting and have less of an
impact on the environment has
led to the quest for sustainable
food supply systems ( the red
star) need 3 overlapping criteria
to work effectively.
• A well-functioning food system :
 Improves human health and
social well-being
 Is positive for the environment
and the economy long term
 Can therefore cope with shocks
from natural and human created
disasters.
• Difficult to achieve without some
form of negative externalities
Food
production
Economic
stability/growth
Environmental
Health
Food
consumption
Social equity
& Health
Food processing
distribution.marketing
World Food summit 2009
•
• The global food insecurity
situation has worsened
• The number of hungry
people could increase by a
further 100 m in 2009 and
pass the 1bn mark
• Food prices remain high
in developing countries,
• The global economic crisis
is aggravating the
situation by affecting jobs
and deepening poverty
• Is it possible to eat well
and save the planet as
promoted by pressure
group SUSTAIN?
Aims of FAO and 180 member countries
–
help for poorer farmers
– Strategies to halt rising food prices
– increase investment in science and technology,
continue studying biofuels and cut the number of the
world's hungry by half by 2015
•Achievements
Some significant
pledges of
emergency food aid
eg $1.5 billion US
from the Islamic
Investment Bank.
Failures
A similar world hunger
reduction target was
made in 1996’s food
summit.
Between 1996-2009 the
number of the world's
hungry has increased.
No long term strategies
for dealing with the crisis

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