ppt notes

The Facts
• More than 840 million people in the world are malnourished—799
million of them are from the developing world. More than 153 million
of them are under the age of 5.
• 6 million children under the age of 5 die every year as a result of
• Of the 6.2 billion people in today's world, 1.2 billion live on less than
$1 per day.
• The proportion of people living on less than $1 a day has fallen from
29 percent to 23 percent in the past 10 years, although that masks
significant regional differences.
– East Asia has seen a drop from 28 percent to 14 percent.
– South Asia has seen a drop from 44 percent to 37 percent.
– Africa has seen a drop from 48 percent to only 47 percent.
World Hunger Facts
• The amount of money that the richest 1 percent of the world's people
make each year equals what the poorest 57 percent make.
• The richest 5 percent of the world's people have incomes 114 times
that of the poorest 5 percent.
• Malnutrition can severely affect a child's intellectual development.
Children who have stunted growth due to malnutrition score
significantly lower on math and language achievement tests than do
well-nourished children.
• Virtually every country in the world has the potential of growing
sufficient food on a sustainable basis. The Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations has set the minimum requirement
for caloric intake per person per day at 2,350. Worldwide, there are
2,805 calories available per person per day. Fifty-four countries fall
below that requirement; they do not produce enough food to feed their
populations, nor can they afford to import the necessary commodities
to make up the gap. Most of these countries are in sub-Saharan
World Hunger
Why Food: The Basics
Agricultural Development
Food Production: Factors
Reasons for Food Crisis
World Hunger: Terms
• A temporary failure of food production or distribution
systems in a particular region that leads to increased
mortality due to starvation and diseases that result from
lack of food.
– Natural Causes: drought, crop disease
– Human Causes: civil war
Example: 1984 Famine in Ethiopia
“Up to five children die every day”
Read more about the Ethiopian Famine
Is it going to happen again?
World Hunger: Terms
• An extreme form of hunger in which people suffer from a
total lack of energy and essential minerals. The body
wastes away as tissue is consumed to provide protein and
• a condition which damage to health is caused by a diet that
includes either too much or too little of one or more essential
nutrients over an extended period.
- This could include obesity and high blood pressure as these are
caused by excesses in diet
- International development usually focuses on lack of nutrients or
poor food quality. This type of malnutrition is called undernutrition.
The Importance of Food
• Provides materials and nutrients for cell growth. It provides
us with the energy we need for growth, physical activity and
the basic body functions (breathing, thinking, temperature
control, blood circulation and digestion, metabolism). Food
also supplies us with the materials to build and maintain the
body and to promote resistance to disease.
• Food gives the body energy – Kilojoules (KJ) or Calories
(Note: if all of the Calories that we eat are not burned up for
energy use the body stores these calories as Fat).
– An average person needs about 2200 kcal per day. 1800
min to survive?
– A Canadian gets on average 2900 KJ per day.
– What pattern do you see on the following map?
Food and Agriculture Organization - The UN
Food: Nutrients
• These different functions are made possible by the
nutrients contained in food. The types of nutrients in food
are carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and
water. All foods contain one or more of these nutrients in
varying amounts. Each type of nutrient serves particular
functions. This is why diversity in our diets is important for
good health. We need all of the nutrients, provided by a
variety of foods, for all of our body processes.
• Although one may eat enough kilo-calories of food, one
can still suffer from malnutrition, if there is a lack of
essential nutrients.
• This can result in a variety of diseases. One of the most
common being PEM (protein-energy malnutrition)
Food: Nutrients
 Chemical group
including – sugar,
starch, carbon and
 Wheat, rice, corn,
 Easy to produce. Grains
are the most important
in the world.
Food: Nutrients
 Tissue of animals
 37.8 KJ of energy for
every 1 gram of fat.
 Most concentrated
form of food energy.
 Butter, lard, liver, eggs,
vegetable oil, fruit.
Food: Nutrients
 Amino acids
 Protein is needed to
grow and repair tissue.
 Meat, milk, egg, fish,
cereals and Soya
 Protein is the most
expensive and scarce
of the three.
Agricultural Development
– First Agricultural Revolution – creation of farming
– Second Agricultural Revolution – energy, tractors,
diffusion of crop types
– the development of the plough (plow) over time (spatial
diffusion lead to widespread increase in cultivation – some
places just starting to use it). (started BCE into 900 CE)
– More effective use of land – intensive vs. extensive cropping
– The introduction of steam powered tractors, diffusion of crop
types, fertilizers, specialization (1600-1870s)
– Green Revolution or Third Agriculture Revolution –
development of High Yield Varieties (wheat) (1945 – 1970).
– Second Green Revolution? – biotechnology, GMOs,
agribusiness, corporations, globalization. (1990- present
Food Production
The Factors Required
Food is the basic resource of the world’s
population. The production of food depends
on the following factors:
• Environmental – climate, soils
• Technological – irrigation, fertilizer, pesticides
(insects), herbicides (weeds) and storage of food
• Economical/Political – pricing, trade, export/import,
tariffs, subsidies, distribution, taxes etc.
• The key factor, of course, is environmental.
Food Production
The Factors Required: Environmental
• Solar energy or heat requirement.
– This is measured by the length of the ‘Growing Season’ (the
number consecutive days where no frost occurs and the
temperature is over 5.50 C.) or the number of ‘Degree Days’
(summing the number of degrees each day’s average temperature
is over 5.50 C.)
• Moisture requirement.
– This is measured in the amount of Precipitation.
– Evapotranspiration. This is the movement of water from the soil into
the atmosphere by evaporation from the soil and transpiration from
Food Production
The Factors Required: Environmental
Soil Fertility
• Soil is a complex substance that includes minerals, living
and decaying organic materials, water and air.
• The amount of decaying organic material (Humus) is most
important – determines the soil’s fertility.
• Technologies such as irrigation and fertilizers add to the
health of a soil.
• Poor agricultural practices such as excessive cultivation of
the land leads to unproductive soil.
Food Production
The Factors Required: Environmental
• Flat land is best for uniform crop growth.
Biological Organisms
• Organisms are highly beneficial for farming. Earthworms
are needed for soil aeration and bees of course for
pollination. Unfortunately other organisms like insects can
be destructive as well as plants like weeds.
Food Production
The Factors Required: Environmental
Few places in the world are ‘perfect’ for
• long enough growing season,
• not too much and not too little moisture,
• rich soils, level land, and just the right mix of biological
• Most of the time there is some ‘deficiency in one or more
of the above factors and farmers must work at
overcoming them.
• The chart in the next slide illustrates some of the
deficiencies and the adjustments that farmers need to
Food Crisis
Population size and growth
Some countries are having trouble matching food
production to their population growth (reasons for this
are given in the next few slides). Malthus of course
predicted this, although the massive starvation and
death did not happen on a global scale due to the
following reasons:
a) New areas of agriculture were opened up – prairies in N.A.,
Australia and South Africa – mainly due to irrigation.
b) Science and technology - Green revolution and GMO’s
(Genetically Modified Organisms). Some crops grew faster,
yielded more and were disease resistant.
c) Better transportation and storage. Reduced waste and allowed
movement from deficit areas to surplus areas, especially for
emergency food aid.
Reasons For Food Crisis
1. Low level of agricultural technology
Agricultural activities can be classified in TWO ways.
The first (A) can classify farming as either Subsistence or
A1. Subsistence Farming – Farmers that grow crops and
raise livestock for their own use. Grow enough to keep
them and their families alive.
A2. Cash-Crop Farming – Farmers that grow a surplus
and sell on the open or world market. Farm for a living.
Reasons For Food Crisis
1. Low level of agricultural technology
The second way (B) classifies farming as either Intensive
or Extensive farming:
B1. Intensive Farming: involves farming on small
amounts of land. The farming is concentrated and labour
intensive as well as technology. Growing fruits and
vegetables, vineyards, and livestock in Canada in an
B2. Extensive Farming: involves large amounts of land
with limited amounts of labour. Machines do most of the
work. Grain farming in Western Canada is a good
example. Ranching is also considered extensive farming
Reasons For Food Crisis
Low level of agricultural technology
Some countries in the developing world are still using
traditional farming methods. Some (Northern Africa) even
use the old Hunting and Gathering technique. This
method is primitive, time consuming, unreliable, there is
no storage involved and it is greatly susceptible to
Some countries use a method called Shifting Cultivation
or Slash and Burn. In this method an area will be farmed
for a year, then after Harvest the crop will be burned to
add nutrients and farmed again the next year. After a few
years the soil’s fertility will be weak, so the farmer moves
into a new area. Burning is again used to clear the new
area. An example would be in the Rainforest in South
Reasons For Food Crisis
Low level of agricultural technology
The developed world uses methods that produce a very
high yield for the area farmed. The methods have been
called; Settled agriculture, Permanent agriculture,
Commercial agriculture, Agribusiness and Mixed
All of these involve a market economy where the price is
dependent on supply and demand. The farming is usually
specialized in a few crops, if not one. Fertilizer, irrigation
and herbicides are used extensively. The farming is
heavy mechanized (tractors etc.). It is not family oriented,
it is run like a business. These farms are large in size
and are very productive.
Reasons For Food Crisis
Low level of agricultural technology
Agribusiness is a unique term and relates to ‘Vertical
Integration’, which means that a company like Kraft
Foods will own all aspects of making a product like
cheese. They will own the diary farm, the farm that grows
the food for the cows, the processing and packaging
plants as well are owned by Kraft.
1.5 billion hectares or 11% of the earth’s total surface is
devoted to crops.
3.4 billion hectares or 26% to pasture land.
most ‘non-agricultural’ land is too hot, dry or cold. This
land is sometimes called ‘Marginal land’.
Reasons For Food Crisis
Low level of agricultural technology
Aquaculture and Hydroponics are two other buzz words
used by developed farmers. Aquaculture is the
harvesting of fish in control environments. Fish are
usually grown in large tanks. The worry of disease and
predators is eliminated.
Hydroponics is the growing of crops without the use of
soil. The medium used is water. Most of this type of
farming is done in greenhouses and this removes the
expense of land, weed control and pests. Fertilizer costs
are also kept at a minimum and of course water shortage
is not an issue.
Reasons For Food Crisis
2. Pests and Fertilizer use
Pests (especially rats) eat 10-25% of the world’s
entire food grain output. Some say “solve the pest
problem and you will have solved the food problem”.
Even the pests droppings are a problem.
Fertilizer use can lead to something called
‘diminishing returns’. You have to add just the right
amount of fertilizer for optimal yields. If you add more
the yield diminishes.
Reasons For Food Crisis
2. Pests and Fertilizer use
Total Yield
In this case the point of diminishing returns is at 4
pounds of fertilizer.
Reasons For Food Crisis
2. Pests and Fertilizer use
In the US 59 kg (130 pounds) of fertilizer for every acre of
The same fertilizer, which in the US gives only marginal
returns, would dramatically boost output in countries or
regions where fertilizer use is low.
Improvements are being made with fertilizer use,
especially with GPS and GIS to allow farmers to target
the use.
Reasons For Food Crisis
3. Economy – Controlling Prices
The developed world (the Haves) control the economy
and trade and will not allow the developing world (the
Have – nots) to compete.
Tariffs: Tax placed on imported goods to allow the
domestic goods to compete
Example: The Ivory Coast is a major producer of Cocoa.
Canada allows the Cocoa in duty-free, since we can’t
grow it. But we will tax chocolate made in the Ivory Coast
to protect our chocolate industry. The Ivory Coast is not
allowed to industrialize and remains an agricultural
supplier of Cocoa.
Reasons For Food Crisis
3. Economy – Controlling Prices
Subsidize: Governments in developed countries give
money (subsidies) to their farmers to keep the prices of
certain agricultural products down so they can be more
competitive in the world market.
Aid: The developed countries will aid the developing
countries in food supplies, but the aid is sometimes
connected to some other kind of favour. The US gives a
country food, but then expects to be able to place a
military base in that country. This type of aid as we will
see in another unit is called ‘Boomerang aid’.
Reasons For Food Crisis
4. Military Spending:
Countries would rather spend money of machines of
death. Countries like North Korea, Iraq and others spend
billions on military equipment while their populations go
Reasons For Food Crisis
5. Land Holdings:
If a farmer owns his/her own land they will take better
care of it. The U.S.S.R. had a system (Collective farming)
where the government owned the land and the farmers
worked there much like a factory. This system was a
disaster since the farmer had no incentive to improve the
Absentee Landlords: In many countries the rich own the
land and they either leave the land alone or they rent it
out to ‘peasant farmers’.
Reasons For Food Crisis
5. Land Holdings:
Gavelkind Laws: As a farmer’s family increases each
successive generation gets a piece of land. The land is
divided into smaller units that are not as productive. Eg. A
farmer has four children, his farm is divided into four. One
child decides to leave his land and not farm. The others
are left with 1/3 of the original farm.
6. Lack of an Infrastructure:
The developing world lacks electricity, roads, trucks,
railways, storage facilities and distribution networks. Even
if they did grow food it would be difficult for them to
distribute it.
Reasons For Food Crisis
7. The Physical Environment:
20% too dry
20% too mountainous
20% too cold
10% the soil is poor
21% potentially arable – something has to be done to the
Only 9% of the earth is cultivated. One fear worth
mentioning at this time is the expansion of cities. Cities
tend to locate near cultivated land. Once the city starts to
grow, valuable farmland is lost. The area surrounding
Toronto is a perfect example.
Reasons For Food Crisis
8. Political Organizations:
Communist Countries: set the price for food – there is no
incentive for the farmer to improve his/her output. Many
times the farmer sells only to the government (at a low
price) and the government sells to the people.
Capitalist Countries: Price is dependent on Supply and
Demand. Rich countries can manipulate supply and
demand and in turn control the price.
Reasons For Food Crisis
8. Political Organizations:
If Supply goes up (increase in surplus food) and the
demand stays constant, the price of the food should
drop. The rich country’s farmers can afford to:
a. Store the surplus food
b. destroy the surplus or
c. the government will pay them NOT to grow any more.
The above method lowers the supply thus increasing the
price allowing the farmer to control the price and get more
money for his crops. This allows the rich farmer to better
compete on the world market. The poor country’s
farmers have not control and thus have difficulty
Reasons For Food Crisis
8. Political Organizations:
The rich farmers can even increase demand through
advertisement. Today it is in style to advertise healthy,
low fat food.
In a capitalist system the rich farmer can get loans and
credit and the poor farmer has difficulty staying in
Co-operatives have been created to make the small
farmer more competitive. A Co-op is when many
farmers get together and buy seed and equipment as
one. The cost is lowered. This is also called ‘Economies
of Scale’. Buy in bulk so to speak.
Reasons For Food Crisis
9. Surplus in Developed Countries:
When a surplus is grown in the developed world, much of
it is stored or destroyed in order to keep the prices up.
This extra food could be given as aid to starving people.
10. Animals and Pets:
Since meat is a major part of the developed world’s diet.
A lot of food is given to animals to beef them up so to
speak. Cattle and Pigs are the main recipients.
A lot of food is also used for the making of pet food.