The social, economic and political factors affecting food security

  • Created by: EmilyM17
  • Created on: 29-05-19 15:24
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  • Social, economic and political factors that affect food security
    • Capital
      • ACs farming is capital intensive, with investment supplied by banks, private investments and governments.
      • LIDCs there is often a shortage of capital leading to labour-intensive methods of farming. This situation can limit output and lead to food insecurity
    • Competition
      • Competition in food markets
        • The growing dominance of retail chains, argribusinesses and TNCs means a lack of competition in food markets. This leads to concerns over the prices paid to farmers for their produce and the price consumers have to pay for food.
        • Increased competition in agricultural trade does exist between ACs and LIDCs, any comparative advantage of producers in LIDCs is often off set by the ability of ACs to offer subsidies, eg. in the European market where this resulted in food surpluses and low global prices
      • Competition for scarce resources
        • Food producers are experiencing greater competition for land, water and energy resources. Agriculural land has been lost to urbanisation and government decisions to grow biofuels on good quality agricultural land.
    • Land ownership
      • Farmers may be owner-occupiers, tenants or landless labourers/employees on state-owned farms or on commercial enterprises.
    • Land grabbing
      • Refers to the acquisition of farmland in developing countries by other countries seeking to ensure their own food security.
      • A number of push factors such as water scarcity, export restrictions on major producers and price fluctuations in global markets, have forced countries short of productive land and water (China and India) to find alternative ways of sourcing food
        • As a result, poor people in the target country risk losing access to the land and food supplies on which they themselves depend
          • Main investors:
            • Countries with land and water constraints but rich in capital eg. Gulf states
            • Countries with large populations and food security concerns eg. China and India
      • Benefits to target countries
        • Creation of local employment
        • Development of rural infrastructure
        • the resourcing and introduction of new agricultural technologies
        • enhanced food security
        • Creation of local food surpluses
      • Disadvantages for target country
        • local farmers may be displaced from their land with no prospect of alternative employment
        • the creation of unequal power relations between foreign national governments and farmers who face growing food insecurity
    • Technology
      • Technological developments: new strains of seeds and fertilisers, advances in mechanisation and land management: new methods of irrigation can improve producton
      • ACs ore able to take on technological innovations than LIDCs as they have greater capital reserves and expertise
      • In LIDCs appropriate technology is more effective Eg small scale drip irrigation schemes based on boreholes rather than huge multi-purpose dams, and simple tools manufactured localy rather than tractors, grain dryers and combine harvesters


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