Food and famine.


Food insecurity - Population Pressure.

How population pressure links to food insecurity.

  • The worlds population is expected to reach 9bn by 2050. This increases the demand for food.
  • 850 million people are malnourished because they lack access and wealth for food.
  • Food production would need to double to feed the worlds population in 2050.
  • Urbanisation decreases the amount of arable land available to grow food.
  • Developing countries are most at risk because they lack wealth, education, resources and goverment help to grow enough food to feed the population.

Case Study example. - Sub-Saharan Africa.

  • 1 in 4 people lack adequate food for a healthy and active life.
  • High food prices and increased drought are pushing more people into poverty and hunger.
  • High population exacerbates the demand for food.
  • On average, woman have 5.1 children and 40% of the population is under 15, so population is expected to grow dramatically in the future.
  • The population in Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to grow from 856 million today to 2 billion in 2050.
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Food insecurity - Pests and Disease.

How pests and diseases link to food insecurity.

  • Pests account for around a 10-16% loss in global food production.
  • Loss of crops due to fungi, amounts to enough food to feed 90% of the global population.
  • Pests threaten future food production as global temperatures increase, creating the right conditons for specific pests to breed and live in new areas.
  • Pests are moving around 27km per decade while other animals are only moving at around 18km.
  • Other factors worsen the spread of pests and disease, such as climate change.

Case study example - Zimbabwe.

  • The world food programme estimates that 2.2m people require food assistance.
  • More than 800 hectares of cereal grain crops and 300 hectares of pastures have been destroyed by army worms.
  • The army worm originated in East Africa and was carried by moist winds into Zimbabwe.
  • Pesticides can be sprayed to protect crops, however they cannot be sprayed on pastures because it could expose animals to toxic chemicals. Issues with cost.
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Food insecurity - Government policies.

How government policies link to food insecurity.

  • Many third world countries are encouraged to grow 'cash crops' to export. This reduces the amount of food that is being grown to consume and export.
  • Government corruption sometimes means that food aid is not successfully delivered to those who need it.
  • Many third world countries are unprepared for crisis and were unable to solve it themselves without international aid.

Case study examples - Zimbabwe.

  • The agricultural ministry only delivered seed and supplies once the rains were well underway. something that has been repeated since 2000. This caused crops to fail.
  • Farmers do not receive incentives so they cannot afford to buy seeds etc. for farming.
  • Robert Mugabe seized land from white comercial farmers and gave it to black farmers. They were inexperienced and contributed only 16% of total maize output.
  • Bad planning is causing crop failure rather than other factors such as drought.
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Food insecurity - Climate change.

How climate change links to food security.

  • Increasing global temperatures will worsen periods of flooding and droughts, damaging soils and crop yields.
  • Rain fall is becoming more unpredictable and unreliable, increasing the risk for farmers crop yields.
  • Higher temperatures lead to heat stress for plants, lowering overall productivity.
  • Rising sea levels contaminates coastal freshwater aquifers with salt water. Small islands are having difficulty growing crops due to poor water supplies.

Case study example - Sub-Saharan Africa.

  • The majority of the population live in rural areas, where incomes and employment depend on rainfed agriculture.
  • 33% of the people in Sub-Saharan Africa live in drought prone areas.
  • Climate change will cause areas to become drier and more prone to long-term droughts and poverty.
  • It will affect the poorest and most vulnerable people in Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Food insecurity - Civil conflict.

How civil conflict links to food insecurity.

  • 65% of the world's food insecure people live in 7 countries -  India, China, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Ethiopia. All of which, excluding China have experienced civil conflict in the last decade.
  • World commodity prices can trigger conflict. Higher prices for find increase a countries willingness to fight if they are food insecure.
  • Civil conflicts are fueled by other factors such as climate change, where crops can fail as a result, causing tension within low income countries.

Case study example - Ethiopia.

  • Ethiopia has experienced long periods of famine and food insecurity over the past 40 years.
  • Ethiopia requires assistance to feed at least 8% of the population each year.
  • It has experienced 10 major droughts in the past 40 years.
  • Conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea left rural farmers displaced, which left crops unharvested so there was less food being distributed within the country during the conflict.
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