Food Supply Issues

Geography- section 6

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Global Food Distribution

Global food production is unevenly distributed.

Some countries like East Asia, North America, Europe produce a lot of food due to:

  • Good farming climates
  • Lots of investment in farming

Other counrties like south africa & Africa produce only a small amounnt of food due to:-

  • lack of resources & funding for farming equipment
  • unsuitable area of land for farming (mountainous, poor quality, little soil)

Eg. Sahara Desert.

  • Unsuitable Climate- too hot/cold,low rainfall
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There are Serveral Different Food Production Syste

Commercial Farming- production of crops or livestock to make a profit.

Eg. Family Farming Uk, Corporation-Owned Farm US Midwest

Subsistence Farming- Producing just enought food to feed the Family

Eg. Africa & Asia

Near subsitence- selling surpluses

Intensive Farming- land farmed with high input rates producing high outputs rates can be produced:-

  • Capital-Intensive-  high input of capital and low input of labour for area of land, involves the use of fertilsers, pesticides, buildings with heating and ventilation, labour saving machine, irrigation. eg. grain farming - US Midwest
  • Labour Intensive- has a big inputs of work per area land. eg padi Rice India
  •  Dairy Farms UK can be both
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Extensive Farming- uses a large area of land with low inputs and low outputs per   hectare- low capital & labour inputs, less impact on the environment & better aminal welfare.

Eg. small No. of live stock grazing large areas of land eg ranching

Arable Farming-  growing plants/ crops for food, fuel, animal feed & material

Eg. Farms in east anglia, Uk- wheat, barley, sugar beet

Livestock Farming- keeping mainly animals- sheep, cows, pigs, for food and materials

Eg. milk, meat, wool, leather- hill sheep farming &  dairy farming,UK

Mixed Farming - growing crops & keeping animals.

Eg. Farms in the Midlands, UK

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Gobal Food Comsumption is Also Unevently Distribut

Varies between countries

MEDC's- consume a lot, can afford to import large variety of foods- culture of comsumerism. people have high diposable incomes- can afford more food.

Eg. North America & Europe

LEDC's- consume less food per person, can't afford as much.

Eg. Africa, South America, Parts of Asia    

Newly Industrialised Countries (NIC's)- comsuming more as wealth increases.

Eg. China

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Traded Between Countries

Counrties producing lots of food often exporting to countries which can't

North America, Europe, Austrialia & Brazil- export large amounts of food.

Africa, Japan & Middle Eastern countires (Saudi Arabia)- import large amounts of food.

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Trans-National Corpartions Play an Important Role

Companies that operate in more than one country, Play an major role in the production, processing and distribution of food.

Eg. Cargrill- Based in USA, largest privately owned company in the world, operatesing 66 countries.

  • Production:- sells products, eg. Fertiliser, equipment & seeds to farms, helping them to grow crops, then buys crops from then. Also produces own food eg. Palm Oil New Guinea.
  • Processing:- Owns processing plants across the globe, eg. Soya Bean processing plants- Paraguay, Corn processing plants- China, Cocoa processing plants- Ivory Coast.
  • Distribution:- Worldwide distribution of products is run from office in switerland. Has own distribution network in some countries eg. venezuela.
  • Employs local people  to trade products eg. Pakistan  
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Advantages of TNC's

  • Lots of food produced cheaply
  • Range of food available increased
  • Provide jobs & improve economic sercuity in operating countries
  • Invest in research & development of new products/ technologies that can increase farming yields
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Disadvantages of TNC's

  • Control the price of products eg seeds, fertilisers & michinery, cost of processing and distribution & price of food produced- prices too high some countries can't afford them.
  • Smaller companies can't compete & go bankrupt. food supplies become delocalised = less self-sufficiency.

(Delocalised- countries have to buy from TNC's instead of local companies)

  • Intensive farming methods can cause environmental problems.
  • Takes time to process & tansport the food- reducing nutritional value.  
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The Geopolitics of Food Involves Different Issues

>  Food production & trade is very important to goverments for many reason.

>  Countries want food security- want to make sure their food supply isn't disrupted by things. eg. poor yields, wars, other political issues.

>  If food supply disrupted can result in food shortages= serious health issues, social & political instability.

>  Food production can account for a huge proportion of country's economy.

>  Countries make agricultural policies that protect their home production & control the import of food.

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Changes in Demand

Food industry has become globalised in the last 50 years.

Before 1960's- food was grown in own country and from local area

Since there has been an increase in global trade of food to satisy rising levels of comsumption & increase demand for a wide range of food all year round.

Increase in global trade called - Globalisation.

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Globalisation has had a Negative Impact on the Env

Countries make a lot of money by exporting food so produce a large amounts....

.....But producing & transporting this extra food can damage the environment.

  • Food exporting countries want to produce as much as possible= want more land for farming leading to deforestation to provide land.
  • Greater the area of farming land, bigger the environmental impact of farming.
  • Growing food for export can change to more environmentallly damaging intensive farming methods.
  • Food export increase, as does the transportation needed & CO2 released.
  • CO2- greenhouse gas more released the bigger the contribution to Greenhouse effect and climate changes.
  • Food miles- distance traveled from producer to consumer, gives indication of CO2 released as food transported.   
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The Type of Food That's in Demand Has Changed

1. Demand for Seasonal Products All Year Round has Increased...

1960s- fruit and veg sold in the UK were locally producted & seasonal.

Seasonal food - not available all year round only in months it grows.

Today seasonal products- brought any time of year.

Fruit & veg imported from abroad. 

Eg. peachs grow in the uk in Aug & Sept, imported all year from spain, Italy, Greece & France.  

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2. Demand for High Value Food Exports from Poorer Countries.

High value foods- foods with a high value. Eg. exotic fruits & Veg, Coffee & Chocolate.

1980/1-2003/4 high value food exported from poorer countries to richer countries quadrupled- $26bill-$106bill.

Crops that are grown for export are called Cash Crops.

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Both these changes in demand were caused by...

1) Rising culture of high consumption.

2) Rising incomes in MEDC's- more people can afford imports.

3) Increasing popularity of exotic products.

Negative effects of importing seasonal & high value food:

  • Food Safety & agricultural health concerns- standards vary between counties.
  • Increases food miles- increases impact of transporting food on evironment.
  • Less food produced in MEDC's- cheaper import food= lower food security-countries rely more on imported food.
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  • Concerns about fairness of worker's pay in LEDC's which sell best produce abroad cheaply.
  • Best land used to grow high value foods for exportaion- leaves little/poor quality land to grow food for local population= leads to food shortages.
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3. Demand for Organic Food has Increased...

1993/4 & 2003/4 organic food sales in UK increased over 10x- £105mill to £1119 mill.

Trend caused by poeple's concern that:-

  • Intensive farming damges environment.
  • Food containing pesticide residues- harmful.

There are Negative effects of organic produce:-

  • More vulnerable to pests & disease.
  • More expensive to produce & Buy.
  • Not enough organic produce grown in UK to meet demand, so is imported- increases food miles.
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4. Demands for Local Produce Increased.

2005-2006- buying of local produce increased by 6%.

Reason include awareness of:-

  • Environmental issues ie. food miles
  • Social Issues- possible exploitation of workers in developing world.

Negative effects:-

  • Local food can be more expensive to produce & buy.
  • Importing less from developing world- producers there may suffer.
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Foods Can Be Produced in a More Sustainable Way...

Producing food to be sustainable it has to not damage the environment & not deplete resources.

Most food production systems are not 100% sustainable, but ways to make them more sustainable:-

  • Relocalising food supplies/production- reduces food miles.
  • Replacing intensive farming with organic farming- reduces impact on environment.
  • Using less food packaging- reduces energy use & waste.
  • Using fair trade system- would give growers in MEDC's fair pay & improved social & environmental standards. 
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Challenges of Sustainable Food Production

>  Food can't always be grown locally- land not susuitable for farming

Organic farming methods- less productive than intensive farming methods= more land required to produce same amount of food.

Climate change, soil degradation, demand for biofuels- reduces area of land avalible for farming.

>  Areas of land for farming reducing- population is increasing= more food needed.

Less land & more people to feed- very difficult to produce enough food using organic farming methods as less productive that intensive farming methods.

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Increasing Food Production.

Global food production Needs to Increase!

To cope with population growth & increasing consumption in countries with increasing wealth eg. China, India, Brazil.

There are a range of stategies that increase food production, these include:-

1. Green Revolution.

2. Genetically Modified (GM)

3. Land Colonisation & Land Reform

4. Commmerialisation

5. Appropriate Technology

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Green Revolution

Increases the use of technology in Agriculture.

Began in 1940's & spread the use of technology & intensive Farming Methods.

Food production increased throught the use of:

1. Higher yielding crops and Animals.

2. Monocultures- growing one crop over large area.

3. Irrigation Technologies- Eg. Ground water pumping, electric sprinklers.

4. Agrochemicals- Eg. fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides.

5. Mechanisation- Eg. machines for sowing, haresting, weeding, spraying.

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Negative Impacts of Green Revolution.

Bankruptcy of small farms that can't afford technology- rural umemployment & food shortage.

Lower food security- monoculture crop wiped out by single pest, drought or disease- no other crop to rely on.

Intensive farming methods can damage the environment:

  • Monoculture- reduces biodirversity.
  • Over irrigation-lower ground water levels, waterlogging & salinisation of soil/water.
  • Agrochemicals- pollution.
  • Mechanisation & over exploiting land- reduced soil fertility & increased soil erosion.
  • Pesticides lead to "superpests"- resistance to pesticides= more damaging pesticides.  
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Green Revolution Example

India 1961

Financed agrochemicals, developing irrigation systems  & important high yielding varieties of wheat & rice.

Productivity increased rapidly as a result

Eg. Rice triple by 1990's

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Genetic Modification (GM)- A high Technology Appro

GM crops- crops altered by addition of genes giving beneficial characteristics.

Introduced in 1990's

Modified crop can be:-

  • Produce pesticides- resistant to pests
  • Herdicide & pesticides tolerent- use of chemical without harming plant.
  • Resistant to disease.
  • Higher yield-  increasing their size or growth rate.
  • Longer lasting- incresed shelf- life.
  • Resistant to harsh environmental conditions- drought, frost.

GM animals also developed eg. crows- producing enriched milk, pigs producing lower fat bacon.

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Concern over GM

Crops resistant to agrochemicals- may temp farmer to use more agrochemicals= damage to environment.

GM crop can cross-pollinate & tranfer genes- leading to gene for hericide tolerence being tranferred to a weed- becomes difficult to kill.

Pesticides produced by GM crops could harm non-pest species eg. Butterflies.

Example

Bt maize & Bt Cotton

Contain gene from bacteria- enables them to produce a toxin poisonous to insects pests (Bt toxin).

20% less insecticed needed on these crops. 

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Land Colonisation

Provide Agricultural Land

Is when humans move to an area of land that hasn't been used before.

Eg, Rainforest.

Disadvatages:- Environmental damage- deforestation.

                         Conflicts with indigenous populations.

Example

2 million hectares of the amazon rainforest cleared each year to make way for subsistencee and commerical farms.

 

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Land Reform

Is when land is redistributed, Eg. grovernment owned land given to local people.

Disadvantages:- conflicts over who is entitled to the land/ compensation for previous landowner.

    Human rights violation- if previous landowners were forceibly     removed.

Example

Albania in 1990's

216 large state farms redistributed to create 380000 small farms owned by former state farm workers.

 

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Commercialisation- Subsistence to Commercial Farmi

Increases production- use of capital-intensive green revolution technologies.

Commercial farms produce high value food for export & produce cash crops.

Disadvantages:- best land use for food production- food shortages, less high quality land left for local production.

Also move from subsistence to commercial farming invovles use of green revolution technologies & problems they cause

Example

Commercialisationof small farms in Kenya since 1960's- lead to worlds 4th largest exporter of tea.

Now main source of foreign income.

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Appropriate Technology Solutions are Low Cost.

Simple, low cost technologies - Increase food production.

Made & maintained using local knowledge & resources- not dependant on outside support, expensive equipment or fuel.

Disadvantage:- Tend to be labour Intensive  

Example

Treadle pump - human powered pump in bangladesh 1980's. Pumps water from below ground- irrigates small areas of land. Import as rice (main crop) needs lots of water. Costs $7 to buy. Increased bangladeshi farmers average annual incomes by about $100- increased irrigation and increased crop yield.

local workshop, village dealers, well drilers & pump installers benefited from the business of local produce & distribution of pump has brought.

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Controlling Food Production and supply

Food production & supply needs to be controlled:-

  • Ensure food availibility & securilty- but prevent overproduction.
  • Ensure fair living standards farmer & survival of rural communities.
  • Encourage farmers to act as stewards of the landscape & preserve the natural environment.

Europe- Food production & supply is controlled by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

CAP- set of policies laid out by european commission- controls production & supply through a range of market & non-market policies. 

  • Increase agricultural productivity within member states.
  • ensure fair standars of living for farmers.
  • stabilise agricultural markets within & between member states
  • ensure reasonable consumer prices
  • maintain employment in agricultural areas.
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Market Policies

Control how profitable Products are.

Thee are 4 types of Market Policies:-

1. Subsidies.

2. Quotas

3. Intervention

4. Tariffs. 

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Subsidies

Payments to farmers to grow certain products. Maintains home grown supplies & food security. Ensure fair living standards for Farmers .

Negative:-

  • Cost of paying farmers
  • Overproduction- leads to export dumping (sold abroad for less that cost of production)
  • Export dumping- disruption of international markets & problems in LEDC's (farmers cannot compete with the low prices)

Example

EU- 2nd largest dairy exporter in the world due to subsidies supporting the industry. 1 billion (Euro) paid in dairy subsidie in 2006.

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Quotas

Limit production to prevent overproduction.

Import Quotas- protect market by limiting the amount of important produce.

Negative:-

  • Prevent comsumers obtaining cheap imports.
  • Influence international production & trade.

Example

Milk Quotas- intoducted in 1980's following over production created milk lakes & butter mountains (produce that couldn't be consumed & exported)

Milk Quotas- gradually increased as demand has increased.

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Intervension (2 types)

1. EU buys produce from farmers- improves food security ensuring farmers can sell their produce even withlow demand. Stock is either stored for later resale, export or disposed of.

Negative:-

  • Cost of transport & disposal.
  • Can cause overproduction.
  • Risk of export dumping & disruption of markets

Example

EU will buy excess stocks of grain, butter & sugar. the EU has over 1.5 million tonnes of sugar stored in warehouses in Jan 2006.

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2.  Involves garanteeing a min price for certain products. controls production by encouraging farmers to produce or stop producing particular products.

Negative:-

  • Cost of paying farmers
  • Increased cost to consumers.

Example

EU aims to cut sugar production by 6million tonnes by 2010 to allow develpoed countries to export lower cost sugar.

2006 guaranteed price for sugar was cut by 36% to encourage fsrmers to stop production sugar.

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Tariffs

Taxes applied to imported goods- stop imports from undercutting domestic produce. Protect the market for domestic farmers.

Negative

  • Prevent consumers buy cheap imported products.
  • Affect international production-reduce tade of products with high tariffs & increase trade of products with low tariffs.

Example

EU can produce 94% of beef that it needs, but if it was cheaper for consumers to buy imported beef then it would not be profitable  for EU farmers to produce it, production and food security would decrease. To prevent this a tariff of 18 to 28% is applied to imported beef products making them more expensive than locally produced products. 

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Non-Marketing Policies

control production production without affecting markets & how profitable certain products are to farmers.

2 main types of non-marketing policies.

1. Diversification Scheme

2. Environmental Stewardship.

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Diversification Scheme

Promote enterprise. encourage farmers to develop new enterprises, reducing dependence on subsidies for agricultural products.

Example

rainton farm in scotland has diversified by producing & selling ice cream & providing tourist factities such as a farm shop, tea room, adventure playground, 3D maze & nature trails.

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Environmental Stewardship

protects Nature

invovles paying subsidies to farmers to use conservation methods when farming.

payment made for schemes that:-

  • Protect wildlife
  • Maintain/ enhance landscape quality.
  • Protect the environment & natural resources.
  • Promote public access to the countryside.

example.

In the Lake district farmers recieve subsidies to resctrict cultivation & grazing reduce fertiliser & pesticides use manage hedges, maintain ditches & repair stone walls.

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Set-sides- the policy of paying farmers not to use some of their land because too much food is being produced.

Buffer zones- long area of field bounderies around ponds & alond ditches. vary from 2-10m in width. clear instructions are given to farmers on how they should create such zones.

benefit include:-

  • Create new habitats for small mammals inverte brates & Birds.
  • Protecting habitats from pesticide sprays, fertilisers & cultuvation.
  • Protecting archaeological & historic features from damage by mechanical operations.
  • Stabilising banks
  • Protecting water courses from pollution.
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Benefits & Negative Non-Market Policies

Benefits

  • prevent overproduction.
  • prevent land degradation
  • promote sustainable farming.
  • promote a sustainable rural economy.

Negative

  • Cost of paying farmers
  • Reduce productivity (can be a benefit if overproduction is an issue)
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Case Study- Bangladesh

producion doesn't meet demand.

developing country- highpovert rate

rate malnurition are high.

food prodauction doesn't meetdemand- fast population growth,  climatic events that damage production.

Eg. annual monsoon & cyclones cause flood as the country is situated on low-lying river delta. 

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Food supplies- managed throught range of stategies

organisations include governments, foreign aid agencie, international research institution & non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have worked to increase productivity & food supplies are sufficient.

stategies include:-

1. investment in technology

2. free market policies Encourage food imports

3. diversification in encouraged

4. Investment in infrastructure

5. food aid is provided where it's not needed.

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1. Investment in Technology

governemts provide sibsidies  and loans for farmers toinvest in Green revolution technogies.

>  high yields rice seeds, agrochemicals & increased irrigation increased rice production- 11.7-23.1 million tonnes between 1974 and 2000.

recently been more investment into appropriate technology solutions.

due to negative effects of green revolution technologies.

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Case Study- Bangladesh

producion doesn't meet demand.

developing country- highpovert rate

rate malnurition are high.

food prodauction doesn't meetdemand- fast population growth,  climatic events that damage production.

Eg. annual monsoon & cyclones cause flood as the country is situated on low-lying river delta. 

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Diversifiction in encouraged

bangladesh relie heavily on rice which needs four times more water than most crops.

problem- falling water levels.

food security, nutrition & health would all improve if a greater range of foods was produce

Encouraged in several ways;-

Small and medium businesses are supported  by projects that provide  expertise and training.

Financial incentives are given to livestock farmers, e.g.  tax holidays and duty exemptions

EU trade preferences allow exports to Europe without  duties or quotas      

.

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Free Market policies encourage food Imports

government removed many subsidies, eliminated quotas & reduced import tariffs to encourage imports- needed to feed pop.

disadvantages of strategy- susceptibility to rise food prices- 2008 rising prices of grain push 4 mill people below poverty line.

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Food supplies- managed throught range of stategies

organisations include governments, foreign aid agencie, international research institution & non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have worked to increase productivity & food supplies are sufficient.

stategies include:-

1. investment in technology

2. free market policies Encourage food imports

3. diversification in encouraged

4. Investment in infrastructure

5. food aid is provided where it's not needed.

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1. Investment in Technology

governemts provide sibsidies  and loans for farmers toinvest in Green revolution technogies.

>  high yields rice seeds, agrochemicals & increased irrigation increased rice production- 11.7-23.1 million tonnes between 1974 and 2000.

recently been more investment into appropriate technology solutions.

due to negative effects of green revolution technologies.

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Free Market policies encourage food Imports

government removed many subsidies, eliminated quotas & reduced import tariffs to encourage imports- needed to feed pop.

disadvantages of strategy- susceptibility to rise food prices- 2008 rising prices of grain push 4 mill people below poverty line.

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Diversifiction in encouraged

Bangladesh relie heavily on rice which needs four times more water than most crops.

Problem- falling water levels.

Food security, nutrition & health would all improve if a greater range of foods was produce

Encouraged in several ways;-

Small and medium businesses are supported  by projects that provide  expertise and training.

Financial incentives are given to livestock farmers, e.g.  tax holidays and duty exemptions

EU trade preferences allow exports to Europe without  duties or quotas      

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Investment in Infrastructure

Investment into infrastructure that supports food production:

1) Maintaining and building roads to improve the transport of produce. 1995 and 2000- US funded the construction of 15 000 km of farm-to-market roads

2) Increasing electricity supplies - between 1977 - 2000 over 80 000 irrigation pumps were electrified.

3) Budding flood defences and improving water flow to allow damaging  flood water. to recede quickly.

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Advantages

Diversification & investment in infrastructure- long-term sustainable solutions.

Strategies eg. "Food for Education"-  provide health and social benefits.

Diversification would benefit the economy, providing wider range of export goods.

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Disadvantages

Srategies cost money to initiate

Food imports and food aid- not sustainable solutions.

Some technologies damage the environment.

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Case Studies- China

1.3 billion citizens China- world's most populated country.

 has history of food shortages so its goal is to be self-sufficient

 Aims to achieve this through focusing agricultural policy on grain production

China currently produces 90% of its own grain, despite having only 7% of the planet's arable land and 20% of its population.

Stategies include:-

1. State control of grain production

2. Incentives to grow grains

3. Modernisation of agriculture

4. Domestic Supplies are protected

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State Control of Grain Production

Grain production and distribution are controlled by th central government.

Farmers required to produce least 50 million tonnes of in grain- sold at government controlled prices

40 million tonnes- are sold to government at negotiated prices.

This grain is distributed to urban areas, sold at low prices

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Modernisation of Agriculture

Investment into modernising agriculture:

  • Transportation infrastructure- improved, speeding up transport of produce (slow distribution= famine in the past)
  • Losses during processing and distribution- reduced using Western technology in packing, refrigerating and canning.
  • Agricultural research and development have become a priority. Research into rice- breeding, biological pest control, genetic engineering- funded with the aim of improving crop yield
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Incentives to Grow Grains

Provincial governments are responsible for making sure enough grain is produced.

Provinces that don't produce enough have to buy produce from those that have a surplus.

Incentives put in place by the provinces to encourage grain production vary but include subsidies, guaranteed minimum prices, tax exemptions and free education.

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Domestic supplies are protected

China is cautious, protecting its supplies by

Stockpiling surplus grain In 2008 China held a reserve supply
equivalent to 30 to 40% of its annual consumption (the UN regards
17% as a safe minimum).

Limiting grain imports. This protects the domestic market for
home-grown produce.

Reducing grain exports. In 2007 a global shortage of grain resulted
in soaring prices worldwide. Exports to many countries were stopped
to protect domestic supplies.

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Advantages

Modernisation of agriculture- long term investment

Prioritising self-sufficiency leaves less chance of disruption to food supplies by external events. 

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Disadvantages

  • Urbanisation- reducing the area of arable land= food self-sufficiency may not be sustainable as a policy.
  • The focus on grain prevents farmers from growing high value foods for export, increasing rural poverty.
  • Reducing grain exports can adversely affect food supply in countries that depend on imports.
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Comments

Dan Morris

Absolutely brilliant! thanks :-)

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