After World War Two ( WW II) famines and malnutrition have been recurring issues along with the assertion of the Third World. Today, it’s a fact there is enough food to feed the whole world population but famines and malnutrition remain topical subjects How to guarantee food security to the whole world population? First, let’s point out the need to feed the growing world population. Then, let’s see how some countries have tried to meet this challenge. To finish, it’s worth showing the future challenges.
I/ The need to feed a growing world population A/ A higher and higher food demand -The world population is growing fast: 2011: 7 billion people2050: between 9-11.5 billion people -As a consequence, food consumption is increasing MAP distribution of the world population B/ There is enough food on Earth to feed this increasing population -The world population grows by 1.2% a year in average -In the world, food production grows by 2% a years in average -Today, if food was well distributed, it’s estimated that each inhabitant could have 2800 calories a day, which is plenty enough. These higher productions are not caused but an extension of cultivated areas but by a higher productivity and increased yields.( mechanization, new techniques…) C/ But, food remain very badly distributed: Let’s study this map: p 75 N°1
What needs to be remembered: -the highest populated countries suffer the most from underfeeding/undernutrition -Developing countries are the most concerned with food problems -Africa is the continent which starves the most -1 billion people in the world are underfed/ One billion overfed (over 3500c) -400 million obese people -Every 5 second in the world a child dies from a lack of food Malnutrition:is the condition that results from taking an unbalanced diet in which certain nutrients are lacking or are in the wrong proportions Undernutrition: Under 2500 calories a day
Many countries have tried different methods to provide their population with enough food. However famines remain and food safety is not reached everywhere. Let’s study some of these methods: their good sides and also their drawbacks.
II/ How to meet such a challenge? A/ Some conditions to reach food security Food security: food security is reached when there is enough food and everybody has access to it. Condition 1: Feed the whole mankind To do this : higher yields are needed so new techniques and so money. BUT, a more intense production can cause pollution or overexploitation of natural resources ( over fishing). In addition, transport and storage facilities are needed as well as political stability to enforce long-term policies. Let’s study the following text: what causes famines in Ethiopia? Condition 2: Get a better food quality This would help to avoid epidemics ( Bird flu, Mad cow disease ) This means a reformation of our productive systems This implies a respect of local diets and to save food agriculture. Let’s study the following cartoonDiapositive 8Diapositive 8
The mad Cow disease or BSE was an epidemics which started in the early 90’s in the UK and then spread worldwide With this disease the cattle’s brain becomes like a sponge. It is caused by the fact to feed cattle with meat and bone meat from carcasses ( they are herbivores) It’s been proven it can be transmitted to humans. In this case it is called the Creutzfeldt–Jakob diseaseCreutzfeldt–Jakob disease This cartoon was publihed in a Brtish newspaper in 2000 What is the cartoonist’s opinion ?
B/ To meet this challenge many options were chosen 1)Productivist agriculture in wealthy countries: this is known as agribusiness Machines Seeds, plants Services: money, loans, banks PRODUCTION Plants Cattle Storage FOOD INDUSTRY: processed food Exports Retail restaurants
2) In developing countries: case study the green revolution in India See sources
The green revolution in India The green revolution in India in the 1960’s, was about using new farming techniques and products (fertilisers for example) to increase production. The use was supervised by the Indian government that subsidised farmers. Increased production resulted in higher profits to allow more investment in farming as well as an improvement of population health standards with higher caloric intake. So the green revolution allowed economic and social development. The green revolution was a success regarding production increase: in 1960 India produced 82 million tons of grain whereas it was 225 in 2004! The future of the green revolution in question The methods used by the green revolution caused high pollution on soils and water and so productivity decreases. Moreover, only some farmers benefited from government help saw their situation change
All the options tried to reach food safety have shown successes but also drawbacks. In this early 21st century, there is a need to move toward new options. Let’s see them
III/ To a safer future… A/ The need for sustainable agriculture: Sustainable agriculture is the practice of farming using principles of ecology, the study of relationships between organisms and their environment. 1)Organic agriculture: it excludes or strictly limits the use of chemicals, hormones and GM seeds in order to prevent pollution. 2) Is GM food a way to move toward a sustainable agriculture? Let’s go back on the previous text about Africa
Using the coloured extract answer the following question: Can the use if GM food alleviate famines in Africa ? GM food: organisms have had specific changes into their DNA to allow better resistance to climate hardness, insects, diseases and allow better yield. For the cattle, it consist in selective breeding.
Famine in Africa has been a long lasting issue and today some try to find some way out. One of them is the use of GM crops: crops can be made more resistant to insect invasions, weed, as well as climatic hardness. However, GM seeds are costly because they are patented and farmers have to buy new seeds every year! Moreover, some Zambian scientists investigated GM seeds and finally decided their use could be harmful on human beings. The real causes of food shortage in Africa are droughts, lack of transport and storage infrastructures and government intervention.
III/ To a safer future… B/ Some current debates 1)The risk of deforestation: In many countries, deforestation is an issue that is causing extinction of many species, changes to climatic conditions,desertification, and displacement of indigenous people 2) Biofuels some point out the risk of shortage to feed the livestock and in consequence an increase of prices.Moreover biofuel production pollutes a lot! 3) The need for fair trade in agriculture: fair trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in trade. Some think that if farmers are fairly paid for their production, they will be more careful on the respect of the environment. C/ Future challenges Let’s study a text