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The Hard Row to Hoe FARMING CHALLENGES AND STRATEGIES TO INCREASE FOOD SUPPLY.

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Presentation on theme: "The Hard Row to Hoe FARMING CHALLENGES AND STRATEGIES TO INCREASE FOOD SUPPLY."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Hard Row to Hoe FARMING CHALLENGES AND STRATEGIES TO INCREASE FOOD SUPPLY

2 THE BASIC PROBLEM Both commercial and subsistence farmers share the same challenge: Generating enough income to sustain themselves and their farms.

3 COMMERCIAL FARMING CHALLENGES Remember the three sectors of the economy. Businesses that locate near the raw materials are called raw materials oriented. Businesses that locate near the market (near the consumers) are market oriented. Because commercial farmers sell produce off the farm to consumers, and because food products are perishable, the distance from the individual farm to the market influences the crops the famer will grow. VON THUNEN’S MODEL predicts crop choices based on farm’s location in relation to market. ACCESS TO MARKETS Each business must choose where to locate its facility, either closer to raw materials or closer to the market.

4 COMMERCIAL FARMING CHALLENGES THE VON THUNEN MODEL Commercial farmers choose crops/animals based on their market’s location. Farmers compare cost of the land to the cost of transporting their produce. Specific crops will be grown in specific rings around a given market (city where the crop is sold). First ring: milk producers and market-oriented gardens (products are expensive to deliver and highly perishable) Second ring: timber producers (heavy and expensive to transport). Third ring: various crops and pasture Fourth ring: grazing land CHANGES TO MODEL --model assumed all land has uniform quality/character but must be modified for variation of topography and site characteristics. --model also failed to take into account social customs/government policies that affect influence various crops attractiveness. --model developed for small/single-market regions, but it must be adapted to national and global scales THE MODEL --model developed before improved techniques of refrigeration/food preservation --model developed before improved transportation systems/technology --model fails to take into account agricultural products not used for food --forests no longer occupy market-oriented zone

5 COMMERCIAL FARMING CHALLENGES OVER- PRODUCTION In MDCs, the spread of agricultural technology in the form of seeds, fertilizer, pesticide, equipment and management methods has greatly increased yield per land area. The fact of being in stages 3 and 4 of the demographic transition has also stabilized population numbers. Therefore the food supply in MDCs greatly exceeds the demand for it and food prices drop. GOVERNMENT POLICIES TO ADDRESS OVERPRODUCTION ENCOURAGE FARMERS NOT TO PRODUCE CROPS ALREADY IN EXCESS Instead farmland is planted with fallow crops to prevent soil erosion and to use as fodder for livestock. PAY SUBSIDIES WHEN COMMODITY PRICES DROP Government sets target price for commodity and pays farmer difference between target price and market price. BUY SURPLUS PRODUCE AND SELL/DONATE IT TO OTHER COUNTRIES Governments use the surplus as food aid.

6 COMMERCIAL FARMING CHALLENGES SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE CONCEPT MARKER 1: SENSITIVE LAND MANAGEMENT MARKER 2: LIMITED USE OF CHEMICALS MARKER 3: INTEGRATE CROPS & LIVESTOCK SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE is a practice that preserves and enhances the quality environment while using the land. Revenue tends to be lower, but production cost is lower too Organic farming is a type of sustainable agriculture (.24% of all farmland as of 2007). Ridge tillage lowers production costs and increases soil conservation. The system is more labor intensive but also more profitable per acre Ridge tillage decreases chemical use by spraying only on ridge tops. System allows farmers to limit or eliminate herbicide use altogether. System attempts to integrate growing crops and raising livestock on the individual farm level. Animals consume crops grown on the farm and are allowed free range. The System

7 SUBSISTENCE FARMING CHALLENGES Two issues affect crop choice for subsistence farmers: Subsistence farming has been generally low-yield, but population in LDCs is expanding rapidly. The international trade approach to development requires farmers grow products for export instead of food for direct consumption.

8 SUBSISTENCE FARMING CHALLENGES POPULATION GROWTH BOSERUP HYPOTHESIS SHORTER FALLOW PERIODS NEW FARMING METHODS The theory comes from Danish economist Ester Boserup: As populations increase, they adopt more productive technologies (agriculture, ecosystem engineering, etc.) to increase carrying capacity of human environment. THE SYSTEM Intensification of farming happens in two primary ways: Plows replace sticks coupled with increased weeding, terraces and irrigation ditches. Higher population provides more labor, yield increases but output per person is stable. Stage 1 FOREST FALLOW: 2 years of use, 20 years of fallow Stage 2 BUSH FALLOW: 8 years of use, 10 years of fallow Stage 3 SHORT FALLOW: 2 years of use, 2 years of fallow Stage 4 ANNUAL CROPPING: yearly use with some fallow crop months Stage 5 MULTICROPPING: constant use with no fallow period THE DANGER… without proper care: nutrient depletion and soil erosion TIMEPLANTING PERIODNUTIRENT LEVEL IN SOIL

9 SUBSISTENCE FARMING CHALLENGES SUBSISTENCE FARMING AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE LDCs seeking to increase food production often run into a catch 22. To fee a growing population, you need to increase food production. To increase production you need access to fertilizers, high yield seeds and farm equipment (all of which cost money). To get the technological supplies, you must import them from MDCs. To import the supplies, you need money. To get money, you need to engage in international trades and exports. To engage in exports you either grow cash crops (not food) or off-season fruits and vegetables (which is food, but food you can’t eat because you’re selling it). The more land you devote to export crops, the less land is available for domestic production. In the name of increasing its food production, an LDC may actually decrease it. The money made to buy enhanced farming technology then goes to buying and importing food from MDCs because of the decreased domestic food production.

10 SUBSISTENCE FARMING CHALLENGES DRUG CROPS Many LDCs turn to exporting drug crops to MDCs for money. Millions of people in Latina America and Asia generate all their income from the sale of drug crops to MDCs. Especially prevalent are poppy (heroin), coca (cocaine) and marijuana.

11 SUBSISTENCE FARMING CHALLENGES STRATEGIES TO INCREASE FOOD SUPPLY There are four basic strategies to increase food production: Expand Agricultural Land Increase Productivity Identify New Food Sources Increase Food Imports

12 SUBSISTENCE FARMING CHALLENGES EXPAND AGRICULTURAL LAND DESERTIFICATION EXCESS WATERURBAN SPRAWL HISTORICAL PRECEDENT In the past, food production increased primarily by expanding land for agricultural use. During the industrial revolution, there was always more available land. Few people today think that expanding farm land will actually help, and in many places, farmland is being lost for a few reasons. Semiarid lands that can support only a handful of nomads are overused due to population growth. Over planting, grazing and deforestation sap the nutrients. 5 million acres have already been deforested, and an additional 70 million acres are lost each year. Flooding is one threat. Another is land that receives more water than it can drain from irrigation systems. Ground water rises and drowns the root systems As populations rise, urban areas expand into the city’s periphery and first ring farmland. Farms are replaced by homes, roads and other urban land uses.

13 SUBSISTENCE FARMING CHALLENGES INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY Population grew more rapidly than ever during the second half of the 20 th century, but food production still outpaced population. THE GREEN REVOLUTION (invention and rapid diffusion of more productive agricultural techniques- especially seeds and practices- during 1970s and 1980s). --High costs (fuel, fertilizer, seeds, equipment) --Methods erode soil/nutrients over time --Water scarcity and water pollution (run-off) --Marginalized groups (often women) no credit --High debt load --Competition on global market --Availability of loans and funds --Climatic dangers (soil erosion, desertification) --Limited arable land --Possible loss of biodiversity THE GREEN REVOLUTION THE TECHNIQUES Miracle seeds: wheat, rice and corn (high yield, hybrid, often disease/herbicide resistant) Fertilizers: using nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium Insecticides/Herbicides Irrigation Farm equipment THE REGIONS South Asia (India) Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines) East Asia (China) Latin America (Mexico) Northern Africa THE NECESSARY CONTEXT --Available capital (FDI, foreign aid, local finance) --Political stability and receptive government --Independent, middle-class farmers --Market economy --Adequate infrastructure (transportation) --Cultural acceptance of crops/methods --Adequate education and knowledge systems THE ROADBLOCKS TO SUCCESS

14 SUBSISTENCE FARMING CHALLENGES IDENTIFYING NEW FOOD SOURCES OCEAN CULTIVATION HIGH-PROTEIN GRAIN DEVELOPMENT RARELY CONSUMED FOODS Oceans cover ¾ of the earth’s surface and lie near most major population concentrations. Historically, only a small percentage of human food came from seas, and in the mid 1900s, many countries hoped to increase their food supply by increasing their fishing industries. Many fish species have declined and some are near extinction because the fish wee caught more quickly than they could reproduce. This was called THE TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS and over-fishing necessitated UNCLOS and the establishment of EEZs. The majority of people in MDCs obtain protein from meat (places high pressure on land and resources). The majority of people in LDCs get calories from grain (which often lacks protein) (which is also less destructive to the land). Scientists are experimenting with developing higher protein seeds. Many processed foods are also fortified with vitamins, minerals and proteins. People consume foods adapted to their local conditions and their local customs. Eating uncommon foods can help with food supply. Examples: soybeans (soy products) and krill DIFFICULTIES There are a number of non-standard food sources out there (buffalo, ostrich, amaranth grain, etc.) however, many producers of these goods face troubles getting a foothold in the market because they lack an integrated COMMODITY CHAIN. A COMMODITY CHAIN is a collection of interrelated economic activities or industries required for the production of a particular good/service. They include both vertical (buyer-suppplier) and horizontal (inter-competitor) linkages that bind firms together and create and reinforce shared norms that facilitate the development/diffusion of innovation and practice.

15 SUBSISTENCE FARMING CHALLENGES INCREASING TRADE Few countries are net food exporters, but increased production in them could cover gaps in LDCs (the major export crops are wheat, rice, corn). Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and much of Latin America became net importers from the 1950s to the 1970s due to population growth. Much of Europe became net importers as they lost their colonial holdings. The US is the largest net exporter, and the Agricultural Trade Act allowed for the sale of grain to LDCs at low interest rates and the granting of grain to various needy groups. Things have changed recently: South and Southeast Asia have become net exporters. Thailand is the #1 rice exporter (US no longer in top 10). Japan (corn) and China (wheat) are the leading grain importers.


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