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1 Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) UK
Life on the margins: the inequality of food and nutrition security AGRI-FOOD BUSINESS PowerPoint presentation by Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) UK Schools Team: Mary Doherty and Severa von Wentzel January 2014

2 Sustainability – SUPPLY and production

3 “Goals other than improved nutrition are pursued by strong economic and political interests in both the agricultural sector and the postharvest value chain. Farmers and other economic agents in food systems aim to make money subject to reasonable levels of risk, and governments pursue policies that are compatible with the interests of politically powerful stakeholder groups. Malnourished populations are rarely among these interests.” (Per Pinstrup-Andersen “Nutrition-sensitive food systems: from rhetoric to action” Note for teachers: Quotes which highlight the complexity of agricultural systems' role in alleviating hunger, they would benefit from a thorough discussion

4 Food system “Food systems encompass all the people, institutions and processes by which agricultural products are produced, processed and brought to consumers. They also include the public officials, civil society organizations, researchers and development practitioners who design the policies, regulations, programmes and projects that shape food and agriculture” (FAO “The State of Food and Agriculture The industrial food system started with the factory system of fast food, which changed how food was produced. The food system is complex and involves many steps.

5 Food-secure livelihoods ultimately depend on sustainable production of food.
Action for students: Watch the clip on agriculture and the green economy. Discuss: What is the difference between food security for ‘us’ and sustainable food systems for all and note the key points of the discussion in your folder. What is green economy? Note to teachers: Unsustainable exploitation of global seas has led to the decline in fish stocks; for example, cod. Source:

6 Sustainability or business as usual? (1)
Note for teachers: This slide, diagram and text should be discussed and emphasised with students. If students are able to sketch this accurately in an exam and explain it would show clearly they understand the complexity and impact of sustained food security. In terms of explaining resilience, you might choose to reference the 2000 Lorry strike in the UK, where the UK was 5 days from food shortages thanks to the logistics revolution. Image on sustainability Source: Edexcel Student Guide Unit 4, Option 3; the-margins-Food-supply-problem-final.ppt;

7 Sustainability or business as usual? (2)
The sustainability discourse does not accept the externalisation of costs - the negative environmental, social and economic impacts - of food provision. In a well-functioning system, criteria need to overlap and work with all stages of food production to consumption. A well-functioning system: Improves human health and social well-being Maintains environment and economy long-term Builds resilience at times of shocks from natural and man-made disasters. Resilience is the ability to withstand shock. Image on sustainability Source: Edexcel Student Guide Unit 4, Option 3; the-margins-Food-supply-problem-final.ppt;

8 Food system Nutrition and sustainability
The food system is currently not ensuring basic food and nutrition security and sustainability around the world. It is interrelated with rural poverty, gender inequality and environmental degradation. If we judge food security on the basis of production alone, it is already failing given hunger. The food system considered as a whole needs to be reconceived with more emphasis on health and consumption if it is to secure positive nutritional outcomes for all and if sustainable practices are to be implemented throughout supply chains. The links from the food system to nutritional outcomes are often indirect and food system policies and interventions rarely have nutrition as their primary objective. While sustainable strategies are the ideal, there is also a need for non-sustainable strategies such as food aid in emergencies. Note to teachers: Sustainable practices include ethical economic dealings, conserving natural resources, good working conditions which are compliant with international labour standards.

9 Agronomic practices In agri-business there has been relatively little emphasis on how to grow food without as much fossil fuel - sustainable food production goes hand in hand with sustainable energy resources. More sustainable agricultural production systems that are proven to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels, entail combinations of: Integrated pest management Strategic application of fertilisers and irrigation water Low-impact pesticides Precision-farming procedures Sustainable practices require a change in agricultural practices, lifestyles and urban and rural development. There is a link between sustainability and equity (e.g., for girls and women). No-till or Minimum tillage Crop diversification Crop rotation Teacher resource slide: Sustainability and development Source: Viglizzo 2012 as found in

10 Agri-business labour violations
Policies are inadequate or not sufficiently enforced to improve labour standards and ensure access to social safety nets. Routine violation of internationally regulated labour standards include: Long hours Low wages Poor working conditions 170,000 deaths / year of agricultural workers, 40,000 of whom killed by pesticide poisoning (ILO) Wide-spread child labour: 130 – 150 million child labourers in agriculture (ILO 2010) Source: Fairfood Internationl ILO 2010 Accelaerating action against child labour

11 Unsustainable food production
The negative impacts of the Green revolution and then (genetically modified) GM crops and the global food system became more topical in the 1990s following food price hikes. International companies are recognising more and more that it could be in their interest to shift to more sustainable practices. Like developed countries, developing countries adopting Green Revolution Technologies are facing resource constraints and similar changes to natural ecosystems and loss of biodiversity due to the scale and intensity of food production on land and in the oceans. “The existence of over 4,000 plant and animal species is threatened by agricultural intensification” (Fairfood) Note for teachers: This is a helpful slide which introduces the challenges which result from high impact farming in the developed and developing countries. The issues and definitions are documented in later sections. Source: Edexcel Student Guide Unit 4, Option 3; Source: UN Documents, Our Common Future -

12 Environmental sustainability
Global Footprint Network devised an indicator of environmental sustainability – the ecological footprint (EF). The issues centre on land grabs, deforestation and replacement of staple food crops by biofuels. Deforestation for cash crops- most severe impact on mountainous areas, upland watersheds and dependent ecosystems Global focus on Eco footprints and food miles (sustainability), animal welfare, fair trade and exploitation of workers Note for teachers: The ecological footprint could be a prompt for students to consider the rate at which we consume resources for different purposes and how we generate waste. Reducing waste could be a major contributor to enhancing food security. The EF is “a resource accounting tool that measures how much nature we have, how much we use, and who uses what.” ( It allows for the comparison of consumption and lifestyles across different settings and nature’s ability to provide for those demands. Further info on sustainability Source:

13 Eco footprints Action for students: It will become imperative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to a changing climate. Read about and discuss in class if your family could follow the example of the Hawksworth family Per capita footprint can be used to: highlight inequality of resource use educate about overconsumption show how many lifestyles are not sustainable. K Note for teachers: It is important to tease out with students the impact of greenhouse gas emissions and the changing climate on food security. The examiners report noted that this was an aspect not fully understood by students. Source:

14 Food supply: human and physical factors
Set natural limits to production Can be overcome with technology Technology is costly Eventually the law of diminishing returns apply Variation in food supply ≠ Variation in food security Production of crops for export can be high, while supply for local consumption can be low. Grey area between human and physical factors Human factors Physical factors Accessibility of markets Land ownership systems: security of tenure. Inheritance laws: may be gender biased Market and Trade patterns and regulations skewed in favour of more developed economies Competition often unfair, especially if subsidies, quotas etc. involved Government action and support Big businesses and TNCs now dominate research into agricultural production and are governed by profit margins rather than food security for poor people Aid agencies are key players in both long and short term food supplies Soil–nutrient store Climate: seasonal changes Precipitation: amount, frequency, type Length of thermal growing season Relief: steep or waterlogged areas less useful Aspect-slope angle Altitude: affecting temperature, water supply Hazards: tectonic, hydro-meteorological and biological Recent climate change and weather ‘shocks’ linked to global warming. Note to teachers: A very useful summary slide. Helpful for revision Source: Edexcel Student Guide Unit 4, Option 3;

15 Food supply factors Action for students:
Using Sub-Saharan Africa as an example Read the report on the region and refer to the World Food Programme Global Security Updates and country updates Prepare a slide that explains food supply factors, human and physical, to a fellow student. Source: Edexcel Student Guide Unit 4, Option 3;

16 Food supply chain Food supply defines what food is available. Food availability is influenced by production and distribution of food – in a country and household. The supply chain charts its course from primary production to retail and service. Consumption is followed by waste management. Note for teachers: You may find it helpful to provide students with a copy of this slide. As you discuss the slide with them ask them to annotate as appropriate and retain the copy of the slide in their folder Source: Digby et al “A2 Geography for Edexcel”, p 282

17 World food supply chain
Note for teachers: It may be helpful to provide students with a paper copy of this slide for annotation and highlighting as you discuss the slide Farm equipment manufacturers e.g., Deere & Company Hedge funds and other investment firms

18 Losses in the food supply chain
Source: ;

19 Food Miles, losses and wastage
Up to half of the food that is produced for human consumption is lost or wasted annually, around 1.3 billion tonnes. Up to 40% of food rots on the way to market in India. Americans throw away up to 40% of what they buy. (Gustavsson et al 2011; Economist September 1st 2012 “Clean Plates”) Food Miles, losses and wastage Do greater and greater distances between growers and consumers matter? Most people associate food miles with final delivery transport , which actually only accounts for 4% of food emissions. What you eat and how much you waste tends to be more important than where it comes from. K Source: In the UK one quarter of the lorries are carrying food. Source: “Food Security and Sustainability: One Can’t Make an Omelette Without Cracking Some Eggs” K Further info on food miles: Source on food emissions:

20 Note for teachers: It may be worthwhile discussing with students how we can justify eating lamb from New Zealand or pears from Argentina- have we lost sight of seasonality? The UK only grows half its vegetables and 10% of its fruit; big rise in imports. Source: “Food Security and Sustainability: One Can’t Make an Omelette Without Cracking Some Eggs”

21 Growing retail and processing share
Most of the economic value of food is added beyond the farm gate: food processing and retail make up significant and growing fraction of world economic activity. Note to teachers: Agribusiness is the second largest and most profitable US industry with annual sales over $400 billion. Subsidisation and protectionism have played a large role in allowing a few corporations to play a greater role in integrating the production system. The US Farm Bills are an example of billions of US dollars supporting large agribusiness TNCs rather than smallholders. You may also choose to discuss food clusters such as Oresund region in Denmark and Southern Sweden; Southeast Asia for broiler chickens; South America notably Brazil for Soya. Source: Source:

22 Powerful intermediaries (1)
Large transnational corporations dominate global food supply chains and have secured premium land. The global food economy has been driven by policies favouring agro-processing, foreign investment and exports, which has weakened the link between agricultural production and access to food. Note for teachers: This slide will benefit from discussion about power of supply chains – how retailers and traders, big multinationals dominate the food systems – how intermediaries have almost all the power. Major agribusiness corporations: Monsanto, DuPont, Cargill, Dow Chemical and Dow AgroSciences, Syngenta, ConAgra and BASF. Regarding debt, discussion of mass suicides in India owing to debt and crop failure may make the impact clear to students Source:

23 Powerful intermediaries (2)
The intermediaries (a handful of multinationals) have increased their power and control over the entire food system – not the consumers or the farmers, producers and ranchers. Three-hundred to 500 giant corporations control the bulk – 70%. Whether it is in India, US or UK, farmers are controlled by the debt they need to take on to keep up with the technologies and systems imposed by large transnational corporations (TNCs). Corporations look out for their brand survival and profit. There can be issues around accountability and regulation. International food companies have strengthened their commitment to sustainability.

24 Consolidation of the grain trade
, Powerful corporations determine prices and capture the growth in income and high return on equity rates whilst farmers experience a decline in their net income due to rising cost of inputs AND stable prices for their product. Note to teachers: The vertical integration can be achieved in agribusiness – a few TNC giants - by acquiring and merging with a seed company, a health sciences company and genetically modifying seeds to be resistant to a certain chemical so as to increase chemical sales. Monsanto is a useful example as it is involved in biotechnology, genomics and molecular breeding technology applied to herbicides and seeds. It sells the modified and patented seeds and herbicides to farmers. Source:

25 From seed to supermarket
Action for students: In pairs, consider the implications of the growing dominance of a few companies and countries, where large companies control substantial shares of the international markets for grains, fertilizers, pesticides and seeds and shape governments’ policies. Explain how they control important functions of agricultural production and the food chain through vertical and horizontal integration*, global expansion and regional, national and global trade deals among other things. Zoom the Seed Industry structure Read The Economist article “The parable of the Sower” and Read the Organic Consumer Association “Consolidation in Food and Agriculture” * Vertical integration defines an arrangement “from seedling to supermarket” where the same corporation owns the producing, selling and distribution of a product or service. * Horizontal integration increases a corporations scale by buying a firm at the same production of development, which leads to fewer players or monopolies

26 AGRI-FOOD-SYSTEM: The Green Revolution

27 “The agricultural systems that have been built up over the past few decades have contributed greatly to the alleviation of hunger and the raising of living standards. They have served their purposes up to a point....New realities reveal their inherent contradictions. These realities require agricultural systems that focus as much attention on people as they do on technology, as much on resources as on production, as much on the long term as on the short term. Only such systems can meet the challenge of the future.” (UN Documents, Our Common Future - Note for teachers: Quotes which highlight the complexity of agricultural systems' role in alleviating hunger, they would benefit from a thorough discussion

28 Ecosystem (1) Agriculture needs to be thought of as part of a larger ecosystem linked to society and human well-being and ecosystem function. In order to preserve ecosystem service, the expansion of land area for agriculture needs to be restricted. Note to teachers: It is worth highlighting to students that food security is dependent on the larger ecosystem and to stress the need for an ecosystem perspective – agriculture is part of the ecosystem. Teacher resource slide: World agriculture Image:

29 Ecosystem (2)

30 Agricultural terms “Commercial Farming - the growing of crops / rearing of livestock to make a profit. Common in most countries Subsistence Farming - where there is just sufficient food produced to provide for the farmer's own family Arable Farming - involves the growing of crops Pastoral Farming - involves the rearing of livestock Mixed Farming - involves a combination of arable and pastoral farming Intensive Farming - where the farm size is small in comparison with the large amount of labour, and inputs of capital, fertilisers etc. which are required. Extensive Farming - where the size of a farm is very large in comparison to the inputs of money, labour etc.. Needed Industrial agriculture – entails intensifcation, concentration and specialisation. High Yielding Variety (HYV): plant has higher yield, matures more quickly, shorter stems, narrower leaves, standard length/height and insensitive to day length. Higher yield is dependent on a combination of inputs. Agro-processing = process whereby primary agricultural products are turned into commodities for market, peanuts to peanut butter. Agribusiness - involves the large corporate organisation of farming- often farms are run for profit maximisation and economy of scale. Agribusiness often takes over two more stages of the system, e.g. inputs and processes” (Source: text taken verbatim - Note for teachers: Helpful definitions-a paper copy for each student would be useful as would discussion of the definitions Source: Adapted from Witherick M. And S. Warn Farming, Food and Famine; Edexcel Student Guide Unit 4, Option 3;

31 Agriculture Food and agriculture are the world’s largest industry. Growth in agriculture has a key role in reducing hunger, malnutrition and ultra poverty, although the impact of growth is slow. Agriculture underpins the economic and social development of people in developing countries in particular. Image: :

32 Agriculture “The traditional role of agriculture in producing food and generating income is fundamental, but agriculture and the entire food system – from inputs and production, through processing, storage, transport and retailing, to consumption – can contribute much more to the eradication of malnutrition.” (FAO “The State of Food and Agriculture 2013) Feeding the world population and protecting land depend in large part on increasing yields, but high-yield varieties and resource-intensive techniques are not the only answer or a magic bullet. This emphasis comes at the cost of multiple social, political, cultural and environmental impacts and benefits. The choices we make in agriculture and consumption and the policies enacted by our representatives directly affect: Our livelihoods; Nutrition and development of our children; Community health and well-being; and Our cultural heritages and ecosystem function and services such as pollination. Source: IAASTD Factsheet

33 Food and agriculture equation
Production Land Water Inputs and transport costs Labour Technology Agrarian structure Climate change Demand Income growth Poverty and inequality Consumer behaviour Bioenergy (oil etc) Biomass (CO2) Trade and markets Information and standards Supermarkets Note to teachers: In terms of trade and markets, international integration is largely dictated by the rich world. Check students know and understand what the term Agarian structure means. Source:

34 Sources of growth in crop production
“There are places where too little is grown; there are places where large numbers cannot afford to buy food. And there are broad areas of the Earth, in both industrial and developing nations, where increases in food production are undermining the base for future production.” (UN Documents, Our Common Future - Note to teachers: The quote on this slide would benefit from discussion and emphasis Teacher resource slide: Agricultural production and trade Source: FAO;

35 Agricultural curve Action for students: Agro-industrialisation erodes the comparative advantage of smallholders, raising pressure to commercialise or leave the sector. Discuss in pairs how this can lead to growing inequality. Commercial chemical farming can have higher capacity and productivity, hence, output of land and labour. Note to teachers: Regarding leaving the sector – small farmers experience economic pressure due to declining returns to costs and other factors that force them off the farm and land, which then is acquired by larger corporations. These increase their power thanks to growth, globalisation (markets) and demand (cheap food). It may be useful if students could sketch and annotate this curve in their reports in the exam. It may be worthwhile if they memorise it. Source: Adapted from Witherick M. And S. Warn Farming, Food and Famine

36 The role of innovation, science and technology (1)

37 The role of innovation, science and technology (2)
Technology can help overcome physical factors, e.g. temperature, water and nutrient deficiencies. Health innovations, more affordable transportation and communication in one part of the world can positively impact other parts. Technological advances can lead to greater food supply, but some areas are also more suited to food production such as the great plains of America and Russia. Action for students: Read the FAO article on the role of technology (biotechnology, sustainable agriculture, future research) and print and annotate the graph alongside. Discuss your annotations with a partner. Retain the graph for revision “The Future of Food and Farming”:

38 Large-scale profit motive
The world agriculture, food and nutrition situation for the poor is not sustainable on the production and consumption side. Dominant players in agri-business have harnessed ‘modern’ technology to drive high-profit, large-scale, resource-intensive agriculture – from subsistence to surplus farming. Agri-business aims to increase profit by removing pest weeds, reducing weeds and increasing production per area. Agri-busines seeks to increase profit by using machinery, chemicals, antibiotics and animal / fish feed The main beneficiaries of the technological advances such as high-yielding crop varieties, agro-chemicals and mechanisation have been TNCs and the wealthy, not the hungry or poor. Note to teachers: You may need to discuss with students the pros and cons of using breeding, ‘unnatural’ animal and fish feed, feeding practices to ‘fatten up’ and speed maturation of animals and fish.

39 Food supply and technological advances
Technological advances can lead to greater food supply, but there is a law of diminishing returns. Advances can have a negative impact on the environment problems and social equity. The undesired consequences include pollution, eutrophication, deforestation, degradation, desertification, soil erosion and salinsation, antibiotic resistance Monoculture depletes the land of its nutrients. Note for teachers: This is a useful summary. You need to discuss with students what is meant by ‘the law of diminishing returns.’ You may want to consider the impact of trying to increase global food supply on environment of food production e.g., Cuba Organic Revolution (see Large scale farming techniques with their growing dependence and use of irrigation and pesticides have a high negative impact. Source: Source: Edexcel Student Guide Unit 4, Option 3;

40 Green Revolution – Technology-package approach
Subsistence farming Small, extensive farms Increasing dominance of large agri-chemical TNCs Green Revolution Pesticides / Biocides Fertilisers Animal feeds Miracle crops Damage to rural economy, environment and ecosystem The Green revolution, the move from subsistence to large-scale farming, was indeed a revolution. Larger, intensive farms Greater yields, greater profit Rural to Urban migration Note to teachers: This slide could be a good backdrop to a discussion on how the focus has been too much on addressing issues with food production, rather than food demand and access to high-quality food Expensive schemes Irrigation and Fertilisers Loss of subsistence farming Issues with debt, control, land ownership Poorer farmers cannot compete Source: Adapted from

41 Large-scale, high-intensity food production

42 Green revolution - background
Dr. Norman E. Borlaug Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images “These and other developments in agriculture contain the makings of a new revolution. It is not a violent red Revolution like that of the Soviets nor is it a White Revolution like that of the Shah of Iran. I call it the Green revolution” – William Goud, Director USAID 1968 Green Revolution consisted of research transfer initiatives, technology and developments between 1940s and 1970 that markedly increased agricultural production starting in the 1960s in LEDC. Global development people and power considered it essential, given population growth, to increase yields and living standards in LEDC to stave off famine and communism Growing single crops for cash, mechanisation of farming, development and concentration of agri-economy Largely funded by Rockefeller and Ford Foundations, which also founded the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines in 1960. Substantial improvements in crop production in Asia and South America, India and China. India most successful experiment; Large parts of Africa have not benefitted because crops not suited to crop conditions there and other impediments to the implementation of the technology package such as transport Further info: On the success and failures of the Green Revolution On degraded soil and food shortages: Quote taken from Note for teachers: Examiners noted that some students were confused by the ‘Gene revolution ‘ and the ‘Green Revolution’- it would be helpful to tease out the difference carefully.

43 CGIAR and GASFP World Bank
The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), including the World Bank, FAO, IFAD and UNDP was one of the key actors in the Green Revolution. A worldwide network of agricultural research centres, it “was established in 1971 as part of the international response to widespread concern in the 1950s, ’60s and early ’70s that many developing countries would succumb to hunger.”( It continues to support agricultural research and monitor agricultural trade to identify potential food shortages. The Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) was established in 2010 by the World Bank at the request of the G20 as an innovative, multi-donor and multi-stakeholder approach with public and private actors, large and small scale farmers, civil society and such to address food security Further info: On CGIAR On GASFP

44 Green Revolution Agricultural modernisation programme: large-scale, investment-heavy, industrial farming techniques; move from subsistence to commercial farming. Action for students: Use this table and relevant slides in this section to write a report: “The green revolution is not without controversy.” Discuss. Note for teachers: This is a useful summary slide which would benefit from discussion- depending on the pre release material- it could provide a very useful framework for report writing in the exam. Students could be asked to work against the clock of 90 minutes to write a longhand report on the title given in this slide Graph: The Green Revolution Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

45 Energy and food production
Energy-related expenses vary between crops and also affect livestock producers. With the Green revolution, agriculture has become increasingly dependent on fossil fuel inputs (global oil consumption doubles every 10 years) as machines replaced farm workers, whilst world oil reserves have been dwindling and mismanagement of natural resources is common. Intensive agriculture consumes large amounts of energy especially in the production of field crops and meat. It is sensitive to energy prices for refined petroleum, electricity, natural gas and coal, which it requires for: - Direct energy consumption through combustion of fossil fuels for farm machinery and electricity for irrigation and other equipment. Energy-related inputs, especially to manufacture fertiliser and pesticides and prepare seeds Retail food prices are less affected by increased agricultural commodity prices than energy costs in food processing, distribution and marketing from the farmgate through wholesale and retail levels. Note to teachers: The Gulf kingdoms face the combined challenges of climate, energy and economy. USDA “Impacts of Higher Energy Prices on Agriculture and Rural Economies”, UNEP “The end of cheap oil: a threat to food security and an incentive to reduce fossil fuels in agriculture”,

46 Water Food production generally requires massive amounts of water. Examples: 1 kg of wheat needs 1000l of water; 1 kg of rice needs 3,000l. Producing one litre of biofuel requires 2,500 litres of water (UNESCO) Irrigation can ensure an adequate and reliable supply of water which increases yields of most crops by up to 400%. Although only 17% of global cropland is irrigated, it produces 40% of the world's food. Ongoing food availability depends on increasing irrigation efficiency and limiting environment damage through salinisation, damaged aquifers or reduced soil fertility. Source: Edexcel Student Guide Unit 4, Option 3; Graph: Map: Teacher resource slide: Agricultural production and trade

47 Source: Edexcel Student Guide Unit 4, Option 3; http://www. edexcel
Source: Edexcel Student Guide Unit 4, Option 3; Graph: Map: Teacher resource slide: Agricultural production and trade

48 Improving water productivity is key
Water productivity can be improved through increasing yields and drip irrigation. Source:

49 Water is critical and agriculture’s main limiting factor.
Global Water Gap Water is critical and agriculture’s main limiting factor. Source: Note for teachers: This slide is worth a discussion, if possible provide paper copy for each student.

50 World fertiliser consumption
World fertiliser use has grown fivefold since The FAO predicts global fertiliser use to grow to 188 million tonnes by 2030 (IAASTD 2009) Further info: Financial Times article on “Agricultural pollution: Inputs that place huge pressure on the land” K Source:

51 Negative impact of intensive farming
Many systems of food production are unsustainable with environmental issues brought on in large part by the high-impact modern food production started in the developed world after WWII. These lead to: Overuse of chemicals and technology inherent in the high use of fossil fuel-derived energy for synthesis of nitrogen fertilisers and pesticides Environmental pollution and human health issues Excess use of fertilisers with their run-off of nitrogen and phosphates damages water resources Substantial quantities of greenhouse gases and other pollutants contributing to climate change Soil degradation of intensive farming eroding the overall base of agriculture – history of earth abuse and soil erosion. Cropped areas increasingly advancing into marginal lands prone to erosion. Poorly designed and implemented irrigation systems that cause water-logging, salinisation and alkalisation of soils. Depleted commercial fisheries, endangered bird species and extinct insects that preyed on pests; and an increase in insect-resistant pest species. Note for teachers: This slide would benefit from discussion and explanation. A paper copy would be useful for students to highlight and/or to annotate. Source:

52 The Green revolution in India
The “unprecedented growth in food production has been achieved partly by an extension of the production base: larger cropped areas, more livestock, more fishing vessels, and so on. But most of it is due to a phenomenal rise in productivity.” Source: UN Documents, Our Common Future - Action for students: What are the impacts and problems with the rise in productivity – use the resources below and the subsequent slide to note a list the pros and cons of the Green Revolution in India. IFPRI Green Revolution – Cure or Blessing? NPR On ‘Green Revolution – Trapping Indian Farmers in Debt’ BBC On the end of India’s Green Revolution:

53 India’s Green Revolution in crisis? (1)
In the 1960s and 1970s farmers in Punjab abandoned traditional farming methods for intensive Green Revolution methods backed by U.S. Foundations and subsidised by Indian policies. A deliberate attempt to become self-sufficient in provision of basic food crops – national food security – and to lift large numbers of people out of poverty. Hailed a success at first, now population growth is outstripping agricultural growth and lowest levels of rural employment are driving migration to cities. To survive, farmers choose more profitable cash crops such as cotton and coffee rather than as stable food crops such wheat. Note for teachers: It will be important to discuss the perverse impact of this Green revolution on Indian farmers

54 India’s Green Revolution in crisis? (2)
Dramatic drop in water tables as the seeds require a lot more water than provided by rain, so that farmers pump ground water. As they have to pump deeper, buying more powerful pumps drives them into debt. When they tap into brackish underground pools, they bring up salt residue that poisons the fields. High-yield crops also deplete the soil of nutrients, rendering it anaemic. The Director of the Punjab State Farmers Commission has warned that farmers are committing economic and ecological suicide and says that they need a new sustainable revolution. Further info: On Second Green Revolution: Source: Diminishing water

55 Research and Development (R & D)
Support for publicly funded research and development have been reduced in favour of private research such that R & D is decided and driven more and more by the private sector. What are the possible risks of business taking on a bigger research role in marginal food supply areas? Note for teachers: This is an opportunity to discuss with students the pros and cons of R & D being funded multinationals with a profit motive. Source:

56 Agricultural research
Global agricultural R & D spending stalled in high-income countries and has been driven by middle-income countries – notably China and India. Reduced funding “in numerous smaller, poorer, and more technologically challenged countries. Countries in this last group are often highly vulnerable to severe volatility in funding, and hence in spending, which impedes the continuity and ultimately the viability of their research programs.” ( There was divestment from agriculture since 1970s largely as a result of structural adjustment programmes (SAPs) and neo-liberal policies of the 1980s. Implemented by the IMF and World Bank, aid or loans were given if a country followed SAPs. SAPs were aimed at boosting development s marked by greater emphasis on trade justice and sustainability. International aid to agriculture collapsed from 17% of aid in 1980 to 3.4% in 2006. Note to teachers: You may want to spend some time unravelling with students the information on this slide and the preceding slide-these are very complex concepts. There is a difference between independent and privately-funded R & D. There may be a greater need for R & D to meet local need, because what works in the USA, for example, may not work in Africa. The reduced funding makes poorer countries even more vulnerable. Further info: MDG, Food and Agriculture: agriculture/56-mdg-food-and-agriculture On SAPs Source:

57 Note for teachers: Discuss why research investment matters.
Teacher resource slide: Chinese R & D Source:

58 Declining development assistance to agriculture
Levels of investment in developing-country agriculture and particularly in small-scale agriculture have been low. Source:

59 Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)
Historically, Sub-Saharan African governments have placed low priority on improving agricultural performance. In response, a New Green Revolution for Africa , the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), is intended as a holistic effort funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates and Rockefeller Foundations to: Build the capacity of the smallholder (women, subsistence farmers); Better access to markets and market information; Develop locally adapted varieties of seeds; Enhance soil health. Source: Madelyn Swift “Double Standard in Approaches to Food Aid”, -approaches-to-food-aid/

60 AGRA - a Trojan horse? “Unsurprisingly, the push for a New Green Revolution in Africa is being led by the same players that pioneered the original concept in Asia, with new allies adding strength to the effort. The Rockefeller Foundation leads the pack, with the full support of the African arms of ...CGIAR, an institution created by the Rockefeller Foundation to provide the scientific and technical backbone for the Green Revolution in Asia. Duplicating the example set in Asia, the Rockefeller Foundation’s admission into Africa is akin to that of a “Trojan horse” paving the way for entry by transnational agrochemical, fertilizer and agricultural biotechnology companies to peddle their wares.” ( Note to teachers: This quote would benefit from discussion, reflection and consideration of whether it is balanced.

61 AGRA Action for students:
Watch the clip Agra’s strategy on Watch “Winner National History Day 2012 – The Green Revolution: Against All Odds” Read “Countering Africa’s green revolution”, IRIN Discuss with a partner and note in your folder what is AGRA and what are arguments for and against AGRA. Does AGRA ( promise to rebalance the power toward farmers in LEDC – herders, women farmers, pastoralists, in particular? Does it promote more sustainable and affordable approaches? What are examples of more sustainable and affordable approaches? Are expansion of industrial agriculture and multinational corporations and trading and affordable and sustainable approaches mutually exclusive? Note for teachers: It may be helpful to discuss thee questions thoroughly with students before they attempt to answer the questions.

62 AGRI-FOOD-SYSTEM: Genetically Modified Food

63 High-yield High-yield,disease-resistant seeds have enabled farmers with the means to do so to expand their land and has increased monoculture (single high-yielding cash crop). On average, agricultural productivity growth has been relatively low in developing countries. The focus has been on yield rather than to what purpose the food is allocated (e.g., to feed meat habit and automobiles). Action for students: What is meant by high-yield? What is the difference between modern GM crops and cross breeding high-yield animal breeds from the 19th Century onwards? How has the culture changed to that of a technician rather than a farmer? How can organic production lead to an increase in yields?

64 Terms for genetically modified food
Following the “seed monopolies” that gained increasing impact as the Green revolution progressed, the 1990s introduced more complex layers of genetically engineered seed breeding and control with genetically modified food. Transgenic technologies are used to overcome the limitations of conventional breeding approaches. They can lead to specific crop improvements. Genetically modified food (biotech, transgenic or genetically engineered): crop plants modified in laboratory to enhance desired traits such as resistance to herbicides and previously unknown combinations of genetic traits across species to achieve previously specified objectives, for example: “Miracle” rice and wheat. Golden Rice which seem to be a solution to the common Vitamin A micro-nutrient deficiency. Note for teachers: This will need careful discussion to tease out the difference between the Green Revolution and the Gene revolution. Source: WebMD

65 GM Improved and patented seed with “Technology Use Agreement.” The seed must be purchased every year. TNCs control the entire life system - profits beyond the seed, e.g. tying farmers to use of specific pesticides. US and Europe – different stance on GM. Issues around intellectual property rights*: property rights created by law over inventions of the mind; an official license for applicant to the exclusion of others from the government over economic rights over their creation for a fixed period. Multinational organisations, biotechnology companies are set to benefit at the loss of biodiversity, threatened, for example, by the pesticides. Litigation: agro-biotech companies exert unprecedented control over farmers to use patented seeds (see Monsanto Canada Inc vs Schmeiser, for example: Development largely through private sector with profit incentive, impeding the kind of accessibility for LEDC farmers that public sector or public-private partnership could open up. Profit focus on industrialised world and designed for industrialised planting situations Greater variety and number of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) opposing GM or aspects of GM are more prominent than during Green Revolution. Note to teachers: It will be important to make sure that students are absolutely clear about the difference between the green revolution and GM. The Examiners Reports highlights students often confuse these.

66 GM advantages and risks
GM crops advantages can include increased yields; increased pest and disease resistance; drought tolerance; reduced maturation time; better nutritional content, taste or quality. GM crops being developed to thrive on less water; cope with soil heavy in salt or metals; convert nitrogen from air; produce vaccines against diseases (e.g., cholera and hepatitis B). Experts caution that there are no guarantees and health, ethical and environmental impacts. Risks include introducing allergens and toxins to food; contamination between GM and non-GM foods by accident; antiobiotic resistance; a crop’s adverse change of nutritional content; creation of environmental risks such as super weeds. Note to teachers: This is a useful summary slide-a paper copy for each student would be helpful

67 IAASTD report against transgenic crops
International Assessment of Agricultural knowledge, Science and Technology for Development Report (2009): “Little solid evidence exists ...that transgenic crops contribute to equitable or sustainable development or will do so in the future... Substantial questions about their social, health and environmental impacts remain... Inconsistent performance in the field Surging use of chemical weed killers in conjunction with herbicide-tolerant crops Genetic contamination of wild and native seed resources and of organic farms Lack of transparent communication by manufacturer of the technology... Threats to social equity posed by intellectual property rules and increasing corporate ownership of genetic resources. Note to teachers: Check students know and understand what transgenic crops are. Source

68 GM revolution countries
FOR A ‘revolution’ in USA, Canada, China and Argentina, Australia, India and Mexico, the general public and policymakers tend to accept the new technology. In these countries GM crops such as soybeans, corn and cotton account for % of total plantings of these crops and are likely continue to make up a substantial portion of total plantings going forward. The US is the largest producer of GM crops. According to experts 60% - 70% of processed foods on US grocery shelves contain genetically modified ingredients. ‘Regulation’ in the US falls mostly to the companies creating and reaping profits from the technology, notably Monsanto (90% of industry share), Dow Chemical Company and Syngenta AG. Controversies in US food labelling policy which generally do not require GM foods to be identified AGAINST The EU position is against GM crops Prefers organic which it considers healthier. Believes that multinationals will be alone to benefit and dominate the world food supply even more at the cost of traditional farmers Technology stigmatised because of unease and uncertainty around risks and regulation Note to teachers: Another useful summary slide Source: WebMD “Are Biotech Foods Safe to Eat?

69 AGRI-FOOD-SYSTEM: organic farming

70 Local Food systems There has been “a series of counter -movements attempting to simultaneously reassert the value of local, organic foods, and challenge the attempt on the part of food corporations and national and global institutions to subject the food question to market solutions....the power of food lies in its material and symbolic functions of linking nature, human survival, health, culture and livelihood as a focus of resistance to corporate takeover of life itself.” Note for teachers: This is a good opportunity to bring the food issues back to home. It needs a good discussion as examiners reports stress that students do not fully understand fair trade etc. ‘Some students strayed into fair trade and organic farming without any link to increased food production. Further info: On Fair trade: Farmers get paid more so that they can re-invest and thus produce more. Farmers must join a certification fee to join the scheme - On Local Food in Burkina Faso: Image Food Miles and Local Food System Objectives:

71 Organic farming Relatively low impact on the environment, whereas industrial farming can exceed the biophysical limits of the soil. Usually less profitable than more technologically based types EU, reforms, though slow, of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) foster more environmentally friendly agriculture, with a growth in LEAF farms (Linking Environment with Farming). The majority of farmers in developing countries use subsistence and small scale production methods, often organic. Markets for organic food are expanding as more people consider it worthwhile to pay more for food about which they know more. Further info On CAP Source: Edexcel Student Guide Unit 4, Option 3; Note to teachers: You may want to highlight the LEAF scheme to students.

72 Global rise of organic market
Graph: image:

73 Top 10 organic countries Image:

74 Organic in the UK Action for students:
Can you account for the decrease in the UK share of the organic market? Do you believe the trend will continue downward or that it is a short-term impact? Images:

75 AGRI-FOOD-SYSTEM: Responses and Management

76 “Governments could pursue two kinds of policy action: they could either change the behaviour of farmers, consumers, food processors, and other economic agents in the system through incentives, regulations, and knowledge; or they could accept present behaviours and introduce health-specific and nutrition-specific interventions to compensate for any nutritional damage done or improvements forgone. Although changing of behaviour is likely to be more cost-effective and sustainable, the second option is the most common.” ( “The too heavily focused on increasing production. While food production needs to increase, there are many problems with this short-sighted supply-side approach. It encourages the expansion of industrial agriculture rather than more sustainable and affordable methods. It treats current demand trends biofuels, meat-based diets, post-production food waste, etc.—as given rather than challenging the policies that encourage them. Also unchallenged are the inequities in the distribution of the food we produce, which is more than enough to feed everyone.” (Tufts Note to teachers: These two quotes would benefit from unravelling and discussion- it may also be helpful to ask students to express their view on each of the quotes

77 Recommendations from CGIAR report
Note for teachers: This will be useful to students Source:

78 Food system interventions for better nutrition
Keeping up the momentum of agricultural growth in agricultural productivity will be key to meeting demand. Production interventions that are gender sensitive and combined with nutrition education are more effective. Agricultural research and development priorities need to have a greater emphasis on nutrient-dense foods such as vegetables and fruits. Source: FAO “The State of Food and Agriculture Note to teachers: This slide will need to be discussed

79 Shift to a more equitable and sustainable approach
There is Increasing realisation that current production and consumption are unsustainable. Yet, powerful multinationals keep the government’s and population’s focus on high-tech ‘solutions’ (how to produce more?) and away from what’s wrong with the system (why and more of what?). Relatively little thought about demand side, about how to change consumerism and markets; for example, food systems skewed toward ‘bad’ calories. A more sustainable food system must be driven by concerns for social values, quality, environment, health, economy and governance. This entails a move to: How to increase output for current diets to what our bodies need for nutritious diet and how we can produce it How to mine resources for food and lower prices to how to build production on ecological and sustainable principles How to be more efficient and ‘high-yield’ to how to reflect full cost of food Note for teachers: This slide will need discussion

80 Building resilience: sustainable land management
Climate resilient techniques and links to nutrition outcomes and sustainability can be achieved by securing legal, economic and social security for small-scale farmers “by revising laws of ownership, supporting the establishment of women’s farmers’, Indigenous and community-based organizations, and investing in local infrastructure, community-based businesses, local agro-processing and farmers’ markets”(IAASTD Fact sheet) Action for students: Watch UNCCD’s “Building resilience – people with greener land” at AND Read on resilience in the Sahel and Horn of Africa 2. Write a note for your folder explaining why strengthening the resilience to drought and disaster through sustainable land management is key for sustainable development.

81 Source:

82 Demand-side What you can do
Understand and share knowledge about environmental cost of different food groups Read labels and fight to know what is in your food and better regulation Reduce your waste: do not waste food and choose packaging carefully Consume less so others can consume more Shift to a diet with more vegetables and less protein with smaller servings of high-cost meat Buy organic, local, in season and fair trade products Grow your own food Further info: Tips from Michael Pollan author of the bestseller “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” on eating green Sustainweb WWF One Planet Friends of The Earth Source: “Food Security and Sustainability: One Can’t Make an Omelette Without Cracking Some Eggs” book cover

83 Your voice Vote for politicians that put consumption (moderating demand) and improving food system governance on the policy agenda to help change the system to one that treats animals, environment and workers with respect, “to stop policies that hurt poor people. These are our best opportunities to promote the Great Escape for those who have yet to break free.” (Angus Deaton, “The Great Escape”) Hold your government accountable for their promises. Use your voice to stop spending cuts on aid and investments such as agricultural development. Ask your school for healthy school meal and talk to the produce manager at your local stores (see Do not wait for others to act. Effect change by taking action : Support effective and efficient aid programmes and organisations through your time, donations or raising funds Be an advocate and joining and building local food initiatives and movements supporting eco-nutrition security Check the FAO website for events happening around your area for World Food Day

84 Teacher Resources Slides

85 Pressures on the agri-food system
The FAO report ‘How to Feed the world in 2050’ projects an unprecedented confluence of pressures on the global food system over the next 40 years: “Global population of 9 billion will mean new and traditional demand for agricultural produce putting growing pressure on already scarce agricultural resources. Global demand for food, feed and fibre will double. Growing numbers of wealthier people will push up demand for a more varied, high-quality diet requiring additional resources to produce Crops increasingly used for bio-energy and other industrial purposes, not food. Agriculture forced to compete for land and water with sprawling urban settlements, 70% population will be urban (50% at present) Agriculture will have to adapt to and also contribute to the mitigation of climate change, helping preserve natural habitats, protecting endangered species and maintain a high level of biodiversity. New technologies will be needed to grow more food with fewer people as rural depopulation continues in most regions.“ Source: Women in Agriculture: Closing the Gender Gap for Development, FAO, 2011 Action for students: Discuss how each of these points affects the growing issues around people, communities and countries left behind on the one hand and increasing consolidation and concentration of power on the other. Source: Edexcel Student Guide Unit 4, Option 3; Note for teachers: This slide provides an overview of the global food supply issues.

86 World agriculture Image:

87 Agricultural production and trade
Share of agricultural production Agricultural trade (im)balance International trade is relied upon to satisfy domestic food needs in poor countries. These struggle as they become more dependent on imports while their local production is declining in favour of cash and non-agricultural crops for export. Source:

88 China and R & D The graph shows how investment in R & D has driven up cereal yield in China. Source: IFPRI

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