Introduction to Agriculture

neighgreasycornerBiotechnology

Dec 14, 2012 (4 years and 10 months ago)

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What will we be covering?


Food Resources


Agriculture: How is food
produced?


Producing food by green
revolution an traditional
techniques


Food production,
nutrition, and
environmental effects


Increasing crop
production


Producing more meat


Sustainable agriculture


Checking our progress at
eradicating hunger

Introduction to Agriculture

Food and Soil Resources

Where is our food produced?


What systems provide us with food?


Croplands: produce grains and provide about 77%
of the world’s food.



Rangelands: produce meat and provide about 16%
of the world’s food.



Ocean fisheries: supply about 7% of the world’s
food supply.

Increasing Demand


Since 1950, huge increase in global food
production (think of our population!)



This occurred because of technological
advances


tractors and farm machinery, high
tech fishing gear, inorganic chemical fertilizers,
pesticides, high
-
yield varieties of wheat, rice,
and corn, raising of cattle, pigs, and chickens,
and the booming industry of aquaculture)

Many Challenges!


Population is going to explode to 8.5 billion
people by 2050 (expected to at least).



We need to produce and distribute food to
support all of these people in an
environmentally sustainable way… can we do
this?



Some say we can… some say we can’t!

One way…. Genetics!


Through genetic engineering we can manipulate
food and create new organisms… a lot faster than
through natural selection!!



BUT is it worth it…



We still will be faced with environmental
degradation, pollution, lack of water for
irrigation, overgrazing by livestock, overfishing,
and loss of vital ecological services.

Another challenge: Poverty


1 in 5 people do not have enough land to
grow their own food or enough money to buy
sufficient food


regardless of how much is
available!!


The great irony of food production is that
about 1 billion people in developing nations
do not have enough food to maintain good
health but about 1 billion people in developed
countries face health problems associated
with the overabundance of food!!!

Today, however, we still need food!


How do we produce our food?



Four major types of Food production:


Industrialized agriculture


Plantation agriculture


Traditional subsistence agriculture


Traditional intensive agriculture



Industrialized Agriculture


Also known as high
-
input agriculture, uses large amounts of
fossil fuels, water, commercial fertilizers, and pesticides to
produce single crops or livestock.


It makes up about ¼ of all croplands (most in developed
countries)


Includes: potato, corn, wheat, barley, rye, etc.


A lot of industrialized agriculture is used to support the
growth of livestock production as feed.

Plantation Agriculture


A form of industrialized agriculture used in
tropical developing countries.


Involves cash crops: bananas, coffee, soybean,
sugarcane, cocoa, etc.


Traditional Subsistence Agriculture


Typically uses mostly human
labour

and draft
animals to produce only enough crops or
livestock for a farm family’s survival.

Traditional Intensive Agriculture


Farmers increase their inputs of human and
draft
labour
, fertilizers, and water to get a
higher yield per area of cultivated land.


Produce enough food to feed their families
and then to sell for income.

Croplands used for Agriculture


Croplands, like natural ecosystems, provide
ecological and economic services:


Ecological
: help maintain water flow and soil
infiltration, provide partial erosion protection, can
build soil organic matter, store atmospheric
carbon, and provide wildlife habitat for some
species


Economic
: food crops,
fibre

crops, crop genetic
resources, and jobs.

Agriculture in Canada


Continues to be an important part of Canada’s
economy, but the industry is grappling with
environmental costs and emerging threats.


It is a $95 billion industry!


8.8% of its gross national product


14% of its employment


Farms have been switching from small private
farms to large corporate farms


The net result of farming has left the same
amount of land being farmed.


We export $26 billion worth of raw and value
-
added goods
-

including grains, oilseeds, fruits,
vegetables, and meats


to 200 different
countries.


However…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIsEG2SFOvM



Eat Real Eat Local.ca


Portfolio Work…

Food Production, Nutrition, and
Environmental Effects

Section 14
-
5

Food Production


After increasing significantly since 1950, global
grain production has mostly
levelled

off since
1985, and per capita grain production has
declined since 1978.


Today, we produce enough grain to feed
everyone on Earth


The only problem is that it is not distributed
equally to everyone because of differences in soil,
climate, political and economic power, and
average per capita income.

Hunger and Malnutrition


The root cause of hunger and malnutrition are
and will continue to be poverty and inequality,
which prevent poor people from growing or
buying enough food regardless of how much is
available.


Other factors include war, corruption, and
tariffs and subsidies that make it hard for poor
people to acquire food they produce.

Nutrition Worksheet


Portfolio Work


Pages 302
-
305

Food Production


Good News:
We produce more than enough
food to meet everyone’s basic needs.


Bad News:
One out of size people in
developing countries is not getting enough to
eat because food is not distributed equally
among the world’s people.


Occurs because of soil, climate, political and
economic power, and average per capita income

Chronic Under
-
Nutrition


People suffer from chronic under
-
nutrition
when they cannot grow or buy enough food to
meet their basic energy needs.


Children can suffer from mental disabilities and
stunted growth and will be susceptible to
infections

Macro. and Micro. Nutrients


Macronutrients are important for maintaining
good health


proteins, carbohydrates, and
fats


Micronutrients are important for helping
maintain good health


vitamins and minerals

Difference between Under
-
nutrition
and Malnutrition


Children that suffer from under
-
nutrition
cannot afford to feed themselves on a daily
basis and are missing a lot of the
macronutrients that are needed for growth
and body functions.


Malnourished children can afford to live on a
low
-
protein but high carbohydrate diet
consisting of grains (wheat, barley, rice, or
corn)

Nutritional deficiency diseases


Marasmus



occurs when a diet is low in both
calories and protein. Most victims are nursing
infants of women that are malnourished or
children that are malnourished.


Kwashiorkor


a severe protein deficiency
occurring in infants and children age 1
-
3,
usually after a younger sibling is born and
needs the breast milk.

Prevention of childhood deaths related
to Nutrition


Immunizing children against diseases


Encouraging breast feeding


Preventing dehydration from diarrhea by
giving sugar and salt in a glass of water


Providing family planning services to help
space births


Increasing education for women, with
emphasis on nutrition, drinking water
sterilization, and child care

Canada? US?


In Canada, 700 000 meals are handed out
each year to people that don’t have access to
enough food for good health.


In the US, 11 000 000 people do not have
access to food on a regular basis.

Micronutrient Deficiencies


Vitamin A


120
-
240 million children are deficient in
Vit
. A, 80%
die within a year,


Iron


1/3 women and children are deficient in tropical
regions, causes fatigue, infections may occur, and
women’s chances of dying during childbirth increase


Iodine


Needed for thyroid gland function, helps regulate
body’s rate of metabolism, can lead to deafness if
continued not to be monitored.



Overnutrition


Occurs when food energy intake exceeds
energy use and causes excess body fat.


Lower life expectancy, greater susceptibility to
disease and illness, and lower productivity and life
quality.


1 billion struggle from not enough food and 1.7
billion people have too much food…


¼ people in the world are overweight with 5% of
the world being obese… (stats may be skewed…)

Environmental Effects of Producing
Food


Modern agriculture has the greatest
environmental impact than any other human
activity!!!


It affects air, soil, water, and biodiversity


all key
factors in sustaining a healthy human population.

Debate: Can we overcome the
negatives of food production


Some say we can, some say we can’t!


Some analysts say we can continue to produce
food and overcome the environmental effects.


However, others say that soil erosion, salt
buildup, and
waterlogging

of soil irrigated
lands; water deficits and droughts; and loss of
wild species will limit food production.

What has happened so far?


In a 2002 study by the UN Department for
Economic and Social Affairs, close to 30% of
the world’s croplands had been degraded to
some degree by soil erosion, salt buildup, and
chemical pollution.


As well, 17% was seriously degraded.


This can lead to limits in food production in
India and China


as well as other nations.

Increasing Crop Production

Section 14.6


Ready or not, the world is entering a new generation


the age of genetic engineering!


In North America, supermarket shelves contain
ingredients made from genetically engineered crops.


Bioengineers are working on and developing crops that
are resistant to heat, cold, herbicides, insect pests,
parasites, viral diseases, drought, and salty or acidic
soils.


They are also hoping on developing crops that can
grow faster and survive with little to no irrigation and
with less fertilizer and pesticides.

How safe are genetically modified
foods (GMF)?


There is much controversy over GMF


Many people see it as a way of solving the
world’s food problems, but critics consider it
potentially dangerous.


See figure 14
-
19 (page 308)

What is your
opinion?
PORTFOLIO
JOURNAL ENTRY

The risks…


Human health


Ecosystem damage


They cannot be ‘recalled’ if they cause
unintended harmful genetic and ecological
effects


as some experts believe may occur.


Results could be catastrophic


PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE??


Potential Benefits


Helping provide food for the poor


Need less fertilizer and water


environmental
impact


Grow in new areas


One thing about GMFs


GMFs are not going to solve food shortages
and feed everyone.


The reason not everyone has food is because
of POVERTY and INEQUALITY


As well,
polycultures

using perennial crops can
produce higher crop yields than current green
revolution and genetic
revolution techniques.

What else can we do??


Increasing Crop Production
-

Worksheet