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Food Security
ENSC 315 – Food security, agriculture and environment

January 19, 2010

New season coming – NFU
Global food security
Next week
Writing assignment

Millennium Development Goals Millennium Development Goals

Adopted by 189 countries Adopted by 189 countries
September 2000 September 2000

The eight MDGs break down into 21 quantifiable targets

that are measured by 60 indicators.


Target 1:
Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger
whose income is less than $1 a day
Higher food prices may push 100 million people deeper into
poverty 1990 845 million 16%
Conflict leaves many displaced and impoverished 2005 873 million 13%
2009 1020 million 15%
Target 2:
Achieve full and productive employment and decent
work for all, including women and young people FAOstat
Full employment remains a distant possibility
Low-paying jobs leave one in five developing country
workers mired in poverty
Half the world’s workforce toil in unstable, insecure jobs

Target 3:
Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people
who suffer from hunger
Rising food prices threaten limited gains in alleviating child

Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger

1990 845 million 16%

2005 873 million 13% Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical
2009 1020 million 15% and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to
meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active
and healthy life.
The World Food Summit, 1996


Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical
and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to
meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active
and healthy life.
The World Food Summit, 1996

Tantramar Marsh near Sackville, NB

A fundamental affirmation and goal - Food is a basic human right!

Food security – global, national, local, individual

An international statement A national/local statement

• by food production
• independent of politics • independent of age, gender, race • by purchase
or location
• independent of environmental
conditions • support required for the most
vulnerable members of
• independent of national economic

Cassava field near Namakal India

Food security requires that nations, international

organizations and individuals commit themselves to
actions that sustain the food-producing resource
base and promote social justice for communities
and individuals everywhere.
Community Garden, Msunduzi, South Africa Fruit market, Jodhpur India


The five As of food security

• available
a sustainable farm community
economic, social and physical infrastructure An available and accessible food supply - an enabling environment
supportive of agriculture
national policy conditions related to trade
Recognition of the essential nature of
• accessible and requirements for food production
resources to produce one’s own food
food in the market Sense of social justice
information and income to enable purchase
Responsive and transparent
• adequate governance and administration
sustainable environmental conditions
sufficient quantity and quality
education and information about healthy diets

• acceptable
culturally acceptable food
safe and healthy food
• agency
policies that balance the needs of farmers and
consumers, rural and urban, rich and poor

Canada Plan - Summer 2009

Finger millet, Karandamalai, South India

Changes in global food supply - cereals

2.5E+09 2008 – 2.5 Gt

Availability - the global scene 2009 - ~2.23 Gt
Do we produce sufficient food to feed
Cereal production / tonnes

the 6.8 billion people in the world?


Historic increase is 2.3 % pa



FAO - 2008
1961 Year 2007

Soybeans and maize, Shandong, China


+ other food items

Global food availability - transformation, waste, yearly variations Per capita global food energy supply

Food grains (cereals) – the basic commodity

Population 6.8 billion (6.8 x 109) 3500

Food grains 2.2 billion tonnes (2.2 x 109 t) 3000 2600 2690
2500 2100

kcal p
per capita
Availability = 2.2 x t / 6.8 x
109 109 1500

= 0.32 t (320 kg) of cereals for each person 1000

for one year = 0.88 kg for one day 500

East Asia South Asia West Asia / Sub Latin North
In terms of kilocalories ~ 3300 kcal/kg x 0.88 kg North Africa Saharan America / America /
= 2900 kcal Africa Caribbean Europe

In terms of protein ~ 8/100 x 0.88 kg = 70 g

FAO - 1992

Peasant farmer near Zibo, China

Changes in global food supply

Historical growth rate 2.3 % pa
Current population growth rate 1.2
Increased caloric intake 0.8 2020 population ~ 8 billion,
6.7 billion in low income Thinking of equity
Changing food preferences 0.6 countries (LIC)
Land to grow food
y to p
purchase food
Required increase 2.6 % pa

Credit Suisse - 2007

Paddy field near Madurai, South India


The result of prolonged low levels of food intake and/or low absorption of food
Global food undernourishment (2009 figures)
consumed. Generally applied to energy (or protein and energy) deficiency, but
it may also relate to vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Undernourishment or Chronic Hunger
The status of persons, whose food intake regularly provides less than their
International Food Policy minimum energy requirements.
Research Institute – 40 % of The average minimum energy requirement per person is about 1800 kcal per
India’s children are malnourished; day. The exact requirement is determined by a person’s age, body size,
2.5 million deaths each year due activity level and physiological conditions such as illness, infection, pregnancy
to malnourishment; 1 in 5 of and lactation.
deaths due to malnourishment! Malnutrition
IFPRI - 2008
A broad term for a range of conditions that hinder good health, caused by
inadequate or unbalanced food intake or from poor absorption of food
consumed. It refers to both undernutrition (food deprivation) and overnutrition
(excessive food intake in relation to energy requirements).
Food security
Exists when all people at all times have both physical and economic access to
sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs for an active
and healthy life.
Food insecurity
Exists when people lack access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious
food, and therefore are not consuming enough for an active and healthy life.
This may be due to the unavailability of food, inadequate purchasing power, or
inappropriate utilization at household level.

Hunger as undernourishment – low income countries

average % hungry GDP 1020/6800 = 15%

kcal / day $US
Bolivia 2170 23 1200
Cuba 3280 <5 2900 880/3600 = 24%
Ethiopia 1840 44 180
830/5700 = 14%
Congo 1510 75 140
Undernourished people around the world – 1969-2009
Kenya 2050 30 800
India 2330 22 600
China 2980 10 2000
• Asia and the Pacific, the world’s most populous region, is home to the largest number of hungry
FAO 2004-2006 people (642 million).
• Sub‐Saharan Africa has the largest prevalence of undernourishment relative to its population size
(32 percent).
• The largest percentage increase in the number of hungry people in the developing world occurred in
the Near East and North Africa (+13.5 percent).
• Latin America and the Caribbean, which was the only region in recent years with signs of
improvement, also saw a marked increase (+12.8 percent).
• Even in developed countries, undernourishment has become a growing concern.

Drying sorghum, Perumalai, South India


The ability to purchase food

Causes of higher prices

• production shortfalls – 2004-5, 2005-6, (partial recovery


current value ~175 • petroleum prices

• deregulation and speculation

historic value ~115 • biofuel demands

• increasing wealth
• consumption patterns
FAO – January 16, 2010

World food price index


Hunger hotspots 2010 – WFP

Chad Yemen
Ethiopia Food problems related to oil, severe water shortages, 90 % used for
Kenya agriculture, crops changed to cash crops, most significantly qat.


Limited rainfall, poor supplemental water supply, limited

economic resources, poor road conditions for delivery of
supplies, insecurity and violence
Qat in Samaa, Yemen
Food program in Kenya


Food security in Canada Food insecurity is an issue for many Canadians

– Between 2000 and 2003, 10 – 15% of Canadian

households reported experiencing at least one aspect of
food insecurity in the previous year

– Rates of reported food insecurity are higher in First

Nations and Inuit communities, especially in the north Poverty and food
and in isolated areas security are very closely
– For many families, cost of a nutritious food basket
exceeds resources after shelter and other basic needs
are met

– 841 640 Canadians used a food bank in one month in

2004; 40% of them were children

Mary Bush, Director General

Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion
Health Canada
Food Security Assembly
October 1, 2005

More land???
The fundamental need - more food
Total estimates of cultivable land 15 to 19 million km2
What is needed to ensure that the total global production of Current land cultivated ~ 9 million km2
foods – especially cereals – be increased? This will also maintain
costs to the consumer at a level that makes food accessible. The Earth’s terrestrial environmenta.
Area /

106 km2 %

Bring new land under cultivation. Total land area 148 100

Increase yields. Ice-covered land 17.2 12

Arable land 14.8 10
Ensure that cultivated land is used appropriately. Pasture and meadow 31.5 21
Forest 40.9 28
Otherb 43.6 29
a Most of the data are taken from the FAO production
yearbook, Vol. 39, Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome; 1986.

b The ‘Other’ category includes mountainous land, deserts,

and some land that is potentially available for pasture or direct food

Angus cattle near Drumheller, Alberta


Cultivable land
Where? Land in use as a percentage of land potentially available

• Latin America 19 %
• Sub-Saharan Africa 22
• East Asia 63
•North Africa, West Asia 87
• South Asia 94
FAOSTAT - 2001

Most of the potential new land is in Africa and

South America
In India, land under cereals will fall from 0.15 ha pc
to 0.06 ha pc in the next 40 years

3 t / ha of cereal …..3 x 0.06 = 0.18 t pc pa =

180 kg pc pa = 1700 kcal pc daily

Pasture land near Cranbrook, BC

Village garden, Shandong, China

Less land???
Total estimates of cultivable land 15 to 19 million km2
Current land cultivated ~ 9 million km2

Availability of cultivable land may be an overestimate

• Cultivation has been extended onto steep slopes, frequently without

adequate soil conservation (eg Jamaica, Malawi)
• Cultivation has become common in semi-arid zones with a high
droughtht risk,
i k often
ft in
i pastoral
t l areas (eg
( Kenya,
K the
th Sahel)
S h l)
• Illegal cultivation of protected areas like forest reserves, national parks
(eg the Philippines)

Anthony Young, Is there really spare land? A critique of estimates

FAO – World agriculture
of available cultivable land in developing countries.
Environment, Development and Sustainability 1: 3–18, 1999.

Arid land near Jodhpur India


Less land??? Less land???

Ukhimath, Uttaranchal India

FAO – World agriculture

FAO – World agriculture

Where??? Where???

Resettlement from Java to Sumatra and Borneo
Land unsuitable for rice cultivation Maximum urban growth in
the Golden Horseshoe
low in organic matter
poor fertility
subject to
subjec o erosion
e os o
Better suited to tree crops – coconut, oil palm, cacao

Less growth, but most

significant in Class 1 to
3 soil areas


Area and yield units in agriculture

For corn, a yield of 87 bushels (bu) per ac is reported. In the

Increase productivity of the land through increased yields??? data sheet provided with the book of readings, 1 bu of corn
weighs 25.4 kg

Calculate the yield in t / ha

87 bu = 87 x 25.4 / 1000 = 2.2 t

This is the yield in 1 ac
The yield per ha is 2.2 x 2.5 = 5.5 t / ha

Wheat, near Tarn Taran, Punjab, India

Dairy herd, the Drakensberg Foothills, South Africa

Yields of cereals
Actual yields (2007, FAOSTAT)
USA corn 9.5 t/ha
Canada wheat 2.4 t/ha Choose FAOSTAT
India rice 3.2 t/ha
Choose prodSTAT

Choose crops
Punjab 1980’s – 90’s wheat/rice rotation 14 t/ha
LIC countries, all cereals (avg over several years) 2.6 t/ha Select country, crop, element*, year (more than one possible)
element* means yield, total production, or area

Potential yields of up to 25 t/ha of some food grains are possible Yields are given in hectograms per hectare (hg/ha)
in a one year period
for example, 45 000 hg/ha = 4500 kg/ha = 4.5 t/ha
USA single corn crop 24 t/ha
China triple crop, wheat + two rice 24 t/ha Production is given in tonnes
Requires optimum temperature, sunlight, moisture, nutrition


Declining yields – a mixed message Declining yields – a mixed message

Tanzania – Maize Bangladesh - Rice
Njombe Plateau in the Southern Highlands Rice yields stagnant or declining
Wabena ethnic group consume ~ 225 kg of maize pc pa • related to increased monocropping intensity, formation of plowpan, reduced
organic matter (less FYM additions), need for greater inputs of
• Traditional rotation – traditional maize, sweet potatoes, finger millet, beans
fertilizer, possible nutrient imbalance
• Recommended package – flat land planting, increased sowing rates, NP,
Bangladesh Rice Research Institute
endosulfan to control stalk borer
Yield decline from an average 4.0 t/ha 1981 to 1.1 t/ha in 2000
• increased pests
pests, soil acidification
acidification, rising costs of inputs,
inputs loss of traditional knowledge
Andrew Wardell, consultant, Personal report

Biodiverse agriculture, Perumalai, South India

Post harvest losses

“The latest numbers I have are from February.

Leonard hall generated 2.96 tonnes (110 kg per day)
of organic waste. Approximately 80-85% is what
comes back on trays, the rest would be kitchen
10 to 37 % before trimmings. During that time we served approximately
the products reach 16 500 meals. This breaks down to about 180 g per
the consumer! person per meal”

Phil Sparks – Sodexo

March 11, 2009

A recent review of food waste in the United States

reported that 27 percent of the food available for people
to consume in the United States, were lost in three
stages of the marketing process—retailing, food service,
and consumers.

World Resources, 1999

Winterthur market, Switzerland


Farmers – the human resource


Percent of population living on working farms

“Multifunctionality recognizes agriculture as a multi-output
activity producing not only commodities (food, feed, fibres,
fuels, medicinal products and ornamentals), but also non-
Canada (1930) 31 % of population
commodity outputs such as environmental services,
Canada (2008) 2.1 (11.2 % in Sask) landscape amenities and cultural heritages.”
US ~2
Nigeria ~ 70
China ~ 50
India ~ 70

Tamil farmer, India

The outlook

You have heard Max Kaiser and seen the NFU video,
• World hunger is increasing both depicting farming activities in the Kingston area.
• High food prices share much of the blame Which of these presentations points the way to the best
future for agriculture in this part of Canada?
• Poorest, landless and female-headed households are the hardest hit
• Higher prices provide an opportunity
A single side of one page, single spaced, written legibly
• Need to ensure sustainability of the agricultural system
• A multi-track
multi track approach to food/agriculture is required
FAO - 2008

Kolli Hills, South India