Agriculture Modern Commercial Agriculture The Third Agricultural Revolution

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Agriculture Modern Commercial Agriculture

Agriculture Modern Commercial Agriculture

The Third Agricultural Revolution • Third Agricultural Revolution began in 19 th century North

The Third Agricultural Revolution • Third Agricultural Revolution began in 19 th century North America – Saw the globalization of industrialized agriculture and new technologies that increased the food supply – Three phases: • Mechanization • Chemical farming • Globally widespread food manufacturing • 3 rd Revolution distributed mechanized farming technology and chemical fertilizers on a global level • During 3 rd Revolution, farming and food processing were completed at different sites

The Industrialization of the Farming Process • After 3 rd Revolution it became common

The Industrialization of the Farming Process • After 3 rd Revolution it became common for commercial farmers to harvest their crops and ship them off to food processing sites to be packaged for marketing and distribution • Food production increasingly became “industrialized” – Different parts of process completed by different departments • Example • Purity dairies in Nashville, Tennessee • Subcontracts with local farms to buy unprocessed milk that is shipped to Nashville, near the market • At the city-based factory, the milk is processed, packaged, and distributed within the milkshed

Agribusiness • Definition – Combination of the pieces of the food-production industry, including the

Agribusiness • Definition – Combination of the pieces of the food-production industry, including the farms, processing plants, packagers, fertilizer laboratories, distributors, and advertizing agencies – Like a corporate entity • Modern system of foodproduction involving everything from the development of seeds to the marketing and sale of food products at the market – Led by TNCs (trans-national corporations) • While % of farmers in U. S. workforce has declined, the # of workers involved in agribusiness shows that food production is still an integral part of the U. S. and global economy • Examples: • A graphic designer drawing images for a child’s lunchbox is part of the complex agribusiness system • Farming process has become divided on a global level

Agribusiness • Food supply chain – Five central and connected sectors • • •

Agribusiness • Food supply chain – Five central and connected sectors • • • Inputs Production Processing Distribution Consumption – Four external mediating forces • • State International trade Physical environment Credit/finance

The Green Revolution • Began in the 1940 s, 1950 s – Was a

The Green Revolution • Began in the 1940 s, 1950 s – Was a phase of the 3 rd Revolution – Really implemented in 1970 s, 1980 s • New strains of hybrid seeds and fertilizers were invented and dramatically increased crop output – Began with agricultural experiments in the U. S. to find ways to improve Mexico’s wheat production capabilities • Scientists found new hybrid strains of wheat, maize, and rice that were higher-yielding, capable of producing more food at a faster pace • Scientists also developed new fertilizers and pesticides that supported the higher-yielding seeds • Required special fertilizers • Increased protection from diseases and pest infestations

The Green Revolution • Scientist Norman Borlaug won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1970

The Green Revolution • Scientist Norman Borlaug won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his work to increase world peace through spreading hunger-reducing technology to poorer regions of the world – “miracle wheat seed” • The “miracle” of the Green Revolution was in global diffusion of higher-yielding crops • Globally grain production increased 45% between 19451990 • Food production outpaced population growth • Asia was able to increase its rice production by 66% by 1985 • India was able to supply its own wheat and rice by the 1980 s • Not able to completely eradicate hunger • Issue of transportation

Economic downside to GR • GR reduced the amount of human labor needed on

Economic downside to GR • GR reduced the amount of human labor needed on the farm in some areas • Higher-yielding crop strains are more prone to viruses and pest infestations • Many of the higher-yielding crops are not farmable in the dryer regions of Africa • Some analysts argue that the GR has increased economic inequality in peripheral countries • Local farmers in peripheral countries often have a difficult time purchasing more expensive GR seeds and technologies • Example: Nitrogen fertilizer

Environmental Downsides to GR • GR pesticides have arguably cause pollution and soilcontamination problems

Environmental Downsides to GR • GR pesticides have arguably cause pollution and soilcontamination problems • Workers who are frequently exposed to these chemicals have suffered health problems from poisoning • GR crop require more watering which has led to water resources being strained • Because GR seeds are being adopted so widely , the genetic diversity in seeds is rapidly reducing, and local strains are being phased out • GR farming often requires more mechanized farming techniques that need expensive fuels to power farm machines, which increase pollution and fossil fuel consumption

Food Movements • Conventional farming – Approach uses chemicals in the form of plant

Food Movements • Conventional farming – Approach uses chemicals in the form of plant protectants and fertilizers – Uses intensive, hormone-based practices to breed and raise animals • Organic farming – Describes farming or animal husbandry that occurs without the use of commercial fertilizers, synthetic pesticides, or growth hormones • Local food • Usually organically grown • Usually within a 100 -mile radius • Called “locavores” • Has been linked to increase of “family farms” within local “food shed” • Also connected to “urban” agriculture • Food trucks • Fast food • Born in the U. S. as a product of WWII • Utilized assembly-line production • Mc. Donald’s first franchise

Biotechnology • Agricultural biotechnology is using living organisms to produce or change plant or

Biotechnology • Agricultural biotechnology is using living organisms to produce or change plant or animal products • Genetic modification is a form of biotechnology that uses scientific, genetic manipulation of crop and animal products to improve productivity and products – Ex. • Reorganizing plant and animal DNA • Tissue culturing • Recent innovations in biotech have led to plant and animal cloning as well as “super-plants” that grow at much faster rates • Crops that are droughtresistant • Animals cloned to produce more output • “super-chicken” • Extension of scientific innovation to all crops and animal products called the biorevolution

Biotechnology • Positives – Can help reduce agricultural production costs – Can serve as

Biotechnology • Positives – Can help reduce agricultural production costs – Can serve as type of resource management – Impressive response to problems • Biopharming – Genes of other life forms inserted into host plants – Resulted in “pharma crops” » Drugs for cancer, AIDs, Alzheimer's, etc. » Still experimental • Negatives • Cloned plants more susceptible to disease • Leads to increase need of chemical treatment • Has led to plants being able to be grown out of their native environments • • Has hurt less developed countries Trend of farmer suicides

Challenges to Commercial Farmers • Overproduction in Commercial farming – Commercial farmers suffer from

Challenges to Commercial Farmers • Overproduction in Commercial farming – Commercial farmers suffer from low incomes because they are capable of producing much more food than is demanded by consumers – U. S. has policies that are supposed to address excess productive capacity – Government policies point out irony in world agricultural practices • MDCs encourage farmers to grow less • LDCs struggle to increase food production to match population growth • Sustainable agriculture • • • Some farmers are transitioning too • Less income, but less costs Popular form is organic farming Three factors distinguish sustainable agriculture from conventional: • Sensitive land management • Use of ridge tillage • Limited use of chemicals • Limited herbicides • Better integration of crops and livestock

Challenges for Subsistence Farmers • Population growth – Population growth influences the distribution of

Challenges for Subsistence Farmers • Population growth – Population growth influences the distribution of types of subsistence farmers – Subsistence farmers increase food supply two ways” • New farming methods • Land is left to fallow for shorter periods • International Trade – Sale of export crops brings foreign currency into LDCs • Can be used to buy supplies – To expand production, subs. Farmers need higher-yield seeds, fertilizer, pesticides, and machinery • Have to import them • Drug Crops • Export crops chosen in LDCs (Latin America and Asia) are often crops that can be converted to drugs • Marijuana • Cocaine • Heroin • U. N estimated in 1998 that 4 million people were dependent on poppy or coca leaf

Drug Crops

Drug Crops

Emerging Problems in the Global Food System

Emerging Problems in the Global Food System

Hunger and the Food Supply • Undernutrition is defined as not getting enough calories

Hunger and the Food Supply • Undernutrition is defined as not getting enough calories or nutrients • Famine is mass starvation resulting from prolonged undernutrition in a region during a certain period

Hunger and the Food Supply • Solving World Hunger – Causes of world hunger

Hunger and the Food Supply • Solving World Hunger – Causes of world hunger exist largely in distribution and people’s ability to access food supplies – Social and economic structure inherent in inequality cause foodsecurity issues, undernutrition, and famine – Solution to ending world hunger is not just growing enough food but empowering people with the ability to obtain food or crop production that can be maintained over time

Hunger and the Food Supply • Ester Boserup Theory – Believed subsistence farmers want

Hunger and the Food Supply • Ester Boserup Theory – Believed subsistence farmers want the most leisure time they can have, so they farm in ways that will allow them to feed their families and maximize free time – In theory, she asserts that subsistence farmers will change their approach if the population increases and more food is needed • Boserup considered the food supply to be dependent on human approaches • Contrasted Thomas Malthus theory • Most evidence show’s theory to be true in a subsistence economy • Not in a technologicallyadvanced industrialized society

Environmental Issues • Soil Erosion – Due to population pressure, farmers in many regions

Environmental Issues • Soil Erosion – Due to population pressure, farmers in many regions are trying to grow food at faster rates • Don’t allow field to fallow • Leads to soil erosion – Estimated 7% of world’s topsoil being depleted each decade • Desertification – Loss of habitable land to the expansion of deserts • Related to human overuse of land • Example – Sahara Desert • Deforestation • Loss of forested areas • Caused by humans chopping down forests at rates so fast, forests cannot regenerate • Some experts think the rainforest centered around the equator will be completely destroyed within a century

Debt-for-Nature Swaps • In trying to save land resources, governments and organizations have organized

Debt-for-Nature Swaps • In trying to save land resources, governments and organizations have organized debt-for-nature swaps – Forgives international debts owed by developing countries in exchange for these countries protecting valuable, natural land resources from human destruction

Strategies to increase the food supply • Expanding Agricultural land – Today few scientists

Strategies to increase the food supply • Expanding Agricultural land – Today few scientists believe that further expansion of agricultural land can feed the growing population – Threats • Desertification • Excessive water • Urbanization • New food sources • • Increasing productivity – Population grew at the fastest rate in human history b/w 1950 -2000 – Green Revolution playing important role Cultivating oceans • Cover 3/4 ths of Earth High-protein cereals • People in LDCs generally rely on wheat, corn and rice which lack protein Improving palatability of rarely consumed foods • Example in U. S. = Soybean • krill • Increasing trade • Export more food from countries that have surpluses

GMOs • • • Genetically modified organisms – Organism that has had its DNA

GMOs • • • Genetically modified organisms – Organism that has had its DNA • modified in a laboratory rather than in cross-pollination Critics – Worry there will be unintended effects on human health Supporters – Allows for great advances in agriculture • United States – – Legal No labeling requirements Deemed safe until proved otherwise U. S. concerned with economic impact of labeling Europe – Deemed unsafe until proved otherwise – Will not accept food from U. S. with GMOs • Worldwide – Europe, Parts of Asia, Africa, Latin America, Canada, and Mexico are devising regulations to control entry of GMOs into food system