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Food Availability Worldwide - Assignment Example

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The author of this paper discusses the question of what are the pros and cons of large scale monoculture farming. Be sure to include its impact things like soil, water, air, nutrient availability, ecosystem services, climate change, disease, and pests, etc…
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Food Availability Worldwide
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Environmental studies What are the experts telling us about food availability worldwide, nowand into the future as population continues to grow under the added pressures of climate change?
Mann (2010), in his national geographic report explains how climate change has brought about its own share of food problems globally. This is as a result of the unexpected heavy rains or dry periods that do not favor food growth. There are also other secondary effects of climate change to the food availability which include food spoiling quickly as a result of the increasing temperatures, some farmers reap a bumper harvest while others do not get any food and hence the end results remain that the food will still be reduced as those with more (and who are the minority) have to share and distribute to those without, and yields are also continuing to drop as the price of fuel needed to transport the crops to various areas increases with reduced fossil fuel. According to the national geographic article by Bourne (2009), this reduction in the food culminated with the increasing population will in future lead to severe food shortage as the production and the distribution continues to dwindle by the day.
2. What are the pros and cons of large scale monoculture farming? Be sure to include its impact things like soil, water, air, nutrient availability, ecosystem services, climate change, disease and pests, etc.
Monoculture is the planting of only one type of crop on large tracts of land for industrial purposes (Despommier, 2009). There are several disadvantages associated with this type of agriculture. Since the crops are wanted to yield more as they are for large scale use, there is an increased use of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and other chemicals all of which end up harming the soil and even reducing the nutrients available in the soil. Nutrients availability is also reduced as most of the crops in monoculture (which include tea, trees, soya and sugarcane among others) do not provide nutrients to the soil when compared to the diversity of crops planted by small scale farmers. Water is mostly contaminated by the chemicals making it not consumable.
The advantage of this type of farming as explained by Despommier (2008) is the reduction in diseases and pests as a result of the constant pesticide and herbicides used. As most of the crops are trees, there is reduced wind and soil erosion as well as a reduction in the carbon dioxide which is an advantage to climate changes and reduces global warming. The air is also fresh and cold which is good for the ecosystem.
3. What are some large scale and local scale solutions to providing food, minimizing impacts on ecosystems, enhancing ecosystem services, and building stronger connections between people and their food?
According to the interview by Guillou (2010), several things are needed to be changed if the increasing population in the world is to have not only enough food but also be healthy. Some of the suggestions to ensuring this include avoiding food wastage and this will increase the availability of food by around 30-35% (the amount of food lost or wasted). The other solution is to ensure that the diet is ok which means an individual taking an average of 3000 calories per day.
Food is also available but an increase in the food prices will in future render food shortage as many people will not be able to afford to purchase food. This has been experienced in the past and will continue in the future if food prices regulation is not carried out quickly. With the increasing population, the other solution to the food shortage problem will be planting genetically modified organism (GMOs) for an increased yield. Lastly, more funds should be dedicated to agriculture and agricultural research if the future on food shortage is to be guaranteed.
Work Cited
Bourne, J. K. "The Global Food Crisis." National Geographic, June 2009. Retrieved from: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/06/cheap-food/bourne-text
Despommier, D. "Growing Skyscrapers: The Rise of Vertical Farms." Scientific American, Nov. 2009, Vol. 301, Issue 5, pp. 80-87.
Despommier, D. "Vertical Farming." The Encyclopedia of EARTH, April 8, 2008.
http://www.eoearth.org/article/Vertical_farming
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/09/soil/mann-text/1
Guillou, M. Interview with Marion Guillou, "Q&A: What it will take to feed the world." nature. Vol. 464. 15 April 2010. Retrieved from: http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100414/pdf/464969a.pdf
Mann. C. "Our Good Earth." National Geographic. November 2010. Read More
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