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Increasing Food Production

Page history last edited by catrin treanor 4 years, 11 months ago

 

Strategies to increase production include:  

  1. The Green Revolution
  2. Genetic Modification and other high-tech approaches
  3. Land colonisation
  4. Land reform
  5. Commercialisation
  6. Appropriate/intermediate technology solution

 

 

1. The Green Revolution -  This is a term used to describe the transformation of agriculture in poorer parts of the world from the late 1960s. It involved the intensification of production. The key characteristics of this approach included the development of High Yielding Varieties (HYVs) of seeds such as IR8 rice (this produced yields up to ten times that of traditional rice). Theses HYVs required the use of large inputs of fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides.  The farming operation was also mechanised using machinery to replace much of the labour and farm size was increased to make more profitable plots. Irrigation schemes were also developed, often involving the building of dams and reservoirs, to provide the new HYV crops with sufficient water.

 

 a. Start with finding out about Borlaug (watch the clip) and reading pages 214 and 215 in your textbook.

 

b. List the characteristic features of the Green Revolution

 

c. complete this table and question use this handout and  these links to help you...

India 

 Disadvantages - scroll towards the end for info on farmers in the Punjab 

BBC world service -

radio reports

 

Read this 4 page report - Green Revolution: Curse or Blessing?

 

2. Genetic Modification 

 

  In the news... New EU rules

 

read pages 215 and 216 then follow the links below in order to:

a. Provide a minimum of five examples of the ways in which plants/animals have been genetically modified.

b. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of GM as a strategy to increasing food supply. (write this as a 15mark question)

 

The New Scientist's website is a good place to start 

 

In the news...]

 

 

 

purple tomatoes 

 

cows!

 

Questions over yields, pesticide use and human and animal health have not been fully resolved, Report Oct 2011

Blight-resistant GM potatoes field trial begins

 

The Guardian has a collection of GM  reports - including this:  increase in pests as a result of GM cotton in China?

 

Some examples: 

  • GM Golden Rice
  • GM long lasting tomatoes
  • GM Faster growing rice :
  • 2 agricultural scientists from Bangladesh have made a major breakthrough in developing two other types of High Yielding Variety (HYV) rice, which are especially suited to fight famine-like situation called monga in some northern districts of the country. These varieties of rice called BR-11 dhan-33 and BINA dhan-7 mature in less than four months, 115 days to be exact, and thus can be harvested one month ahead of the customary aman crop of the HYV group, namely the BR-11, which the framers have been growing since long." source: 
  • Drought resistant crops:  Dr David Dennis, the chief executive of Performance Plants Incorporated in Kingston, Ontario, said varieties of drought-tolerant oilseed rape and maize were already being tested in field trials in the US. He claimed the new varieties can increase yield by 40% when the plants are most water-stressed. Read more...
  • GM rice on its way in China
  • pigs and spinach - spork
  • Pest resistant potatoes and aubergines
  • Insecticide sweet corn

    Scientists have genetically modified sweet corn so that it produces a poison which kills harmful insects. This means the farmer no longer needs to fight insects with insecticides.

 

What have Greenpeace got to say?

Hazards of GM crops

 

The UK  Government - GM is safe

 

Monsanto - obviously all for GM!  EXTENSION: Read this article from The Economist - a briefing on Monsanto - great example for the power of TNCs, Geopolitics, Environmental Issues and techniques to increse food supplies.

 

3. Land Colonisation and Land Reform

 

  • Read page 219/220
  • What is land colonisation?
  • Use examples to show how land colonisation can lead to increased food supply
  • What are the disadvantages associated with land colonisation

 

Land Colonisation - the rainforests of Sumatra, Indonesia - cleared for Palm Oil Plantations - Guardian Report

 

  • Explain how land reform can increase food production (4)

 

4. Commercialisation

 

Watch the Green Bean video clip again! Kenyan Green Beans - Iceland volcano and its impact.

It isn't just Kenya - A large scale wheat project funded by the Canadians in Tanzania and its limitiations -watch

 

5.Appropriate/Intermediate Technology Solutions 

 

Visit the Practical Action website - find out who they are and choose some examples of how they have used appropriate technology to help farmers in poorer countries.

 

 

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