TRENDS IN AGRICULTURE
Environmental, Social, Economic

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Efficiently

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Massive Growth in Food Demand
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Becoming a Business

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I choose this cartoon to illustrate my topic because as one of the growing trends in agriculture, genetically modified or genetically engineered foods has become one of the most popular tools in farming. It is plays a key role in the issues faced in agricultural trends.~


Efficiently

1Two in three shoppers demand GM product labels in embarrassing consumer backlash for government against 'Frankenstein Foods'By: Sean PoulterJan. 9, 2013

  • Studies show 2 in 3 shoppers demand products that are genetically modified should be labelled
  • With growing need for food, genetically modified products can help with the demand
  • Many people were unaware that certain foods were genetically modified
  • FSA (Food Standards Agency) argued that it was unnecessary and too difficult therefore it would not support the publics demand of more comprehensive GM labelling
  • Value loaded word 'Frankenstein Foods', According to this article many people are not to found of food that has been genetically modified or has eaten food that has been genetically modified, therefore calling it 'Frankenstein food' because it has been altered
  • Genetically modified products are no longer a trend but have become a part of everyday farming, it allows for better, stronger, larger crops and animals, although it has made many improvements in our lives getting everyone on board with this idea may be the greatest challenge


2Robots will be farming within 40 yearsBy: Louise GrayJan. 4, 2013


  • Predicted that in 20 - 40 years robots will be able to replace many of the jobs it takes to run a farm
  • Driverless tractors ready by 2014
  • Robotics are already helping out on the farm, by the middle of the century they may be doing most of the work
  • Will make farming more efficient for small and large farms
  • There will be positive outcomes from this technology, challenges that will be faced are going to be legal and social

3
Technology is king down on the farmBy: Cori Anne NatoliDec. 2, 2012

  • A farm run by technology, 'precision farming', it is all about the specifics and the little details, coming down to the right amount, time and place
  • Wharry, a specialist for Hoober inc. said "What we focus on makes the farming cycle more efficient, profitable and reduces the environmental impact"
  • Results of technology: higher yields, less waste, higher profits, less environmental impact, higher growth and more time with the family
  • GPS monitoring and mapping systems are used to gain information for the farmer to use to control the tractors to plant seeds, plow rows, harvest food, keep records of the yield data and more
  • With the computer technology, it gives you the ability to decipher what is best for the soil, seeds, and the crops. With more knowledge about the genetics of the agriculture it has allowed for improvement in all aspects of the growing process.
  • The technology has given farmers the ability to comply with strict federal regulations in an easier more efficient way



4GM crops a solution for improving crop yields; ExpertsSept. 16, 2012

  • India has a growing population with limited resources, biotechnology can improve the crop yields, allowing for more production on the same amount of land
  • By 2050 the world population is expected to be over 9 billion
  • Experts have not found any conclusive evidence to demonstrate any negative impact of biotech crops on humans, animals and the environment - Raju Kapoor (National Seeds Authority of India, executive director)
  • Challenges faced by the Indian agriculture can be combatted by biotechnology, ex. extreme temperatures, soil, drought, seeds
  • This article is geared towards the positives of biotechnology
  • In the last 16 years, a cumulative 3 billion acres (1.25 billion hectares) of land worldwide was used for biotech crop farming in 29 countries -
    T M Manjunath, (agri-biotechnology and integrated pest management, consultant)





Massive Growth in Food Demand


1
Food Waste: Half Of All Food Ends Up Thrown Away
Jan. 1, 2013

  • Almost half of all the food produced in the world is thrown away
  • Causes are; poor storage facilities, over-strict sell by dates, and consumer selectiveness (consumers view on a products physical appearence)
  • Value loaded word; "over-strict", indicating that the due dates on products are too picky
  • The amount of food being thrown away is growing, 30% - 50% of the food produced is wasted
  • Food banks have doubled over the last year and need is growing fast
  • Added stresses on the world to feed itself is global warming and the growing popularity of meat


2
World on track for record food prices 'within a year' due to US droughtBy: Emma RowleySept. 23, 2012

  • With the drought in the US and water shortages in Russia and South America, leading to shortages in crops, leading to less food to feed livestock, therefore making it more expensive to feed them, raising there overall cost in the marketplace
  • World food prices are set for an all-time high at the start of the next year (2013)
  • Grain and oilseed stocks decline, world economy re-entering a period of agflation, (agricultural commodity inflation)
  • Today's shortages are being seen in crops used as animal feed, such as corn and soybeans, therefore increasing the prices of the meat and dairy industries
  • Nick Higgins says that even though the people in the developing countries demand for meat may be wavering, those in the UK, even with the rising prices, they will not change their consumer patterns and keep buying

3
Food Shortages could force world into vegetarianism, warn scientists
By: John Vidal
Aug. 26, 2012


  • Issued warnings say that in the next 40 years, the worlds population may have to switch almost completely to a vegetarian diet to avoid catastrophic shortages
  • A value loaded word is "catastrophic shortages", this was used to stress the importance of this issue
  • To feed the extra 2 billion people by 2050, people may need to drop the amount of protein they receive from animal-based products from 20% to 5%
  • "There will not be enough water available on current crop lands to produce food for the expected 9 billion population in 2050 if we follow current trends and changes towards diets common in western nations" , Malik Falkenmark
  • Oxfam and the UN prepare for a possible second global food crisis in five years as warnings of water shortage, limiting food production. By 2050 greater pressure will be placed on available water and land
  • "The UN predicts that we must increase food production by 70% by mid-century. This will place additional pressure on our already stressed water resources, at a time when we also need to allocate more water to satisfy global energy demand – which is expected to rise 60% over the coming 30 years – and to generate electricity for the 1.3 billion people currently without it," - Oxfam, report on global water supply
  • Per capita food production continues to increase yet nine hundred million people already grow hungry and 2 billion people are malnourished



4
Farming the Future: GM Crops Recommended as Key Part of Obama's "Evergreen Revolution"
By: David Despain
Dec. 9, 2010


  • Biotechnology will play a key role in food productivity and security that is necessary to feed a growing population
  • Farmers will face abnormal challenges of climate change, high oil prices drive demand for biofuels and rising costs of land and water
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations warned of more food supply shocks in 2011
  • In November 2010, President Obama, on his tour in Asia announced a partnership with India to "Spark a second, more sustainable 'Evergreen Revolution'", therefore to improve global agricultural productivity and extend food security to Africa as well
  • Gale A. Buchanan, former U.S. Department of Agriculture Chief Scientist and Undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics said "The world has got to accept genetically modified plants because not to is to fail to acknowledge one of the most important discoveris of the 21st century,"
  • Some concerns raised about biotechnology is that it jepordize's native plants, health risks, commodity price manipulation and that it is not what poor farmers in developing countries need
  • Value loaded words such as "crucial" and "surging global population" are used to stress the importance and of the issue at hand and that it is a growing problem



Becoming a Business

Going local is the road to a healthy food system
B: Mike Schreiner
July 15, 2012

  • More consumers are buying local, therefore supporting the local economy (such as Ontario)
  • Consumers are willing to spend more for fresh, local food
  • Research shows that fresh picked produce contains more nutrients
  • As the amount of global food exports has grown, farm incomes have declined
  • In Ontario, the food and farming sector has now passed the auto sector as the number one employer
  • In times of crisis, a nation that can't feed itself is less secure than a nation that can't defend itself
  • This article has a biased towards buy local foods and supporting our local farmers



Commercializing Agriculture
By: Arisyi Fariza Raz
Jan. 10, 2012

  • During the global economic slowdown in Asia, Indonesia has emerged as one of the fastest growing economies. Agriculture was one of Indonesia's main sources of growth but now faces challenges
  • Indonesia's agriculture sector in terms of GDP declined 17% in 2000 to 51% in 2011, one way to deal with these issues was to commercialize agriculture in Indonesia
  • To commercialize agriculture in Indonesia they would link smallholders in the agriculture sector into commodity value chains
  • Currently Indonesia is dominated with smallholders who have limited access to capital, and little technical experience, therefore farming is small-scale and with low yields and low profitability
  • Commercializing will lead farmers to larger profits and better yields with greater production efficiency
  • To achieve commercialization both the government and private sectors have to play their roles effectively




Analysis
Agriculture trends are critical issues among the world because they effect everyone. Everyone needs to eat to live, so any trends effecting agriculture has an impact on us all. Some of the trends in agriculture may be more prominent in certain areas, but they are only indicators as to what is to come for the rest of the world. Agriculture trends belongs in the environmental world issues category becomes the root of these trends stems from the farm. It can also be categorized as a social and economic issue. Farming faces many challenges such as climate, pests, and a growing demand for food but perhaps one of the most challenging issues is how our society accepts how many farmers are dealing with them such as biotechnology for genetically modified products. Our numbers are increasing, our diets have become larger so there is now an increasing demand for food which fuels the urgency to produce more products. Genetically modified food to the public may seem like "Frankenstein food" but it is one of the many advancements science has come up with to combat the demand and there is no way it is going to be leaving the farms any time soon. It is an economic issue because as the shortages occur in agriculture and demand increases, the price of food rises. This issue is not located in one specific area, it may be agricultural and be effecting specifically farmlands but since everyone has to eat, this issue is located worldwide. There are many viewpoints in this issue and many factors that lead you to see it the way you do. Many people believe that it is a growing issue but because they may have a higher affluence than others, rising food prices does not effect them as much as it would for someone who may be living in a developing country. If you believe that things should be "au naturale" the thought of genetically modified products may not appeal to you but to keep up with the demand, genetically modified products seems to be the only way to go. Farmers who have experienced drought, abnormal climate change, pests that eat away at their crops and smaller yields rely on the genetically modified crops to provide them with a sustainable food supply. In LDC and MDC regions, Agriculture trends may effect them differently but in the end we are all facing the same challenges, to prosper in the future we need to work together to find a solution that works for our growing population and the many challenges we face around the globe.

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