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Chap 11: Impacts of Variations in Food

Starvation is when ppl do not receive enough energy from their diets due to a severe
shortage of food. When ppl do not have enough food or body fats to meet their daily
energy needs, their body burn muscle tissue for energy. This will result in them becoming
skeletally thin, organs being permanently damaged and death. Starvation occurs the
most in Sub-Saharan Africa, where 70% of the population is starving.
Malnutrition is when a person consumes an imbalanced amount of nutrients over a
period of time. Malnutrition can be caused by poor harvest, low purchasing power or
eating disorders triggered by psychological factors, like anorexia nervosa and bulimia.
Ppl with such disorders starve themselves by not eating in order to be thin. Ppl suffering
from bulimia force themselves to vomit when they have just eaten. These cases can be
life threatening. Malnutrition can sever ely weaken a person·s body, making it less
resistant to common illnesses. It may cause damage to internal organs and death. A lack
of certain vitamins and minerals can lead to diseases like rickets, which is the lack of
vitamin D and calcium. This will cause poor teeth and bone deformation. Another example
is anaemia, which is the lack of iron. The person·s blood will be unable to provide enough
oxygen to the body, and it becomes tired easily or listless.
Obesity is when a person consumes much more nutrients than the body can use. It
affects the DCs more as they have a higher daily calorie intake. It may lead to high blood
pressure, diabetes and heart disease.
Responses to variations in food consumption
;International Organisations
-a world food hunger summit was organised in 1996 to discuss ways to end world hunger,
representatives from 180 countries attended the summit and committed to reducing the
number of hungry ppl in the world by half by 2015.


-United Nations World Food Programme implemented ¶food-for-workµ projects in

Somalia, where ppl build farming facilities like roads and irrigation channels and are paid
by food. This improves the country·s farming infrastructure and develops skills which can
help the ppl make a living.
-United Nations World Food Programme also carried out a school feeding programme in
Cambodia to feed 290 000 children with a nutritious breakfast.
;Government Responses
-food subsidies are given to the poor to help them obtain sufficient food in the form of
money, free food or food sold at a lower price. It requires a large amount of money,
especially in LDCs. Food subsidies resulted in the poor relying on the government and not
being able to break out of the poverty cycle. The money could be used to provide free
education or low income loans to the poor instead, so the poor can be employed and
break out of poverty and hunger cycles.
;Stock Piling
Stock piling is the setting aside and storing of food to ensure food security during
emergencies and to reduce the disruption of food supply. Countries stock pile enough
food to last the population for about 3 months.
-stock piling is more common in DCs as it requires expensive storage facilities and
purchasing power to buy extra food. In LDCs, they cannot afford the cost of stock piling
and have to depend on the harvest of the year, which can be affected by natural and
human factors.
-farmers and large food companies practice stock piling in order to control prices and
food supply. They restrict the amount of food available, so prices can be maintained and
even raised. This helps them to earn more money. However, LDCs will be affected as they
are unable to afford to purchase food from the DCs, and will face higher risk of
disruption in food supply.
Food Producers in LDCs
-trade allows food producers in LDCs to sell their food beyond their countries and to
earn more profits. Many DCs do not grow non-staple food crops, thus they are willing to
pay more for these raw materials. These will thus attract farmers in LDCs to produce
such crops for a higher profit.


-e.g. coffee is consumed by many countries in the DCs, and thus attracted food
producers to produce coffee in the LDCs, like Brazil, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Chap 12: Intensification of Food Production

-intensification of food production is when farmers find ways to grow more crops on the
same plot of land to increase food productivity.
-measured by the amount of food produced compared with the amount of resources used
to produce the food.
-labour per unit area = number of workers/land area
-output per unit area = amount of food produced/land area
Factors Affecting Productivity
Physical Factors
-relief is the physical height and slope of the land (gradient)
-gentle or flat relief is more productive as water used for crop cultivation is less likely to
run off quickly on gentle slopes and soil erosion is less likely to occur, so nut rients in the
soil will not be lost. This ensures that the soil remains fertile for growing crops.
-heavy machines reduce the need for more labour per unit area, and are easier for
farmers to operate them on gentle relief, leading to high productivity.
-crops such as tea grow better on sloping land as it has well-drained soil. E.g. tea
plantations on slopes of Cameron Highlands in Peninsular Malaysia
-productivity depends on fertility of soil, which is the loose material on the Earth·s
surface in which plants grow. Fertility depends on the amount of air, water and nutrients
present in it. E.g. phosphorus, iron, zinc.
-fertile soil is usually found on floodplains, river deltas and areas surrounding volcanoes.
Alluvium and volcanic ash contain minerals w hich makes the soil fertile. E.g. Mount Mayon,
Philippines, deposits volcanic ash in surrounding areas, causing them to be fertile.
-when soil is fertile, there is less need for long fallowing and resting period, therefore
productivity increases.


-wet rice grow well in wet and clayey soil, coconut and groundnut in well -drained and
sandy soil, soybean in well-drained and loamy soil, garlic in deep and well -drained soil
with lime, cauliflower in slightly alkaline soil
-climate is the atmospheric conditions of a specific place over a considerable period of
time, usually 30 to 35 years.
-determined by rainfall and average temperature experienced in the place
-generally, outputs are higher in areas with higher temperature and rainfall as crops
grow better in these conditions.
-however, crops like wheat and potatoes require less water to grow and therefore grow
well in temperate regions, where temp. and rainfall is lower.
-e.g. Bangladesh has hot and wet climate, which grows wet rice.
-e.g. Hunza, Pakistan has cool and dry climate, which grows potatoes.
-different types of fish and livestock require different climates to grow. Thus to achieve
higher outputs, the climate must be suitable to rear fish and livestock.
-e.g. cool temp. is required for growth and reproduction of salmon, salmon farms are in
temperate countries like Chile, Ireland, USA, Australia
Social Factors(refer to notes)
;Land Fragmentation
-e.g. in China and Korea, land fragmentation can occur when farmlands owned by the
government is distributed equally among the people.
;Land Tenure
-e.g. in Brazil, landlords make up 2% of the population, but own 42%of the land. Farmers
have to give a sum of money or part of their crops to get land tenure or to live on the
Economic Factors
-when ppl buy large amount of food at a certain time at a certain price, there is a high
demand for food. This will lead to higher productivity.


-e.g. in late 17th century, coffee had become popular all over Europe and to meet the
growing demand, the Dutch introduced coffee production to India and Indonesia, and
coffee production grew rapidly and thus higher productivity.
-machines can increase productivity, but a large amt of capital ( the sum of money used
to expand or start food production ) is needed.
-needed to but fertilisers and pesticides, expensive equipment like acoustic sonar in
fishing, which improves productivity.
-also needed in research and development to improve productivity. With new inventions
and discoveries, farmers can cope better with problems like droughts, increase food
production through irrigation methods and improved fertilisers and pesticides.

Political Factors
;Government Policies
-govern. policy is the plan of action that a government takes, where it decides how
resources are used in order to bring about greater development in the country
-e.g. in 1980s, Singapore government decided to replace traditional farming methods
with high-tech farming. This increases the output per unit area as more crops can be
cultivated and less labour is used.
-may affect productivity on regional level. E.g. government of European Union adopted the
Common Fisheries Policy to regulate type and amt of fish a country can catch to maintain
the amt of fish in the region·s waters. Thus productivity of fish industry reduces.
-govern. can encourage greater productivity by building new facilities or by providing
loans and subsidies to farmers.
-e.g. during 1960s and 1970s, Malaysia government cleared land in Pahang for farming of
rubber and oil palm, constructed houses, processing factories, network of roads,
railways for export of crops and gave farmers tools, seeds, land, facilities under Federal
Land Development Authority scheme.
Technological Factors
;Green revolution
-first systematic attempt to make modern technology for farming available to the LDCs


High Yielding Varieties

-improved strains of rice, wheat, cereals developed by cross-breeding. HYVs are
developed with different traits like pest-resistance, shorter growth duration, etc
-e.g. IR58, the ¶wonder rice· of the 1980s. It is resistant to most pests and diseases, and
has a shorter growing period than other HYV strains.
-thus LDCs enjoy higher outputs per unit area in fields. E.g. China·s rice output doubled
from 1961 to 1992. Also significant increase in productivity as output of cereals increased
in LDCs like Mexico, India, Pakistan.
Modern Irrigation Methods
-practice of supplying water to land through artificial means. E.g. dams, canals, human -
made dykes to divert water from water sources to farms.
-enables farmers to control amt of water supplied to crops. E.g. in India, Egypt where
rainfall is insufficient, irregular and seasonal. Ensures crops receive enough water and
increases productivity.
Use Of Chemicals
-land cannot be cultivated continuously as soil has limited amt of nutrients. Farmers use
fertilisers to continue using land for growing crops.fertilisers are nutrients added to the
soil to provide nutrients for healthy plant growth.
-chemical fertilisers are manufactured, and are divided into macro and micro nutrients.
-macronutrients contain mainly nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and used in large
-micronutrients include boron, copper, manganese, iron, zinc, and are used in small
-toxic chemicals used to destroy pests which affect crop growth. May be in the form of
insecticides or poion. E.g. in India, arsenic is used to pison rats which attak rice crops.
-are toxic chemicals used to destroy weeds.
-use of chemical fertilisers may encourage growth of weeds, which compete for
nutrients from soil and hinder plant growth. Farmers spray herbicides to remove weeds.


;Blue Revolution
Is the social and technological movement that started in the 1970s to protect marine life
and ensure sufficient seafood for present and future generations.
-encouraged fish farming where farmers rear fish in tanks, ponds or enclosed areas
under special conditions that promote growth.
-scientists developed ways to increase fertility of fish, improve growth rate and increase
resistance to disease. E.g improved breed of tilapia has been developed to grow faster
than the normal breed.
-there is a significant increase in amt of fish available, ensuring stable supply of fish,
reducing prices.

Chap 13: Developments in Food Production

;Effects of Increased Use of Irrigation
*Salinisation of Soil
-it is the building up of salts within the soil
-in flood irrigation, water covers the surface of field, continuous cycles of flood irrigation
add the level of salt in the soil, as water contains natural salts. When water in field is
used up by plants or evaporated into atmosphere, salts in the water is left behind,
building up salts in the soil and lowering its quality.
-when dams are constructed, the dam disrupts the flow of water, trapping sediments and
minerals in the reservoir behind the dam. This causes minerals to dissolve in the water,
increasing salinity of soil when the water is used for irrigation. When this continues, the
salinity of the soil will be too high for crops to grow well. E.g. in Egypt, construction of
Aswan High Dam across River Nile.
-in dry regions, the main source of irrigation is ground water, which is rich in minerals
and salts. As water is pumped from underground, salinit y of soil increases.e.g. Syria and
-in coastal areas, salt water from nearby seas seep into groundwater. When ground
water is pumped up for irrigation, salinity of soil increases. E. g. Libya and India.


-happens when too much water is used in fields, causing soil to become saturated with
-farmers over-irrigate the land or use large amt of irrigated water to wash excessive
salt from the land to reduce salinisation, causing air and nutrients to not be able to reach
roots of crops, causing them to wither and die, decreasing crop output and food
productivity. E.g. India

;Effects of Increased Use of Chemicals

*Imbalance In Soil Nutrients
-chemical fertilisers only supply two or three out of more than 20 nutrients needed by
plants, causing nutrients not being able to restore and are used up.
-chemical fertilisers do not add humus to the soil( organic substance formed from
decomposition of dead plants and animals, contributes to fertility of soil). Thus, lack of
humus causes soil to lose its fertility.
*Eutrophication in Water Bodies
-is the process by which excess fertilisers in water bodies cause rapid growth of algae,
reducing availability of oxygen , causing aquatic plants and animals to die due to lack of
oxygen when excess chemical fertilisers are washed into nearby rivers or lakes by rain.
*Water Pollution
-farmers may use excessive amt of pesticides or herbicides to kill pests and weeds,
which may seep into groundwater or dissolve in surface runoff, and flow into nearby
water bodies. This causes water pollution, which is the contamination of water by
substances that cause a reduction in the quality of water. The chemicals in the water will
harm or kill aquatic plants and animals, and may poison those who drink the water. E.g.
distribution of drinking water from dam near Rennes, France, had to be stopped due to
pesticide contamination.


Effectiveness of Improved Food Production

-increases amt of food available to world, reduces malnutrition and starvation.
-Farming dominated by agri-business, causing poor farmers, who are unable to afford
modern tech, are unable to compete with agri-business. Agri-business produces large
amt of crops, causing prices to decrease, and farmers in LDCs to suffer losses.
-farmers in LDCs who have access to tech and produce higher outputs export to make
profits, instead of selling it to its own people. E.g. Punjab region in India grows abundant
supply of food, but its output is sold to Europe to be processed into cat and do g food.
-people may still suffer from malnutrition even when food is available as they lack health
education, causing them to consume an insufficient amt of a particular nutrient group.