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Agriculture and Global Food Security

Agriculture and global food security are two interconnected topics. Simply put, agriculture is the science of farming, which involves the harvesting of food products, most commonly animals and plants. Alternatively, global food security is a concept related to the availability of food sources and their accessibility.

Once agriculture was developed, the domestication of animals and plants through selective breeding began occurring, expanding the food sources available and quantity of food which could be produced. Agriculture allows humans to manipulate animals and plants so that organisms with the most optimal traits can be produced.

In the Western world, food security, or rather food insecurity is not as visible of an issue as it is in the underdeveloped world. However, it does still exist. As the world’s population continues to rise, food security is becoming a very important issue since it is becoming increasingly more difficult to feed the world’s population. Unfortunately agricultural production has been suggested to have peaked and the price of food is increasing.

Some of the main reasons for why agricultural production has slowed are:

  • The planet is running out of arable land for food production
  • Past decades of intensive agriculture have resulted in extreme soil degradation
  • Drought is more frequent due to climate change
  • Suitable land is being used for other purposes such as growing biofuels

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it illustrates how a decrease in agricultural productivity is increasing the existence of global food security concerns. Clearly these two concepts are inextricably linked. However, agriculture and global food security are connected to many other environmental issues, such as climate change and soil degradation. Thus, in order to solve the problems associated with food availability and food production, other environmental problems will need to be subsequently addressed.

 

 

Title Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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