1. 3.2 Food production
Describe and explain the main features of an
agricultural system: inputs, processes and outputs
Recognise the causes and effects of food shortages
and describe possible solutions to this problem
2. • Agriculture (farming): The production of crops and or livestock.
• Aquaculture: The farming of aquatic (water based) plants and
animals e.g. mussels, fish and seaweed.
• Pastoral Farming: The rearing of animals.
• Livestock: Animals that are domesticated and reared on a farm.
• Arable Farming: The growing of crops.
• Crops: Types of plants that are grown on a farm e.g. wheat, corn,
rice and barley.
3. • Mixed Farming: Farming that rears animals and cultivates (grows) crops.
• Subsistence Farming: Farming that involves only rearing enough animals
and/or growing enough crops to support immediate friends and family.
• Sedentary Farming: Farming that takes places in a permanent location.
The farm and the farmer stays in the same place every year.
• Shifting Cultivation: Farming that moves from one location to another
every couple of years.
• Commercial Farming: Farming for the purpose of making a profit.
4. Extensive Farming and Intensive
• Extensive Farming: few inputs (and possibly
outputs) per hectare of land.
• Intensive Farming: high inputs and outputs
per hecatre of land.
5. Extensive farming
• Normally a larger farm
• Relatively few inputs per hectare
• Relatively few workers per hectare
• Relatively low yields per hectare
6. Intensive farming
• Normally a smaller farm
• Relatively high inputs per hectare
• Relatively high number of workers per hectare
• Relatively high yields per hectare
7. • Hectare: A hectare is an area of measurement
equivalent to 10,000m2.
• Yield: (per hectare)This is the amount of crops
that are harvested i.e. the crop output.
8. Farming as a System
• Just like industry, farming can also be looked
at as a system with inputs, processes and
outputs. In farming, physical (natural) and
human impacts are normally separated.
9. Human Inputs
Human Inputs: Things that are built or made by
humans and added to a farm.
• Labour (workers)
• Machinery (tractors, combine harvesters, etc.)
• Buildings (barns, silos)
• Seed to grow crops
• Animal feed
• Fertlisers and pesticides
• Calves, Chicks, piglets, etc. (small animals bought
to rear and later sell)
10. Physical Inputs
• Physical Inputs: Natural things that are either
found on a farm or are added to a farm.
• Soil: If soil is fertile then arable farming is likely to
take place, if it is less fertile and can only support
grass then pastoral farming is likely to take place.
• Precipitation: Water that helps water the crops.
• Sun: Energy to help plants and animals to grow.
• Alluvium: This is mineral and nutrient rich
sediment (load) that is transported by rivers and
deposited on floodplains in times of flood.
11. • Flood water: Floods not only bring alluvium
but also water to keep the ground moist.
• Relief: If land is flat then it is easier for arable
farming to take place. If land is hilly then
pastoral farming is more likely to take place.
• Drainage: If fields are well drained, they are
not permanently flooded. Other than rice
(paddy), most crops and animals can't survive
being permanently submerged.
• Rearing: This is the caring for and support of
animals to maturity.
• Shearing: The removing of wool from animals,
• Ploughing: Turning over the land and
preparing it for planting seeds.
• Fertilising: Adding chemicals to the soil to try
and make it more fertile.
14. • Weeding: Removing alien plants (plants other
than the crops your are growing) from crop
• Irrigating: Watering the land.
• Cultivating: To care for and grow crops.
• Harvesting: The collection of crops at the end
of the growing season.
15. • Slaughtering: The killing of animals once they
have reached maturity and are ready to sell.
• Planting: Putting seeds into the ground.
• Outputs: Things that are produced on a farm and
are often sold.
• Meat products (lamb, beef, chicken, pork)
• Wool (normally from sheep)
• Milk (normally from cows)
• Waste e.g. animal excrement
• Methane gas(mainly from cows/ cowdung)
• Crops (corn, wheat, carrots, potatoes, etc.)
18. • Physical: many different physical environments allowed
a variety of crops and animals within same country.
New technology and irrigation has allowed farming in
• Social/Cultural: what produced in the past, land tenure
(who owns the land) and inheritance has influenced
• Economic: Transport, market, capital and technology
has allowed economies of scale
• Political: (Minimum) price support, subsidies,
availability of loans, and income supplements affects
19. • Organic farming does not use fertilizers,
chemicals, pesticides or insecticides.
• Instead they use animal and green manures
and natural pest control.
• Organic farming is more expensive hence
organic products are expensive and these
products have a shorter shelf life but they are
safe to consume, do not harm the
environment and is sustainable.
20. Causes and effects of food shortages
• Natural causes of food shortages: soil
degradation, drought, floods, cyclones, pests,
diseases, extreme/ unpredictable weather
• Political and social: low capital investment,
rising population, poor distribution and
transportation, corruption, wars and conflicts.
21. Short term and long term effects of
• Malnutrition can cause long term and short
term problems to both young and adults.
• Diseases, poor immunity, inability to carry on
physical activity (work), growth impairment in
children, low brain development etc. leads to
low productivity and underdevelopment.
23. Solutions to food shortages:
• Food aid: it is the best short term strategy for a
country or region in crisis.
• 3 types of food aid –
• Relief food aid: delivered directly to people in
danger of a disaster.
• Programme food aid: provided directly to
governments (with conditions) for selling in retail
• Project food aid: target at specific groups of
people as part of long term development
24. Food aid facts
• USA and EU contribute 2/3 of food aid.
• Food aid is saving millions of people from starvation
• Receiving countries are mainly in Africa, but there are
also Asian and South American countries.
• UN WFP (world food programme) FAO (Food and
agricultural organization) and Food Aid Convention are
the major agencies.
• Criticisms: Highly subsidized or free food distribution in
Africa is destroying local farming and businesses,
allegations of GM foods which are not safe, high
transport and administrative costs, corruption.
25. Improving food supplies/ production
• Green revolution: improving the food production
through the introduction of technology, high
yielding varieties (HIY), fertilizers, GM crops,
• But it may cause environmental problems from
increased use of fertilizers, pesticides and water
leads to soil degradation.
• GM and HYV crops are often criticized for
destroying local varieties, lack of taste, increased
dependence on multinationals, high input costs.
26. Case study: Intensive rice cultivation in
• River Ganges flow from the Himalayas through Northern
India into Bangladesh to create a large delta.
• This delta is very fertile from the alluvium (brought by
floods) and is suitable for intensive rice farming.
• Growing rice is very labour intensive – rice paddies to be
constructed to hold water, dig channels for irrigation,
seedlings planted, weeds removed, control pests and
insects, fertilize and harvest.
• Most plots are small and are becoming smaller as the land
is divided among the children as the head of the house
• Therefore very few equipment is used. All the work is done
by humans and water buffalos.
27. • Green revolution stated in 1960s introduced new HYV
crops and new farming techniques.
• Output from the land increased, food prices fallen,
many farmers were able to produce surplus to sell and
they become rich. Poverty has come down.
• But it was not free from problems. HYVs need large
amount of water, fertilizers and pesticides. HYVs are
susceptible to disease and drought, more water is
diverted to rice farming, natural rice varieties were lost
and farmers have become dependent on
Multinationals for seeds, fertilizers and pesticides.
Input costs have gone up.
• Leisure: Any freely chosen activity that takes
place in non-work time.
• Tourism: The business or industry of providing
information, accommodations, transportation,
and other services to tourists.
• Domestic Tourist: Someone who goes on holiday
in the country that they are resident in (live in).
30. • international Tourist: Someone who goes on holiday to a
country they are not resident in e.g. they live in El Salvador
but go to the US for holiday.
• Resort: A type of large hotel that offers extra facilities like
swimming pools, spas, restaurants, bars, activities, etc.
• Package Holiday: This is when all aspects of a holiday e.g.
flights, hotel, transfers, etc. are included in one overall
• All-inclusive: A hotel or resort that includes everything e.g.
food, activities and drink in one overall price.
31. • Low-cost or Budget Airline: Airlines that
provide cheap flights by removing all add-ons
as standard and charging people if they want
then. For example if you want to check in at
the airport or check a bag into the hold,
reserve a seat or even eat food on the flight,
you have to pay extra.
32. Growth of Tourism
• Tourism is a rapidly growing industry and is
considered by many countries to be an
important development strategy.
• Currently the majority of international tourists
go to MEDCs, but many LEDCs are also seeing
rapid growth in tourism.
34. • Reasons for Growth in Tourism
• Leisure Time: Most workers now enjoy a two
day weekend and in addition are entitled to
several weeks annual holiday. This time can be
spent going on holiday.
• Paid Holiday: Not only do an increasing
amount of workers receive holiday, they are
also paid for it. This means that people do not
lose their weekly income by going on holiday
35. • Income: More and more people are working in
the secondary and tertiary sectors, where pay is
generally higher. Also many more females are
now working. This means that more people now
have money to spend on holidays (higher
• Transport: Air travel has become relatively
cheaper and there are now more airports open
for holiday flights. In addition road and rail
networks have opened up new tourist
36. • Advertising: People are now bombarded by holiday adverts
on the internet, television, radio, mobile phones,
billboards, etc. This makes people more aware of holiday
destinations and possibly more tempted to book them.
• Travel Programs: There are a huge amount of travel
programs on television so people are able to view
destinations that they have not heard of, tempting them to
• Tourist facilities: Tourist facilities have generally improved
and increased in number. There are now many more hotels
of all sizes and most have fairly standard services.
37. • Ease of Booking: The internet has now made
booking holidays much more straightforward.
Also package holidays allow people to pay one
price but have all aspects of their holiday paid
for e.g. flights, hotels, etc.
• Credit Cards: More and more people now own
credit cards which makes booking holidays
and paying for things in a foreign country
38. • Passport Ownership and Visa Regulations: More
people now own passports so are able to travel
and the process of obtaining visas is now much
• Retirement and Life Expectancy: People are now
living longer and remain healthier longer. An
increasing amount of people also retire with a
pension. This means that more people are fit
enough and healthier enough to go on holiday.
42. Reasons for Growth in LEDCs
• New Destinations: People are getting increasingly bored of
traditional locations and want to experience new and exotic
• Exchange Rates: LEDCs often have weaker currencies
making going on holiday to them a lot cheaper.
• Advertising/Ease of Booking: LEDCs now advertise
themselves much better and it is easier to book these
• Transport: Many countries have upgraded their transport
infrastructure making travel to them easier.
• Security: Many LEDCs are now much more stable with less
security worries so more people are prepared to go on
holiday to them.
43. A region may experience a decline in
tourism because of:
• Terrorism e.g. Bombing in Egypt, Bali
• Crime e.g. Mexico or even El Salvador
• Natural disasters e.g. tsunami in Indian Ocean
or hurricanes in the Caribbean
• Economic downturn e.g. recessions and debt
crisis in Europe
• War e.g. Afghanistan/ Syria
48. Benefits of tourism
• Tourism is a major source of foreign currency
to many countries
• Tourism benefits other sectors of the economy
like transport, banking, handicrafts,
• It’s a major source of tax revenue for the
• Helps to reduce rural-urban migration
• Tourism is the major employment generator
49. Problems of tourism
• Economic leakages: the money tourists spend
on a destination in an LEDC may go back to a
rich MEDC in the form of payments to
multinational hotel chains, airlines, tour
operators, payment to overseas employees,
foreign infrastructure development companies
etc. Up to 75% of the income goes elsewhere
in many LEDCs
50. problems of tourism
• Jobs are seasonal – unstable income and lack of job
• Locals are often lowly paid due to lack of education and
• Increased demand for goods and services can cause
• Increased dependence on tourism makes economy
vulnerable to shocks
• Increased pressure on infrastructure
• Depletion of natural resources, construction of resorts,
roads, and other infrastructure projects destroys forests,
landscape and animal habitats, increased use of plastic,
dumping of waste cause environmental problems
52. Mass tourism
• Mass tourism is when large number of tourists
visit the same destination on charter flights on
package holidays (all inclusive) mostly in short-
haul (less than 5 hours flight) destinations.
• Mass tourism brings in more income and
opportunities to the people in that area but it will
bring more environmental and social problems in
the form congestion, pollution, damage to the
local resources, and ecology.
53. Sustainable tourism or Ecotourism
• Ecotourism is aiming at encouraging tourism
while preserving and respecting the environment
• It is a sustainable one, often community base- no
trees cut down no concrete high rise buildings,
reducing energy and water consumption (no air
conditioning, swimming pools or bath tubs),
eating local food, buying local products and by
making sure that the money tourists spend is
benefiting the local communities not
56. Steps taken to make tourism more
sustainable and eco friendly
• National parks: World’s first National Park: Yellow
Stone National Park, USA established in 1872.
• Now there are over 1000 protected areas such as
National Parks, National Forests, Heritage sites
and wild sanctuaries worldwide.
• Theses places have special status and are
protected. No one is allowed to cut down trees or
hunt wild animals, build roads, or do any type of