In the past, agricultural produce could only travel short distances. New technologies in food transport and processes have made it possible for food handlers to move larger quantities of vegetables and fruits over longer distances. Developed countries heavily rely on fleets of trucks, ships and planes to transport vegetables and fruits over thousands of miles. Technology has therefore had a significant impact on the International Agribusiness. Refrigerated transport has made it possible for food handlers to ship perishable vegetables and fruits to any place in the world (Thompson 74). Technology has led to the creation of more innovative foods processing techniques. Such techniques may include extracting juice concentrates from fruits which ensures fruit products are available all year round regardless of the time of year.
Both regional trade agreements and consumer demand have significantly added to the amount of food in the international markets. In the early 19th century, ready access to fresh vegetables and fruits from different parts of the globe was still a great deal to most people. Recent studies that have been conducted on the food transport industry suggest that the convenience offered by the global food distribution should be weighed against the following factors: environmental and economic implications of transporting food over long distances, as well as, social and health factors.
Vegetables and fruits are transported over long distances for several reasons: first, transporting vegetables and fruits into international markets helps in providing food to densely populated areas. Such areas might not have otherwise acquired sufficient food locally. Transporting vegetables and fruits over long distances also helps in providing consumers with more varieties, as well as, capitalizes on the benefits of regions producing particular foods. According to the US Bureau of Statistics, transporting vegetables and fruits over long distances is very essential since each of the 8 million people living in cities have to consume over a ton of fresh food per year so as to meet the USDA nutritional requirements (Akridge 45).
This report focuses on analyzing new technologies in the food transportation industry. The report will evaluate cold chains and supply management issues within international agribusiness. This research will play a significant role in understanding international agribusiness and trade related issues related to a country. The paper will also evaluate regional trade agreements, security disputes and trade disagreements in international agribusiness (Newman 78).
Vegetables and fruits Transport in International Agribusiness
Most of the fresh produce in grocery stores and convenient stores are often filled with numerous types of vegetables and fruits from all over the world. Unlike in the past, there are always fresh vegetables and fruits irrespective of the season. Supermarkets and grocery stores also have a wider selection of fresh produce. New technologies in the food transport industry have played a significant role in ensuring food are delivered in different parts of the world. These new technologies in the transportation of vegetables and fruits are often based on two facts. First, these new technologies are a detailed knowledge of the physiology of the produce. Secondly, these technologies are based on the ability to preserve the fruit’s freshness, hence retaining their quality for a longer period of time especially after it has been harvested (Chambers 76).
Effective transportation ensures that the produce reaches its destination while they are still alive. New technologies ensure that such produce continues to breathe, respire hence lengthening their life even after harvesting. Transpiration is one of the major contributing factors that cause vegetables and fruits to shrink. When produce is removed from its normal sources of water and nutrients, they lose water and respiration changes cannot be prevented, new technologies, however reduces transpiration and increases the produce’s life.
Transporting vegetables and fruits has become an integral process in international agribusiness. This is attributed to the changes experienced in food processing and distribution industries. New technologies within these industries have added to the already extended food miles. Consequently, these technological advances directly affect smaller producers. Food distributors are often the middlemen tasked with the responsibility of getting food from the fields to retailing. These distributors pick up vegetables and fruits from food processors and temporarily store them in refrigerated warehouses. They later transport them to restaurants, groceries and supermarkets who then sell them to the final customer. In the past few years, food distributors and food processors have merged together resulting in fewer but larger food processing facilities in these industries. Most of these larger facilities may afford to make more purchases hence they have more purchasing power and may demand a more steady year round supply of fresh vegetables and fruits.
According to recent studies, the number of food transport vehicles would exceed 500 million by 2015 (Barnard 78). This calls for a more extensive use of smart transport technologies so as to optimize the traffic network and reduce the overall carbon footprint left by the trucks. Intelligent transport systems include those applications that offer traffic and fleet management. These applications also help fruits and vegetable distributors perform better and make safer and smarter decisions. New technologies in the transport sector include: satellite aided navigation systems, computerised toll collection, cameras for traffic surveillance, as well as, numerous logistic management commands.
New technology in international agribusiness focuses on three major facets, they are: the growth, maturation and senescence. New technologies in the growth process of vegetables and fruits encompass the stage from germination of the seed for the formation of the fruit or organ that is harvested as vegetables. New technologies in the growth process include developing seeds that are less likely to be affected by pests and diseases. Secondly, new technologies may be used immediately before growth has ceased and may include some of the early stages of fruit formation (Thompson 87).
Biochemical reactions may be used within the plant that precedes the harvest stage. Technology may also be used in senescence. Senescence is the period during which biochemical processes become derivative rather than synthetic and may lead to the death of tissues. Green house technologies have significantly increased fresh produce in international agribusiness. New equipment has come up to help industries process and distribute vegetables and fruits. Such equipments range from glass ovens to textile dyers, printing machines to waste incinerators. Planes, trains and trucks are now equipped with new technologies that has improved their instructiveness, safety and speed.
Supply Management Issues
This section will examine some of the most common vegetables and fruits supply management challenges. This will help develop a better understanding of some of the trade related issues in international agribusiness. The first challenge is identifying and applying the right metrics in managing the supply chain in an effective manner. This might be the most popular challenge among industries concerned with processing and distribution of vegetables and fruits. This challenge arises from disagreement about the right metrics to be used within the supply chain. Such disagreements are also very common within departments or program lines in an organization whereby mangers fail to agree on standardized calculations. The solution to this problem may be suing SCOR metrics which are the standard metrics in most supply chains. SCOR metrics enable line mangers to decide and choose the desired metrics to be used in a consistent and productive manner (Akridge 87).
Another challenge facing supply chain within international agribusiness is the inability to prioritize supply chain improvement efforts. Most companies within the agribusiness sector often struggle to find the right professional advice. This is mainly because problem solvers are scared and when they are available they are assigned those problems that often have the biggest impact on the business. This approach leads to inefficient standard approaches whereby every member within the supply chain has their own strategy that yields different results. Failure to prioritize supply chain improvement efforts may lead to internal politics and skills may be limited only to a few members within the supply chain. Fruits and vegetable industries should focus at creating better policies that develop strategic supply management initiatives (Barnard 78).
Lagging performance is another challenge within international agribusiness. Most industries within the agribusiness supply chain focus at reducing their operational costs, improving customer satisfaction, and strategically position themselves in the market. Some companies however, experience performance gaps particularly because of substandard metric systems. Performance gaps may be reduced by developing and implementing performance evaluation techniques. Performance evaluation helps in identifying those key factors that reduce the overall output and recommends steps to be taken to deal with such factors.
Another major challenge is increasing complexity in international agribusiness supply chain. Increased technologies, new technologies and better transport systems have significantly increased trade in international agribusiness. Companies are now serving more customers from different locations across the globe. These and factors such as increased variety of vegetables and fruits have resulted into increased complexity within the supply chain (Newman 78). The complexity may be measured by comparing previous network of suppliers to the current ones which has numerous warehouses, factories, customers and transporters. Increased complexity within a supply chain makes it hard for members to identify and address problems that may occur. Stakeholders in a complex supply chain may lack a standardised metric system or have very little information about the supply chain.
Complexity within supply chain systems does not only affect international agribusiness, other sectors are also affected as well. However, the complexity in international agribusiness is more prevalent due to lack of proper segmentation of products and customers. Lack of proper segmentation within the fruits and vegetable industry often leads to poor development of supply network strategies and processes. To deal with the complexities within the supply chain, fruits and vegetable processors and distributors should aim at developing a framework that reduces such complexity through lobbying with each other. Finally, retaining professionals within the fruits and vegetable supply chain may be a challenge.
Supply chain management in international agribusiness often covers multiple disciplines. These disciplines require an all round professional who possess unique managerial talents. Such talents if any are usually very difficult to retain since their deep understanding in planning, sourcing, distribution and manufacturing is also sought after by other supply chains particularly those in the technology sector (Newman 96). Recent studies on retaining key individuals within any supply chain chains have concluded that: The right individual at the right organization may be key in ensuring workers do not leave the organization seeking better pay or incentives from other companies.
International Agribusiness refers to the exchange of agricultural products across international borders. In most countries particularly the developing countries, such trade represents over ¾ of their GDP. International Agribusiness has been present through much of history; however, its social, political and economic importance’s has been realized in recent decades. Increased globalization, new technologies, better transportation systems and multinational corporations have had a major impact on International Agribusiness. Researchers have concluded that increasing International Agribusiness id crucial to the continuance of globalization particularly within the developing countries.
Without International Agribusiness, trade in most countries would be limited to products and services produced within their own borders (Akridge 96). In principle, International Agribusiness is not different from domestic agribusiness trade but the formal is more costly than the latter. This is largely because any trade across borders often involves several additional costs such as time costs, border delays, tariffs and customs. Most scholars have suggested that agribusiness is a division of agriculture that focuses on trading agricultural products rather than producing these products. Agribusiness involves the supply of seeds, agrichemicals, farm machinery, marketing and processing agricultural produce.
The current rise in population and development across the globe has forced industries within the international agribusiness to increase operational efficiency and productivity across the value chain. Businesses in international agribusiness have to establish strategies that aim at reducing risks and optimizing their returns. Technology has played a significant role in empowering producers, processors and distributors in growing and shaping better operating models that improves the overall performance.
Regional Trade Agreements
Regional trade agreements (RTA) help in addressing the current changes within the multilateral trading system in the agribusiness sector. Countries can engage in regional trade agreements with each other in an effort to remove trading obstacles (Chambers 36). RTA plays a critical role in enabling countries achieve higher levels of trade welfares by focusing on production whereby they are able to take advantage of technological inflows. Most of these technological inflows are facilitated by large scale trading which is only achievable through Regional trade agreements.
Regional trade agreements also help link smaller economies with larger economies. This enables such small economies implement their individual development strategies and invest in better opportunities. One of the biggest roles of regional trade agreements between countries is increasing market access beyond regional borders. This enables countries to expand their agribusiness beyond domestic domains (Barnard 74). Regional trade agreements therefore increase demand and returns for member countries which eventually facilitate specialization and promote technological innovations.
Regional trade agreements help trading countries improve their potential for export diversifications and growth which adds value to individual country’s products and services. Integration initiatives into regional trade agreements are often characterized by bilateral agreements with other countries or groupings within the region. Most regional trade agreements include partners that share the same interests (Akridge 32). The integration of new trade agreements into real trade gains however, depends on the state of an individual’s economy and existing policies. These policies include those that concern the regulatory framework and operations of financial markets. Governments must therefore help the private sector improve their market performance so as to strategically position them in the regional market.
Food Safety and Security Disputes
Food safety and security disputes have become more apparent over the past few decades. This may be attributed to climate change, globalized health disasters, as well as, overproduction by large multinationals in the food industry. The current struggle for control of the worldwide food supply between the USA and the EU has led to a serious transatlantic food dispute between the two economies (Akridge 32). The EU perception of food security is ensuring a sufficient quantity of food, but the US perception of food security is ensuring high sanitary levels of food and quality standards are maintained. Analyzing the current agribusiness trade dispute between the EU and the US helps in creating a better understanding of contemporary global food safety and security issues.
The European Union strategy in promoting its understanding of food safety and security is very different from that of the US. The World Trade Organization (WTO) may be the best organism to regulate these types of disagreements. WTO is endowed with several food safety and dispute bodies that make compulsory decisions. The organization oversees trade agreements in international agribusiness and establishes technical barriers to trade. Over the past few decades, WTO has constituted major progress over the current transatlantic relations which have become more adverse rather than supplementary (Barnard 74). Most of the interpretations offered by the different bodies within WTO are legal predictions on how different notions about food safety and disputes can co-exist with each other.
This section aims at examining trade disagreements within international agribusiness and how they are handled by the World Trade Organization. WTO processes and procedures in solving trade disagreements are critical in enforcing rules that ensure trade flows smoothly. Trade disagreements in international agribusiness often arise when a member country feels another state is violating one of their commitments they have made in the WTO. In most cases, the authors of these agreements include member states themselves or negotiations among members (Akridge 32). The responsibility of settling disputes within international agribusiness lies with member governments. These disputes however, have to be settled through the dispute settlement body which is an organ in the WTO.
Regional polices offer solutions in international agribusiness disagreements. It allows agribusiness to take a more integrated approach in trading that helps mitigate risks. With the proper strategies and policy frameworks, countries are better able to both manage their exposure and identify new opportunities in international agribusiness. Regional trade policies and frameworks help reduce disagreements that may arise between states. This is because policies dictate the execution strategy to be used in international agribusiness. They provide governance and trading operations are closely monitored.
For countries to co-exist with each other with minimal trade disagreements, they have to implement a strategic model that is proactive. Such a model will be key to higher performance and will assist in developing risk governance policies that ties together strategic and operational objectives. This often leads to agribusiness that can easily adapt and thrive in a changing or highly volatile market with minimal trade disagreements (Akridge 12).
Analysis of the frozen food industry
According to the WTO, the frozen food market was the biggest contributor of revenue in international agribusiness (Chambers 74). Frozen foods accounted for over 65 percent of the fruits and vegetable products imported in the US alone. Frozen foods comprise of fruits, vegetables and meat products. The WTO valued the demand for frozen foods at $ 250 billion in 2013 and is expected to reach $ 300 billion by 2020 with a growth rate of 4.2 percent from 2013 to 2020. Over the past few decades the frozen food supply chain has witnessed tremendous growth mainly because of increasing demand for easy to prepare foods and new product launches within the agribusiness supply chain.
Rising demand from emerging economies such as China, South Africa and India have also significantly contributed to the market growth of the frozen food sector. Government interventions and regulations have become a major restraint for growth within the frozen food supply chain. However, recent studies have shown that frozen foods made from organic ingredients offers more market opportunities for both processors and distributors in international agribusiness supply chains. For a long time, the supply networks for frozen foods by products has been dominated by frozen ready meals because of the wide range of products available. Recent studies have revealed that the frozen fruits sector is experiencing a rise in demand mainly because of new freezing technologies that allows processors and manufacturers to preserve the nutritional value of vegetables and fruits for longer periods.
Research has revealed that North America and Europe experienced 30 percent and 40 percent growth respectively in the frozen food sector from 2007 to 2013. This growth was driven by rising preference towards convenience foods and busy lifestyles. New markets in the frozen food industry include Brazil and Argentina and Asia (Akridge 10). The Asian Pacific market is estimated to be one of the most attractive markets for frozen foods because of its healthy growth rate and rising preference towards its frozen products.
For the last five years, the US has been the largest market for frozen vegetables and fruits accounting for over 80 percent. The US is closely followed by Japan and Germany. Statistics have shown that Brazil as the most attractive market for frozen vegetables and fruits. This is because the country has readily available raw materials making frozen products more accessible and affordable. The Brazil market is expected to experience a growth of 4.8 percent from 2013 to 2020.
Future trends in freezing technology
Studies in the frozen food industry have revealed that it is primarily based on modern technology and science. Several factors play a major role in the commercialization and usage of freezing technology. Future trends in the freezing technology are more likely to be affected by economical and technological factors. Increased population and personal incomes lead to higher cost of other forms of foods, as well as changes in tastes and preferences. Rising population growth has forced companies to improve their production of food commodities at a larger scale. The availability of better equipment has therefore become more valuable for the preservation of food.
Additionally, frozen foods have more economic significance depending on people’s income and the relative cost of frozen products. Industries within the agribusiness supply chain are now focusing on producing products that are of higher quality but at a lower price. Emerging trends in the industry are therefore characterized by developments in freezing technology which involve the improvement of mechanical handling and processes. These handling processes have played a critical role in increasing the freezing rate of such technologies while reducing their operational costs.
Currently, there is a rise in the demand for frozen foods. Expansion in the industry is highly dependent on the ability of manufacturers to develop higher qualities in food preservation and transportation methods. Development in the industry may be achieved by focusing on new technologies and identifying those factors that negatively affect the quality of frozen products. Improvements in new products and the availability of information can have a significant impact on the continued growth of the frozen food sector (Chambers 32).
Currently, there numerous well established traditional food preservation processes have survived through the 21st century. One of the most commonly used preservation process include thermal processes which offer higher levels of microbial safety. This process however, tends to degrade the overall quality of food. For a long time, freezing has enabled food processors and distributor store perishable produces without losing their nutritional values. Freezing however changes the physical state and consumes a lot of energy.
Food preservation is changing as new technologies continue to emerge. This change has been fuelled by the rising demand from customers, changing lifestyles and increased expectations from customers who want fresher and more natural foods. Customers also want foods with fewer preservatives and those that are free from artificial additives. Processing films and distributors are also seeking for food preservation methods that consumes less energy and have a lower impact to the environment. These growing demands from customers and industries within the agribusiness supply chain have increased the interest for non thermal methods of food preservation. Emerging trends in the freezing technology may include using more advanced bio preservatives, ionizing radiation treatment and higher hydrostatic pressure treatments.
Recent research on the application of polyphenols has attracted several industries within the agribusiness supply chain. Polyphenols have numerous health benefits when integrated in frozen foods. Future effectiveness of polyphenols however, depends on their effectiveness to preserve the stability and bioactivity of frozen vegetables and fruits. New technologies in the encapsulation of polyphenols into frozen vegetables and fruits include coacervatio and liposome entrapment. The food industry has grown to become one of the most significant branches in the Word trade Industry, as well as, in most countries.
It is concerned with the processing and distribution of agricultural produce. Traditionally, the industry was considered as a low research intensity sector. Despite this, several innovations have been recognized as significant instruments for industries within the agribusiness supply chain to effectively satisfy their customers’ expectations. Future trends in the frozen food industry may also be fuelled by the steady increase in life expectancy, as well as, the desire of most people to eat healthier foods.
Freezing technology in developing countries
Studies carried out by the WTO in 2010 suggested that the US was the most dominant in international agribusiness. The organization ranked the country at number one as both the importer and exporter. The US accounts for the highest percentage in fresh produce globally. However, developing countries heavily rely on the export of fresh exotic vegetables and fruits to more developed states. For most third world countries, the application of frozen technology is highly favourable with several considerations.
The freezing process may be viewed as one of the most convenient and easiest food preservation technique when compared to other commercial preservation techniques. The availability of different food processing equipments has resulted in a more flexible food processing framework. This framework minimizes the degradation of the initial food quality with the proper application of freezing technologies.
Several economists have suggested that higher capital investments in the freezing industry may play a significant role in terms of economic feasibility within the developing countries. The overall freezing process and storage can constitute about 10 percent of the total costs accrued by most developing countries. Energy costs especially for producers may be standardized by lowering the unit price or even by reducing the tax percentage with the aim of enhancing production. It is therefore important to conspire the costs related to energy consumption when evaluating the economic conveniences of the frozen food sector within the developing countries.
Freezing within the developing countries has now become a widespread commercial procedure in the long term preservation of perishable foods. This is because frozen technology retains food quality and is more convenient when compared with other conventional food preservation techniques. Freezing vegetables and fruits often entails lowering their immediate temperatures to about -20°C. This allows developing countries to trade exotic fruits such as mangos, banana and pineapple pulps in frozen from across the globe. The potential application of the freezing technology in the agribusiness supply chain has increased within developing countries especially in Africa.
Freezing techniques that are being developed for third world countries have had a significant impact on the overall quality of frozen foods. This is because these technologies allow the water content from exotic vegetables and fruits to be frozen in fine grain crystals hence, avoiding any damage to tissues. Freezing technologies developed in the third world countries also play a critical role in inhibiting the microbiological processes that might spoil the produce.
International agribusiness packaging and transportation
There are numerous factors that transport companies within the international agribusiness should consider. Some of these factors include: The overall protection of the vegetables and fruits from atmospheric oxygen, prevention of excessive loss of moisture and heat transfer through the packaging materials used. Scientist recommends two main packaging methods: the dry pack and the tray pack. The dry pack packaging method involves balancing and draining vegetables and fruits that have been put into meal sized freezer bags and packed tightly to reduce the amount of air inside the package.
The tray pack method uses vegetables and fruits that have been chilled and placed in a single layer in shallow pans or trays. Trays are then placed inside freezers until the vegetables become firm after which they can be removed. Vegetables and fruits can then be filled in containers for transport. Tray packed foods are often more convenient for the final customer since they rarely freeze instead they remain loosely distributed within the pack.
Vegetables and fruits that become exposed to oxygen may become susceptible to oxidative degradation. This may result in browning and reduced storage of both vegetables and fruits during processing and transport. Packaging of frozen vegetables and fruits focuses at excluding air from the fruit and vegetable tissues. The oxygen is then replaced with sugar solutions or inert gases through two major processes: the first process is the glucose oxidisation which entails using up all the oxygen in the produce. The second process utilizes the vacuum technology that employs oxygen impermeable films to remove all the oxygen in the produce.
Most food processors use plastic bags, pots or bags as their preferred packaging materials. The choice of the packaging materials to be used is often dictated by the concentration and thickness of individual fruits or vegetables. There are other types of fruit packs suitable for frozen vegetables and fruits. Some of the most commonly used include: sugar pack, syrup pack and tray packs (Akridge 32). The type of pack used is highly dependent on the intended use of the fruit or vegetable. Syrup packed vegetables and fruits generally use for cooking purposes while dry packed or tray packed vegetables and fruits are commonly used for serving raw garnishes and salads.
Transportation of vegetables and fruits in international agribusiness has been often dependant on the type of packaging used by the food processors. Fruits transported at their peak flavour and texture is often transported to their destination by air. This is because air transport is faster and such vegetables and fruits are intended for use within a short period of time after they have been harvested. Research has shown that postharvest delays in transporting vegetables and fruits may lead to their deterioration in both flavour and texture.
Transportation delays are therefore reduced when dealing with fruits ad vegetables tat are at their peak with the aim of rationing their quality prior to their consumption. Some transportation companies opt to cool vegetables and fruits by using cold water, ice or air blasting during shipping. These techniques are known to offer extra hours of high quality retention particularly when transporting produces over longer distances. The process is however better suited when transporting produce from the field to the food processing plant.
Globalization and the food transportation industry
Globalization has had significant impact on international agribusinesses. Globalization has had a specific focus on better transportation systems of vegetables and fruits. It has also affected people’s lifestyles linking them to similar diets. Globalization has linked different stakeholders within the agribusiness supply chain leading to rapid shifts on transportation techniques used. Globalization has changed how the mechanics in the agribusiness supply chain interrelate with each other. This is because of more stringent performance evaluation techniques that aim at increasing quality at all levels of the supply chain (Chambers 78).
Globalization has facilitated the growth of the food transport industry. Improved communication and freight systems have played a key role in transporting over 90 percent of goods and services within the international agribusiness supply chain. Technology is one of the key drivers of globalization. The internet has connected suppliers and buyers from all over the world. Technology has also been the key driver in the frozen food sector. Globalization has created a near perfect market in international agribusiness. This market allows brutal competition among suppliers and encourages a reliable flow of vegetables and fruits within the global food supply chain. In conclusion, globalization has been a key element in the continued growth in the international agribusiness supply chain.
There are numerous factors affecting the food transportation industry. Among the many factors affecting international agribusinesses, transformational factors may be the least understood. This is largely because food transportation reflects both the complexity of freight rate structures and the extensive interplay of transformational charges and the cost of raw materials. Different theories have been formulated that revolve around the cost of transportation and land (Barnard 74). One such theory is the location theory by Von Thumen. He attempted to explain why specific agricultural produce is grown in a particular plot of land. The theory substitutes land costs for transportation costs until it obtains the least cost combination.
Challenges in international agribusiness
One of the most notable emerging challenges in international agribusiness is food security and safety. According to recent studies by the UN, food production have to increase with over 70 percent by the year 2040 (Chambers 47). This is because the population growth is expected to rise by 7 percent reaching over 9 billion people by the year 2040. Another challenge is an energy demand in international agribusiness supply chains. This has been brought about by the current decrease in fossil energy and increasing energy prices. More countries particularly the developed countries have shifted their focus into alternative sources of energy such as bio energy. Bio energy consumes a significant amount of agricultural produce. More agricultural produce will be used in the next few years with the projected rise in energy demand.
One of the challenges is Multifunctionality of international agribusiness and the intersection with global concerns which results in loss of biodiversity and the ecosystem. Mutlifunctionality within the agricultural sector includes corroborations with other industries such as the transport sector or science research centres. Currently, several functions exist within international agribusiness. Most of these functions aim at delivering component technologies that increase productivity. Increased Multifunctionality in international agribusiness reduces specialization and division of labour. This leads to more goods and services that are not consumer oriented; instead they are more market oriented.
One of the biggest challenges in agribusiness is the availability of agricultural land. The world must double its food supply due to the projected increase in population. Increased urban developments in agricultural rich areas have had a significant impact on crop production. Another challenge is the rising levels of population across the globe. This has led to an increase in demand within the international agribusiness market. An increase in demand often results in an increase in commodity prices within the entire supply chain. Water scarcity is also another challenge in international agribusiness. With the rising population and increase in urban developments, the proportion of domestic water consumption has also significantly increased. Improperly disposed water from urban centres and industries has also reduced the overall quality of water resources in most regions.
Soil degradation is also another challenge in international agribusiness. The severity and scope of soil degradation has continued growing in most parts of the world. Desertification, bad farming practices and land deprivation are some of the factors behind soil degradation. Land degradation has a significant impact on productivity within international agribusiness. Failure to embrace change has also affected the agribusiness supply networks. Some industries within the supply chain are unwilling or unable to adapt to technological changes. These changes play a significant role in increasing the overall output and reduce commodity prices within the supply chain (Newman 74).
Emerging trends in the farming sector have also contributed to some of the challenges within the food supply chain. Currently, numerous investors are shifting their focus from farming to other industries which are deemed more profitable and less risky such as technology and banking. If this trend continues, the number of farming projects will significantly reduce due to lack of capital. Recent studies have revealed that over 40 percent of farmers in the US want to give up farming. This is because they feel it is no longer as rewarding as before.
Akridge, Jay. Agribusiness Management Fourth Edition. New York: Routledge, 2012. Print.
Barnard, Freddie. Agribusiness Management Fourth Edition. New York: Routledge, 2012. Print.
Chambers, Maiko. Global Agribusiness Resource Guide: Government Assistance for International Investment, Joint Ventures and Trade. New York: Abt Associates,, 2010. Print.
Newman, Mark. Research in Domestic and International Agribusiness Management . New York: JAI Press, 2001. Print.
Thompson, Keith. Controlled Atmosphere Storage of Fruits and Vegetables. New York: CABI, 2010. Print.
Thompson, Augistin. Fruit and Vegetables: Harvesting, Handling and Storage. Boston: John Wiley & Sons, 2008. Print’.
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U.S. farmers and workers in the 1890s
Problems faced by U.S. farmers and workers in the 1890s
In the 19th century, United States workers and farmers struggled economically because of several external factors that facilitated agricultural depression. First, they suffered problems due to the influence of the rich, where farmers were exploited through high charges to ferry their crops by railroad, whereas bankers charged them high interest rates. On the other hand, workers were abused by the factory owners who forced them to work in harsh conditions for little pay. Another problem faced involved increased machinery costs. Despite the emergence of new technologies, such as farm equipment that would facilitate farmers’ high production, they faced cost-related problems in agricultural problems that made the venture unprofitable; imposed tariffs on machinery raised their cost, making them too expensive for small farmers. Bad weather represented another problem; most of the farmers suffered productivity problems because of unfavorable weather. The government offered land a fact that made it difficult for farmers to produce effectively, due to tenure and motivation problems. With increases in debt and the need to develop farming, most farmers required loans, and the only option was mortgage companies. These companies enforced high interest rates because of a policy that restricted national banks to offer loans on farmland and real estate. Eventually, most of the farmers were not able to settle their loans due to underproduction as well as falling prices (Miller, 1996).
In order to solve some of these issues, both farmers and workers tried communal action to restructure their operations. For workers, they attempted to create unions and engage in strategies such as strikes to pressure for better conditions and pay. Farmers joined unions such as Grange and Farmers’ Alliances. In addition, both groups turned to political action, where farmers mainly joined the Populist Party during the 1890s. This party pushed for government controls and policies in favor of farmers, in order to promote agriculture and the profitability of farming.
Miller, R. (1996). Farmers and Third Party Politics in America. Retrieved from http://clio.missouristate.edu/wrmiller/Populism/Texts/farmers_and_third_party_politics.htm
U.S. FARMERS AND WORKERS IN THE 1890S 3
Running head: U.S. FARMERS AND WORKERS IN THE 1890S 1
Paul, O’Mara. The Significance of Livestock as a Contributor to Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions today and in the Near Future. The Animal Feed Science and Technology Journal, 166(167): 7-15, 2011.
F.P O’Mara authored the Animal Feed Science and Technology journal titled The Significance of Livestock as a Contributor to Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions, today and in the Near Future in 2011. The Irish Agricultural and Food Development Authority, whose head office is located in Oak Park in Ireland, published it. The author asserts that agricultural activities due to animal keeping contribute between eight to ten percent of global greenhouse gases, with livestock accounting for at least eighteen percent. Continents and regions affected by such high percentages with regard to emitted greenhouse gases include Africa, Western Europe, North America and Latin America. The author affirms that greenhouse gases emitted globally, mainly from cattle, affect food production, with food production in this context referring to meat and milk. The following regions were hardly affected: Western and Eastern Europe, non-EU nations, the former Soviet Union, and North America, while Asia, Africa, and Latin America were listed as the most adversely affected as their food production reduced.
The author states that in the near future, emission gases due to livestock keeping are likely to increase due to increasing global population and, consequently, rising demands for food. Although the estimated increase was rated at thirty percent by 2020, the author affirms that if mitigation procedures are properly formulated and implemented in relation to available technologies, they can be cost-effective and efficient in reducing emitted greenhouse gases. Thus, this journal was authored as an attempt to find a balance between greenhouse gases emitted and food production. The author was assisted to proofread and edit the journal by Liam Kinsella and Gary Lanigan.
Paul, O’Mara. The Significance of Livestock as a Contributor to Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions today and in the Near Future. The Animal Feed Science and Technology Journal, 166(167): 7-15, 2011.
Distribution ensures that products are available to consumers when they need them. A channel of distribution is a group of organizations and individuals that direct the flow of goods and services from producers to customers (Cant 407). This paper I will look at the distribution channel used by farmers to sell their products in America. Usually, the farmers sell their products to wholesalers who sell to retailers who finally sell the product to the customer. Selling to wholesalers is an indirect channel of distribution. The producer has no direct contact with the customer neither the customer with the producer. If the customer has a complaint about the product, they voice it via the wholesaler or the retailers. There are advantages of involving intermediaries but not as many as the advantages that are associated with working with no intermediaries. To the producer, the intermediary deals with the customer and takes care of any extra needs the customers that are outside the usual business dealing. However dealing with the customers is not a bother’. It has great benefits both to the customer and the producer. It improves the relationship and the customer and the producer. Customers are also able to negotiate directly with the producer. This channel of distribution targets the hotel owners who buy produce for cooking in their hotels. Some people may argue that selling to hotel owners is not selling to the final consumer but in a way it is. The hotel owners do not sell the vegetables raw but cooked so in this case they are the final consumer of the raw product. The hotel owners will profit from buying directly from the farmer and not through intermediaries like supermarkets. Buying directly from the producer ensures that the consumer buys fresh produce and buys it at a cheaper price. On the other hand, the producer is able gain more profit by selling to the customer at relatively higher price than they sell to the retailer.
As mentioned above, the current channel in this market is an indirect channel of two levels involving the wholesaler, the retailer, and finally the consumer (Florkowski p 304). The wholesaler buys in bulk from the farmer and sells it in smaller quantity to the customer who finally sells it in a smaller consumable portion to the hotel owner. I hereby propose the selling of farm produce from the farmer to the hotel owners. The product will still be the same since the retailers do not enhance it in any way. This channel of distribution is inexpensive in terms of money and time. The hotel owner takes less time to get the product and get the produce when they need them. The hotel owners are loyal customers. Change in the distribution channel from indirect channel to zero or a direct channel will only increase the customer loyalty (Jefferys 197). The customers will feel as part of the process if they are involved with the producer at a personal level. There are many benefits that the hotel owners can derive from this channel of distribution. The products become cheaper when there are no intermediaries involved. Intermediaries tend to increase the original price of the product. The produce is also fresh when it is bought directly from the farmer. In terms of access, the hotel owners will be able to access produce faster as opposed to when they would have used intermediaries. Buying directly from the farmer ensures efficient accessibility to the consumer.
This change in the distribution channel will also have a positive impact on the business. Reducing the number of intermediaries for the product will lead to a reduction on the product price (Kormawa 31). This will mean that the farmer will have reduced the price of their produce from the usual amount that the customer uses to buy the same product from the retailer. Reducing the price will create a competitive advantage and increase the competitive edge of the farmers. The hotel owners will be drawn to the farmers because of the low prices of their products. Fresh produce is also another advantage that will increase the farmer’s competitiveness. Hotel owners will be drawn to the farmers because they offer fresh products that will go for a longer period without going bad. The farm produce will be delivered from the farmers to the hotel owners using trucks. This channel reduces the members involved vertically. He main members are wholesalers, retailers and producers. My suggested channel will cut out the wholesalers and retailers from this distribution channel.
3-5 years from now, this channel change if adapted will have made some positive changes in West Michigan. From the hotel owners’ perspective, profits will have increased with reducing the cost of production. From the producer’s perspective, profits will increase with increasing the selling price and he amount of products. This increase in profit from both the consumer and the producer will lead to creation of employment as businesses will expand. Investments will also be increased as there will be extra income from the increased profits (Rolnicki, p 18).
Cant, M C. Marketing Management. Cape Town, South Africa: Juta, 2006. Print.
Florkowski, Wojciech J, Stanley E. Prussia, Robert L. Shewfelt, and Bernhard Brueckner. Postharvest Handling: A Systems Approach. Burlington: Elsevier, 2009. Internet resource.
Jefferys, James B, Margaret Maccoll, and G L. Levett. The Distribution of Consumer Goods: A Factual Study of Methods and Costs in the United Kingdom in 1938. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. Print.
Kormawa, Patrick M.-N. Promoting Market-Led Agricultural Technology Transfer and Commercialization in Nigeria. Ibadan, Nigeria: Rural Sector Enhancement Program, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, 2003. Print.
Rolnicki, Kenneth. Managing Channels of Distribution: The Marketing Executive’s Complete Guide. New York: AMACOM, American Management Association, 1997. Print.
Agriculture in Saudi Arabia
The development of agriculture in Saudi Arabia has improved significantly in the contemporary times as compared to the way it was some decades back. Though the country is dry and arid in nature, the country harbors areas that have climatic conditions favoring agriculture. The government has been in the forefront of helping the farmers and also the population by helping in the converting of arid areas into agricultural zones. This has generally been aided by the implementation of major irrigation projects and also by adopting large scale mechanization. This has been vital in the developmental of agriculture in Saudi Arabia as it has replenished the previously desert land into cultivatable land. In the contemporary times, agriculture has flourished such that the country is involved in agricultural export where wheat, dates, fruits and vegetables among other agricultural products are sold to other countries around the world. The government commits heavily to the agricultural industry and the ministry of agriculture is mandated with formulating policies that guides agriculture in the country. The private sector at the same time, takes part in agricultural farming since the government offers loans and other necessities to then to engage in agriculture. The aim of this paper is intended to explore agriculture in Saudi Arabia citing its history and effects in the lives of the Saudis.
Historical Background of agriculture in Saudi Arabia
The onset of agriculture in full capacity started in the 1970s when the government of Saudi Arabia took control of the project as a sign of helping the citizens to be self sufficient. Prior to this time, the government had tried to entice people to engage in agriculture in 1927 when it exempted taxes and custom duties to all agricultural equipments and this initiative had lasted up to 1932. The government used to buy farm machinery and then sold them to the farmers at subsidized rates on long term loans. The government also sold and let land to farmers at nominal prices to help farmers to be able to purchase and farm in their lands. To address the issue of the lack of water during those times, the government dug wells and also contacted people and agencies with agricultural competencies to train farmer on the best methods to apply in farming. This was aimed at trying to transit the farmers from the traditional methods of agricultural and Pastoralist to the modern agricultural methods. Directorate of agriculture was established in 1948 through the royal decree of 1954 so that it could manage and develop agricultural production in the country. Key sectors relating to agriculture were introduced including fisheries, water, research, finance and agricultural administration.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Saudi government took it to task to restructure the agriculture setting in Saudi Arabia. This was done by formulating the main objectives of agriculture which were food security through self sufficient and rural homes improvements. In the events of government support, various patterns of food production emerged and these included the traditional agricultural production and the large scale production. The traditional agricultural regions did not benefit from the developmental programs and the financial support from the government led to the large scale production of agricultural products. These were managed by rich locals and foreign companies.
Forms of agriculture in Saudi Arabia
There are two typed of agriculture that is carried out in Saudi Arabia. This includes the traditional agricultures together with the nomadic pastoralists as well as the modern agriculture. Though the current system comprise of both the traditional and the modern methods, there is a distinguishable character between the small scale and the large scale producers. Because of the irregularity of rainfall, in the past many people opted to be nomads. Therefore these traditional people mostly kept livestock as a source of livelihood. When government stepped in, there was the change from pastoralist to mixed farming. Under this method, the people started farming since they could not find water easily and at the same time kept animals. As time went by, the nomadism declined because of political and economic factors and sedentarization took over where tribal groupings emerged. The new legal structures brought about land distribution. This led to the start of commercial and large scale production though this took place in the 1990s. As the population increased, so was commercial farming and this brought about mixed farming where agricultural production flourished bringing forth the modern farming methods including the cash crop growing.
Reasons that made Saudi engage in agriculture
Despite the extreme weather conditions in the Saudi Arabia, the government saw it best to engage in agriculture so that the supply of food products to the citizens could be met. This being the case, various reasons have been put forward to explain the reasons being the onset of agriculture in Saudi. One of the main reasons which prompted Saudi to engage in agriculture despite the arid situation was the need for food independence. In Saudi Arabia, food independence is deemed to have a national appeal and therefore, it helps the country take control of its own political and economic destinations.
There was also a vital reason that made agriculture flourish in Saudi Arabia. The relocation of some people led to the introduction of farming. The increase of population may also have led to the government to initiate farming as well as reducing overreliance of imports. At the same time, some people in the ruling class wanted to enrich themselves and so they engaged in farming since it seemed lucrative business.
For agriculture to be effected and implemented fully in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, several measures have been put in order to cater for the self sufficiency of the people of Saudi in terms of food production. Apart from the conservation of the underground water as well as the surface water, the ministry responsible for agriculture has undertaken various measures that include the following. There is an ongoing program to train farmers on the use of modern technology including the use of machines and seedlings. This has been aimed at helping the farmers to yield higher crops that are pest resistance as well as those that are able to withstand the climatic condition of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. At the same time, researchers have come up with better means of exterminating insects through the modern technology.
Various centers have been established within the kingdom where farmers report so that they can be taught, see and get the various ideas concerning agriculture. Seminars and open days are held where the farmers are taught on the best ways to practice agriculture. The government has also established nursery beds where interested farmers can buy seedlings for their crops at a reasonable price. These seedlings are vital in the sense that they are of the best quality and therefore they help in the production of quality output. The provisions of fertilizers and other chemicals at reasonable prices has helped to improve of agriculture in Saudi. These chemicals provide the latest technology chemical’s that help the farmers in producing quality yields. The government has also committed to do research for and experiments on the lands, animals and plants so that they could come up with the best alternatives that could be used to increase the yields of the Saudis.
Agriculture and water
the fact Because Saudi Arabia is known to have no permanent rivers, lakes and with little or no rainfall, the country still uses water for various uses including irrigation. Where does this water comes from? It should be known that water is extremely valuable in Saudi and the demand for water both for domestic consumption and farming is on the rise. This being the cas3e, the country utilizes various options but mainly the following. The ministry of water and electricity of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia have utilized the services of the aquifers as the main sources of electricity. An Aquifer is an underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock or unconsolidated materials from which groundwater can be extracted using a water well (Karamouz, 2012).These underground reservoirs are vast and the government started locating them since 1970s. As a result, the government has dug thousands of such aquifers in most of the areas both for agricultural and domestic usage.
Another major source of water in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the sea (Chai, 2006). Sea contains salty water and water from the sea is obtained through desalination which is a process that produces potable water from the blackish sea water (Zuhur, 2011). This water after being taken through purification is used for agricultural use. It should be noted that Saudi Arabia is the largest producer of desalinated water in the world. In the country, SWCC (the Saline Water Conversion Corporation), operates 27 stations in Saudi that produces in excess of three million cubic meters of portable water per day. The capacity of these plans provides almost 70% of the water used in the city and is a source of electric power generation.
Apart from the aquifers and the desalinated water, the country also gets water from dams. Dams were created to capture rain water during the rainy seasons or after frequent flash floods. The country has in excess of 200 dams that have the capacity of holding 16 billion cubic feet’s of runoff water annually during the rainy season. Somme of these dams have been located in Wadi Jizan, Wadi Fatima, Wadi Bisha and Najran (Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, 2013) and the water obtained from these dams are solely used for irrigation and it is distributed through irrigation canals to the irrigated lands.
Because of the scarcity of water in the kingdom, recycled water is used for irrigation purposes. It is believed that 40% of the water that is used in domestic and urban places is recycled again to be used in the urban parks and irrigation schemes. Some of the recycling plants in Saudi are located in Riyadh, Jeddah, and other places in the urban industrial centers.
Agriculture in Saudi Arabia has seen milestones in terms of development. The 1970s are said to be the years when there was the development of agriculture in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The government launched extensive technology base approaches that helped in the promotion of agriculture. In this the government established rural roads, irrigation networks and export facilities as well as storage facilities to encourage agricultural production. It also encouraged agricultural research as well as training of farmers on the best farming methods.
The result of this was the vast production of basic foods with substantial amount of meat, eggs, and milk. The increased food production also led to a great proportional decrease in imports and led to various products being exported from the country including wheat, dates, dairy products, eggs, flowers among other products to the international markets.
The country has been able to support aquaculture either using pens in the sea or onshore tanks. These fish pens ate mostly found d along the coast through companies like the national shrimp company. The country has also been able to establish wheat production such that it no longer imports wheat but rather exports to other countries. By 1984 the company was self sufficient in wheat production and had begun exporting the same to more than 30 countries including china and the former USSR. This is grown in areas around Tabuk, Hasim and Qasim. Irrigation farming has also led to the growing of barley, millet and sorghum, though this has been reduced as a way of conserving water. Through irrigation and the large scale farming, the country has been able to produce fruits enough for local and international consumption. Fruits and vegetables that include water melons, grapes, and citrus are produced and sold to the neighbors. At the same time some tropical fruits like bananas, pineapples, paw paws and guavas are also produced at Jizan. Locals have been transformed through the diversification of the food production in the region. The production of dates is in large scales and it is used as international humanitarian aid.
Threats of agriculture in Saudi Arabia
Despite the growing food production In Saudi, the increase in population triggers the increase of food production as well as other agricultural products in Saudi Arabia. The increase in food consumption as well as the composition of the food produced has affected the food demanded as well as the development of the agricultural industry. In this case, there is the challenge of then dwindling climatic conditions that in the recent years constrained the agricultural sector. This has led to low productivity and this translates to the country opting other measures like the import of basic products.
It is worth noting that the increased temperatures due to global warming have led to decreased precipitation and this is also likely to affect the agricultural sector in Saudi. The increased temperatures have been decreasing the amount of water in the underground and this has led to the reduction of water in the reservoirs as well as the recycled water. This is likely to affect food and more precisely the irrigation in Saudi Arabia thus posing as a great danger on the future of the country.
Reinforcing agriculture in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia
The initiatives taken by the government have aided the country’s agricultural sector in achieving productivity. This has been enabled by the government’s initiatives to provide soft, interest free loans as well as technical services. One of the contributions of the government includes the loc cost water, fuel and also electricity. Other benefits include the duty free imports on raw materials as well as machineries. The government has encouraged the joint ventures and ownership of companies that deals with the agricultural production and these companies have been exempted from paying taxes for a maximum period of ten years. Other investment incentives have been put forward to help the country be self sufficient in most of the food products as well as having the provisions to export.
The ministry of agriculture as a way of reinforcing the agriculture sector has been frequently been undertaking research, development and extension services to the farmers as a way of helping them increase their knowhow as well as learn new means of agriculture. At the same time, the Saudi Arabian agricultural bank has been providing the farmers and other investors in the agricultural sectors with subsidies as well as granting interest free loans. Companies like the grain silos and flour mills organization that was established in 1972 is mandated with the purchasing and storage of wheat, the construction of flour mills and the production of animal feds in order to support the national growth of agriculture.
At the same time, the government has encouraged the participation of the private sector to invest in the agricultural sector. This has been made possible through the government allocating financial resources so that infrastructures can be improved that links the consumer markets and the production areas. The government has also initiated the land reclamation and distribution program whereby fallows land is distribute free of charge in small plots as a way of increasing the land for cultivation. This is aimed at encouraging crop as well as animal production. Under this method, the beneficiaries are required to develop the piece of land within two to five years and if the person complies fully with the regulations, then full ownership are awarded to the person.
The government as a way of boosting the farmers has been assisting new farmers in the implementation of capital intensive projects so that they may be able to diversify as well as increase efficiency. Another initiative that the government is taking towards improving the agricultural sector is through the provision of funds and support for research projects that are aimed at producing new food crops to increase harvest and also to develop plant strains that have greater resistance to pests. The programs are made possible through the collaboration of the local farmers and the researchers and scientists who are found at agricultural research facilities at the Saudi Arabian universities and colleges.
Agriculture in Saudi Arabia has greatly improved the lives as well as the economic status of the country. In the contemporary times, agricultures has been enhanced due to the government’s involvement and the will of the people. The commitment that the government puts in the agricultural sector including the availability of water, land, machineries as well as the technology has greatly helped improve the agricultural sector. Despite the aridity of the place, various sources of water have been provided including aquifer, recycling of waste water as well water collected during the sporadic rainfall season. The government has taken various measures to enhance agricultural productivity through improving the infrastructure, providing finances as well as undertaking research and development so as to help farmers produce quality products.
Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, (2013). Water resopurces; About Saudi Arabia retrieved on 29th October 2013 from http://www.saudiembassy.net/about/country-information/agriculture_water/Water_Resources.aspx
Chai, W. (Ed.). (2006). Saudi Arabia: A Modern Reader. University Press.
Zuhur, S. (2011). Saudi Arabia. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO.
Karamouz, M., & Nazif, S. (2012). Hydrology and Hydroclimatology: Principles and Applications. CRC Press.
AGRICULTURE IN SAUDI ARABIA 5
Running Head: AGRICULTURE IN SAUDI ARABIA 1
Friendly Policies on Soil Use
The policy on soil use system involves favorable applications of measures on soil. Soil is a natural resource, and comprise of various elements that add to its value. Human beings depend on soil for their entire survival. The policy on safe mode land use system is desirable for any application on soil. Soil being precious, requires conservation as well as improvements, as it depreciates with time. The value of land is dependent on the policy framework applied. Friendly policies on land use are elemental to all land users, who partially or wholly engage in land operations. According to this policy; proper land use articulates for productivity, while retaining its output level. For instance, excessive use of fertilizer or careless damping of waste materials on land deteriorates its quality. This policy, among others assure high discipline standard on land use, even as pressure on land skyrockets.
Sure land use policies are practices instigated to control the activities of land users. Land users include; private farmers, domestic families, and the governments. Activities taking place on land include farming, mining, and fishing, among other activities. The effect of this policy on land users is to curtail their adverse activities in land use. Legislative stipulations outlined in this policy gives the government express authority on those engaging in poor land use system. Punishments covered include; jail term of not less than two years, or fines of $100000, or surety of the same.
Based on this policy, I would recommend to decision makers to instill more discipline on land use, since the society stands to use it for generation to come. Poor land users deserve punishment, and in such cases, they must bear the full responsibility of violating the law. Companies must equally manufacture fertilizers that have no side effects on land.
Genetically Modified Food
The production of genetically modified foods has been a controversial issue worldwide. Many people, organizations, and governments have been against it, while others have embraced the production of such foods. Most of the people have little understanding of genetically modified organism and foods, which are often portrayed as being dangerous to human health. The production of genetically modified food is widespread across the world and has been beneficial in a variety of ways. This paper therefore seeks to explore the purpose of human-made genetic recombination in food, and evaluate whether taking such food risks the health and safety of humans. This paper also provides a list of foods resulting from genetic recombination, and explains the types of regulations that govern the production and consumption of these foods.
Genetically modified food is a food product derived in wholly or partly from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) such as crop plants, animals, and microbes. The GMOs are plants or animals whose genetic makeup has been altered by scientists through the introduction of Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) from living organisms, bacteria or viruses belonging to different species with the aim of getting the desired trait such as resistance to drought.
Artificial genetic recombination in foods has resulted out of necessity due to increasing challenges facing the world production of food. One of these challenges was the increase in pests and diseases that negatively affected agricultural production across the world thus threatening global food security. Scientists therefore had to come up with a long-term solution to reduce the vulnerability of crops and animals to pests and diseases with the aim of promoting global food production. The solution to this was altering the genes of these plants and animals with the DNA from different species that have high resistance to pests and diseases. The result of this scientific process was the production of plants and animals that are resistance to a variety of pests and diseases, which had been affecting agricultural production. Genetically modified foods are therefore safe from a variety of destructive pests and diseases, and thus require less pesticides and herbicides that are generally expensive.
The majority of the staple foods do not provide sufficient amounts of a nutrient that is essential in preventing malnutrition. Genetic recombination in food has become the best solution to malnutrition as it allows introduction of required vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients that are critical in preventing nutritional deficiencies, especially in developing countries (Bouis, 2007, p. 79-81). The nutritional value of genetically modified foods is therefore higher as compared to the natural one. Genetic recombination of foods has facilitated production of plants and animals that can withstand weather extremes. Global warming and climate change have caused and worsened drought situations in various parts of the world, thus affecting agricultural production adversely. Drought resistance crops and plants have been produced through genetic recombination, and their improved performance has led to increased productivity that is essential in ensuring affected populations are food secure. Foods with longer shelf life that taste better have been produced through genetic recombination of foods. This has reduced the wastage of foods due to spoilage. Genetic recombination has made it possible to produce foods with medicinal values. This has helped improve the health of many people, as they are able to boost their immune system without actually going to the hospital for medical checkups. World food supply has been increased to feed the ever-increasing world population through genetic recombination that has enabled the production of high yielding crops and fast growing animals (Borlaug, 2000, p. 487-490). Genetically modified have enabled the world to attain a relatively safe state of food security that could not have been attained by natural foods.
Most of the foods that contain genes resulting from artificial genetic recombination are safe for human consumption. This is because most of the DNA used in altering the genes of the host to attain the desired attribute comes from a variety of natural plant and animal species that humans often consume. The dangers are however that altering the genes contained in most foods have the potential of causing undesired consequences such as potential toxicity, especially when the scientific process of gene alteration is not guided by ethical principles (Uzogara, 2000, p. 185). Scientists often insert a marker gene that assists them in determining whether they have succeeded in introducing a new gene into the host DNA. A marker gene for resistance to particular antibiotics may accidentally enter the food chain and eventually end up in humans where it can compromise the immune system (Uzogara, 2000, p. 185). It can reduce the effectiveness of antibiotics and increase the risks of contracting human infectious diseases. Examples of foods that result from genetic recombination include corn, milk, zucchini, yellow squash, soy, canola oil, tomatoes, papayas, cottonseed oil and potatoes.
There are two types of regulations governing genetically modified foods. The first regulation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that companies may consult FDA at least 120 days prior to releasing genetically modified foods into the market. The regulation however does not require companies to place labels on the packaging of genetically modified products, but prohibits providing false ingredient information on genetically modified food products. The second regulation gives FDA the authority to remove a genetically modified food from the market if it is proven harmful for human consumption. It is important to note that FDA treats genetically modified foods as ordinary foods, thus considering them as generally safe unless they look distinctively different from their whole counterparts.
Borlaug, N. E. (2000). Ending world hunger. The promise of biotechnology and the threat of antiscience zealotry. Plant Physiology, 124(2), 487-490.
Bouis, H. E. (2007). The potential of genetically modified food crops to improve human nutrition in developing countries 1. Journal of Development Studies,43(1), 79-96.
Uzogara, S. G. (2000). The impact of genetic modification of human foods in the 21st century: A review. Biotechnology Advances, 18(3), 179-206.
Biological and social consequences of humans switching from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to a farming lifestyle
The farming lifestyle has long been considered as a development in the living conditions of human beings as the transition from the hunter-gatherer resulted to the improvement in health and nutrition, increase in longevity, and reduction in the work load. However, recent studies on the archaeological human remains reveal that the switching from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to a farming lifestyle was detrimental to the human population. Converse to former models, the embracing of farming lifestyle entailed a general deterioration of the oral and health of human beings. For instance, the decline is revealed by the elevated occurrence of several skeletal and dental forms and changes in the skeletal and dental development pattern among the ancient farmers in comparison to the hunters and gatherers (Boyden 232). The shift from the hunter-gatherer lifestyle to farming lifestyle among the human population gave rise to considerable and prevalent biological changes in the human population in the course of the last ten thousand years.
Biological and Social Consequences of the Transition
In spite of the development that was realised from the farming lifestyle, Haviland suggest that the first people who practiced farming were in reality less healthy as compared to the ancient hunters and gatherers (118). This was revealed by the comparison of human skeletons of the initial farmers with skeletons from individuals who practised the hunter-gatherer lifestyle. From the findings, taking the mean as a fundamental suggestion of appropriate nutrition, the humans who led a hunter-gatherer lifestyle were healthier as compared to the people leading a farming lifestyle. The other suggestion of ill health among the early farmers is manifested in the prevalent tooth decay, high infant mortality rate, iron deficiency and human beings became more prone to diseases.
The transition of human beings from an ancient hunter-gatherer lifestyle onto the farming based lifestyle resulted in the significant reduction of the human life span in comparison to the hunter-gatherers. According to Shephard and Andris, during the 17th century, it is estimated that the lifespan of the Europeans was at 40 years, while the colonists in America who entirely depended on the hunter-gatherer diet had a high lifespan of about 72 years (87). The ill health among the early farmers was mainly as a result of the increasing human population at a high rate that surpassed the farmers’ rate of growing food combined with severe famines due to crop failures and fires. Mineral deficiencies from the food consumed also gave rise to the farmers being prone to diseases as compared to the people who led the hunter – gatherer lifestyles and hence a longer lifespan.
The shift of human beings from the hunter-gatherer lifestyle to the farming lifestyle resulted in poor nutrition and several instances of malnutrition. The people who led the hunter-gatherers lifestyle benefited from a variety of diet, while the early farmers faced malnutrition as they entirely depended on food that was obtained from few starchy crops. As a result, the farmers obtained cheap calories from the grains at the expense of poor nutrition as the foods were deficient in a variety of essential nutrients such as vitamins and amino. The farmers were also subjected to the risk of starvation due to the dependence on some few varieties of crops that usually failed due to drought, diseases and fires. On the other hand, the people leading hunter – gatherer lifestyle had a variety of wild fruits and game meat that was in constant supply throughout the year (Haviland 118).
The farming lifestyle also encouraged human beings to live together in crowded communities so as to practice agriculture and carry out trade with the crowded society and this resulted in the spread of infectious diseases and other parasites. When the people practised hunter-gatherer lifestyle, the epidemics were rare as the population was scattered in small groups that frequently changed camp. As a result, the farming lifestyle resulted in diseases such as tuberculosis, measles and bubonic plagues that became prevalent in these communities in compared to the hunters and gatherers (Boyden 232).
The transition of people from the hunter-gatherer lifestyle to the farming lifestyle socially resulted in the development of deep social class divisions. The hunters and gatherers did not usually store food nor did they domesticate animals as they entirely lived on wild plants and game meat they obtained daily. As a result, the hunters and gathers lacked kings but the farming lifestyle resulted in the social class division and rise of kings and rulers. Research reveals that the early rulers and the royals had a better diet as compared to the common people. The farming lifestyle also resulted in cases of inequality among the sexes and the need for more children to help in the farming activities. As a result, the women farmers were frequently pregnant as compared to the hunters and gatherers counterparts and this also drained their health (Shephard and Andris 90).
In conclusion, the hunters and gatherers practiced had a biologically, socially and long lasting lifestyle as compared to the early farmers in the human history. This is because the shift of people from the hunter-gatherer lifestyle to the farming lifestyle resulted in poor nutrition, reduction of the human life span, ill health, spread of infectious diseases, deep social class divisions and inequality among the sexes.
Boyden, Stephen. The Biology of Civilisation: Understanding Human Culture as a Force in Nature. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press, 2004. Print.
Haviland, William A. The Essence of Anthropology. Australia: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2013. Print.
Shephard, Roy J, and Andris Rode. The Health Consequences of “modernization”: Evidence from Circumpolar Peoples. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1996. Print.
Dr. Julieta Frank, Department of Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics has studied the drivers of the prices of agricultural commodities. She studies particularly the effect of the prices of crude oil and exchange rates on the prices of agricultural commodities.
There was a research undertaken in the Manitoba province of Canada. Manitoba is a highly agricultural dependent province. Data shows that Manitoba produces approximately 12-15% of Canada’s total wheat production and occupies the largest area of any annual crop in Manitoba. Manitoba also has the largest beef cattle herd in Canada. It is also the country’s biggest pig producing province accounting for 32% of the pig production in Canada.
The focus has been on developing models that can forecast the change in the prices of agricultural commodities with changes in the exchange rates and the prices of crude oil. According to Dr. Julieta, exchange rates act as good indicators of commodity prices. There are notable changes attributable to structural break and this has led to the emergence of new relationships among different markets. Price changes plus the increasing importance of energy markets has motivated the development of more comprehensive models to understand the market and macroeconomic linkages.
Researchers have used different models have to study this relationship. It has however been noted that the choice of the model is very crucial since the direction of causality from exchange rates to prices is mixed and highly dependent on the specification o f the model used.
Failure to include important markets can also hamper estimation of the linkages between markets and reduce the likelihood of developing predictive relationships, Understanding of market relationships and their magnitude will help to develop marketing strategies and to provide policy makers with added insights into the effect of new policies to related markets.
Based on these complexities especially the lack of uniformity from different models, mixed reactions as to whether exchange rates can improve forecasting in wheat markets. However, through a more careful approach in reviewing these models, we can actually conclude there is evidence of a relationship between exchange rate, corn and oil.
Agricultural markets have undergone s structural change in both the level of prices and in their dynamic relationship with other markets. We can conclude that there is a relationship between the exchange rates and the prices of crude oil and the prices of agricultural commodities.
Animal in Danger
Giant panda is large black-and-white and the rarest member of the bear family that live mainly in the bamboo forest of southern China. Giant panda mainly eats bamboo as its diet. There are about 1600 Giant pandas in the world. About 80% found in Sichuan province with the rest scattered in Gansu and Shanxi provinces, in China.
Why Giant Panda Is In Danger
It is a treasure of China and a precious natural heritage of humans. It has become one of the most endangered species in the world this being attributed to a number of factors and challenges. Firstly, its habitat distortion by humans through deforestation of bamboo forest. There is also stripping of the forest to create new land mainly to build industries. (Jing, Weihua, Dongwei, Junqing, 2011 P. 209-214) This has led to the shortage of bamboo which mostly depended upon by the Giant panda as its natural food source. Secondly, it suffers challenge in mating success. It has a low production rate. A female Giant panda can give birth to a cub approximately after every two years. It also suffers habitat fragmentation where the largely spaced inhabitant prevents the animal from easily finding mates. Thirdly, Giant panda hunting and poaching is for its fur, which yields good money. (Jacoby, Azmy, Ackleh, Leonard, Haibin, 1999, P. 207-223)
Giant panda enjoys a high reputation in the world. The giant panda forms part of key tourist attraction in Sichuan which led to it emerging into international tourism market mainly in EU and America market. It has led to favorable traffic conditions and building of hotels which can accommodate about two thousand visitors per day. The visitors have also negatively impacted on the natural resource and host community. (Jing, Weihua, Dongwei, Junqing, 2011 P. 209-214)
The visitors have led to strain in already scarce natural resources and natural habitats. They have also led to increased pollution and waste in china. Additionally, they have led to erosion of traditional values by introducing foreign elements. Tourist product such as ecotourism has helped to conserve the wildlife and natural resources such as the bamboo forests. A potential tourist operator has a role to develop a positive relationship with organization and the stakeholders playing a critical role, more so in the area that he/she will visit with his/her client.
The role of the stake holders
There is the need to protect the Giant panda from becoming extinct. The stakeholders who are the government, tour guides, environmentalists and local community play the following roles to achieve this. The government has put protection of rare animals and plants into the Constitution. There is a set of laws like, forest laws, the Law on the Protection of Wildlife and The Environmental Protection Laws passed. There are potential tour guides who are able to uphold the code of conduct. The China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP) got established as a joint effort between China and the World Wildlife Fund with a primary aim to protect the Giant panda and their habitat. The local community has been encouraged to participate actively in protecting wildlife resources and ecotourism. (Jacoby, Azmy, Ackleh, Leonard, Haibin, 1999, P. 207-223)
In order to prevent and protect the Giant panda from becoming extinct, a lot need to be done by the stakeholders in the tourism industry to eradicate these dangers. There need to be firm rules that protect the forest or the habitat of the Giant panda and rules the favor the protection of Giant panda. The government also needs be firm in theirs laws. The community also needs to participate actively in the protection. Once these the program implementation is initiated, the population of Giant panda will start increasing. Otherwise, the increasing destruction of the habitat and other factors will lead to its extinction.
Jing, X., Weihua, X., Dongwei, K., Junqing, L. (2011) Nature reserve group planning for conservation of giant pandas in North Minshan, china Journal for Nature Conservation, Pages 209-214.
Jacoby, C., Azmy, S., Ackleh, B., Leonard, P., Haibin, W. (1999) Giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) population dynamics and bamboo (subfamily Bambusoideae) life history: a structured population approach to examining carrying capacity when the prey are semelparous Ecological Modeling, Pages 207-223.