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Agricultural Studies

Jul 26, 2017 | 0 comments

Jul 26, 2017 | Essays | 0 comments

Question One: Why the Rice Price in African was high between 2007-2009

Between 2007 and 2009, a bowl of rice could be hardly being noticed on the surface. The price of rice interestingly rose in Africa leading to food insecurity. Firstly, there was no fixed market rate on the prices of rice. By then, rice was not priced in an organized market. Additionally, it was difficult to set a fixed market price for rice with the wide varieties in the marketplace. Nearly half of the African population were engaged in trading of rice and negotiated prices all over the African continent. During that period, Africa was majorly depended on imports of rice from Thailand and Vietnam. Unfortunately, the Indians who could also export their produce decided to impose burns into their exports. This led to an increase of rice in Africa who by then depended on other nations’ exports.

Secondly, in 2007-2009, there was a global food shortage. For this reason, many countries enacted policies that prohibited export of their products. For example, the Indian government enacted policies prohibiting export of rice to other nations. This explains the increase in the prices of rice in Africa since there were limited imports. Additionally, by that time, the African continent was enacting policies to become independent and self-sufficient. However, in the real sense it was difficult for this policy to materialize. Furthermore, bad trading activities elicited the increase in the prices of rice in Africa. For example, the government of Philippines decided to import large amount of rice due to corruption among the politicians who were commissioned when they bought rice. This led to a decrease in rice globally, and Africa had no additional importing options. Therefore, when the traders realized that several governments were panicking and hoarded rice, they shot up the prices. Africa was on the receiving end as the costs for household consumers rose.

Question Two: The Effect of Land Grabbing on Agriculture

Land grabbing has harassing consequences on the production of agricultural products. Normally, the areas subjected to agricultural land practices are often remote. The farmers in the regions often apply traditional knowledge in agricultural practices with is vital in the protection of land productivity. The farmers who practice agricultural practices normally inherit land from their forefathers. However, after inheritance, the land rights are usually not passed to them creating chance for land grabbing. Therefore, when farmers are forced out of their lands they don’t receive compensation. For this reason, they often move to the urban areas and slums to seek alternative occupations. For this reason, the production of agricultural foods declines and resulting into food insecurity.

In addition, people who get violently displaced from their agricultural lands to investors in agribusiness practice large scale agriculture. The application of large scale farming often attracts the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers lowering the land productivity of the land. The chemicals are usually responsible for lowering soil productivity with several years of usage. In addition, chemicals lower the quality of water and soil which may render the land unproductive after a certain period. The land clearance techniques applied by large scale farming are often poor leading to soil erosion. During this process, the soil top layer soil which is often rich in nutrients gets carried away lowering the soil fertility. Indeed, this in turn derails the production of agricultural foods leading to food insecurity.

Finally, most large scale farmers use the agricultural lands to grow foreign plant species such as trees and other plantations. With time, this lowers soil biodiversity and disturbs several ecosystems that are all vital for enriching the soil fertility level.

Question Three: How to Improve the Soil to Plant Organic Food

Improving the soil leads to the production of high quality agricultural products such as vegetables and maize. The most commonly used materials in the improvement of the soil to plant organic foods are compost tea and the role of worms. For example, compost tea can be made locally at home to boost farm produce. Compost tea increases the growth of plants. It consists minerals and nutrients that give brighter and bigger blooms and greener leaves that in overall increase quality and quantity of the harvest. In addition, compost tea provides beneficial organisms that enhance soil and the immune system of crops. The growth of the bacteria beneficial for the soil, further, results into stress-tolerated and healthier crops. Compost tea assists in the compression against diseases between the crops and the soil thus increasing the ability to eliminate fungus, diseases and pests.

Additionally, compost tea replaces the toxic garden chemicals that poisons and harms wildlife, insects, human and the soil. It provides replacement for chemical based fertilizers, fungus and pesticides. They finally assist in reducing the cost of production. On the other hand, worm compost has additional benefits to the plants than plain compost. It can increase the crop yield drastically. Worms are also important in food productivity. For example, the worms are responsible for the decay of organic substances through decomposition. This adds the value and quality of organic manure which are instrumental for agricultural food productivity. The bacteria in the roots of legumes are important for the nitrogen insertion in the root nodules of the leguminous plants. This increases the productivity of the crops hence producing high quality and quantity of crops for food security.

Question Four: Genetically Modified Foods

Genetically modified foods refer to foods that have been modified by use of biotechnology. Some of the widely known genetically modified goods are tomatoes, pineapples, potatoes and strawberries. The GM foods are made to provide more nutrients, last longer and taste better with high harvesting quality. Despite the benefits, the cons and pros of GM foods have elicited hot debates among the consumers.

Firstly, genetically modified foods hold the future of food security. Several tests have been run on the GM foods with results showing several benefits. The tests that indicated rats getting cancer and tumors when tested with genetically modified foods were had no scientific backgrounds and some people have claimed that they were frauds. However, GM foods increase production of foods since it contains defenses against bugs built in them. Additionally, the GM foods reduce the chemicals used in crop production and the chemicals used in the production of GM foods do not run off into the water quickly.

Secondly, GM foods are very nutritional and produce a higher yield than normal crops. This is extremely beneficial in Africa where the soil is not good enough for crop production. Additionally, people altering does not using chemicals but they use the natural genetic make-up. Furthermore, GM foods are able to withstand droughts, cold weather and floods and their maturation period is shorter than crops.

Contrastingly, the GM foods have several drawbacks. Firstly, the consumers are not told what they are consuming. Indeed, the GM foods are injected with chemicals and the law does not obligate the scientists to tell the users what they use in the production. It is irrational to think that consumers do not want to know what they are feeding on. Secondly, reports indicate that the GM foods kill the rats in the laboratories. Rats fed with GM foods died faster than the ones fed on organic foods. Maybe the next generation may not live as long as their forefathers lived.

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