Food Supply

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There is enough food grown in the world to feed the entire population the problem is that not everyone has equal access to this food. Food security happens when people have enough access to safe and nutritious food to maintain a healthy life. On the other hand, food insecurity happens when people do not have enough access to safe and nutritious food to maintain a healthy life

Basic Population

When a country has very few resources relative to its high population size then the standard of living in that country decreases; this is called overpopulation. Conversely, if a country has plenty of resources, food for example, but a low population, then it’s not going to make a high economic return; this is called underpopulation. Of course, if the country gets the balance just right then it reaches its optimum population where it makes the most economic return per capita.

The carrying capacity of a country is the maximum number of people it can sustain in a given area. If the carrying capacity is lower than the population then the population will decrease until it reaches the carrying capacity.

Famine

Famine is the lack of food and nutrition in a given area and can be triggered by many reasons. Some of the reasons behind famine could be any of the following:

  • Climate – low rainfall, warm temperatures
    Environment – Deforestation, overgrazing
    Politics – Civil war
    Economic – Increase in price of food
    Social – Population increase
    Technology – transport infrastructure

Case Study – The Green Revolution

The Green Revolution is a general term used to describe the use of western farming techniques in third-world countries to produce more food. It began in Mexico where they developed alternative varieties of wheat in an attempt to solve food shortages. It is ultimately a method of matching food supply with the population.

The Green Revolution uses “high yielding varieties” to improve agricultural output in the area, where these high-yielding varieties, or HYVs, are usually genetically engineered crops of rice, wheat, or maize.

An example of an HYV is IR8 rice, it produces a higher yield which means more food will be available. It also has the ability to produce two yields in one year also providing more food. So what’s wrong with it? IR8 requires large amounts of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilisers because it has a lower immunity compared with normal rice. IR8 is also more expensive than other rice varieties and requires more irrigation of the land, sometimes in places with little water to start with.

Desertification

Desertification is the process of turning productive land into non-productive desert as the quality of soil declines and is eroded over time due to the loss of vegetation and irresponsible land-management

Causes of Desertification

  • Overgrazing

Because of a rising population in some of these Sahel countries, there is a rising demand for food, this then means that any land which is suitable for grazing gets overgrazed, which results in the degeneration of the land because of poor agricultural techniques and the lack of vegetation to protect it.

  • Deforestation

In most of these countries, because of the rising population, the demand for fuel is also increasing. Trees in these areas, once cut down, can’t protect the soil which results in erosion. Also because the number of trees is decreasing, animal manure is being used as fuel, this means that it is not being put back onto the land as fertiliser, which in turn results in poorer land.

  • Climate

Droughts being common in the Sahel make it harder for vegetation to thrive and regenerate, which means that once the land is poorly treated, it takes longer for the vegetation to regrow.

Ways to stop Desertification

  • Improved Farming Techniques
  • Afforestation
  • Soil Management

Case Study – The Sahel Region

The Sahel region is a semi-arid belt that spans across Africa. It covers a total distance of 2,400 miles from ocean to ocean, east to west. The Sahel is also currently part of nine different countries in Africa, some of which include Mali, Niger, Chad, and Sudan.

The population in these countries is currently rising but not proportionally to agricultural development. They heavily rely upon farming, with most of the population living in rural areas. This rise in population puts a strain on food production which then in some places leads to desertification of the land.

Desertification is the degradation of the land and is now becoming a major problem in the Sahel region.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Acacia_Trees_(24227057806).jpg

Cite/Link to This Article

  • "Food Supply". Geography Revision. Accessed on January 25, 2022. https://geography-revision.co.uk/gcse/sustainability/food-supply/.

  • "Food Supply". Geography Revision, https://geography-revision.co.uk/gcse/sustainability/food-supply/. Accessed 25 January, 2022.

  • Food Supply. Geography Revision. Retrieved from https://geography-revision.co.uk/gcse/sustainability/food-supply/.