MAN 2005 - Lec 7
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MAN 2005 - Lec 7

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MAN 2005 - Lec 7 MAN 2005 - Lec 7 Presentation Transcript

  • MAN 20005 Lecture 7 Ethics and Non-Human Subject: Agriculture and Food Production Updated 3.10
    • Food is essential for the survival of human beings
    • Hunger results from neglect of the universal right to food.
    The Value of Food
    • Ethical practices in every society necessitate us to provide for those who are unable to feed themselves to receive food directly.
    • Failure to do so is deemed injustice and unethical
  • Human population growth and demographic shifts
    • Many developed countries have recorded increases in the proportion of elderly people due to improvements in life expectancy, combined with population growth in developing and under-developed countries.
    • The global population is increasing to unprecedented levels, posing challenges to food production and distribution.
    View slide
  • Projected population growth into 2050 View slide
    • More people but less food production
    • Developing countries have younger population structures.
    • Rural-to-urban migration, leading to a world that will soon have more urban than rural inhabitants.
    • Resulting in considerable shrinkages in the rural labour force that mainly works the agriculture sector
  • Pressure on natural resources
    • Exploitation of forests
    • In the search for more farmland, huge areas are being deforested, leading to soil erosion and massive flooding.
    • Poorer nation overwhelmed with desperation; whereas producers and consumer in wealthy nations are disincentives for conservation practices.
    Plant, animal genetic resources, land, air, water, forests and wetlands are rapidly degrading as a result of pressure from both population growth and increasing market penetration.
    • Exploitation of water source
    • Increases in the demand for water for agricultural, industrial and domestic uses are lowering groundwater levels, even permanently depleting aquifers.
    • Overuse of water also leads to salinization and eventual abandonment of what was once prime agricultural land.
    Through the invention of ever-more effective means of catching fish ie : use of huge vessels with canneries on board compete with fishers using simple nets or lines. Exploitation of marine resource
  • Concentration of economic power
    • Net worth of the world's 200 richest people is greater than the combined income of 41% of the world's population.
    • The world's 200 largest transnational corporations account for a ¼ of the world's economic activity.
    • Agriculture based economies around the world are to be found mostly in developing countries and countries with economies in transition.
    • It is in these countries that scores the lowest or even negative governance
    • Landownership is concentrated in the hand of the rich and powerful
    • Traditionally agricultural research was the domain of the state. It is now driven by private sector.
    As a result, research on crops and livestock that does not profit the private sector will be abandoned.
  • New Biotechnologies
    • Biotechnologies could help to increase the supply, diversity and quality of food products, reduce costs of production and processing and reduce pesticide use and environmental degradation.
    • New era of biotechnology - Genetic Engineering.
    • For millennia, the food and agriculture system has made use of biotechnologies in the form of fermented foods such as bread, cheese and beer.
    • Genetic Engineering
    • ability to select, manipulate and transfer genetic traits from one species to another.
    • Eg : cloned organisms, such as Dolly
    • Genetic engineering to date has focus on agenda that is profitable to private sector – eg : herbicide tolerance and insect resistance
    • Further lead to concentration of economic power.
    • An extreme scenario could be the use of the new biotechnologies for bioterrorism.
    These products may pose new risks to the environment and human health. Eg : transfer of herbicide tolerance to weeds, leading to more aggressive or more competitive weeds; the transfer of food allergenic compounds to products that did not previously contain them
  • Food Distribution
    • 800 million people worldwide are unable to receive food due to non-accessibility and distribution flaws
    • Food can be better distributed through efficient farm-to-market channel
    • Other important factors :
    • direct access road to land
    • secured price structures that
    • provide incentives to produce
    • for the market
    • accurate market information
    • d) food processing technique to transform raw material into storable foods
    • e) employment opportunity to enable people to earn enough to purchase food
    • f) subsidies for consumer
  • Ethical food and agriculture system
    • Ethical-based food and agriculture system would work towards the reduction and eventual elimination of poverty
    • Production efficiency must be balanced with distribution efficiency.
    • Effectiveness is measured in terms of fairness and justice
    • An ethical food and agriculture system must move from free trade to an ethics-based trading system
        • 1982 World Development Report recommend focus on governance to improve agriculture
        • But very little has improved till to date due to :
    • (a) free market pressure
    • (b) lack of macroeconomic policies
    • (c) unstable political situations
    Means to promote an ethical food and agriculture system :
    • Establish forum to resolve distribution controversies
    • – eg : Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, Codex Alimentarius Commission, Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries
    • Encourage stakeholder participation – eg : dialogue, informed investors through timely, relevant, accurate and easily accessible information.
    • improve macroeconomic policies
    • improve economic policies to compliment and be more responsive to the needs of the civil agriculture society
    • assign good credit ratings to socially responsible growers
    • f) E stablish programmes, standards and codes
    • The power of Donor
    • Donors focus their aid policies to support responsible agrarian
    • Global Donor Platform for Rural Development, TerrAfrica or the Neuchatel Initiative - provides an informal platform for donors coordination.
    • Global action
    • Global effort to overcome agricultural challenges such as climate change, pandemic plant, animal diseases and invasive species; conduct research on ‘orphan crops’ that are important for national and local food security (eg. cassava) and reduce transaction costs through standards and rules
  • End