MAN 2005 - Lec 7


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MAN 2005 - Lec 7

  1. 1. MAN 20005 Lecture 7 Ethics and Non-Human Subject: Agriculture and Food Production Updated 3.10
  2. 2. <ul><li>Food is essential for the survival of human beings </li></ul><ul><li>Hunger results from neglect of the universal right to food. </li></ul>The Value of Food <ul><li>Ethical practices in every society necessitate us to provide for those who are unable to feed themselves to receive food directly. </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to do so is deemed injustice and unethical </li></ul>
  3. 3. Human population growth and demographic shifts <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>The global population is increasing to unprecedented levels, posing challenges to food production and distribution. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Projected population growth into 2050
  5. 5. <ul><li>More people but less food production </li></ul><ul><li>Developing countries have younger population structures. </li></ul><ul><li>Rural-to-urban migration, leading to a world that will soon have more urban than rural inhabitants. </li></ul><ul><li>Resulting in considerable shrinkages in the rural labour force that mainly works the agriculture sector </li></ul>
  6. 6. Pressure on natural resources <ul><li>Exploitation of forests </li></ul><ul><li>In the search for more farmland, huge areas are being deforested, leading to soil erosion and massive flooding. </li></ul><ul><li>Poorer nation overwhelmed with desperation; whereas producers and consumer in wealthy nations are disincentives for conservation practices. </li></ul>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.
  7. 7. <ul><li>Exploitation of water source </li></ul><ul><li>Increases in the demand for water for agricultural, industrial and domestic uses are lowering groundwater levels, even permanently depleting aquifers. </li></ul><ul><li>Overuse of water also leads to salinization and eventual abandonment of what was once prime agricultural land. </li></ul>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
  8. 8. Concentration of economic power <ul><li>Net worth of the world's 200 richest people is greater than the combined income of 41% of the world's population. </li></ul><ul><li>The world's 200 largest transnational corporations account for a ¼ of the world's economic activity. </li></ul><ul><li>Agriculture based economies around the world are to be found mostly in developing countries and countries with economies in transition. </li></ul><ul><li>It is in these countries that scores the lowest or even negative governance </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Landownership is concentrated in the hand of the rich and powerful </li></ul><ul><li>Traditionally agricultural research was the domain of the state. It is now driven by private sector. </li></ul>As a result, research on crops and livestock that does not profit the private sector will be abandoned.
  10. 10. New Biotechnologies <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>New era of biotechnology - Genetic Engineering. </li></ul><ul><li>For millennia, the food and agriculture system has made use of biotechnologies in the form of fermented foods such as bread, cheese and beer. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Genetic Engineering </li></ul><ul><li>ability to select, manipulate and transfer genetic traits from one species to another. </li></ul><ul><li>Eg : cloned organisms, such as Dolly </li></ul><ul><li>Genetic engineering to date has focus on agenda that is profitable to private sector – eg : herbicide tolerance and insect resistance </li></ul><ul><li>Further lead to concentration of economic power. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>An extreme scenario could be the use of the new biotechnologies for bioterrorism. </li></ul>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
  13. 13. Food Distribution <ul><li>800 million people worldwide are unable to receive food due to non-accessibility and distribution flaws </li></ul><ul><li>Food can be better distributed through efficient farm-to-market channel </li></ul><ul><li>Other important factors : </li></ul><ul><li>direct access road to land </li></ul><ul><li>secured price structures that </li></ul><ul><li>provide incentives to produce </li></ul><ul><li>for the market </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>accurate market information </li></ul><ul><li>d) food processing technique to transform raw material into storable foods </li></ul><ul><li>e) employment opportunity to enable people to earn enough to purchase food </li></ul><ul><li>f) subsidies for consumer </li></ul>
  15. 15. Ethical food and agriculture system <ul><li>Ethical-based food and agriculture system would work towards the reduction and eventual elimination of poverty </li></ul><ul><li>Production efficiency must be balanced with distribution efficiency. </li></ul><ul><li>Effectiveness is measured in terms of fairness and justice </li></ul><ul><li>An ethical food and agriculture system must move from free trade to an ethics-based trading system </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><ul><ul><li>1982 World Development Report recommend focus on governance to improve agriculture </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>But very little has improved till to date due to : </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>(a) free market pressure </li></ul><ul><li>(b) lack of macroeconomic policies </li></ul><ul><li>(c) unstable political situations </li></ul>Means to promote an ethical food and agriculture system : <ul><li>Establish forum to resolve distribution controversies </li></ul><ul><li>– eg : Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, Codex Alimentarius Commission, Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Encourage stakeholder participation – eg : dialogue, informed investors through timely, relevant, accurate and easily accessible information. </li></ul><ul><li>improve macroeconomic policies </li></ul><ul><li>improve economic policies to compliment and be more responsive to the needs of the civil agriculture society </li></ul><ul><li>assign good credit ratings to socially responsible growers </li></ul><ul><li>f) E stablish programmes, standards and codes </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>The power of Donor </li></ul><ul><li>Donors focus their aid policies to support responsible agrarian </li></ul><ul><li>Global Donor Platform for Rural Development, TerrAfrica or the Neuchatel Initiative - provides an informal platform for donors coordination. </li></ul><ul><li>Global action </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul>
  19. 19. End