Geography and Food Scarcity
Famine: The Geography of Scarcity
You are asked to submit an essay of no more than 1,500 words answering one of the five questions outlined below.
The word count excludes the final reference list but includes in text referencing. You should use harvard or APA style referencing.
The word count also includes all information contained in any tables and figures that you yourself make. There is a 10% leeway both over and under the 1500 word count.
This should be comprised of:
a) the introduction to your essay
b) an outline of your main sections.
C) your preliminary reference list.
Write an essay that answers one of the following questions.
Make sure you indicate which topic you are answering in your essay.
For each topic there are several references to help get you started (you do not have to cite these if you don’t want).
1. Tragedy or transformation – what caused the end of the Mayan civilization?
You might start by reading these three articles (see readings for Week 4.2 for pdf copies):
- Diamond, J.: The Maya Collapses (Chapter 5). – In: Diamond, J., 2005. Collapse: How societies choose to fail or succeed. Penguin.
- Aimers, J.J., 2007. What Maya collapse? Terminal classic variation in the Maya lowlands. Journal of archaeological research, 15(4), pp.329-377.
- Luzzadder-Beach, S., Beach, T., Hutson, S. and Krause, S., 2016. Sky-earth, lake-sea: climate and water in Maya history and landscape. Antiquity, 90(350)
2. In contrast to industrial agriculture, is agroecology a viable alternative to feed the rural poor?
You might start by reading:
- Altieri, M. A., & Nicholls, C. I. (2012). Agroecology scaling up for food sovereignty and resiliency. In Sustainable agriculture reviews (pp. 1-29). Springer, Dordrecht.
- Valenzuela, H. (2016). Agroecology: a global paradigm to challenge mainstream industrial agriculture. Horticulturae, 2(1), 2.
- Brookfield, H., & Padoch, C. (1994). Appreciating agrodiversity: a look at the dynamism and diversity of indigenous farming practices. Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, 36(5), 6-45.
- Holt-Giménez, E., & Altieri, M. A. (2013). Agroecology, food sovereignty, and the new green revolution. Agroecology and sustainable Food systems, 37(1), 90-102.
3. What is the relationship between gender inequality, food insecurity, and remittances in the Global South? Can gender equality and women’s empowerment easily ensure food security?
You might start by reading these articles:
- Agarwal, B. (2011). Food crises and gender inequality. [United Nations], Economic & Social Affairs.
- Meinzen-Dick and Quisumbing, A., Closing the Gender Gap, Women in Agriculture. Internatioanl Food Policy Research Institute
- Quisumbing, A. R., Haddad, L., Meinzen-Dick, R., & Brown, L. R. (1998). Gender issues for food security in developing countries: implications for project design and implementation. Canadian Journal of Development Studies 19(4), 185-208.
- Rahman, M. M., & Fee, L. K. (2009). Gender and the remittance process: Indonesian domestic workers in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. Asian Population Studies, 5(2), 103-125.
4. What was the Green Revolution, what were its main effects, and why is there a ‘new’ green revolution unfolding today?
You might start by reading these three articles:
- Evenson, R.E. and Gollin, D., 2003. Assessing the impact of the Green Revolution, 1960 to 2000. Science, 300(5620), pp.758-762.
- Tilman, D., 1998. The greening of the green revolution. Nature, 396(6708), p.211.
- Shiva, V. (1991). The Violence of the Green Revolution. Unversity Press of Kentuky.
- Moseley, W. (2017) The New Green Revolution for Africa: A Political Ecology Critique. Brown Journal of World Affairs. Vol. XXII, II
5. Use 3-4 key ideas from political ecology to describe how, why and when different factors work together to produce food insecurity and famine. In answering your question, explain why overly narrow interpertations of famine origins and impacts are problematic. Choose a country case to make your argument (Sahel etc). Geography and Food Scarcity.
Begin by reading the introduction to:
- Robbins, Paul. (2011( Political ecology: A critical introduction. Vol. 16. John Wiley & Sons
- Davis, M. (2004). The Political Ecology of Famine. Liberation ecologies: Environment, development, social movements, 48.
- Le Billon, Philippe. (2001) “The political ecology of war: natural resources and armed conflicts.” Political geography 20.5: 561-584.
Geography and Food Scarcity
Green Revolution and its Impacts
More than 20% of people in developing countries (840 million) are estimated to suffer from severe undernourishment (Smith, Obeid & Jensen, 2000) especially from protein, Vitamin A, and iron deficiencies. Therefore, food security is a topic of concern to many government and non- governmental organizations. There are various efforts made by governments and non- governmental organizations as well as community members to address the issue of food shortage in developing countries but have not fully achieved their goal. The main cause of food shortage is low agricultural production in developing countries as a result of low mechanisation of land, lack of research, and lack of or low use of new technologies in agricultural production. Some of the measures taken include developing new agricultural technologies and conducting research in the agricultural fields with an aim of increasing agricultural production. Smith, Obeid and Jensen (2000) noted that global and national food security stand at the most macro level of food availability equation……….
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