Food and Agricultural challenges Essay
Food and Agricultural challenges
“ Food is our body’s fuel and without fuel it will be shut down” Food is indeed the elixir of life. Food, presently, has become one amongst the most common and imperative needs of a living being along with shelter and clothing. In other words, it has befallen to be one of the most common needs of a living being. As people improved their standard of living, they resort to newer trend in food too. Food is now a factor that decides the status of a person. . When did the quest for food really begin ?
It is unanswerable. Probably, it may be since the emergence of the early man. The early man ate fruits and threw their seeds off. When they saw the seeds germinate into plants, they decided to start agriculture which at that time was just to raise seeds. This, happened about thousands of years ago and agriculture that took birth. As a result, this brought about great changes in the socio – economic condition of the Homo sapiens. It was one of the most remarkable incidents in the history of human being.
Thus, began the quest for food via agriculture. Generation by generation, modern technologies and modern methods were evolved. Today, we have the most sophisticated technologies for better food production. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created surpluses of various resources that nurtured the development of civilization and so was food. The human found food to be a component that kept them healthy, free from diseases, energetic and intelligent.
They discovered that it helped in the growth and development of all living beings. Eventually, they found a lot more needs for food. Consequently, more and more people began to indulge in agriculture and thereby increase the production to meet the needs of rapidly growing population. Very soon, various branches of agriculture evolved like the horticulture [ art and science of growing fruits, flowers and ornamental plants ], animal husbandry 1 As years passed, the population grew tremendously.
The people moved towards the assistance of technology to augment their production as human effort alone could not meet the needs of food to feed the entire population. As the technological assistance helped farmers produce a considerably good yield from a limited portion of land, more and more land got occupied by industries and other factories. Farming began to be considered as a below average job and youth got recruitment in industries.
The arena of agriculture got faded as they were able to produce the enough food from the available land resources. The present day poverty and hunger are mainly due to the neglect of agriculture. Unless, agriculture is to be considered as a white collar job, we are no longer going to get rid of these dreadful hitches. It is high time to reconsider the potentials of agriculture, which supports the majority of the population.
The situation has come that we have to promote sustainable agriculture. Sustainable agriculture involves the successful management of agricultural resources to satisfy human needs while maintaining or enhancing environmental quality and conserving natural resources for future generations. By the year 2015, the world population is forecast to reach about 9 billion people – about one third greater than that of today. Therefore, there is greater demand for agriculture and thereby food production too. When we speak about food production and food consumption, it is necessarily important that we must know its present trends . . . . . . II. Objectives and Methodology :
The following are the objectives of our research :
We accomplished our research mainly to satisfy the following rationales : To be acquainted with the present day food production and consumption trends of people To learn about the latest technologies involved in the food and agriculture systems To study the various somber and solemn problems faced by our farmers / agriculturists 2 To discover solutions to their problems To give an awareness to the public about the importance of agriculture in this highly competitive and technological world To encourage youth to get into the field of agriculture
To try to bring a respectful position for the farmers / agriculturists in the society Selection of students for Young Scientists Programme :
We were selected by means of three selection rounds namely:
1. Poster presentation
2. Project report presentation
3. Model Demonstration
Soon after the three selection processes, 55 students were crowned as the Young Scientists. We were divided into five teams and we, the Maroon team members were provided with the theme topic: “Food production and Food consumption”. The topic was further divided into sub – topics and they were distributed to our team members. We conducted reference works and researches on the given topics and for further clarifications and to make the other team mates aware of each research topic, we had team meets where in we were supposed to have effective discussion.
Thus, each and every candidate of our team was accessed to the required information about the research topic. We even had field visits like the visit to the Sundaram Organic Farm, the Horticulture Research Station, SKM Egg Products India Private Limited etc which inculcated in us more knowledge about our theme topic.
We worked as a team, as a family . . . . .
3 III. Food Production and Consumption trends in India
i. Food production trends :
World population has increased over the past 10 years by 760 million or more, which is equal to adding the combined population of Africa and South America. By 2025 it is expected that global population is expected to reach around 9Billion. Food has to be produced in colossal quantities to feed the entire population. Food production/capita has declined since 1971 in the world.
Here, arises the problem of food production. The food grain obsolete technology ,more pests &diseases urbanization& (migration of rural labourers to urban),high labour cost, government agro policy being poor & unfocussed. The food production trends have changed so widely since the Egyptian civilization. Egyptians found that agriculture can prosper only with good water supply / irrigation. Nile river condition was studied & river water irrigation was effectively planned & made use of.. The production trend even varies with respect to culture, traditional aspects, customary aspects and the area under cultivation. The productions trend widely varies from country to country, state to state, district to district and even between communities. As a result, there arose a problem of insufficient production. ii. Green Revolution :
In the 1970,s the food crisis was one of the major problems in our country as in many other countries. India was on its path to darkness. Lots of people died due to starvation and millions were still starving. The Central Food minister of that time, C.Subrahmaniam took initiative to find a solution to this deadly problem and the solution was later termed as Green Revolution. The introduction of high-yielding varieties of seeds and the increased use of fertilizers and better irrigation are known collectively as the Green Revolution, which provided the increase in production needed to make India self-sufficient in food grains.( thus improving agriculture in India.) Hybrid high-yielding wheat was first introduced to India in 1963 by Dr. Borlaug. Production of wheat was very good making India self sufficient in food.
4 Along with high yielding seeds and irrigation facilities, the enthusiasm of farmers mobilized the idea of agricultural revolution and is also credited to M. S. Swaminathan and his team for having contributed towards the success of green revolution. As a result of this, the agriculture production in India saw great heights. Moreover, Green Revolution also brought about various technological reforms. iii. Technological Development:
Various scientific and technological methods for increasing food production were evolved as a result of Green Revolution: mechanization, effective irrigation, use of fertilizers, control of weeds, pests and insects, new varieties of farm animals or high-yielding strains of grain, land reclamation, soil conservation, river basin development, adequate storage facilities, infrastructure development etc . . . are some of the technologies.. As India saw development in the later ages, even the technologies got improved. India also experienced the establishments of agricultural structures like check dams, water shed tanks, rain water harvesting pits etc . . . which ensured better agricultural production..
Technology is just changing the way that human beings operate the machines from the previous ones, & implements to be more precise and less wasteful in the use of fuel, seed, or fertilizer. In the foreseeable future, some agricultural machines will be capable of driving themselves, using GPS maps and electronic sensors. Even more esoteric are the new areas of nanotechnology and genetic engineering, where submicroscopic devices and biological processes, respectively, are being used as machines to perform agricultural tasks in unusual new ways.
The future will also see the application of healthy hybrid varieties, GMO crops that are hale and hearty, organic methods that produces greater output, better irrigation systems etc . . As every good thing has an appalling visage, these technologies too had some advantages and disadvantages. iv. Advantages of Modern Technologies:
It was successful in meeting a growing demand for food by the world’s population. Yields of primary crops such as rice and wheat increased dramatically. The price of food declined, the rate of increase in crop yields generally keeps pace with population growth, and the number of people who go hungry to bed was slightly reduced
5 The boost in food production has been due mainly to scientific advances and new technologies, including the development of new crop varieties The use of pesticides and fertilizers, and the construction of large irrigation systems helped the farmers increase their production It reduces time cosumption as it ensures effective management of crops in a shorter period of time Disadvantages of modern technologies :
Increased chances of unemployment [ as technological equipments can do the work of 50 – 100 labours] Evidence indicates, however, that excessive reliance on monoculture farming and agro industrial inputs, such as capital-intensive technology, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers, has negatively impacted the environment and rural society.
A number of “ecological diseases” have been associated with the intensification of food production by means of latest technological methods Chemical fertilizers can also become air pollutants, and have recently been implicated in the destruction of the ozone layer and in global warming Excessive use of technological equipments has also been linked to the acidification/salinization of soils and to a higher incidence of insect pests and diseases through mediation of negative nutritional changes in crop plants Most of the present day technologies are prone to causing pollution [ land, water and air ] v. Food consumption trends:
The agriculture and food sector figures prominently in this enterprise and must be given due importance in any consideration of the promotion of healthy diets for individuals and population groups. Food strategies must not merely be directed at ensuring food security for all, but must also achieve the consumption of adequate quantities of safe and good quality foods that together make up a healthy diet. Any recommendation to that effect
will have implications for all components in the food chain. It is therefore useful at this juncture to examine trends in consumption patterns worldwide and deliberate on the potential of the food and agriculture sector to meet the demands and challenges of the future. The food consumption trends in the ancient period were governed by the Hindu and Jain beliefs.
As a result of this, Vegetarianism was the most prominent system during the ancient days. It was also partly under the surveillance of the Delhi and Mughal dynasties. Later, towards the medieval period, people learned to consume what is needed and preserve the rest so that they could use them during periods of starvation. Therefore, the trend of the medieval period turned to be limited consumption. Presently, in the modern era, the consumption trends cannot be defined because people consume food not only for health but for various other reasons too. The consumption trends of the majority of the population are also controlled by advertisements.
The consumption trends are partly hereditary too. Most importantly, the consumption trends of the present day people are mainly to showcase their status. For example, the ones who consume rich food are given higher positions in the society and the rest are treated with lower dignity in the society. In short, the food consumption trends unlike food production trends vary even from person to person. With respect to each food item, the consumption trend varies widely. The kilograms in which the food items are consumed determine the demand for the specific item thereby, expressing the trend of food consumption.
From this, the consumption trends of the present day human society [ India ] are lucid and patent. 7 vi. Country – Country variations :
The food consumption trend of the people varies from country to country. Changes in agricultural practice over the past 50 years have increased the world’s capacity to provide food for its people through increases in productivity, greater diversity of foods and less seasonal dependence. Food availability has also increased as a consequence of rising income levels and falling food prices. This has resulted in considerable changes in food consumption over the past 50 years in all the corners of the world i.e. from country to country. Global and regional per capita food consumption (kcal per capita per day) Region
8 For instance, the consumption trends in India is as follows ( it is extremely different from that of USA which ranks 1st ) : vii. Link between Production and Consumption:
To meet the forecasted consumption rates of the entire population of different countries, great attention has to be laid on food production. The food consumption trends depend on the mode of food production. If the food produces is sufficient to feed the population, then the people can adopt their own consumption trend while if it is not, then the people will have to change the mode of consumption in a way that will satisfy the entire population.
Thus, the link between the food production and consumption is tightly bound and will need great attention in the future when the population will be high and the food produced will not be sufficient to feed the entire population. If it is obligatory to ensure a safe and sound future, then it is equally significant to bring stability and steadiness in the food production and consumption trends of today. The present day situation of the world cannot be understood. The farmer who is producing the food cannot fix the rate of the food and the consumer who is consuming the food is also not able to fix the rate ! ! Is the present day food production and consumption: producer controlled, consumer controlled or trader controlled ? – – Combination of all the three . . . .
V. Production, Procurement and Distribution constraints :
However, despite all these trends in food production and consumption, there are certain dilemma and constraints with respect to production, procurement and distribution that have to be given more attention.
i. Food production constraints: Improvement solutions are to be resorted by tackling together the problems associated with population growth and food production. A review of the problems of rapid population growth and declining food production and suggestions for resolution are given. World population has increased over the past 10 years by 760 million. Future increases are expected to bring total population to 9 billion by the year 2014 and 16 billion in 2025 (exponential increases). Food production/capita has declined since 1971 in the world in the recent past. The food production problem is technical, environmental, social, political, and economic. Food grain production in India(2009-2010) : 234Mn tonnes Per capita food grain produced: 193Kg/year
Food grain production growth (in phase with population growth) : 5.5Mn
tonnes/year Suggestions for increasing the food grain production :
irrigation, use of fertilizers, &use of Botanical Pesticides control of weeds and insects, new varieties of farm animals or high-yielding strains of grain, land reclamation, mechanization soil conservation, ,Most Efficient water management river basin development, adequate storage facilities, infrastructure development, Birth control.
Crop rotation, Organic farming, Mixed cropping Co-operate farming (supply ,operation &maintenance of agricultural machinery equipments) Few Environmental problems which need urgent attention.: soil erosion from mechanization, accumulation of DDT in food and water and animal life from pesticide use, and Water pollution from chemical fertilizers.
Increased frequency & intensity of drought &flooding
Climate change affects Rice &wheat production
New pattern of pests &diseases
Food production can be increased with more ecologically sound practices. Information about weather and weather forecasting allows for more suitable land management. Shifting cultivation and land tenure systems should involve conservation farming techniques. Organic manures and appropriate use of chemical fertilizers can raise soil fertility. Even if the production becomes stable, there lies a lot of problems in the next stage – procurement. ii. Urban Market Facilities and Management
Public markets have burned down throughout the world over the last few years because of inadequate structures and maintenance, poor management, fire-hazard practices … or to force traders into new markets. These blows to the local economy have important financial implications for small traders and entrepreneurs as well as consumers. Existing market spaces and facilities are often insufficient in developing countries and countries in transition. Consequently, many food traders occupy roads around markets. Urban markets are usually seen as a source of revenue to local town coffers, but those funds are often not reinvested in infrastructure maintenance and better services. This leads to traders feeling that market taxes are not justified and to unrest when rates are increased.
Cold-storage facilities are usually insufficient and rent is often high. The few cold-storage rooms built by market managers are often inefficient,. Perishable food products, therefore, deteriorate rapidly.Public markets lack professional management and its continuity. Market authorities have insufficient skilled personnel and are unable to enforce regulations. Consequently, trading in public markets becomes more difficult and, therefore, costly. 11 iii. Food Retailing
With respect to procurement and distribution, food retailing and food retail markets can be of great assistance in the modern era though it has not become more effective in India.Middle and high-income consumers shop at supermarkets while low-income consumers, who can spend as much as 80 percent of their income on food, go to local shops, to market places near their homes or buy from street vendors.
Public retail markets have not expanded rapidly enough in newly urbanized areas and existing markets have been unable to accommodate the increasing number of retailers. Lack of space or new market opportunities in satellite city districts are thus the cause of spontaneous markets which fill an important gap in the distribution chain. However, their unplanned nature may create traffic, health and environmental problems. iv. Urban Markets: Hygiene, Health, Security and the Environment Since there is lack of private investments and public contribution, the markets of India lack hygiene, health and other basic requirements.
Though, the government has taken effective measures, there is no much development in this situation. Market authorities usually guarantee cleaning inside the markets, but this is rarely adequate. Toilet facilities are rare and seldom properly cleaned. Water points, drainage and sewage are usually insufficient. Inadequate lighting in markets exposes users to additional risks and increases the likelihood of theft. The precarious hygiene conditions of established and spontaneous markets, the increasing quantities of waste, and the growing number of Lorries required for food transport, have an adverse impact on the environment, as they pollute air and water, increase noise and threaten public health. v. Public Distribution System (PDS)
Public Distribution System (PDS) is an Indian food security system. Established by the Government of India under Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution and managed jointly with state governments in India, it distributes subsidized food and non-food items to India’s poor.
12 Major commodities distributed include staple food grains, such as wheat, rice, sugar, and kerosene, through a network of Public distribution shops, also known as Ration shops established in several states across the country. Food Corporation of India, a Government-owned corporation, procures and maintains the Public Distribution System.
In terms of both coverage and public expenditure, it is considered to be the most important food security network. However, the food grains supplied by the ration shops are not enough to meet the consumption needs of the poor or are of inferior quality. The average level of consumption of PDS grains in India is only 1 kg per person / month. The PDS has been criticized for its urban bias and its failure to serve the poorer sections of the population effectively. The targeted PDS is costly and gives rise to much corruption in the process of extricating the poor from those who are less needy.
Today, India has the largest stock of grain in the world besides China, the government spends Rs. 750 billion ($13.6 billion) per year, almost 1 percent of GDP, yet 21% remain undernourished. Distribution of food grains to poor people throughout the country is managed by state governments. As of date there are about 4.99 lakh Fair Price Shops (FPS) across India. The food distribution in India is not effective. It has lot of drawbacks when compared to the distribution systems of the developed countries. The food distribution system in India is as follows :
13 VI. Food Wastage : i. Food Wastage – an introduction :
Food waste or food loss is the food that is discarded or lost, uneaten. As of 2011, billion tons of food, about one third of the global food production, is lost or wasted annually. Loss and wastage occurs on all steps in the food supply chain. In low-income countries, most loss occurs during production, while in developed countries much food – about 100 kilograms (220 lb) per person and year – is wasted at the consumption stage. In terms of production, the food wastage may occur in various stages.
Research found that food grain waste occurs mainly in the beginning of production, transportation & distribution, storage system, preparation food,(cooking), serving & after consumption(throwing away the unconsumed)From planting, crops can be subjected to pest infestations and severe weather, which cause losses before the harvest part of a crop. In India, the wastage in food grain &cooked food is intolerably high..
Some of the major causes of this food wastage are improper storage facilities, lack of effective transport systems, lack of refrigerated transport vehicles, ill – maintained roads, attack of pests and rodents, lack of initiative of the public, lack of awareness, insufficient technological assistance, lack of preservation techniques and a lot more . . . . The food wastage problem of today’s India needs immediate attention and has to be paid more attention to ensure minimal wastage in the coming years. ii. Management of Food waste Reduction
A quantity of wheat required by the entire production of Australia is wasted each year in India, according to a new report on global food wastage. At least 40% of all fruit and vegetables are lost in India between the grower and consumer due to lack of refrigerated transport, poor roads, inclement weather and corruption. Therefore, the best way to get rid of wastes is to minimize the wastage by ourselves. However, some of the waste reduction management techniques are given below: The feeding of food scraps to animals is, historically, the most common way of dealing with household food waste
Vermi composting is the practice of feeding scraps [ food waste ] to worms who produce soil as a byproduct food waste can be dumped, but it can also be fed to animals, or it can be biodegraded by composting or anaerobic digestion, and reused to enrich soil Food waste coming through the sanitary sewers from garbage disposal units is treated along with other sewage and contributes to sludge which in turn is used in biogas plants In any function, food is to be served to the requirement
Moreover food waste can also be recycled to produce various substances like paper, packaging material etc.. . Campaigns and awareness programmes like LOVE FOOD, HATE WASTE must be encouraged so as to make the public aware of the importance of food and the consequences of wasting food. Let us join hands to foresee a world that doesn’t waste food. VII. Food preservation and Food Packaging
i. Food preservation – a brief overview
Preservation usually involves preventing the growth of bacteria, fungi (such as yeasts), and other micro-organisms (although some methods work by introducing benign bacteria, or fungi to the food), as well as retarding the oxidation of fats which cause rancidity. Food preservation can also include processes which inhibit visual deterioration, such as the enzymatic browning reaction in apples after they are cut, which can occur during food preparation. Many processes designed to preserve food will involve a number of food preservation methods.
Preserving fruit by turning it into jam, and sealing within an airtight jar (to prevent recontamination). There are many traditional methods of preserving food that limit the energy inputs and reduce carbon footprint. Maintaining or creating nutritional value, texture and flavour is an important aspect of food preservation, although, historically, some methods drastically altered the character of the food being preserved. ii. Principles of Food preservation:
Preservation of a variety of food items, whatever the method maybe, is based on the following principles : 15
Prevention or Delay of Microbial Decomposition of food
a. By keeping out micro – organisms [ asepsis ]
b. By removal of micro – organisms by means of filtration
c. By hindering their growth and activity through
Addition of chemicals [not recommended]
Prevention or Delay of Self Decomposition of food
a. Destruction of food enzymes
b. Inactivation of food enzymes
Thus, it is concluded that the main aim of food preservation is to inhibit either the microbial or self decomposition of food items. Food preservation involves the application of various methods that work on these principles. iii. Food Preservation Methods:
There are various methods that can be applied over food items for its long term preservation. The main aim of food preservation is to increase the shelf life of the food item subjected to these preservation methods. However, a food item cannot undergo all the preservation techniques. The technique for each item is chosen with respect to the pH of the food and various other chemical factors. Some of the most accomplished food preservation techniques are: Refrigeration
Salting or Curing
Adding food additives
iv. Food packaging
The word ‘PACKAGING’ means to cover the physical property of a material to prevent it from its enemies. 16 Food packaging:
Food packaging means to pack the food to prevent it from enemies, decaying and microbes. Food packaging can be done to food items with the help of packaging materials. Most of the food items are specific to certain
materials and it is decided with attention to their chemical and physical properties. Types of food packaging materials:
v. Value Addition:
Value added agriculture is a process of increasing the economic value and consumer appeal of an agricultural commodity. It is a production/marketing strategy driven by customer needs and preferences. “Value – added” is used to characterize food products that are converted from raw product through processes that give the resulting product an “incremental value” in the market place. An “incremental value” is realized from either higher price or expanded market. For example, jams, cheeses, and pre – cooked meats are considered “value – added” products.
Importance of value added products:
Financial benefit – A value added agricultural product may have more market value than any other commodity Helps meet the changing preferences and interests of the public Possesses better quality, nutrition, convenience, safety, health, variety, price, social and environmental acceptance etc . . . Value – addition has become one of the major trends in the field of agriculture. It has brought about great changes in the mode of consumption of the public. Despite all these technologies, there are certain problems faced by the farmers and agriculturists.
VIII. Problems faced by Agriculturists and Farmers :
i. Major problems faced by Agriculturists and Farmers :
The major problems confronting Indian agriculture are those of population pressure, small holdings, depleted soils, lack of modern technology and poor
(quality and numbers) facilities for storage. Population pressure:
Population increase & hence dwelling area are needed more .Therefore the area for cultivation becomes decreased. In country like Japan hill slopes have been cut into terraces for cultivation Small and Fragmented Land Holdings:
The pressure of increasing population and the practice of dividing land equally among the heirs has caused excessive sub divisions of farm holdings. Consequently, the holdings are small and fragmented. The small size of holdings makes farming activity uneconomical and leads to social tension, violence and discontentment. Inadequate Irrigation Facilities:
By and large the irrigation facilities available in India are far from adequate. So for half of the total area under food crops has been brought under irrigation and the remaining half is left to the mercy of monsoon rains which are erratic in time and space. Depleted Soils:
Indian soils have been used for growing crops for thousands of years which have resulted in the depletion of soil fertility. With deforestation the sources of maintaining natural fertility of soil has been drying out. Lack of material resources and ignorance of scientific knowledge have further depleted the soils of the natural fertility. Earlier only animal waste was enough to maintain soil fertility.
Storage of food grains:
Storage of food grains is a big problem in India. Nearly 10 per cent of our harvest goes waste every year in the absence of proper storage facilities. This colossal wastage can be avoided by developing scientific ware-housing facilities. The government has taken several steps to provide storage facilities in the form of private storage go downs. Moreover, Government support & guidance for Agricultural product Export has become very poor &corruptive system. Farm Implements:
Although some mechanization of farming has taken place in some parts of the country, most of the farmers are poor (in knowledge& finance) and do not purchase modern farm implements and tools. This hampers the development of agriculture. ii. Minor problems faced by Agriculturists and Farmers: Indian agriculture is a gamble of monsoons. Monsoons are irregular unevenly distributed and uncertain. It exerts a very unfavourable influence on agriculture.
The serious drainage problem caused by the increased construction of roads, railways and canals disturbed the natural drainage system by checking the normal flow of rain water and bringing heavy floods. This result in large scale damage to crop. Global climatic changes affect agriculturist and farmers through their direct and indirect effects on the crops, soils, livestock and pests. The over cropping in a land leads to the exhaustion of soils. Declining trend is seen in the productivity of the land.
Exploitation of land with excessive use of fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides leads to land fertility degradation. The land under cultivation of food grains has been declining due to construction of industries and residential building etc. There is inefficient water management.
In order to withstand the global competition India has to use its vast potential of Agriculture by adopting modern technologies in farming. iii Steps taken by the government and other organizations: Subsidized five per cent interest rate on crop loans on timely repayment Initiated discussion session on topics that both help farmers to understand their existing situation and identify their opportunities and constraints Encouraged farmers to think of ways to improve their own marketing Laid focus on practical issues
Used audio-visual presentations during farmers meeting sessions [ organized by the government ] Used traders and others to inform farmers about how the market works Ensured that farmers are able to make a comparatively good produce Provided farmers with the information they need about various agricultural practicesRegardless of the implementation of various measures and steps, problems still exist in the case of food preservation. Problems affecting the production, procurement and exportation have been solved to a great extent. It is food preservation that needs a lot of attention in this era. IX. Modern Technologies in Food and Agriculture:
i. Technologies in Food preservation:
The modern technologies involved in food preservation are :
Pulsed Electric Field Electroporation
High Pressure Food Preservation.
Hurdle technology Pulsed Electric Field Electroporation:
Pulsed electric field (PEF) electroporation is a method for processing cells by means of brief pulses of a strong electric field. PEF holds potential as a type of low temperature alternative pasteurization process for sterilizing food products. PEF for food processing is a developing technology still being researched. High pressure Food preservation:
High pressure food preservation or pascalization refers to the use of a food preservation technique which makes use of high pressure. Pressed inside a vessel exerting 70,000 pounds per square inch (480 MPa) or more, food can be processed so that it retains its fresh appearance, flavour, texture and nutrients while disabling harmful microorganisms and slowing spoilage. Hurdle technology:
Hurdle technology is a method of ensuring that pathogens in food products can be eliminated or controlled by combining more than one approach. These approaches can be thought of as “hurdles” the pathogen has to overcome if it is to remain active in the food. The right combination of hurdles can ensure all pathogens are eliminated or rendered harmless in the final product. As a result of these modern food production, procurement and preservation techniques, the environment is being degraded to a great extent. Moreover, the environment too is not so cooperative with agriculture. It provides a lot of hurdles that agriculture is not able to prosper very effectively today. X. Environmental Consequences:
i. Consequences caused to the environment from agriculture: Modern Agricultural practices use a lot of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. They are rich in nitrates and phosphates. Once they are sprayed over the plants, they get suspended in the soil. When they are subjected to rainfall, they get drone away into water bodies. They then cause Eutrophication. These depositions of nitrates and phosphates may lead to the growth of algae on the surface of the water. They utilize the maximum oxygen in the water thus creating a situation wherein there is loss of marine life.
This situation is known as eutrophication. Other consequences are pollution [ the technical devices used in food production may initiate harmful emissions of gases causing pollution ] and the rise of BOD [ Biological Oxygen Demand ]. It is said: “As you sow, so shall you reap”. As modern agricultural methods are causing great deteriorations to the environment, the environment in turn is not supportive to agricultural practices. ii. Consequences caused to agriculture by the environment:
Soil is a dynamic living matrix that is an essential part of the terrestrial ecosystem. It is a critical resource not only to agriculture production and food security but also not to the maintenance of most live processes. This soil is getting deteriorated day by day, so is agriculture. Agriculture accounts for 70% of all water use. Water resources are depleting at a faster rate with water table falling worldwide.
The global environmental outlook report says that, if the present water consumption pattern continues, two out of every three persons on earth will live in water stressed conditions by the year 2025. In such a condition, when the water resources are fast depleting, agriculture too become a depleting practice. Agriculture is extremely vulnerable to climate change and its impact is threatening global food security.
Global warming is projected to have significant impacts on climate change and conditions affecting agriculture. Thus, as the present situation continues, the environment gets degraded more and more creating climate imbalance. As a result, the agricultural practices also foresees downfall. Therefore, the environment too is a threat to agriculture today. In spite of all these threatening reasons, man still is moving towards industrialization and is degrading the environment without paying enough attention towards agriculture. XI. Industrialisation and Agriculture:
Industry is the production of an economic good or service within an economy. The Industrialization that took place in Europe in the late 18th century brought about great socio – economic changes in the world. Even today, the most advanced technologies that we experience are a result of this industrialization. However, this process also brought with it certain ill effects. It popularized industries and made agricultural practices face a downfall. . 22
It is transparent from this that both the GDP and the growth of agricultural sectors have both experienced serious downfall in the past fifty years. Unless this situation is treated with the appropriate solution, this dreadful condition cannot be overcome. As it continues, the public may have to move towards greener methods in the future. i. Recent Issues:
1. The Pepsi project Issue which has become a threat to the Punjab agricultural practices. Diversification of agriculture has become the main aim of the Pepsi Project . 2. The ONGC – Cauvery Oil Asset [ industry ] that created oil spills in the field which lead to large scale destruction of crop fields and also the ravaging of the paddy fields that surrounded the leaking pipelines of this industry. 3. The MESCO and Jindal steel plants, established in Orissa have turned against the existing agricultural practices. Their establishments have accounted for large scale destruction measures like deforestation and the illegal use of agricultural lands and forests.
These issues have become a real threat to the world. Though, the agricultural produce is not sufficient to feed the entire population, people are moving towards industries and urban jobs rather than concentrating on agricultural activities which is the scope of future. Since people are not ready to change their attitude, it is necessary to have a balanced industrialization for the betterment of agriculture. 23 ii. Balanced Industrialization for the betterment of Agriculture Industrialization and Agriculture must go hand in hand for the betterment of our country. Industrialization should be practiced in such a way that there
are no adverse effects on the agricultural practices. At the same time, it is necessary that scientific advances of the industries should have the potentials to bring about agro – ecosystems.
XII. Our role:
Apart from these industrial measures and other preventive measures, it is obligatory that each individual has to contribute to the betterment of our nation in one or the other way. We must furnish the public with a better understanding of the complexity of the present day agricultural systems We must develop a need to address both food consumption and production We must provide the essential knowledge and innovation through cross-sectoral approaches We must explore new ways of policy coordination
We must motivate the educated ones so as to involve them in agriculture We must initiate awareness programmes as a result of which the farmers would become knowledgeable about the modern technologies in food production and food preservation We must join hands to build up a brighter and greener INDIA
XIII. Conclusion :
“ Developed India is possible only if the agriculture is developed; But Prosperous India is possible only if the agricultural sectors are improved. & sustained along with industrial growth . . ”
Use less & less resources to achive more & more productivity. Industrialisation &agriculture fields should support mutually without degrading our eco system. The prospective future of mankind is not outside his control, but well with in his boundary. Taking care of rights of future generations, let us use/consume carefully all types of resources given by the nature.
As Young Scientists, let’s take an oath to produce good food, consume just adequate food, waste nil food and store the balance food for the future
/future generations. . .
Britannica Encyclopedia, F Series [ Food ]
Green technologies in food production, pg no: 149, 2012 edition; author: Joyce.I.Boye www.wattagnwt.com