نوع مقاله : مقاله پژوهشی
1 - دانشیار جغرافیای سیاسی، دانشگاه تهران
2 - استاد جغرافیای سیاسی، دانشگاه تهران
3 - دانشیار علوم سیاسی، دانشگاه تهران
4 - دانشجوی دکتری جغرافیای سیاسی، دانشگاه تهران
عنوان مقاله [English]
Agriculture and food security have always been one of the main human concerns and although food policy is related to removing extreme poverty and hunger. However, these goals have recently been challenged by emerging forces like climate change, water scarcity, the energy crisis as well as the credit crisis. Indeed, as land and water become scarcer, as the Earth's temperature rises, and as world food security deteriorates, geopolitics of food is emerging.
The research is descriptive- analytic in terms of nature and method. Data gathering procedure is based on library findings. In library procedure, using existing references in libraries, formal and valid statistic information are considered.Data analysis will be done using qualitative method.
Result and discussion
According to the paper goal, we classified the most important reasons that cause food to be one of the Geopolitics issues, as follows:
1. Environmental factors:
1.1. Climate change: Climate change poses signiﬁcant threats to global food security and peace due to changes in water supply and demand, impacts on crop productivity, impacts on food supply, and high costs of adaptation to climate change.Climate change may affect agriculture and food security by altering the spatial and temporal distribution of rainfall, and the availability of water, land, capital, biodiversity and terrestrial resources. It may heighten uncertainties throughout the food chain;the impacts of climate change on global food production are small but geographically very unevenly distributed.
1.2. Water scarcity: Competition for water resources among sectors, regions and countries, and associated human activities is already occurring. About 40% of the world’s population lives in regions that directly compete for shared cross boundary water resources. A major concern to maintaining future water supply is the continuing over-draft of surface and groundwater resources. As a result available surface water and groundwater for irrigation decline.
1.3. Land scarcity and competition for different uses of land: As cities expand they displace farms, cover fertile soils with pavement and contaminate.In addition, using land for biofuels has been very influential, e.g. In the USA, there has been a decline in cultivated area from 1980 to 2010 from a peak of 300 million hectares to 240–245 million hectares in 2005.
2. Human factors:
2.1. Population growth and increasing in urban and middle class population: future global food demand will be largely determined by population growth which is becoming more and more affluent and urbanized. Also rapid growth of population is associated by nutritional transition towards diets that rely more on meat. Population and income growth will increase the demand for irrigation water to meet the food production requirements and household and industrial demand. The global population is projected to increase to about 9 billion by 2050. In response to population growth and rising incomes, worldwide cereals and meat demand has been projected to increase by 65% and 56%, respectively.
2.2. Energy crisis and competition among food and fuel production: In the last years, energy prices have more than trebled. High energy prices also raise food prices through increased cost of transporting and shipping. High fuel prices are creating new markets for agricultural crops that can be used for biofuels. Land and water resources traditionally used for food crops that are diverted to fuel crops.
2.3. Decrease in investment in the agriculture: The 2008 Credit Crisis had a capital contraction effect in the global economy. Less capital means less investmentin the agricultural sector and consequently less production. Low credit means higher cost of food production in smallholder systems, as few save andmany borrow. As a result, when food production dwindles, food would be unavailable and unaffordable formany people around the globe.
According to the findings and vast changes in the global food situation and mismatch between demand and supply of food patterns, we will witness a new era of relations between states or food suppliers and their demander that these relations could be peaceful, competitive, or even hostile.Foodas one of the tools of power in the modern age is rapidly becoming one of the main geopolitical issues, and it seems that geopolitics is able to provide a scientific framework for food studies and bring beneficial results. Also, geopolitics of food is able to explain the patterns of supply and demand in national, regional and global levels and to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats ahead, as well as to analyze the issue of food security.