from IB syllabus:

Recognize the changes in food production over the past few decades: the decrease in production per capita at a regional scale but an increase in actual values at a global scale. Be aware that this has been the result of increases in cultivated land area (usually due to irrigation), changes in farming methods and technological innovations.

Study the map that is assigned to you and list six- ten bullet points below the map that summarise the information given on the map.

1. Growth in Per Capita Food Production 1980-1995



  • The places that experience the greatest growth (green) have experienced the most growth in technology in terms of farming
  • Some developing nations (LEDCs), such as India, China, and Brazil illustrate the most growth in food production
  • All of the countries with the largest increase in food production are on the coast, not land-locked
  • Most MEDCs illustrate negative or no growth in their food production because they don’t have a population that is growing as fast to support and they have reached their potential, since they already have had access to technology
2. Food Production Growth==
external image foodprodgowth.gif

Source: FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization)

The map above shows the average annual growth rate in food production worldwide between 1970 and 1972. The red indicators represent less than 0% growth rate and on the opposite side of the scale, green represents the highest increase in food production, being 4%. Shades of orange and yellow represent the values in between.

  • Most of Africa and South East Asia are striped, illustrating that their per caput dietary energy supply is less than the average 2700

  • Very few countries are not increasing in terms of food production; this is probably because of the Green Revolution during the 1970s, as well as other boosts in technology

  • The LEDCs generally have a larger annual growth rate in food production; this is most likely because the increase in technology is greater for them, as they did not have as much as the MEDCs to begin with

  • Although China has one of the highest annual growth rates in food production, because the distribution of food is unequal, and the population is very large, the dietary energy supply per caput is less than average

3. Proportion of total water withdrawal for agriculture

external image GlobalWaterAgMap.png
external image GlobalWaterAgMap.png

Link to Site : Link
The information is presented by the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) as a part of AQUASTAT (FAO's global information system on water and agriculture), the date on the map states "around 2001" from which it can be concluded that the date of the data could be anywhere from 1997-2007.

- The eastern hemisphere uses the most water for agricultural use.
- Farm enhancing weather causes these countries to have a lot of money in farming.
- Countries with lower populations tend to withdraw more water for agricultural uses.
- The Indonesian area uses the most water for agricultural use because of the weather and fertile soil.

4. Percent area equipped for irrigation as cultivated land by country (1998)

external image y4683e10.jpg
The map was developed by the FAO in their article The Uses of Water in Agriculture.
Percent area equipped for irrigation as cultivated land by country (1998).
- Areas that lie within the tropical areas have a greater amount of land dedicated to irrigation.
- Asia as a continent has the most land used for irrigation.
- Coastal areas all have a considerable amount of land that is irrigated.
- Of all the inhabited continents Africa seems to have the less percentage of land dedicated to irrigation.

5. Food security for 3rd quarter 2008 (July-September)

external image Global_status_mdi.png

6. Food security for 4rd quarter 2008 (October-December)

external image Global_outlook_mdi.png
Green- Generally Food Secure
Yellow- Moderately Food Insecure
Orange- Highly Food Insecure
Red- Extremely Food Insecure
Black/dark grey- Famine
white/light grey- No Data

These maps are taken from the USAID FEWSNET (Food Early Warning System Network) which monitors the food security of different regions and countries. Food security has to do with how vulnerable people are to facing food shortages/malnourishment.

Summary Comparison of Maps 5 and 6 – Food Security Tom & Riccardo

- Much of the areas have no data; however, half of the areas with available data on food security are coastal zones.

- Though the time frame is small, overall, global food security has declined between third quarter and fourth quarter of 2008.

- The biggest decline in food security occurs in Sub-Saharan West Africa, in countries such as Nigeria, Niger, Mauritania.

- The fact that the security fluctuates from bad to worse, and vice versa, in most of these countries is indicative of the poor food security overall.

- The best increase in food security, where security has gone from poor to good, has occurred in the Middle East, in countries such as Iran.

- Famine occurs primarily in coastal areas, and is quite localized. There are no massive areas of famine [black color] though there are large areas of severe food security [approaching famine].

- A few countries in Central America represent the only data on food insecurity collected in the Americas. Among these countries are Haiti, Guatemala, Belize and El Salvador.

- The Central American countries’ food security remains static from third quarter 2008 to fourth quarter.

7. Undernourished population in 1970


8. Undernourished population in 2003

FAO Hunger Map - Maps 1970 and 2003

The maps above show the difference in percent of world population that is undernourished in 1970, then in 2003.
When comparing both maps you observe that:

  • In the Asian region (ex. China) the percentage of the total population that is undernourished decreased significantly.
  • In 1970 all of Africa appeared to have an issue of undernourishment. As time went by it seems like only the central regions have a malnourishment issue.
  • South America also had the same improvements seen in both Africa and Asia
  • The only country that actually got worse is Mongolia where it went to 15-25 % of the population malnourished to 25-30% of the population.
  • A HUGE improvement in the South East area, where it used to be 35-50% and decreased to 5-15 %.

Problems and comments about the maps:
  • There is a huge range in the chloropleth range where each color represents 10% of the population

  • You are unsure whether it is closer to the lower values or higher values.

9. Map indicating the percentage of global undernourishment, 2008


Description: The map indicates the percentage of the population that is undernourished in various regions of the world.
Summary of Information:
• Highest percent of population undernourished: Africa
• Northwestern Hemisphere is well nourished; due to economic development
• China and North Korea have high levels of undernourishment despite high levels of food production
• Equator equates to undernourishment in general