My geography revision

Oct 4, 2012, 9:45 PM |


What causes variations of food consumption between devleoped countries (DCs) and less developed countries (LDCs).

  1. Affordability. 

 The amount of food available to a person depends on his or her purchasing power or the amount of power he or she earns every month. In DCs, people generally have higher income than people in LDCs, thus higher purchasing power. People in DCs will be able to afford a wider range of food than people in LDCs. Hence there is a difference in food consumption between DCs and LDCs.

Acessibility of food.

Transport networks can have an influence on how food is distributed.   A poor transport network will hinder the distribution of food to a place and prevent people from having acess to it. THis is especially so in the rural areas of LDCs where there are poor transport networks. This is not a problem in DCs as they have a good infrastructure.

Availbility of food outlets.

Shops selling food  such as supermarkets and chain stores are commonly found in DCs. This shops usually offers a wide range of food that is either grown locally or imported. However, in LDCs there are fews shops selling food and they usually offer a limited variety of food that is grown locally.

Stability of food supply.

When a country has a stable food supply, it is said that they enjoy food security. Food security is easier to acheive in DCs. This is because they practises stockpiling. Stockpiling is expensive  but it is able to last the country 3 month without any food. It is not possible to acheive in LDCs as stockpiling is too expensive for LDCs. 

The outbreak of diseases, wars, conflicts will also affect the stability of food supply. For example: Millions of chickens were killed during the outbreak of the bird flu to prevent it from spreading. 

Ways to intensify food production

Gentle reliefs are usually able to produce better output of crops than steep reliefs of soil. Gentle reliefs are less likely to have soil erosion and there will be lesser nutrients lost through surface runoff compared to steep reliefs. Labour can also be replaced with machineries due to the steep relief. However, it still depends on the type of vegetation that is grown. Some crops only grow on steep reliefs, like tea leaves.

Nutrients of soil


Crops usually grow well in areas with high temperature and high rainfall. But it still depends on the species. Eg: Potatoes grow well in warm and dry climate.

Land fragmentation

A plot of land is  divided by the owner among his children as inheritance. Over many generations, the plots of land will become very small and this willl affect the output. The output will definitely be small and it will be unprofitable to use machineries like tractors.


The demand for food will affect the intensity of food producion. When there is a demand, the price of food will increase and this will encourage farmers to improve the output. Eg: coffee.


If the farmer is rich, he will be able to use modern irrigation methods such as building dykes and dams and machineries to increase the output. Vice-versa.

Technological factor.

Green revolution

It is the first systematic approach to use modern technology to help farmers increase their output.

It encourages the use of chemicals such as pesticides herbicides and fertiliser. With the green revolution, high yielding varieties of better traits (rice, cereals) were developed.  

But the cost of using such high tech equipments was large and most poor farmers were not able to afford it. The green revolution benefited the rich and better educated farmers. 

Blue revolution

A attempt to protect marine life and ensure sufficient food for future generations. The blue revolution encourages fish rearing in ponds or enclosed areas under special conditions that promotes growth.  

Problem that might  occur from Green revolution

Salinisation of soil

It is the build up of salt in soil, affecting plant growth.

When farmers uses too much irrigation, It will cause flooding in soil and the watertable will rise. As the water evaporates, minerals in the water (salt) is left behind. If this process keeps evaporating, salinisation will occur. Eg: Victoria, Australia.


-imbalance amout of nutrients of soil.

It occurs when too much fertilisers was used. Fertilisers only contain 2 or 3 types of nutrients out of the 20 that the lants need. The excess nutrients that the plants are unable to take in will be left in the soil. Over a long period of time, soil fertility will be affected.

Genetically modified food (GM food)

Positive effects

-increase in income for farmers

-able to keep fresh for a long period of time

-shorter growth period, resulting in faster yielding

-higher nutritional value

-less pollution to environment as less chemicals are used


-potential health risks

-loss of biodiversity. 

-Loss of natural species. When GM crops are mixed with other natural crops, the offsprings is a new type of GM crop. This is a  irreversiable genetic pollution as it will lead to loss of natural species

-large investment needed to produce GM food (often dominated by large companies). This may offset any profits and will result in high food prices.