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problem of Food Crops Cultivation along coastal land boundaries in the Limbe 2 Municipality Case Study Mokundange

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Hunger and extreme poverty have been reduced globally since the 1990s.Yet, around 700 million people, most of them living in rural areas, are still extremely poor today (Inverson,2004).

In addition, despite undeniable progress in reducing rates of undernourishment and improving levels of nutrition and health, almost 800 million people are chronically hungry and 2 billion suffer micronutrient deficiencies.

Under a ‘business-as-usual’ scenario, without additional efforts to promote pro-poor development, some 653 million people would still be undernourished in 2030.

Even where poverty has been reduced, pervasive inequalities remain, hindering poverty eradication (Inverson,2004).
Critical parts of food systems are becoming more capital-intensive, vertically integrated and concentrated in fewer hands.

This is happening from input provisioning to food distribution. Small scale producers and landless households are the first to lose out and increasingly seek employment opportunities outside of agriculture.

This is driving increased migratory flows, especially of male members of rural households, which is leading, in turn, to the ‘feminization’ of farming in many parts of the world. Conflicts, crises and natural disasters are increasing in number and intensity.

They reduce food availability, disrupt access to food and health care, and undermine social protection systems, pushing many affected people back into poverty and hunger, fueling distress migration and increasing the need for humanitarian aid.

Violent conflict also frequently characterizes protracted crises. On average, the proportion of undernourished people living in low-income countries with a protracted crisis is between 2.5 and 3 times higher than in other low-income countries (FAO 2002).
These trends pose a series of challenges to food and agriculture. High-input, resource-intensive farming systems, which have caused massive deforestation, water scarcities, soil depletion and high levels of greenhouse gas emissions, cannot deliver sustainable food and agricultural production (Olaniran 1998).

Needed are innovative systems that protect and enhance the natural resource base, while increasing productivity.

Needed is a transformative process towards ‘holistic’ approaches, such as agro ecology, agro-forestry, climate-smart agriculture and conservation agriculture, which also build upon indigenous and
traditional knowledge.

Technological improvements, along with drastic cuts in economy-wide and agricultural fossil fuel use, would help address climate change and the intensification of natural hazards, which affect all ecosystems and every aspect of human life.

Greater international collaboration is needed to prevent emerging transboundary agriculture and food system threats, such as pests and diseases (Jude kimengsi 2016).

Eradicating extreme poverty, and ensuring that vulnerable people who escape poverty do not fall back into it, requires action to reduce inequalities.

That means addressing inequalities both between and within countries, in levels of income, in opportunities and in ownership of assets, including land.

Pro-poor growth strategies, which ensure that the weakest participate in the benefits of market integration and investment in agriculture, would improve their income and investment opportunities in rural areas and address the root causes of migration.

But pro-poor growth must go beyond agriculture, by involving both rural and urban areas and supporting job creation and income diversification.

Social protection combined with pro-poor growth will help meet the challenge of ending hunger and addressing the triple burden of malnutrition through healthier diets.

Permanently eliminating hunger, malnutrition and extreme poverty also requires building resilience to protracted crises, disasters and conflicts, and preventing conflicts by promoting inclusive and equitable global development.

A rethinking of food systems and governance is essential for meeting current and future challenges.

Vertically coordinated, more organized food systems offer standardized food for urban areas and formal employment opportunities.

But they need to be accompanied by responsible investments and concern for smallholder livelihoods, the environmental footprint of lengthening food supply chains, and impacts on biodiversity.

These concerns need to be addressed by making food systems more efficient, inclusive and resilient.

On the path to sustainable development, all countries are interdependent. One of the greatest challenges is achieving coherent, effective national and international governance, with clear development objectives and commitment to achieving them.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development embodies such a vision – one that goes beyond the divide of ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ countries. Sustainable development is a universal challenge and the collective responsibility for all countries, requiring fundamental changes in the way all societies produce and consume.

Cause for hope and concern Global trends and challenges that are shaping our future. Over the past century, enormous progress has been achieved worldwide in improving human welfare.

Societies have changed nation, and innovations in production systems.

Yet conditions in radically thanks to quantum leaps in technology, rapid urban today’s world is a far cry from the world ‘free of fear and want’ envisioned at the foundation of the United Nations.

Similarly, much remains to be done to fulfill the vision of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO): to create ‘a world free of hunger and malnutrition and one in which food and agriculture contribute to improving the living standards of all, especially the poorest, in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable manner’. Amid great plenty, billions of people still face pervasive poverty, gross inequalities, joblessness, environmental degradation, disease and deprivation. Displacement and migratory flows are at their highest levels since the Second World War. Many armed conflicts have been resolved, but new ones have emerged. Much of humanity’s progress has come at a considerable cost to the environment. The impacts of climate change are already being felt, and – if left unabated – will intensify considerably in the years ahead. Globally integrated production processes have brought many benefits, but present challenges in terms of their regulation and the need to steer them towards more equitable and sustainable outcomes

Changing demand for different agricultural products causes shifts in land use. Until recently, food production was the main agricultural practice in most countries. Today, however, producing crops for non-food use is on the rise.

In 2016, only 55 % of food crops calories ended up directly on our tables, whereas 36 % were used as livestock feed and 14 % ended up as biofuel or other cash products (Foley, 2016).

Changing demand and new market opportunities create large land use changes and an expansion of non-food crops.

Is this a matter of concern? Economic development theorists have suggested that to enhance economic growth, countries should develop strategies in favor of non-food products at the expense of food production.

This is because demand for non-food products increases with more wealth, relative to demand for food products (Engel’s law) (Baffes and Etienne, 2014). However, expanding agricultural land create other concerns, causing deforestation and carbon emissions.

While producing to feed its own population may dominate climate in policy making, these concerns are strongest for cash crops (Wiggins et al., 2015).

The link between demand and area change is modified in two ways.

First, increased demand is modified by the basic price mechanisms: higher demand partially increases production, and partially the price, with the final production increase being determined by the demand and supply elasticity.

Second, area change is modified by change in land productivity (=yield), given by the identity: production = yield * area (FAO, 2017, Ray et al., 2013, Ewers et al., 2009).

Prior to the 20th century and the Green Revolution, almost all increase in food production was obtained by bringing new land into production.

But agricultural land is scarce and our ability to supply food, feed and fuel, while maintaining environmental services depends on our cultivation practices.

Two different outcomes of yield-enhancing policies are suggested: agricultural expansion and deforestation is reduced, or agricultural encroachment is stimulated.

Although it is intuitive that intensification to increase production on existing cropland is the best way of reducing agricultural encroachment, this is not necessarily accepted scientifically (Byerlee et al., 2014).

While investments in staple food crops has resulted in net-land saving of 20-30 million hectares (Evenson and Rose grant, 2003, Stevenson et al., 2013), intensification of feed -and fuel crops, at the expense of pastures and natural vegetation, has been major drivers of agricultural expansion and environmental degradation (Nepstad and Stickler, 2008).

A number of global trends are influencing food security, poverty and the overall sustainability of food and agricultural systems.

The world’s population is expected to grow to almost 10 billion by2050,boosting agricultural demand – in a scenario of modest economic growth – by some 50 percent compared to 2013.

Income growth inlow- and middle-income countries would hasten a dietary transition towards higher consumption of meat, fruits and vegetables, relative to that of cereals, requiring commensurate shifts in output and adding pressure on natural resources.

Economic growth and population dynamics are driving the structural change of economies.

The decline in the share of agriculture in total production and employment is taking place at different speeds and poses different challenges across regions.

Although agricultural investments and technological innovations are boosting productivity, growth of yieldshas slowed to rates that are too low for comfort.

Food losses and waste claim a significant proportion of agricultural output, and reducing them would lessen the need for production increases.

However, the needed acceleration in productivity growth is hampered by the degradation of natural resources, the loss of biodiversity, and the spread of transboundary pests and diseases of plants and animals, some of which are becoming resistant to antimicrobials.

Climate change affects disproportionately food-insecure regions, jeopardizing crop and livestock production, fish stocks and fisheries.

Satisfying increased demands on agriculture with existing farming practices is likely to lead to more intense competition for natural resources, increased greenhouse gas emissions, and further deforestation and land degradation.

Population dynamics will radically change demographics over the coming decades and towards the end of the century.

Projected growth in the world’s population is expected to be concentrated in Africa and South Asia and in the world’s cities.

By mid-century, two-thirds of the global population will live in urban areas.

Low-income countries will see large increments in the 15-24 years age group.

The population will continue to grow in South Asia until mid-century and in sub-Saharan Africa until at least the end of the century.

By the year 2100, Asia and Africa are expected be home to a combined population of 9 billion, out of the projected 11 billion people who will inhabit Earth (Etcha 2005) ·

Trends and challengesPopulation growth could provide these regions with a huge demographic dividend and massive growth in domestic markets.

However, cashing in on this dividend will be challenging. Unless adequate economic opportunities are created, the boon may well turn out to be a bane, one that fuels mass migration and, possibly, conflicts. Other regions, meanwhile, will have to adjust to rapidly ageing populations.

The changing demographics will further increase the weight of low- and middle-income countries in the global economy. However, this does not necessarily mean incomes will converge among nations and individuals.

In recent decades, rapid growth in emerging economies has contributed to some decline in levels of inequality among countries. But this has been offset, by and large, by rising inequality within most countries, whatever their income level.

Despite significant economic growth since 2000, the average income of people living in Africa is about 5 percent of the average income of citizens living in the United States.

This proportion is less than what it was half a century ago. This reveals not only deep imbalances in current levels of well-being but also the huge disparities in the capacity to save and invest in future income generation.

While the full implications of this situation for future trends are hard to predict, it is likely that vast global inequalities will persist for some time to come, even if low-income countries do manage to benefit from their demographic dividend.

Agriculture and food systems have already changed significantly, but will need to adjust further in this evolving global environment(Napi,2011).

Agricultural production more than tripled between 1960 and 2015, owing in part to productivity-enhancing Green Revolution technologies and a significant expansion in the use of land, water and other natural resources for agricultural purposes.

The same period witnessed a remarkable process of industrialization and globalization of food and agriculture. Food supply chains have lengthened dramatically as the physical distance from farm to plate has increased; the consumption of processed, packaged and prepared foods has increased in all but the most isolated rural communities.

Nevertheless, persistent and widespread hunger and malnutrition remain a huge challenge in many parts of the world. The current rate of progress will not be enough to eradicate hunger by 2030, and not even by 2050.

At the same time, the evolution of food systems has both responded to and driven changing dietary preferences and patterns of overconsumption, which is reflected in the staggering increases in the prevalence of overweight and obesity around the world.

Expanding food production and economic growth have often come at a heavy cost to the natural environment. Almost one half of the forests that once covered the Earth are now gone. Groundwater sources are being depleted rapidly. Biodiversity has been deeply eroded.

Every year, the burning of fossil fuels emits into the atmosphere billion of tones of greenhouse gases, which are responsible for global warming and climate change.

All of these negative trends are accelerating in pace and intensity, and agriculture is an important part of the problem. Deforestation, mainly for farming, produces a significant share of global greenhouse gas emissions (Thornton et al, 2011).

The general trend in global food security during the second half of the last century wascharacterized by a change from shortages to surpluses, resulting in food affluence in the developed world.

From the mid-1960s to the end of the 1970s new technologies and innovations, including the choice of semi-dwarf cultivars, split dressings of nitrogen, use of growth retardants, and the use of systemic fungicides and insecticides were introduced in wheat cropping systems to enhance yields.

In irrigated rice systems the introduction of high-yielding hybrids combined with ample nitrogen supply did boost yields.

There is substantial evidence that the so-called ―green revolution‖ resulted in improved crop yields of the three major grain crops: maize, rice, and wheat [1]. During the last three decades the emphasis was shifted to reducing the side effects of external inputs in intensive farming systems.

As a consequence, the external inputs (e.g., nitrogen and biocides) were reduced, and crop yields reached a plateau. However, food scarcity continued to persist for poor people in developing countries with a still fast-growing population and often also political instability [2].

Estimates of the number of people suffering from hunger and poverty decreased to about 800 million in the period from 1985 to 2005, but showed a rise to about 1.2 billion afterwards, due to price volatility and regional food shortages.

Besides political and socio-economic constraints the following also play a role: a lack of legislation, a change of food preferences, occurrence of animal and crop diseases, climate change induced weather extremes, an increased scarcity of resources (irrigation water, phosphorus, fertile land), and rising costs of fossil energy [3].

The demand for food and feed is not only driven by a growing population, but even more by diet choice, food waste, and lifestyle (e.g., easiness).

Misselhornet al. [3] also stress that global food security is closely linked to human development.

Globally, food demand will increase by 50% and thearea of cultivated land by 10% by 2030 [4, 5]. Adaptive and proactive food systems are needed with cross-level, cross-scale, and cross-sector investments and use offrontier technologies to attain food security.

Globally, we have taken about 26% (3.3 billion ha) of the planet‘s land area for crop land and pasture.

The pressure on fertile land does vary for different parts of the world: relatively low in Europe and Latin America, compared to South-East Asia where the available fertile land per capita decreased to <0.20 ha [13].

The pressure on land has intensified over the last 40 years in Asia because of the growth of the already high population density in regions with fertile land.

Assessments of land use should be scientifically sound and not be guided by ideologically based parameters, like a globally―fair share‖ of acceptable resource use as proposed by Bringezuet al. [14].

They concluded that, on average, the countries in the European Union use one-third more crop land than globally available per capita, and thus exceed the criterion of ―fair share‖. However, it had already been shown in the study―Ground for Choices‖ some 20 years ago, that Europe has a surplus of arable land [1 5].

The more fertile and productive land has already been brought into exploitation for agriculture and grazing in the past—in Europe, since the 12th Century [16].

Generally, the driving forces for land reclamation from the sea (polders), cutting forests and converting grazing land have been the growing demand for food and, more importantly, creating employment and income of a growing rural population.

In the USA, the economic-based ‗right to farm ‘was more important for expansion of agricultural land use than environmental concerns, such as long-term consequences for soil carbon storage and overuse of limited water reserves (aquifers, rivers, etc.) [17].

The majority of people living in rural areas in poor countries depend on agriculture for their livelihood, directly or indirectly, yet information on distribution of specific crops are limited (Anderson et al., 2014, World Bank, 2008).

To study resource management and land degradation scientists has been using remote sensing analysis, i.e., obtaining information on crops typically aircrafts or satellites (NOAA, 2017).

Supporters of remote sensing analysis argue that, while subnational statistics provide limited information on cropland trends, remote sensing has proved capable of providing reliable data on a timely basis to a fraction of the cost of traditional methods of collecting data (Nellis et al., 2009, Anderson et al., 2014).

However, critics say that remote sensing products are ill suited for many applications due to insufficient resolution and lack of dependable and consistent remote sensing systems (Nellis et al., 2009).

Nevertheless, to examine agricultural trends, recent studies have incorporated data from remote sensing with available information from statistical surveys1 (Fischer et al., 2012, Leff et al.,2004, Monfreda et al., 2008, Portmann et al., 2010, You et al., 2014, Ramankutty et al., 2008)Besides providing food, agriculture also offer business opportunities through high-value products in both domestic and international markets.

Thanks to market liberalization and technological change, agriculture has become a major cause of economic growth and poverty reduction for many countries. For example, in China, rapid growth in agriculture has caused rural poverty to drop 45% in a few years (World Bank, 2008).

Additionally, traditional cropsrecently obtained greater attention through expanded areas of usage, such as feed-maize exports and sugar cane for biofuels (DelaTorreUgarte,2006).

However, agriculture has not always been considered an engine of growth (Tiffin and Irz, 2006). In 1857, Ernst Engel observed that poor families spent a greater proportion of their total expenditure on food, rather than manufactured goods.

He concluded therefore that the wealthier the nation, the smaller the proportion of food to total expenditure. This became known as Engel’s Law, caused by less than unitary income elasticity of food commodities (Laitner, 2000, Baffes and Etienne, 2014).

Engel’s observations formed several competing views attempting to explain and forecast thelong-term behavior of the terms-of-trade (ToT) faced by developing countries.

The most important view argued, “ToT will follow a downward path because income growth leads to smaller demand increases in primary commodities than manufacture products” (Baffes and Etienne, 2014, p. 2), an outcome which is consistent with Engel’s law.

Several decades later, the American economist Charles Kindle Berger argued, “the ToT move against agricultural and raw material countries as the world’s standard of living increases and as Engels’s law of consumption operates.

The elasticity of demand for wheat, cotton, sugar, coffee, and bananas is low with respect for income” (Kindle Berger, 1943, p. 349). Countries should therefore switch from production of food crops to products with higher income elasticity, such as biofuels, to promote economic growth.

Kindle Berger statements were later empirically tested by RaulPrebisch and Hans Singer and is expressed as the “Prebisch-Singer thesis”.

The thesis states that over time, the ToT would turn against countries who exported primary goods and imported manufactures (Eicher and Staatz, 1998).

Countries should therefore base their development strategies on import substitution of manufactured goods rather than promotion of agricultural exports, as economic growth provided by agriculture and other primary exports is very limited (Cuddington et al., 2002, Eicher and Staatz, 1998).

Production of staple crops is not up to speed to satisfy the rapidly growing population (FAO,2017, Harvey, 2013, Ray et al., 2013).

Staple crops are food that is eaten regularly, even daily, in such quantities that it constitutes the dominant part of a population’s diet.

Most people in the world live on a diet based on at least one or more of the following crops: rice, wheat, maize, barley, sorghum, cassava, potato, taro, yam, banana, plantain and soybeans.

Together, these crops provide close to 90 % of world’s food energy intake, whereas more than 50 % ofthese comes from only three “mega-crops”: rice, wheat and maize (IDRC, 2010, O’Connor,2014).

To satisfy the rapidly growing population, and changes in per capita consumption and diets, global staple crop production needs to double by 2050. However, a study shows that the three “mega-crops” only increases by 0.9 % to 1.6 % a year, far below what is needed to meet projected demands for 2050.

Yield improvements are insufficient to keep up with the (project) demand increase (Ray et al., 2013).The food sector is less competitive on the international market than non-food crops.

Even with globalization, much of the staple crop sector remains largely non-tradable, producing mainly for the domestic market (Figure 2.2) (World Bank, 2008).

A World Bank (2008) report, ‘’Agriculture for development”, argues that staple crops such as cassava, yams and sorghum are rarely traded on the international market due to low international prices and trade barriers such as formal trade barriers, poor infrastructure, high transportation – and marketing costs and trade policies favoring cash crops.

This is especially the case for rural areas and land-locked countries, where there is more isolated from the global markets, and exports often unprofitable.

Because food prices are inelastic, production is price sensitive and therefore less tempting for entering the international market (World Bank, 2008).

1.2 Statement Problem

Food crops are major crops of concern in terms of their consumption which goes a long way to raise the standards of living of local individuals directly or indirectly involved in its cultivation.

In the Limbe 2 municipality precisely around Mokundange, the cultivation of food crops over time has reduced in its intensity over time as households and families continue to grow mostly cash crops to raise revenue at the expense of food crops highly needed by the community.

If care is not taken, there might exist serious food shortage and food security in the future not only in the Limbe municipality but the entire Fako division in general.

Coastal land boundaries over time has been realized as favorable locations for food crop production but many are reluctant to accept the opportunity putting the agricultural sector at a very low pace. Most emphasis is placed only on touristic potentials as a town of” Friendship” to tourist.

This means more still has to be done concerning food crop production in the Limbe municipality.

1.3 Research Question

1.3.1 Main Research Question

What are the challenges of food production along coastal land boundaries in the Limbe municipality?

1.3.2 Specific Research Questions

1) what are the factors favoring food crops cultivation along coastal land boundaries?

2)what are the problems faced by famers in the process of cultivation?

3) what can be put in place to mitigate these problems?

1.4 Research Objectives

1.4.1 Main Research Objectives

The main objective of the research is to examine the challenges of food crops production along coastal land boundaries in the Limbe municipality.

1.4.2 Specific Research Objectives

1) To investigate the factors favoring food crops cultivation

2) To evaluate the problems faced by famers in the process of cultivation

3) To suggest measures towards ameliorating the problems of food crops cultivation.

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