Modern food production is essentially food production driven by the use of sophisticated technologies to increase yields. This article looks at the various modern food production systems currently in use, and the benefits to be derived from them.
Modern food production systems
In modern food production systems, the application of technology is central to the various methods used.An example of this technology is the disperser mixer. Modern agricultural systems aim to develop and maintain soil fertility by providing specific nutrients once depleted.Machine technology and power are used to create the right soil conditions for plant growth with minimal soil loss and disturbance.The use of improved genetics for both animals andcrops is encouraged so as to increase yields, as well as enhance reliability and quality.Modern genetic techniques are also used to protect livestock and plants from losses to diseases, competing plants, insects anddrought,among other threats.
Modern food production methods also make use of irrigation as a rainfall supplement so as to guarantee high yields. Advanced harvesting, as well as handling and storage techniques,is used to minimize losses and for commodity marketing purposes.
Modern food production in countries in the developed world involves not only the farms and farmers, but also the highly sophisticated technology-based systems that move, process and store the output of producers throughout a huge value chain thatextends to food products and the final consumer. The economic impact of these systems in the US alone is over $1.2 trillion contributed to the GDP every year, and the generation of about 24 million jobs.
Benefits of modern food production
There are many benefits to modern food production:
- The increased food production enables more of the world’s population to eat larger quantities of food of better quality and of greater diversity. As a result, the problems of hunger and malnutrition are alleviated.
- Modern agriculture has enabled physical pressures on the environment to be ameliorated, by reducing the necessity for land area expansion, as well as the pressure on forestland, grassland and cropland.
- Modern food production also ensures that more food is produced while using fewer natural resources.
- Modern food production further helps reduce the carbon footprint.
- Advancements in processing technology and handling have contributed enormously to better food safety by reducing pathogens as well as post-harvest losses.
- Since more food is available and accessible to people, this promotes global political stability.
- Modern food production brings huge social and economic benefits to consumers such as better living standards and an improved quality of life as a result of declining food costs. Consumers have greater purchasing power for things such as healthcare, education and leisure.This has been seen to be an important driver of economic growth in the west, and can now also be seen in developing countries.
Modern food production has revolutionized the way food moves from the factory to the consumer’s plate. It has also brought with it many benefits that more and more people around the world are now able to enjoy.