Global Education

Teacher resources to encourage a global
perspective across the curriculum

The power of food

Year level: 9-10

With the world' s population predicted to rise from 6.8 billion in 2010 to over 9 billion by 2050 there will be a massive increase in demand for food. Students examine maps and analyse information to identify ways of creating sustainable food security for all.

Unhusked rice and another crop are drying in the sun in a village near Sekong, Laos.

Unhusked rice and another crop are drying in the sun in a village near Sekong, Laos. Photo by Jim Holmes for AusAID


Identity and cultural diversity, Interdependence and globalisation, Social justice and human rights, Sustainable futures

Australian Curriculum links

Learning areas

Geography

Year 9

The environmental, economic and technological factors that influence crop yields in Australia and across the world (ACHGK062)

The challenges to food production, including land and water degradation, shortage of fresh water, competing land uses, and climate change, for Australia and other areas of the world (ACHGK063)

Year 10

The human-induced environmental changes that challenge sustainability (ACHGK070)

General capabilities

  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Literacy
  • Numeracy

Cross-curriculum priorities

  • Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia
  • Sustainability 

Activity 1: Global patterns of food security

Students hypothesise and analyse pattern production and consumption around the world.

Name five countries where you think all the population has sufficient food to eat. 
Compare your lists with others and discuss why you have selected these countries. Include reference to climate, culture, human modification of environments, soil fertility, landforms, technology, labour and demand.  

Name five countries where you think that not all the population has sufficient food to eat. 
Compare your lists with others and discuss why you have selected these countries. Include reference to climate, culture, human modification of environments, soil fertility, landforms, technology, labour and demand.  

Use the latest version of the Food and Agriculture Organization's The State of the Food Insecurity in the World map or The World Food Programme' s Fighting Hunger Worldwide map to adjust your lists.

Answer the following questions:

  • On what basis did you select the countries you thought were food secure or food insecure?
  • Were these assumptions accurate?
  • What are some characteristics of the countries which are not food secure? (Think about their economic, social, political, and environmental situations.)

Use  Scribble Maps or Quikmaps to create a map of the world showing the 10 countries on your lists.

Examine the following maps, create a key and add the appropriate information for your selected countries about:

Make a statement about food security in the 10 countries using the information about water, climate and desertification you have added to your map.

Read about food security on the Global education and the World Health Organization websites.

Discuss the accuracy of statements you made using the information you have read as a guide and add any missing factors.

Finish
these statements:

  • I find it interesting ...
  • I would like to know more about ...
  • I am concerned about ...

Activity 2: Improving food security

Students develop their understanding of food security and analyse some programs working to improve food security.

Read and/or view one of the following case studies and complete the associated activities:

Aquaculture in Thailand 

  • What were the factors hindering food production in north-east Thailand?
  • How was the problem solved?
  • Why were fish identified as the food supply to solve the food security issues?

Sweet potato biodiversity in Papua New Guinea 

  • What was the aim of the 'sweet potato project' in Papua?
  • Why were women considered a key factor affecting the success of the project?
  • How did the project impact on food security in the Madang region?

Fixing food security with forage legumes

  • Why is there a food security problem in West Timor?
  • How can the production of legumes solve this issue?
  • How has Australia assisted with this problem?

Present your findings to the whole group.

Identify and discuss the success of the strategies used to improve food security. 

Analyse the answers you have written about each of the food security cases.
Categorise them under the following headings:

  • Cause
  • Effect
  • Solution.

Review the combined findings and rank the factors according to the level of impact you feel they have on secure food production.
Pair and share your ranking and discuss your reasoning.

Write a paragraph explaining why food security can be an issue and how some countries are combating their food production problems.
 

Activity 3: Food for all

Providing food security has been described as a 'wicked problem', that is, a complex problem that cannot be solved with just one strategy. Students examine approaches to improving food security

Rank the strategies identified to address food security in Activity 2, individually, according to the level of impact you feel they have on improving food security.
Pair and share your ranking and discuss your reasoning with the whole group.

Write a paragraph explaining why there is food insecurity and activities that can address it.

Read the approach Australian Aid is taking to improve food security.

Evaluate the three approaches based on your previous learning.

Make a recommendation about what people in Australia can do to improve food security in developing countries.

Create a visual presentation highlighting world food security issues for your peers. The presentation could include ways that students could improve their local food security.

 

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Unhusked rice and another crop are drying in the sun in a village near Sekong, Laos.
Photo by Jim Holmes for AusAID
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Unhusked rice and another crop are drying in the sun in a village near Sekong, Laos. Photo by Jim Holmes for AusAID