Food Security-Related Issues and Solutions

Food Security-Related Issues and Solutions

Olga Pasko (Tomsk Polytechnic University, Russia) and Natalia Staurskaya (Omsk State Technical University, Russia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1042-1.ch003


The food problem has been and has remained relevant throughout the history of mankind. At the end of 20th and the beginning of the 21st century, in the lives of many nations and countries, there have been significant changes. Health status and level of education of the population, such as, for example, food security, is the priority in many countries since, in the absence of sufficient food reserves, there is an economic and political dependence of some countries on others. Having not yet received the required amount of food, the world is faced with the problem of ensuring security in its quality. Anthropogenic pollution of the environment complicates the problem with the quality of food and the exception of harmful chemicals in food. There is a problem of using environmentally friendly agrotechnical means, ensuring the production of high yields of environmentally safe products with a desirable reduction in their cost, and shortening the time required for their production.
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The most important task of agricultural production is to increase the yield and quality of agricultural crops, as well as accelerate the ripening of food products. The use of innovative technologies in agricultural production, in particular, pre-sowing stimulation of seeds (Hozayn & Qados, 2010; Shabin, Tyshkevich, & Ershova, 2017) allows to get a crop in less time with less effort and lower costs.

The first scientific results on the stimulation of crop yields by physical factors were obtained in 1746. Dr. Mimbre from Edinburgh discovered that the treatment of myrtle plants with an electrostatic field enhanced their growth and flowering. In 1748, French abbot Jean Nole established the acceleration of seed germination after treatment with an electric field. In 1885, Finn Lemstrem described the stimulation of growth of potatoes, carrots, and celery by 40% in eight weeks. Strawberries ripened twice as fast. Raspberry harvest doubled, that of carrots increased by 25%. Control plants of cabbage, turnip, and flax grew better than the treated ones (Briggs, 1926; Ross, 1844; Nelson, 2007).

In 1918-1921, about 500 British farmers in the acreage of about 2,000 acres studied the method of treating cotton seeds with a solution of fertilizer treated with an electric field (Nelson, 2007). It turned out that at the end of the growing season there were two or three times more boxes on the test plants than on the control plants. Positive results were obtained for sugar beets, tomatoes, and corn.

The experiments have been continuing successfully. There has been accumulated a significant scientific material on the use of physical and chemical factors to increase the yield of cultivated plants. It has been established that plant growth stimulators pose a complex effect on physiological and biochemical processes, accelerate the development of plants, and enable more rational use of agricultural lands and equipment (Wierzbowska, Cwalina-Ambroziak, Glosek, & Sienkiewicz, 2015). Their positive effect on yields and quality of agricultural products has been demonstrated in case of phytopathological state of crops in different soil and climate conditions (Kuzminykh & Pashkova, 2016; Petrichenko & Loginov, 2010).

In some of the cases, the use of stimulants allows reducing the dose of applied fertilizers and pesticides which has a positive effect on quality of agricultural and food products, as well as reduces production costs (Pigorev, Zasorina, Rodionov, & Katunin, 2011; Ponomareva & Zaharova, 2015; Demchenko, Shevchuk, & Yuzvenko, 2016). In the developed countries, application of stimulants allows increasing the productivity of particular crops by 20-30% (Danilov, 2017). Specifically, in vegetable and fruit production, as well as in ornamental horticulture, their use has become a mandatory agrotechnical technique which is employed in 50-80% of agricultural enterprises all over the world (Malevannaya, 2001; Ambroszczyk, Jedrszczyk, & Nowicka-Polec, 2016).

The use of plant growth stimulants is focused on solving a specific problem of obtaining a given volume and quality of agricultural products (Chekurov, Sergeeva, & Zhalieva, 2003). Special attention is paid to the use of environmentally friendly and non-toxic methods and substances (Colla, Rouphael, Canaguier, Svecova, & Cardarelli, 2014; Paradikovic, Vinkovic, Vinkovic Vrcek, & Tkalec, 2013; Ovcharenko, 2001; Tiwari & Dhuria, 2018). Internationally, growth and development of plants of natural and synthetic origin are used (Alexandrova, Shramko, & Knyazeva, 2010; Kocira, Kornas, & Kocira, 2013).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Pesticides: The chemical agents used to control pests and plant diseases, as well as with various parasites, weeds, pests of grain and grain products, wood, cotton, wool, skin products, ectoparasites of domestic animals, as well as carriers of dangerous human diseases and animals.

Food Products: The products in natural or processed form, food products, food products, food water, alcoholic beverages (including beer), soft drinks, chewing gum, as well as food raw materials

Productivity Stimulant: The compounds causing in very low concentrations stimulation or suppression of the growth and morphogenesis of plants.

Food Security: A state of the economy and the agro-industrial complex, which, while preserving and improving the habitat, regardless of external and internal conditions, allows the country's population to smoothly obtain environmentally friendly and healthy food at affordable prices, in amounts not lower than scientifically based standards.

National Security: An ability of a nation to meet the needs necessary for its self-preservation, self-reproduction, and self-improvement with minimal risk of damage to the basic values of its current state.

Food Safety: A state of food products completely eliminating the negative impact on human health when it is consumed.

Ecological Safety: An acceptable level of negative impact of natural and anthropogenic factors.

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