Factors Influencing Supply and Demand of Food

It highlights the main reasons for some of these factors such as food scarcity, prices and volatility.
Food scarcity is a significant issue affecting economies globally as they strive to maintain healthy communities. As population increases, pressure on arable land has mounted leading to reduced soil fertility and pasture for livestock production. Potential land for food production is no longer available for farming as a human settlement has continued to expand. FAO (2012) postulated that a 60% increase in food production will be required to sustain the global population by 2050. Many other forces are influencing the availability of food. Climate change and global warming have led to negative changes that have occurred in areas that formed part of the global food basket but no longer support farming as a result of reduced rainfall and desertification. Desertification in Africa, Asia and Southern Australia, arid areas of Spain, Northern and Southern America has caused significant food shortages. Poor farming methods, overgrazing and deforestation of vast areas have accelerated desertification to the current crisis leading to dire food shortage globally (Kendall &amp. Pimentel, 2010).
Among other dynamics, demand for food is influenced by socio-economic factors that influence people’s food habits. For example, improved incomes globally as more people are able to participate in gainful employment has increased the demand for expensive food such as fast foods and chicken that require more energy to produce compared to the conventional foods. Culture and religion influence what people believe to be edible and hence lower or increase demand for particular foods (Kendall &amp. Pimentel, 2010). Nutzenadel &amp. Trentmann (2008) argue that malnutrition and global food scarcity can be curtailed by discouraging prohibitive beliefs and promoting acceptance of a wide variety of food materials&nbsp.especially animal proteins that are not eaten by members of certain religious and cultural groups such as pork consumption among communities in the Middle East and beef consumption among the Hindu. Many insect species have been found to be important protein sources but people have not accepted them as food sources (Brouver &amp. Staveren, 2006).&nbsp.