The world is changing and is becoming more unpredictable and uncontrollable. This holds for both social and natural conditions, with climate change and globalisation being major drivers of change in the world. People around the world are increasingly exposed to extreme weather events, economic crises, food crises, disease epidemics, social instability and political conflicts. The resulting insecurity not only affects the global social and economic systems, but also (local) food systems and their farmers who stand at the basis of food production.
Farming in a dynamic and uncertain world
Farming in a changing world
Insecurity is inherently linked to farming. Increasingly farmers and other food chain actors are dealing in many ways with multiple and simultaneous shocks and changes affecting food systems. While coping with increased insecurity, the agricultural sector also needs to face future challenges of feeding a growing and urbanising population with changing dietary demands and at the same time reduce the environmental impact of agricultural activities. This requires sustainable intensification (getting more from less), with reduced vulnerability to perturbations. With these increasing uncertainties and future challenges in prospect, there is the need for development of resilient and sustainable food systems that can cope with unexpected shocks and ensure a food secure future.
This course aims to offer a systems thinking and systems dynamics approach on agriculture as well as skills and tools to design innovative, resilient and sustainable food systems. It looks at how to balance between producing food, managing natural resources, dealing with uncertainty and providing an livelihood base for the rural population. It will move beyond the technical realm looking also at the role and involvement of public, private and civil stakeholders for inclusion of social, environmental, economic, and political aspects.
The overall objectives of this course are to:
Understand the global future challenges of food production and the effects on different scales of farming;
Apply a system dynamics approach for analysing food systems in order to find new balances between producing food, managing natural resources, dealing with uncertainty and providing a livelihood base for the rural population in a changing world.
Knowledge and skills will be strengthened and after this two weeks course you will:
- have a deeper understanding on how global development trends and challenges affect farming practices and policies at local and national levels;
- be able to use various tools and techniques to analyse food systems and to identify critical issues for change;
- be able to develop innovative and practical oriented interventions, strategies and policies for transition to resilient and sustainable food systems, which are socially, economically and ecologically balanced;
- understand the role of stakeholders and involve them in making food systems more resilient and sustainable.
We invite technical staff, policymakers, scientists, private sector professionals and programme / project managers who want to build resilient and sustainable food system in their home countries, to enrol. Participants should be proficient in English, and have at least a BSc degree or an equivalent academic qualification and preferably several years of work experience in the agricultural domain.