Global food security will remain a worldwide concern for the next 50 years and beyond. The growing number of people leads to an increase in the global demand for food. It is likely that climate change and population growth will decrease the amount of available farmland whilst water, phosphate and fuel become scarcer. Food security involves not only food availability but also food access and use. Meeting global food security in a sustainable manner requires a reduction of the ecological footprint of agricultural production and a reduction of the waste along the production chain. These issues are particularly relevant for developing countries who are most vulnerable to these global changes.
The above depicts the environment in which animal breeding needs to operate. The fall school on Animal Breeding and Genetics provides insights in the issue involved in securing food security for the growing world population and the opportunities for animal breeding to contribute.
The Fall school Animal Breeding and Genetics is a unique event organised by the European Graduate School in Animal Breeding and Genetics (EMABG) in collaboration with ILRI, Ethiopia. The fall school is also open for other PhD students, working in the domain of Animal sciences, who are interested in or working on the issue of global food security. The fall school mainly deals with various issues that are important for the implementation of sustainable breeding programs for farm animals. The focus of the course will be on developing countries.
Various issues that are important for the implementation of sustainable breeding programs for farm animals will be discussed. Scientists with extensive experience in this domain will give lectures and supervise students during their assignments. The fall school is initiated by the EGSABG consortium. However, this fall school is intended not only for students that participate in the European Graduate School in animal breeding and genetics (EGSABG) but also for other students that want to become internationally experienced. Participants are required to have a background in animal sciences and a basic understanding of animal breeding.
After following this summer school PhD candidates:
- Understand the concept of global sustainable food security
- Can identify the competing claims with respect to sustainable food security
- Can explain how animal production can contribute to sustainable food security
- Can explain how animal breeding can contribute to sustainable food security
- Understand the role of stakeholders and the importance of empowerment of farmers for the implementation of breeding plans.
- Are able to formulate research priorities that contribute to sustainable food security
- Have a clear understanding that animal breeding in developing countries is different from animal breeding in developed countries.
- Can present the contribution of their own research project to sustainable food security
Assignments and discussions
During the Summer school, you will get several assignments and case studies. Some of them are to be performed individually, for others you will be divided in groups. A provisional program is given below.
During the week, four different cases will be introduced to you. We ask you to solve a problem and/or present an issue, with your group of students (4-5 students per group). The cases will be presented by researchers with extensive field experience. The aim of the discussions is to make you critically reflect on the issue at hand, report on its contents and possible solutions in a presentation (PowerPoint) to the whole group, give your own (group) opinion(s) about the problem or issue presented and lead a discussion about the subject.