Course Details - Resilient and Sustainable Food Systems for a Food-Secure Future

Insecure food systems

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 & food security 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.

Food systems approach

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.

Course setting

As a participant you receive an extensive, interactive and participatory training where theory is merged with practice. Course activities will comprise lectures, discussions, group work, case studies, assignments and excursions. Both core and cross-cutting topics will be covered during the course. The programme is flexible to suit participants’ needs and participants’ case studies are the basis of the group work. Furthermore, this course creates a unique opportunity to meet with course colleagues from around the world, with similar interest, and to share experiences and learn from each other.

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