For more information and program on the conference, please read PDF-invitation.
Global Food Security
Ensuring sustainable food production at local to global scales
Will there be food to feed us all? FAO predicts that the world population may reach 9.7 billion in 2050. The social and economic sustainability of this growth requires 50–100 % more food, fiber and fuel to be available for the global market, at affordable prices – and this food must be produced sustainably.
The brutal roller coaster of staple food commodity prices and food supplies in recent years is evidence of a poorly balanced system on a razor’s edge. It has led to increased concerns about food self-sufficiency amongst policy makers at global, national and regional scales because of tight linkages among food availability, food security, social stability and political independence. Climate change and associated increased variability in yields and staple food stocks will add to this volatility – and to more concern.
Open markets and global trade generally contribute to efficient use of scarce resources and stabilization of prices. Their development in recent years, however, has led to questioning of this central experience and consensus. Some argue that there are situations and special conditions where increased national food self-sufficiency could be vital. Other scientists warn against the dangers of policies that restrict free trade in agricultural commodities under any conditions.
Both perspectives seem to agree that strategic investments in research, development and infrastructure to enhance food self-sufficiency would be justified for a country that is currently a net importer of food but which has the natural resources to give “comparative advantage” to produce more food domestically.
This conference will focus on economic, political and social justification for national food self-sufficiency, how to assess comparative advantage in food production, and sustainable/ecological intensification as a means to reach food self-sufficiency.
The Bertebos Prize was founded by Bertebos Foundation and established in 1996 by Brita and Olof Stenström for distinguished development in areas of food, agriculture, animal health and ecology. The prize is followed by a two-day conference in Falkenberg, Sweden, in the following year, focused on the research area of the award winner.
The focus of the 2018 Bertebos conference is the area of sustainable food systems, especially the concepts of ecological intensification of agricultural production and food self sufficiency. This is the research focus of Professor Kenneth G. Cassman, the winner of the Bertebos prize in 2017. The conference will be held at Strandbaden Hotel , Falkenberg, Sweden, on 26–28 August 2018.
Kenneth G. Cassman, Professor of Agronomy at the University of Nebraska, USA, has been one of leading scientists in developing the concept of ecological intensification of agricultural production. The concept relates to how we can minimize gap between the current yield at the farm level to the potential yield achievable by the use of best available technologies and knowledge, while minimizing negative environmental impacts and conserving natural resources. Professor Cassman has played a major role in developing a global yield gap atlas for important food crops. Throughout his career, he has also engaged in efforts to ensure that scientific findings are translated into action at the farm level.