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Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet

Food Systems for New Realities - Agri4D 2021

Welcome to the online conference Agri4D 28-30 September

African vegetable market, Assomada, Santiago Island, Cape Verde Photo: Peter Adams / Getty Images

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Organised by SLU Global at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and the Swedish International Agriculture Network Initiative (SIANI), with support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). 

Topics for Agri4D 2021

The objective of the conference is to present and integrate knowledge about potential solutions and outcomes, while identifying how those solutions might be incentivised and how, together, they can enable the social and economic transformations necessary to advance and achieve the goal of food and nutrition security for all.

With the ongoing pandemic, we will hold the conference online enabling a wide international participation creating a great potential for open and dynamic conversations. We divide the three days conference into 6 topics.

Book of Abstracts

Read the Book of Abstracts for more information about the topics and sessions.

Topic 1 - Justice in Food Governance

This topic will look on social and environmental justice in food systems with special attention to questions of gender, social marginalisation and intersectionality. Through a discussion of justice within food systems, we aim at exploring approaches for the elimination of poverty. We discuss the challenges of justice in regard to full and productive employment, socio-economic equality and decent work for all actors. We invite thinking on emerging questions, case studies and solutions related to challenges along the food value chain, to reduce risks for the world’s poorest, enable entrepreneurship and address inequalities in distribution and access to water, land and other resources.

Representative from the Scientific Committee:
Alin Kadfak

Topic 2 – Towards Improved Food and Nutrition Security from Smallholder-inclusive Food Systems

This topic focuses on the role for smallholders within inclusive food systems that will enable rural and urban, both producers and consumers, food and nutrition security. The track relates to a number of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, not least Goal 12 on responsible consumption and production, and Goal 2 on how to achieve food and nutrition security, and sustainable agricultural systems. Realisation of these goals would mean that all people at all times have access to sufficient quantities of affordable, safe and nutritious food products. Achieving this thus entails working to make safe and healthy nutritious food more affordable and available as part of a socially, environmentally and economically sustainable agriculture, and working to reduce unequal access to such food. As noted by the UN, between 40-85% of all food producers in developing regions is produced by small-scale farmers (UN 2021).

There is tremendous potential for smallholders to benefit from the current changes occurring within rural-urban food systems as greater proportions of developing country populations shift to being net purchasers of food, and as rural populations increasingly consolidate into new small towns, and as existing urban populations grow. There are also high risks and many barriers, particularly in the face of changing land markets, declining plot sizes, rising agribusiness-Big Food industry interactions and changing dietary needs and preferences, not to mention changing climatic and environmental conditions, or disruptive pandemic health threats.

Our core focus with this topic is to explore and showcase research, interventions and perspectives that indicate how smallholder-inclusive and sustainable food systems can contribute to urban and rural food and nutrition security?

Representative from the Scientific Committee:
Heather Mackay

Topic 3 – Agroecology

As a scientific discipline, Agroecology applies a systems perspective on studies of ecology and sustainability of food systems. This topic focuses on economic, environmental and social sustainability of food production. The topic will cover resource use and ecological interactions in agriculture as well as interactions between different actors in the food system, notably consumers and producers.

Representative from the Scientific Committee:
Marcos Lana

Topic 4 – Closing the loop – making food systems circular

Today, we only consume about two thirds of the produced food. The remaining food is wasted on its way to the consumer, mainly in low income countries. By changes in management the generation of waste can be decreased, still waste will always be generated and require management.

This topic will look closer into management for decreasing the waste generation and into technologies utilizing the resources in the waste for new products, like insect protein or fertilizers, including the drivers for change in the management from linear to circular systems.

Representative from the Scientific Committee:
Björn Vinnerås

Topic 5 – Innovation & Innovative Approaches

Technical, social and organisational innovations enable development towards the Agenda 2030 goals. How can innovative approaches optimise environmental resource use in food production, processing and distribution, thereby reducing biodiversity loss, pollution, water use, soil degradation and greenhouse gas emissions? How does research and evidence-based knowledge and innovation contribute to development of food systems, for the benefit of the most vulnerable? What is the role and responsibility of academics vis-à-vis other partners and actors? How harness local capacities and skills and create innovation systems?

Representative from the Scientific Committee:
Cecilia Sundberg

Topic 6 – Build resilience to vulnerabilities, shocks and stress

This topic will deal with research looking at making food systems more resilient and better prepared for future shocks and stressors. These stressors can be climate change, energy demand, building up the food system Post-pandemic, access and management of water. We will also look at financial issues and investment such as effects on agriculture and food production related to trade agreements, investments and streams of money, insurance strategies etc.

How do we transform the food system to produce more by using less? What parts of the food system can be changed? And how will these changes affect overall resiliency of these systems? How can local food production systems become less vulnerable? For example, by building capacity among small-scale farmers to use more resistant and robust methods to face future heat and water scarcity.

Representative from the Scientific Committee:
Aniek Hebinck

Published: 20 May 2021 - Page editor: agnes.bondesson@slu.se
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