Lecture: The Future of Food and Agriculture: Drivers and Triggers for Transformation

For whom
Students , Employees , Business
23-03-2023 from 16:00 to 17:30
Meeting room A0.1 Azalea, Campus Coupure, building A, Coupure Links 653, 9000 Gent
Carl Lachat

This event will create the opportunity for students, academia, policymakers and the general public to discuss the drivers and triggers for transformation to sustainable agrifood systems.

Ghent University and the Liaison Office in Brussels of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) are jointly organizing a hybrid conference to present the FAO Flagship report “The Future of Food and Agriculture: Drivers and Triggers for Transformation”.

As pointed out by the United Nations Secretary-General, many Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are off-track, including those to which agrifood systems are expected to contribute.

The COVID-19 pandemic, economic downturns and ongoing conflicts all add to the creation of even greater challenges in achieving such SDGs. A “business as usual” approach will lead only to increased uncertainties and exacerbated inequalities, as was stated in a previous report in the “Future of Food and Agriculture” series (2018, FOFA – alternative pathways to 2050).

This report aims at inspiring strategic thinking and actions to transform agrifood systems towards a sustainable, resilient and inclusive future, by building on both previous reports in the same series as well as on a comprehensive corporate strategic foresight exercise that also nurtured FAO Strategic Framework 2022–31. It analyses major drivers of agrifood systems and explores how their trends could determine alternative futures of agrifood, socioeconomic and environmental systems.

The fundamental message of this report is that it is still possible to push agrifood systems along a pattern of sustainability and resilience, if key “triggers” of transformation are properly activated. However, strategic policy options to activate them will have to “outsmart” vested interests, hidden agendas and conflicting objectives, and trade off short-term unsustainable achievements for longer-term sustainability, resilience and inclusivity.