Global food security
Run by School of Natural Sciences
20.000 Credits or 10.000 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Dr Eefke Mollee
Overall aims and purpose
This module takes a global and local perspective on food systems and food security and is core for the MSc Agroforestry and Food Security. The module aims to equip students with the ability to fully understand food systems and their role in providing food security, and to be able to critically assess existing and future pressures and solutions. In this module we study a range of diverse factors that affect the global food system, such as its definition, key drivers of change, sustainably balancing supply & demand, governance & price volatility, hunger and nutrition.
• Introduction to food security and food systems: Definitions and evolution of the concept of food security; conventional and alternative food systems and their interconnections
• Cropping systems: Intensive, subsistence and alternative systems
• Drivers affecting the food system: Population and increased demand; Governance; Energy and other costs; Competition for resources
• Impact of future climate change; Impacts of rising prices • Sustainably balancing future supply and demand; improving productivity using existing knowledge and emerging technologies; sustainable intensification • Reducing waste; improving governance; reducing / managing demand • Linking food systems with environmental policy; improving biodiversity and ecosystem services while increasing food production
Be able to demonstrate, with few factual errors, knowledge of a range of food systems and how they have developed. Show an understanding of the external factors affecting food supply and how they can be manipulated.
In addition to the above, demonstrate an ability think critically about the interactions between various components of the global food system, and be able to suggest strategies for adapting food systems to changed circumstances in order to sustainably increase food security. Show evidence of additional background reading around the topic.
In addition to the above, be able to present well-reasoned arguments for and against the implementation of specific management practices to sustainably increase food security and improve food systems, including trade-offs between them, and demonstrating evidence of wide reading around the subject and an ability to analyse and synthesise arguments and information.
Be able to critically discuss food systems and how they have evolved.
Be able to identify the components of food security and the mechanisms that support equitable and sustainable access to food.
Be able to develop a critical understanding of the drivers of change affecting food systems at different scales.
Be able to describe the failures in food systems that lead to food insecurity and be able to critically evaluate alternative remedies.
Teaching and Learning Strategy
Online forum discussion contributions
Reading and watching online materials. Preparations for guided discussion sessions.
Discussion sessions where materials are presented and discussed
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
- Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
- Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
Subject specific skills
- Recognize and apply appropriate theories and concepts from a range of disciplines.
- Appreciate the interdisciplinary and/or reciprocal nature of relationships within the subject area.
- Understand the provisional nature of information and appreciate competing and alternative explanations.
- Appreciation of the complexity and diversity of processes through the study of relevant systems.
- Apply subject knowledge to the understanding and addressing of problems.
- Recognize the moral, ethical and social issues relating to the subject.
- Develop and identify research question(s) and/or hypotheses as the basis for investigation.
- Consider issues from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives.
- Apply appropriate techniques for presenting spatial and/or temporal trends in data.
- Prepare effective maps, diagrams and visualizations.
- Engage in debate and/or discussion with specialists and non-specialists using appropriate language.
Resource implications for students
Students require a good broadband connection to access the recorded material
Talis Reading listhttp://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/ddl-4207.html
Courses including this module
Compulsory in courses:
- D4BA: MSc Agroforestry and Food Security year 1 (MSC/AGFS)
- D4BB: MSc Agroforest & Food Security (Dist Learn) year 1 (MSC/AGFSDL)
- D4BC: MSc Agroforestry & Food Security (Dist Learning - 2 yr PT) year 1 (MSC/AGFSDL2)
- D4BD: MSc Agroforestry and Food Security (TRANSFOR-M exch prog) year 1 (MSC/AGFSTFM)