Food and Nutrition Security

Local Food Security in a Globalising World

Food security exists when everybody has access to sufficient, nutritious and safe food at all times. To secure this, various challenges present themselves in different parts of the world. These may include unpredictable changes in climate (i.e. rising/falling temperatures, droughts, floods, diseases and pests), market tendencies, inadequate access to food for households, unequal distribution of resources and opportunities, as well as insufficient food distribution channels. Despite the fact that the world currently produces enough food for everyone, not everybody has access to this food due to losses and waste. It is evident that food insecurity cannot be solved by food production alone; those who need food also need to be able to access it.

Balancing small and large-scale farming

As a student, you will analyse how agricultural development over the past century has taken two main directions. On the one hand, an increasing number of large-scale farms produce food for the world market, but fail to ensure that the high-output farms feed the entire population. On the other hand, there are small-scale farms producing for local markets only. Together, we will explore how small and large-scale farming can be balanced. Various global and local food security issues are discussed, discussions that will prepare you for the variety of problems you may face in your workplace in the future. How can different stakeholders collaborate in such a manner that they all benefit and as a result help farmers safeguard their ability to ensure local food security?

Specialised modules

The specialisation consists of various modules, including:

  • Setting the Scene: Concepts on Food and Nutrition Security
  • Food Security and Rural Livelihoods
  • Value Chains, Markets and Business

From theory to practice

In these specialised modules, you will learn about and discuss key concepts on food and nutrition security. You will analyse vulnerable contexts in which households combine assets. You will also learn about natural resource management and competing claims, agriculture and economics, as well as planning and management of development projects. You will apply the acquired knowledge in more practical sessions as well, diagnosing food security using various tools, designing appropriate interventions to bring change in a specific context and analyse your own development organisation in its institutional context.

Competences

As a graduate, you will be equipped with essential skills and competences needed to make a difference, including:

  • analysing the livelihoods of farmers producing for local and regional markets
  • defining constraints and opportunities for small-scale producers in rural communities
  • defining economic, commercial and marketing needs
  • understanding farmers’ coping strategies
  • designing appropriate interventions for food security
  • developing support programmes.

Career benefits and opportunities as a graduate

As a graduate, you will have acquired new insights and know-how to apply innovative approaches. Development organisations, governments and the private sector in developing countries will benefit from these innovative approaches to improve food security. With various external factors such as the economy, environment and current social structures, graduates will help guide development organisations and government agencies to continuously adjust their structures, policies and programmes.

This programme is especially suited for mid-career professionals who work on food security issues within a rural development organisation, government agency or the private sector. Once graduated, you will either move to higher positions in the organisations working in the field of food and nutrition security or find new opportunities in this field.