Feeding nine billion in 2050 without exhausting the planetary reserves is perhaps the greatest challenge mankind has ever faced. The principles of production ecology form the fundament to the ‘availability pillar’ of Global Food Security and with that lie at the heart of food production. They can be applied to both crops and animal production. This course on the basics of crop production will discuss why yields in some parts of the world are lagging behind and identify the agro-ecological drivers that shape the wide diversity of production systems. Furthermore, key issues relating to bridging of yield gaps and how these link to different visions of sustainability will be explored.
This online course will be of great interest to international students and educated public from different backgrounds, both professionally and culturally, to enrich their views and action perspectives related to global food security and food systems. Prof. Ken E. Giller will introduce you to crop production and underlying bio-physical principles in order to identify constraining factors in yield formation. He will explain how to assess yield gaps at the level of fields and production systems around the world, contributing to efficient resource management. Wageningen University and Research, through its unique systems-based approach to food systems, adds the phase of primary production to the broad context of global food security.