New project: Feeding 10 billion people [07.01.2013]

The Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) Panel of the European Parliament has set up a new project titled "Feeding 10 billion people". The project will investigate technological options for improving the global food supply. ITAS has taken over two sub-studies; one dealing with "Technology options for plant breeding and for innovative agriculture" and the other investigating "Options for cutting food waste".

Technology Options for Plant Breeding and Innovative Agriculture

This study will analyze how farming management concepts, practices and technologies, including plant breeding technologies, could enable sustainable intensification of crop production, with the aim to increase food production and support food security. The study addresses agriculture in developing countries and industrialized countries (Europe), small-scale and large-scale farming, as well as extensive and intensive agricultural production systems, and intends to cover a wide range of practices (low to high tech). With a view to the vast majority of farmers in developing countries, which are small-scale farmers producing on less than two hectares, the study will built on a former STOA-project carried out by ETAG on "Agricultural Technologies for Developing Countries", which investigated the contribution of selected important agricultural production systems and technologies with focus on small-scale farmers in developing countries.

Options for Cutting Food Waste

The aim of this study is to support the resolution of the European Parliament to reduce food waste by 50% by 2025. The resolution notes that every year in Europe a growing amount of healthy, edible food – some estimates say up to 50% – is lost along the entire food supply chain and becomes waste. The study will summarize existing research studies on food waste in Europe and will look into the various measures to avoid food waste that are suggested in the current debate. Besides persuasive, regulatory and economic approaches, the study will focus on the potential of behavior-changing technologies and technologies that minimize food waste or spoilage caused by retailers and consumers. Also the potential of management options and marketing techniques will be addressed. The results of a pilot survey carried out of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission in Ispra in collaboration with the University of Bologna and the KIT on household food waste will feed into this study as well.

Further information:
Project description Technology Options for Plant Breeding and Innovative Agriculture
Project description Options for Cutting Food Waste