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Grethe H.,Institute For Agrarpolitik Und Landwirtschaftliche Marktlehre | Grethe H.,University of Hohenheim | Bahrs E.,Institute For Landwirtschaftliche Betriebslehre | Bahrs E.,University of Hohenheim | And 14 more authors.
Berichte uber Landwirtschaft | Year: 2013

Global change causes numerous challenges for the agricultural and food sectors in general, and for agricultural development and global food security in particular. Among these challenges are societal demands related to multifunctional agriculture, changing price ratios between biomass and fossil energy sources, the persisting global dimension of undernourishment, the increasing scarcity of global resources such as land and water, and the expected consequences of climate change. Dealing with these challenges does not only require private sector initiatives, effective public institutions, and a strong commitment on the part of civil society but also a reshaping of the agricultural and food policy. Against this background, the 52nd Annual Conference of the German Society of Economic and Social Sciences in Agriculture was held at the University of Hohenheim and focused on the topic "Challenges of Global Change for Agricultural Development and World Food Security". In the plenary opening sessions, ALAN MATTHEWS (Trinity College, Dublin) and WILL MARTIN (World Bank) discussed the role of international trade for global food security and poverty reduction. It was shown that, on the one hand, agricultural trade could contribute to food security, while on the other hand increasing liberalisation also entailed risks if no appropriate complementary policies were pursued. DEREK BYERLEE (formerly World Bank) and MARK ROSEGRANT (IFPRI) analysed the increasing scarcity of agricultural land and water and discussed the opportunities and risks associated with large scale investments in land. It was pointed out that in Africa where there is an insufficient regulation of property rights of the indigenous population; the risks seemed to outweigh the opportunities. Important steps in addressing global water scarcity could be investments to increase water productivity, the reorientation of bioenergy policies, and the reduction of distorting subsidies. On the whole, 44 contributed papers, 36 poster presentations, and two working group meetings covered a wide range of topics. On the final day of the conference, a plenary session addressed the impact of speculation on agricultural price volatility and the need for more regulation in the financial sector. After an introduction by OLIVER VON LEDEBUR (Thünen Institute), panelists MARKUS HENN (WEED), SABINE MILTNER (Deutsche Bank), VOLKER PETERSEN (Deutscher Raiffeisenverband), and STEFAN TANGERMANN (formerly OECD) presented their views and engaged in a lively debate. Throughout the conference participants actively discussed the challenges for agricultural development and food security which are brought about by global change, and put forth recommendations on how to address them.

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