Netherlands, Amsterdam

Feeding The Billions: Challenges and Innovations in Food and Water Security

when 5 August 2017 - 19 August 2017
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 3 ECTS
fee EUR 1150

There are 7 billion people to feed today, and this number is expected to increase to 9 billion by 2050. This implies that more food is needed; more food means that more water is required for crop and livestock production. But how secure are our supplies of food and water? More specifically, what are the differences among regions in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia? What is the impact of climate change and what are the implications of current migration and urbanization trends for food, nutrition and water security? Agriculture is the biggest user of water on the globe, requiring large quantities of water for irrigation and production processes. How can food production be made more efficient, without compromising our water resources and the environment in general? Who are the key stakeholders in this domain and what is the role of the market in food production technologies and innovation?

In this course you examine a range of approaches towards food and water security, from international policy agreements to community-based activities. Theory is combined with practice in the lectures, the discussions and the excursions, with all providing concrete examples of how issues of food and water security are being analysed and addressed in various regions, at various levels and by various actors from science and society.

Food and water security is a major theme at VU Amsterdam, where it is embedded in the teaching and research work of the Centre for International Cooperation (CIS-VU) and the Amsterdam Centre for World Food Studies, a joint initiative of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration (FEWEB) and the Athena Institute of the Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences (FALW).

Course leader

Dr Denyse Snelder, Sabina Di Prima, Dr Lia van Wesenbeeck, Prof. Tjard de Cock Buning, Dr Ben Sonneveld, Dr Ralph Lasage

Target group

Advanced Bachelor’s/Master’s

Open to students and professionals with an interest in food and water security issues.

Course aim

Learning objectives:
• You better understand food and water security, its context (local to global), major challenges, innovative solutions and policies.
• You understand and can explain major concepts and theories in this field.
• You can select and apply appropriate transdisciplinary approaches in food and water security research, including the use of data-collection, analysis and presentation tools.
• You have acquired the computational skills needed to process relevant data, evaluate outputs and synthesize the overall outcome.
• You possess the communication skills needed to participate in current debates in the field of food and water security.

Credits info

45 contact hours

Fee info

EUR 1150: Included in the tuition fee are:
• Airport pick-up service
• Orientation programme
• Course excursions
• On-site support
• 24/7 emergency assistance
• Transcript of records after completion of the course


• Early bird discount of €150
• €250 discount for students from partner universities.
• 10 scholarships available that cover the full tuition fee of one course.
• Combine 2 courses: €100 discount
• Combine 3 courses: €200 discount

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