French experts of INRA and CIRAD (French agricultural research institutes) take the challenge to feed the world in a sustainable, healthy way. They created a platform called “Agrimonde”, which aims to explore future scenarios for worldwide agricultural and food system.

On January 12th 2012, INRA and CIRAD, the best agronomy research centers in Europe, presented the result of a first study on Food Security research. This is the first time ever that a research program tackles food, agriculture and local environment issues together, and also considers the impact of different human diets on food security issues.

©Pascal Xicluna/Min.Agri.Fr

©Pascal Xicluna/Min.Agri.Fr

Regarding the conclusion of this “Agrimonde” model, INRA and CIRAD have chosen to invest in five domains:

OPERATING A NUTRITION SHIFTS BY CHANGING FOOD SYSTEMS IN A HEALTHIER WAY:

If nothing is done until 2050, the number of obese adults could reach 700 million people. Meanwhile, under-developed countries don`t have enough to eat each day.

Initiatives have already been taken in some countries. A French law has been published in 2011 to improve nutrition in public schools. In the same way, on January 25 Michelle Obama and Tom Vilsack revealed the objectives of the new rules for the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program. To compose new children’s meals, they inspired from Dietary Guidelines for Americans in order to offer them more balanced diets.
With “Agrimonde”, INRA and CIRAD are deeply involved in a global issue.

CUT DOWN LOSSES AND WASTE IN AGRICULTURE AND FOOD PRODUCTS

A FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) report shows that an average of 25% of food is lost. In sub Saharan countries almost 40% of the production could be lost at the post-harvest stage. In developed countries major losses are observed at the distribution stage. INRA and CIRAD want to invest in these issues that concerned both developed and under developed countries at different levels of production, distribution and consumption.

©DeFreese/CIMMYT

©DeFreese/CIMMYT

INNOVATING  GENETICS TO PRESERVE AND IMPROVE CROP YIELD (WHEAT, MAIZE AND RICE) IN DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENTS

Climate is threatening the world food security. In 2011, the French government has created in partnership with the G20 member states the International Wheat Research Coordination Committee (IRIWI) which aims to link national and international research programs to work together on wheat nutritional value and safety.

$50 million are already planned to be engaged in sequencing the wheat genome. IRIWI also plans to maximize opportunities for gaining added-value internationally by facilitating open communication and sharing scientific research advances.

G20 members intend that IRIWI will pave the way to similar initiatives for other crops in the near future.

MINIMIZING THE ANIMAL-PRODUCT CARBON FOOTPRINT

INRA and CIRAD chose to strengthen their efforts on finding solutions toward stocking gases emissions and reducing the environmental impact of intensive breeding.

LIMITING PRICE VOLATILITY, A WORLDWIDE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC PROBLEM

How can farmers invest if they cannot protect their income from prices volatility? Agriculture can’t adapt its production quickly enough to follow the market.

INRA and CIRAD have emphasized that international markets of agricultural and food commodities need to be more regulated. This burning issue was also tackled during the G20 summit in Paris on June 23. To begin to act on this problem, G20 countries decided to create AMIS (an information system on agricultural market) to provide reliable information on agriculture situation and perspectives. This will reinforce transparency and trust within markets and therefore limiting price volatility. The G20 members are making the first step to limit market derivation.

With Agrimonde and its extensions, INRA and CIRAD are fully involved in international food security.

To learn more:

INRA-CIRAD Agrimonde website 
Press Conference video on Agrimonde