PPS-51802 Sustainable Food Security: Crop Production


Credits 2.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. GWJ van de Ven
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. KE Giller
dr. ir. GWJ van de Ven
Examiner(s)prof. dr. KE Giller
dr. ir. GWJ van de Ven

Language of instruction:



Feeding nine billion in 2050 without exhausting the planetary reserves is perhaps the greatest challenge mankind has ever faced. This course will examine the principles of production ecology and the 'availability pillar' of global food security 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 closing of yield gaps and how these link to different visions of sustainability will be explored.
More course information and instructions on how to register can be found on: https://www.wur.nl/Virtual-Exchange.htm or click on the top-right link on this page.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- value the main issues related to global food production and consumption and the regional differences between developed and developing countries;
- understand how food crop production can be influenced by changing the availability of water and nutrients and by measures suppressing pests, diseases and weeds;
- identify the processes related to food crop production that cause major environmental problems and evaluate measures to solve and prevent those problems;
- assess yield gaps of food crops in different geographical regions;
- judge innovations in food crop production on their merits for the rural population in the different geographical regions.


The course contains no scheduled activities, students can follow the course anytime (although the examination is only two times a year). Students will study the knowledge clips and reading materials offered online and will do formative assignments with automatic and/or peer feedback.


A written exam with both multiple-choice and open questions is taken on campus.
The exams will take place during the re-exam period in February and in July.


All materials are made available online.