PPS-31306 Global Food Security


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. MA Slingerland
ES Thuijsman
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. SJ Oosting
dr. P Reidsma
dr. ir. MA Slingerland
dr. ir. PJM Oosterveer
prof. dr. ir. MK van Ittersum
prof. dr. EHP Frankema
dr. ir. GJ van Uffelen
dr. ir. EF Talsma
G Beekman
dr. ir. SR Vellema
ES Thuijsman
Examiner(s)dr. ir. MA Slingerland

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Open for all MSc and BSc students but especially for those that follow one of the following minors Freedom from hunger, International land and water management, or follow MFS.


'Food Security' means that all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. Especially in developing countries, many people are food insecure. Both undernutrition and overnutrition (obesity) are addressed. This interdisciplinary course focuses on what it means to be 'food insecure' and examines causes and solutions for this problem. The scope is from global to national, household and individual level. It aims at linking disciplines related to availability (production), sustainability/stability (in production and prices), access (distribution, entitlements) and quality (safety, nutritional composition, acceptability). Approaches come from the disciplines Economics, Nutrition, Social Sciences, Food Science, Plant Production, Plant Breeding, Animal Production, Disaster studies. The roles of multinational and national public policy and business and retail are investigated. The students play the Africulture game to experience the difficulty to achieve food security in Africa. The second halve of the course is an intensive practical, devoted to hands-on project development, considering the complexity of food insecurity at district and household level. The students analyse a situation of regional food insecurity, and use a logical framework for designing a (better) project. The course has a tight schedule and the students get a high degree of exposure. Attendance is demanded. A reader can be obtained at week 3 of the course. Students also have to prepare a debate on contested issues related to food security.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- articulate orally and in written a well justified viewpoint on food security issues, based on the gained knowledge and insight in the complex issue of food and nutrition security and on discussion skills;
- analyse situations of food insecurity in different contexts, using a model of causal analysis;
- propose solutions for averting food insecure situations, thereby integrating different disciplines, and using a logical framework for project planning;
- make a justified consideration of what the own disciplinary contribution can be for improving food security in different contexts;
- think interdisciplinary and to work productively in a multidisciplinary team.


- lectures;
- group discussions;
- role play;
- individual reading;
- case study based on project cycle (in groups, tutored);
- debate based on scientific literature (in groups).


Quality of participation in debate (15%), in case study (15%) and written exam (70%).


The case study is supported by a reader (for sale in week 3 at the WUR-shop.
Lectures are supported by references to recent papers provided by lecturers.
The debate requires active literature search by students.

Compulsory for: MFSFood SafetyMScC: Spec. C - Supply Chain Safety2AF
Restricted Optional for: MPSPlant SciencesMScC: Spec. C - Natural Resource Management2AF
Compulsory for: WUILWBSc Minor International Land and Water Management2AF
WUFFHBSc Minor Freedom from Hunger2AF