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Food Systems

Description of research cluster FOOD SYSTEMS

Global demand for food will increase for the next decades due to continuing population and economic growth. Food production, however, will be limited by resource availability, e.g. land, water, nutrients and will need to satisfy sustainability requirements to reduce the impact of the food system on the environment. Climate change and market volatilities will affect food production in the future in ways that are not well understood. A particular challenge in understanding food production and its contribution to food security is the issue of scale. Integrated modelling and assessment including approaches to simulate crop productivity may provide a means to analyse and assess the complexity of the food system at different scales.


For the crop science group at Bonn University the following research areas are of particular interest:

  • Up-scaling of crop productivity from the field to the regional and larger scale
  • Integrated assessment of impacts of climate change, market volatility and policies on food production at different scales
  • Modeling and assessment of the impacts of changes in food production on the environment
  • Assessment of reasons, direction and magnitude of virtual flows of resources (water, nutrients, land, energy) induced by trade of agricultural products


Projects in research cluster Food Systems - ongoing

Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP)
PARI - Crop modeling
Program of Accompanying Research for Agricultural Innovation - Crop modeling group
Upscaling Site-Specific Climate-smart Agriculture and Land use practices to Enhance Regional production Systems in West Africa

Projects in research cluster Food Systems - completed

Assessing the adaptive capacity of Agriculture in the Netherlands to the impacts of climate change under different market and policy scenarios
Exploiting Information on Global Environmental Risks – Agriculture
Finish-German project related exchange of scientists (FINGER)
Geospatial Open Source Hosting of Agriculture, Resource & Environmental Data
GlobE - BiomassWeb
Improving food security in Africa through increased system productivity of biomass-based value webs (BiomassWeb)
GlobE - Wetlands East Africa
Wetlands in East Africa: Reconciling future food production with environmental protection
Linking Impact Assessment Instruments to Sustainability Expertise
FACCE JPI Knowledge Hub „Modelling European Agriculture with Climate Change for Food Security” (MACSUR)
Meta RUE
Meta-Analysis of Aboveground Net Primary Production and Rain-use Efficiency in (semi-)arid ecosystems (Meta RUE)
System for Environmental and Agricultural Modelling, Linking European Science and Society
Limpopo Living Landscapes - Understanding the dynamics of ecological and cultural landscapes, in the face of global change, in the northern Limpopo region of South Africa
Agricultural potential and vulnerability of major wetland types in East Africa (SWEA)
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