Economía Agroalimentaria

Cooperating with French Research Institutions in foresight for transforming agrifood systems: FAO presents the new report on the future of food and agriculture and consolidates collaborative relationships


FAO is engaged with French Institutions to enhance foresight activities in support to the transformation of agrifood systems. In April, the Policy Intelligence Branch - Global Perspectives (PIB-GP) in the FAO Agrifood Economics Division (ESA) met with Bruno Herault, Head of the Centre d'études et de prospective (CEP) of the French Ministry of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty. The CEP plays a role in leading public debate on current and emerging issues, and, in this context, the development of foresight within the FAO, in particular through the latest report, was of high interest to CEP. A discussion was held on methodology, findings, and identifying possibilities for collaboration.  Follow-up activities with CEP are planned in the next months, to enhance the discussion on how to transform agrifood systems in high-income countries.

Earlier in February, PIB-GP held a meeting at FAO with a delegation of experts from French research institutions, namely Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement (CIRAD), Institut National de Recherche pour l'Agricutlure, l'alimentazione et l'environnement (INRAE) and Innovation Research Development (IRD), on how to disseminate the recently launched FAO report The future of food and agriculture – Drivers and triggers for transformation and to explore areas of possible collaboration. These institutions are partners in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with FAO that includes joint work on foresight exercises for agrifood systems.

In the context of such MoU, Lorenzo Giovanni Bellù, Senior Economist, Team Leader of the Policy Intelligence Branch - Global Perspectives and lead author of The future of food and agriculture series, was invited by the three French research institutes to present the report to the agrifood scientific community in Montpellier (France). The echoes of such event were picked up by the French press: in April 2023, Lorenzo Bellù gave an interview to the Le Figaro French newspaper to contribute to the discussion on the challenge of feeding a world population that will exceed 10 billion.

FAO enhances the collaboration with the International Foresight for Food Network and the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa

The presentation of The future of food and agriculture – Drivers and triggers for transformationin Montpellier was delivered at the Third Global Conference of the Foresight for Food network (F4F), a gathering of various national and international institutions involved in foresight activities concerning agrifood systems, such as FAO, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the University of Oxford, CIRAD, the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), and other national and international research institutes. This network acts as a platform for exchanges on foresight among members to look for synergies and gain mutual visibility.

In presenting the report, Lorenzo Giovanni Bellù addressed the issue of transformative pathways for agrifood systems both in high-income and low- and middle-income countries. The delegates of FARA saw it as an excellent conceptual platform for inspiring regional and sub-regional foresight exercises in support of African policymakers. To exploit the findings of the report, FARA invited FAO to the 8th Africa Agribusiness and Science Week (AASW), which will take place in Durban (South Africa) from 5 to 8 June 2023.