A Distinguished Scholar from the Netherlands visits South Africa
The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) is to host a Distinguished Visiting Scholar from the Netherlands, Prof Louise O Fresco from the University of Amsterdam, in February 2014.
Fresco who specialises in the foundations of sustainable development in an international context will deliver a lecture in Pretoria on Tuesday, 11 February 2014 on the “Changing patterns of food production and consumption in the world and Africa”. She will also deliver a series of lectures at universities in South Africa.
The world will need 50% more calories in 2030 and the population is expected to increase by 0.7 % annually with nearly all growth to take place in developing and emerging markets, most of it Africa.
Increasing urbanisation and income levels lead to higher demands for animal foods and greater dietary diversity, including a reliance on fast food. Middle-class consumers are driving the changes, with those in middle-class income brackets in Africa expected to number 200 million by 2030.
Progress in food production in the past half century can be described as a sequence of green revolutions, based on genetic improvement, improved cropping techniques, in particular irrigation and fertilisers, followed by soil and water quality. Today, the entire food chain is the focus of optimal resource use efficiency, including energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Fresco is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), a non-resident member of the Académie d’agriculture de France in Paris and the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry in Stockholm, a corresponding member of the Real Academia de Ingeniería in Madrid and a member of the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities. Fresco holds a visiting professorship at the Institute of Earth Sciences at Stanford University and at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation in Palo Alto, in the United States. She has recently been appointed President of the Executive Board of Wageningen University. She is also an Honorary Professor at Wageningen University and previously taught at Stanford, Stockholm, Leuven and Uppsala. She is a former Assistant Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
The lecture in Pretoria will be co-hosted with the Agricultural Research Council and will take place at the Agricultural Research Council auditorium in Park Street, Hatfield, Pretoria at 17:00 on 11 February 2014.
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