4th International Conference on Global Food Security

Event 19 November 2020
For its fourth edition, the International Conference on Global Food Security, which was due to be held in Montpellier, will be entirely digital and interactive. The event is supported by CIRAD, and will run for three days, from 7 to 9 December. Mini-symposia will be held on 4 December, to encourage interactions between scientists. Registration is open until 3 December.
Making millet meal in Senegal © CIRAD, C. Dangléant
Making millet meal in Senegal © CIRAD, C. Dangléant

© CIRAD, C. Dangléant

Achieving local and global food security: at what costs? This will be the central question for the 4th International Conference on Global Food Security. The event is organized by the scientific publisher Elsevier, along with CIRAD and eight other partner organizations*, with a rich programme of sessions from 7 to 9 December 2020. Registration is open until 3 December.

Hunger, deficiency and obesity: a triple burden

From a range of viewpoints and on several scales, the conference will address the triple burden of malnutrition: hunger, micronutrient deficiencies, and obesity. It will look into the state of the art, the compromises required and the possible synergies in terms of transforming food systems. The aim is to reconcile competing environmental, economic and social objectives in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

A novelty: a code of conduct and affordable registration fees

The conference organizers have drafted a code of conduct for organizers, participants and sponsors. It acknowledges the legitimate interests of the different stakeholders of the conference, recognizing that they are all parts of a scientific endeavour to promote knowledge sharing. Since the primary aim of the conference is to produce public goods, the organizers are offering affordable, inclusive registration fees, particularly easily accessible grants for participants from countries in the global South. Access to the sessions planned on 4 December is also free to students. Anyone interested in these grants or free registration for the mini-symposia should contact Martha Enriquez .

Session topics

The conference will focus on shared analyses and viewpoints from both scientific players and the non-academic sector (civil society, private sector and decision-makers). The programme includes a plenary and sessions devoted to key issues linking global food security and the current pandemic.

1. How to assess future food security: on foresight, forecasting, projecting, predicting and exploring the future

2. Transitions to post-carbon food systems in a post-carbon economy

3. Analysing impacts of COVID-19

Session 1: Direct and indirect impacts of sanitary crises on food systems: adaptation and resilience 
Session 2: Transformation of food systems responding to COVID-19

4. Development, impact and ethics of novel and data-driven technologies in food systems

5. Influencing food consumption and demand considering the food environment
-> With a presentation by CIRAD's Danièle Clavel: An interdisciplinary and participatory project to link agricultural biodiversity to food quality through social analysis of women's practices.

6. Food security and the Sustainable Development Goals: synergies, tensions and trade-offs
-> With a presentation by CIRAD's Louise Leroux: Diversified parklands reduce staple production but improve food security through diversified income source and nutritional intake.

7. Food security and policy, governance, institutions and trade
-> With two presentations by CIRAD's Sandrine Freguin Gresh: Food Policies in Nicaragua: Socio-historical trajectories and current challenges and Food Policy in Haiti: An impossible equation?

8. Stability and dynamics of availability, access and utilization
-> With a presentation by CIRAD's Mariline Poupaud: Participatory evaluation to strengthen public-private partnerships related to animal health and a contribution from CIRAD's Franck Galtier: The World Trade Organization challenged by food security

9.  Access: affordability, allocation and preference of food
-> With a presentation by CIRAD's Cédric Gaillard: Can non-market economy contribute to household nutritional security?

10. Circularity in food systems at local, regional or global levels

11. Utilization: nutritional value, social value and safety of food
-> With a presentation by CIRAD's Sylvain Rafflegeau: Red palm oil is always of nutritional interest: have you ever tasted it?

12. Availability: production, distribution and exchange of food


Pre-conference: mini-symposia to foster transversality

To increase interactions between scientific communities and enrich the experience of the conference participants, 20 mini-symposia are scheduled on Friday 4 December 2020. They will address crosscutting global food security issues.

  • Contribution of agroforestry systems to sustainable food security 
    Mini-symposium organized by CIRAD, with contributions from several of its scientists: O. Deheuvels, L. Leroux, F. Ruf, J. Subervie.
  • Improving global food security and prosperity through rice value chain upgrading: Lessons learnt from Asia and Africa 
    Mini-symposium organized by CGIAR and IRRI, with a contribution from CIRAD's G. Soullier.


* MUSE Montpellier University of Excellence, Wageningen University & Research, Agropolis, INRAE, lRD, CGIAR, CCARDESA (Centre for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa) and IDRC (International Development Research Center).

** Registration includes on-demand access for 30 days after the event, to enable participants to access the sessions they were unable to follow live.