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Feeding a Hungry Planet: Agriculture, Nutrition and Sustainability

SDG Academy via edX

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Overview

Agriculture is more than waving fields of wheat; our ability to grow food from existing natural resources – and without decimating those resources – is key to sustainably feeding the world. In this 7-week massive open online course, learn about food security worldwide, the effects of malnutrition, how we manage ecosystems that provide food resources and more. You’ll emerge from this course with a clear answer to the question: What can I do to make food consumption and production more sustainable?

This course is for:
  • Graduate students and advanced undergraduate students in agriculture, economics, international development and other fields who are learning about the intersectional factors impacting agriculture and food production/consumption
  • Nutritionists, agriculture professionals and other practitioners interested in the latest developments in the field
  • Sustainable development practitioners – including those who work for international aid organizations and nonprofits in the realms of poverty, nutrition and agriculture – who want to understand the lifecycle of food production and food security
  • Private actors, such as those engaging in or investing in social entrepreneurship and the support of local agriculture

Partners:

This course is supported by faculty based at Cornell University, Johns Hopkins University, Rothamsted Research, Tufts University, and Wageningen University and Research. We are grateful to the International Fertilizer Association (IFA) for supporting the course's Teaching Assistants.

Syllabus

Module 1: The global challenges around food
  • 1.1 Introduction to this MOOC
  • 1.2 Global challenges around food
  • 1.3 Case study 1: Rice
  • 1.4 Case study 2: Smallholder farming
  • 1.5 Case study 3: Livestock
  • 1.6 Case study 4: Aquaculture
Module 2: Agriculture at the center of sustainable development
  • 2.1 Emergence of modern agriculture
  • 2.2 Risks under a Business-As-Usual scenario
  • 2.3 Agriculture & the Sustainable Development Goals
Module 3: Food systems for nutritional security and better health
  • 3.1 What is food security?
  • 3.2 Nutrition and health
  • 3.3 Consumption and diets
  • 3.4 Food losses and waste
  • 3.5 Socio-economic dynamics of food systems
  • 3.6 Pathways towards food security
Module 4: Sustainable intensification of agricultural systems – Part 1
  • 4.1 Sustainable agriculture intensification
  • 4.2 The importance of productivity growth
  • 4.3 Climate change adaptation and mitigation
  • 4.4 Breeding and genetics
  • 4.5 Nutrient management
  • 4.6 Soil fertility management
Module 5: Sustainable intensification of agricultural systems – Part 2
  • 5.1 Water management
  • 5.2 Crop protection
  • 5.3 Good agronomy
  • 5.4 Sustainable livestock systems
  • 5.5 & 5.6 Functional diversity I & II
Module 6: Rural development for poverty alleviation
  • 6.1 Rural economies and urban linkages
  • 6.2 Rural development
  • 6.3 Markets and supply chains
  • 6.4 International trade
  • 6.5 Development enhancing investments
  • 6.6 Food governance
Module 7: Action for change
  • 7.1 Pathways to change
  • 7.2 Monitoring change
  • 7.3 Mechanisms to stimulate change
  • 7.4 Investing in science
  • 7.5 What can I do?

Taught by

Ken Giller, Achim Dobermann, Upmanu Lall, William Masters, Michael Lee, Rebecca Nelson, Johan Verreth and Jessica Fanzo

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