Future Contours of Agriculture and Food

April 15th 2015 - 14:50

Agriculture and food are central to the economic security for the Netherlands specifically, but also for the EU in a broader sense. Overall, both security of demand and supply are of vital importance for the economic security of the Dutch agriculture and food sector. The broader, long-term sustainability of Dutch agriculture is a key concern. And at the European level, the overall competitiveness of agriculture keeps playing an important role. We cannot ignore that the development of large economies – for example, the BRICs will continue to bring up serious challenges for the future of agriculture. For example, with their huge populations, these countries will thus substantially contribute to the increase of the global demand for meat.

Who will produce and eat tomorrow’s food is a complex and uncertain issue. As a result, having a broad sense of thoughts about the future of agriculture is of utmost importance.
We performed a research to find out how different countries, in the Chinese, English, and Portuguese language domains, as well as in Africa, are thinking about the future of agriculture. For this purpose, we used the HCSS MetaFore protocol as a methodology for the systemic coding of relevant government and think tank foresight studies about this topic. This study was performed as part of the project Future Contours of Agriculture and Food. It seeks to better inform decision makers from government and industry in preparing for the challenges of this future environment. It has a modular setup: the results presented here can be built upon in order to gain a better insight in the future nature of agriculture and food. More generally, they could provide supporting material to develop agricultural policies that would help both producers and consumers benefit from the fruits of sustainable food production, now and in the future.

Interested readers can request our Technical Report, which includes a more comprehensive version of the research, from the methodology to the most detailed findings, and the Annex, which provides the list of foresights per language domain and geographical zone.

The report can be downloaded with the button on the right. 

Authors: HCSS, Eline Chivot, Willem Auping, Roberta Coelho, Freija van Duijne, Mayuri Mukherjee, João Almeida Silveira, Michelle Yuemin Yang