Sustainable agro-food chains: challenges for research and development


  • L.O. Fresco


The current paradigm shift from supply-oriented and quantity-driven agriculture towards an understanding of demand- and market-driven food chains is leading to greater attention for quality aspects and environmental concerns. Rapid urbanization and increases in purchasing power cause important changes in dietary patterns that will restructure agriculture in the world. This affects the food chain in terms of the types of products that are produced and the kind of research that is required. For meeting global food demand, the volume of agricultural production will have to double through a process of sustainable intensification. Food safety has become a key factor in trade negotiations and bio-security is absolutely essential to all consumers in the world. Implementing quality standards begins with the selection of farmers’ production methods. Knowledge institutions should face the challenge to design products and processes that meet food demands within developing countries while considering their specific ecological conditions.