Strategic Foresight

The GFSF team develops a variety of global scenarios and uses the IMPACT system of models to explore how changes in

  • Population
  • Income
  • Technology
  • Water resources
  • Climate
  • Diet
  • Trade policy

…and other factors can shape alternative futures in terms of food production, demand, price, trade and resource use — and how these in turn affect progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals of reducing hunger, malnutrition, and poverty.

Our Current Work

The GFSF team has recently completed a series of model improvements and training workshops on the integrated system of crop, water, and economic models that it uses. Work is currently under way to improve the coverage of livestock and fish. Work is also under way on ex ante impact assessment of promising technologies for a range of crops under a variety of scenarios for future changes in population, income, climate and other drivers. New work is being initiated to improve our ability to address foresight questions related to gender, nutrition, production systems, and pests and diseases.

Our Findings

  • Scenario analysis on long-run food security requires interdisciplinary collaboration cross many fields and partners. The new IMPACT model system provides a strong empirical framework to support such collaboration.
  • Promising climate- tolerant crop varieties and management practices can provide significant benefits for producers in developing countries, and should be an important component in climate change adaptation strategies.
  • The impacts of biophysical shocks are shaped by economic responses, and successful agricultural development strategies will require increasing participation in domestic and international markets.
  • Climate change is projected to increase weather variability and the frequency of extreme events (such as floods and droughts). More research is required to improve consideration of such events in long-run simulation models and analysis of adaptation strategies, including investment in research, infrastructure and risk management
  • Biotic stresses (such as pests and diseases) will potentially increase with climate change, and may have large impac5ts on agricultural productivity. More research on the nature and potential mitigation of these stresses is also essential.

Thematic Areas