Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Systems

First birthday for Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security

The Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security celebrates its first birthday this week.

Birthday card detailing acheivements of the Global Academy's first year.

Opened by Bill Gates and Government Minister Penny Mordaunt on 26 January 2018, the Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security was established to tackle prevalent questions around sustainability, food and health. It is one of five academies within the University of Edinburgh, all of which focus on the delivery of global impact through collaborative action.

The Academy sits within the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the Easter Bush Campus, along with closely aligned partners such as the Roslin Institute, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health and Supporting Evidence Based Interventions programmes, and the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education.

In its first year, the Academy has achieved a great deal. In addition to a considerable expansion in staff – academic, postdoctoral and professional services - it is now home to a dozen doctoral candidates and its first cohort of undergraduate and taught postgraduate students who are jointly taught with SRUC. Two further undergraduate programmes have been launched for 2019 entry. Eight new research projects are also underway, with a further 24 bids under review.

Professor Geoff Simm, Director of the Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security, and Chair of Global Agriculture and Food Security, said:

“It’s been a really exciting first year – we have appointed a world class, highly motivated team of staff, we have our first cohort of energized, multinational students, and are building strategic partnerships to ensure impact in the Global North & South. Feeding the world’s growing population well, while protecting the natural systems on which we all depend, is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. Over a third of the global population is affected by one or more forms of malnutrition – be that hunger, obesity or micronutrient deficiency. We look forward to growing the Academy as an interdisciplinary hub of expertise to support decision making to transform agri-food systems & food security though agenda-setting, impactful, inter-disciplinary research, teaching and translation to policy and practice, with our local and global partners.”

Agriculture and food security is one of the most significant, pressing concerns in the developing and developed world. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals include crucial targets around hunger, climate and life on land, with sustainable agri-food systems supporting virtually all of the other goals. The work of the Academy will help address these goals.

To learn more about the Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security, please visit our website.

To watch Professor Geoff Simm’s inaugural lecture on feeding the world’s growing population, click here.