GFSC’s focus is on innovative, interdisciplinary research, education and engagement programs across six major platforms: Germplasm and Seed Systems; Climate Resilient Healthy Crops; Climate Resilient Healthy Animals; Sustainable Water Systems; Post-harvest and Utilization; and Policies, Regulations and Trade representing key elements in the food chain. Interwoven into each platform are three cross cutting issues: Capacity Building, Socio-Economics and Natural Resource Management. Enveloping the platforms and the cross cutting issues are three major drivers of change: Technology, Social Change and Entrepreneurship. Addressing the platforms, cross cutting issues and the drivers of change will lead to food security.
As soon as an imaginary finish line is crossed in the fight against hunger, there will be more mouths to feed on an increasingly limited land-base. Permanent food security must include capacity development to both achieve and maintain local technical expertise, the institutional assets, and the knowledge-base to consistently and comprehensively pursue the goal of global food security.
Capacity building is interwoven into each GFSC platform to ensure that we produce the future scientists, scalable technologies and social entrepreneurs required to pursue food security.
Our goal is enhancing production, processing, marketing and consumption while replenishing/restoring natural resources in the environment. Adapting existing global climate models to provide climate change scenarios is crucial, as is modeling production/consumption to estimate likely changes in current resources and quantify impacts on the environment.
Areas of study and research include potential environmental impacts such as soil/water resources depletion, conservation, enhancement; greenhouse gas emissions; impacts from fertilizer and pesticide inputs; genetically enhanced varieties used in adaptive croping systems; facilities for post-harvest storage/processing; fossil fuel use/transportation and processing waste.
The socio-economic realm is central to food security, involving income security and affordability of food. The ability of households involved in subsistence agriculture to market surpluses and generate income allows them to afford a more diversified and improved diet and to weather external shocks in their own production system. Markets and policies influence food security at the household level and influence other market participants' decisions.
The socioeconomic approach focuses on the decision-making household unit, investigating factors such as credit, costly market participation, access to land, and gender-based constraints on available resources. Socio-economic analysis allows us to gauge outcomes on market participation and the
emergence of entrepreneurs along new value chains. Socio-economic investigations provide insights on interventions at the market/household levels to stimulate the adoption and production of improved crops and livestock production, the development of value chains based on these improved activities, and their impact on income and food security within households, particularly for children.