The DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security and the Agricultural Research Council invite you to a distinguished lecture presented by Prof Louise Fresco, President of Wageningen University and Research (WUR).
Prof Louise Fresco has been President of Wageningen University & Research in The Netherlands since July 2014. She combines a long academic career as professor in Wageningen and Amsterdam and various visiting professorships, with an extensive involvement in policy and development. She is a member of the Dutch Royal Academy of Sciences and of four foreign Academies, as well as former Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Academy of Sciences of South Africa (ASSAf).
She served for nearly ten years as Assistant-Director General at the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN and has spent extensive periods in Africa, Asia and Latin America. She was requested in 2014 by the Trilateral EU Commission to chair the evaluation of the Seventh Framework Programme for Research. She is the recipient of two national prizes – Comenius and Groeneveld – for her work.
Prof Fresco serves as a non-executive director of Unilever, was a member of the Supervisory Board of Rabobank and of the Socio-Economic Council, the highest advisory body in The Netherlands. She serves on the adjudication panel of the World Food Prize.
Farm workers are an integral component of the economy and the food system in South Africa. Yet they are invariably poor, food insecure, marginalised and vulnerable to exploitation. Pro-farm worker legislation since 1994 has provided some protection, but it has also been associated with violations of labour rights and an accelerating pace of evictions and casualisation. Moreover, because agricultural employment is concentrated at specific times of year, seasonal farm workers face an under-reported crisis of underemployment and seasonal hunger.
We recognise that producers, processors, distributors and consumers are incorporated into the food system under varying terms and returns. We also recognise the economic, social, human and environmental health impacts associated with food security. Therefore our goal is to conduct research, build capacity and disseminate findings that will promote a sustainable food system in South Africa.
Our research is concerned with the scale, nature, causes and consequences of food insecurity in South Africa and elsewhere on the African continent. Thus our mission is to investigate products, technologies, processes and policies that can reduce food insecurity and mitigate its negative outcomes. We seek to make a difference to food security by linking innovative science with critical enquiry.