Investments in Agriculture: Opportunities and Risks for Food Security

Bern, Press release, 15.10.2009

Are large-scale investments in agricultural land in the countries of the South an opportunity for food security or do they instead represent a risk? This is the issue that will be addressed by domestic and foreign experts at a scientific symposium scheduled to be held in Bern on 15 October 2009 on the eve of World Food Day (16 October).

Rising and ever-more volatile world prices for raw materials, the demand for biofuels, the surge in the rate of population growth, and the increasing urbanization, not to mention globalization and worldwide economic development: all of these events have led to large-scale investments in agricultural land in Africa, Latin America, central, and southern Asia over the past year. What are the opportunities and what are the risks that they hold forth for energy security? 

The scientific symposium is entitled “Large-scale Investment in Agriculture and Land – Opportunity and Risk for Food Security”. It will bring together international experts from the domains of development cooperation and humanitarian aid, along with specialists from the private sector and agriculture, for a joint discussion on the latest challenges and international initiatives concerning this issue.  

The symposium will also provide the occasion for the Swiss Forum for International Agricultural Research SFIAR to announce the winner of its Award 2009. Every year, the Forum confers an award on a researcher who is involved in agricultural research for development purposes and which has demonstrated the contribution that agricultural research can make in the fight against poverty.

Food security is a core concern of Switzerland’s foreign, development, and agricultural policies. The symposium is taking place under the patronage of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC and the Federal Office for Agriculture FOAG. 

The symposium will be held in English and participation is free of charge. It will take place at Hotel Bern, Zeughausgasse 9, 3000 Bern. 

Further information:

Dialogue on Agriculture and Food Security
SFIAR - Swiss Forum for International Agricultural Research - Informationen zur landwirtschaftlichen Forschung für Entwicklung
Federal Office for Agriculture
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation

Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: (+41) 031 322 31 53
Fax: (+41) 031 324 90 47


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research