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International Agricultural Trade, Geopolitics and Global Food Security

IAMO Forum 2023 | 21  23 June 2023 | Halle (Saale)

International agricultural trade is key to improving global food security. It ensures better access to more diversified and nutritious food, especially in low-income countries, and acts as a safety net against food shortages caused by climate risks, crises, political tensions and other shocks. However, recent supply chain disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, extreme weather events and the war in Ukraine have posed serious challenges to international agricultural trade. Rising geopolitical risks, such as the China-US trade conflict and tensions between Russia and the West, are further challenging trade relations. Following a long period of reduced agricultural trade barriers, the global food economy could now be faced with growing isolation and autarky resulting from trade-restricting measures, such as sanctions and export restrictions.

Against this background, IAMO Forum 2023 will focus on the role of international trade in improving global food security and consider geopolitical interests and geographic reconfigurations. Particular attention will be paid to the benefits, stability and resilience of global versus local agricultural supply chains. In particular, the forum will look at how geopolitical interests and the restructuring of the world into like-minded economic blocs could lead to the de-globalization of established agricultural trade structures. This is likely to be to the detriment of food-insecure people in the Global South and to cause economic hardship in Eurasian transition economies.

Over the three-day forum, distinguished guests from research, civil society, agribusiness and policy will discuss international trade and global food security with particular focus on the growing importance of geopolitics. These topics will be addressed from an interdisciplinary perspective that will include contributions from fields such as agricultural sciences, economics, political, social and geographical sciences, and economic history. The regional focus will be on transition and emerging economies in Eastern Europe and Asia, and developing countries in Africa.

The forum committee welcomes submissions of extended abstracts and proposals for organized sessions on the following thematic areas:

  • Geopolitical tensions, like-minded blocs and international cooperation
  • Agricultural trade and economic prosperity
  • Rethinking supply chains in the era of crises: re-shoring, friend-shoring, free trade
  • The geopolitical dimension of international agricultural trade
  • Barriers to food security in the Global South
  • Digitalization of food supply chains
  • Agricultural production and trade potentials in Eurasian countries
  • Environmental risks and adaptation mechanisms to climate change
  • Food loss and waste in agricultural supply chains
  • Food demand patterns and changes in consumer behavior

The IAMO Forum 2023 is jointly organized with the German Agribusiness Alliance and the Leibniz ScienceCampus “Eastern Europe – Global Area” (EEGA), with the technical cooperation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

The conference language will be English. The conference takes place in presence. A number of presentations will be held in virtual format using Zoom due to visa processing delays.