Reaction from the University of Liverpool to a report by Oxfam on food prices and global food shortage:
Professor Martin Mortimer, Director of the University of Liverpool’s Food Security Network, said: “This report from Oxfam re-emphasises the need to address food security in the context of poverty alleviation. The policy issues surrounding the complexity of global food supply in the face of increasing world population and climate change should be of urgent concern to us all. There is no simple solution to addressing the future demand for food. It requires a holistic interdisciplinary view, innovative scientific approaches and renewed investment in all aspects of agriculture.
“The University of Liverpool has already incorporated food security into the heart of its research themes. Our scientists have sequenced the genome of wheat releasing the potential for improved and quicker wheat breeding. We are also evaluating the management of ecosystem services for sustainable agriculture, water security and the role of supply chains in livestock disease outbreaks.”
Food Security Network
The University has established an inter-disciplinary Food Security Network to address concerns over increasing food shortages worldwide. Global food security is now an international concern with the converging impacts on human welfare of increasing population size, shortages of natural resources and climate change. The network provides a forum for science and policy research into food security and a mechanism to enable responses to national and international calls. Researchers are investigating many of the challenges, which span all aspects of animal and crop production, disease control, nutrition and food processing and quality, as well as policy issues relating to the resilience of supply chains, land use and biofuels. We also provide Masters level training in Food Security. The network additionally provides an important gateway for engagement with local and national business enterprises in the food supply industry.
The University hosts the Centre for Genomic Research which investigates the fundamental relationships between genes and the growth of organisms and plays a major national and international role in the sequencing of the genomes of plants, animals and microbes.
The University is also home to the National Centre for Zoonosis Research where scientists are investigating the contamination of food sources from microbes including E. coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter and the spread of livestock diseases such as avian flu.
Researchers in the recently opened Stephenson Institute are addressing the fundamentals of sustainable energy production, the role of biofuels and the wider implications of energy consumption and land use for agriculture.