• Course Code:  AG

  • Term:  April 2018

  • Start Date:  Apr 16 2018

  • End Date:  Jun 17 2018

  • Duration:  9 weeks

  • Course Author(s)
    Achim Dobermann

This course has ended

Feeding a hungry planet course card

Feeding a Hungry Planet: Agriculture, Nutrition and Sustainability

April 2018

  • Sdg academy website announcment
    The SDG Academy Team
  • Default user
    Achim Dobermann


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Feeding a Hungry Planet: Agriculture, Nutrition and Sustainability explores the challenges to ensuring a healthy and sustainable diet for our growing world population, as well as the central role of agriculture in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.


The agriculture sector is at the heart of issues such as food security, malnutrition, ecosystem management, and the responsible production and consumption of food. However, without the proper policy frameworks and programs to guide our global food system, there is the risk of exacerbating inequality and harming our environment.


This course discusses:

  • Agriculture’s contribution to the environmental, economic and social pillars of sustainable development
  • The past 50 years of agricultural development
  • The role of food systems in achieving global nutrition security and better health
  • Technological advancements to produce more and better quality food
  • The interaction between rural development, markets and governance
  • Ways to achieve the global goals for agriculture, nutrition and sustainability 

Course Instructors

The course is led by Achim Dobermann of Rothamsted Research, and also features:


  • Jessica Fanzo of Johns Hopkins University
  • Ken Giller of Wageningen University
  • Upmanu Lall of Columbia University
  • Michael Lee of Rothamsted Research
  • William Masters of Tufts University
  • Rebecca Nelson of Cornell University
  • Johan Verreth of Wageningen University 


Course Structure and Requirements

The course launches on 16 April 2018. Students can enroll anytime after that date and until 17 June 2018. After 17 June 2018, the course content will no longer be available.



  • Pre-recorded lectures
  • Readings
  • Quizzes
  • Discussion groups
  • Activities

Each module (the materials for each week) is made available each Monday, and once the module has been opened it remains open for the duration of the course. These course components can be completed at a time that is convenient for the students; quizzes can be completed anytime before the course ends. 


Estimated time commitment: 2-4 hours per module 

Cost: Free

Requirements: An internet connection to access course materials


Certificates: Students who successfully complete the course will receive a digital certificate of proficiency, signed by the course organizers. In order to successfully complete the course, students must score an average of 70% or higher on the quizzes and final exam, all of which are multiple choice. Students who score 85% or higher will receive certificates with distinction. NOTE: While this course is not credit granting, we encourage students to work with their own institutions to explore the option of granting credit for online coursework.


If you have any additional questions on the course structure or requirements, please email feedingplanet@sdgacademy.org. For technical questions about the platform, please email support@edcast.com.



Module 1. The global challenges around food 

  • 1.1 Introduction to this MOOC
  • 1.2 Global challenges around food
  • 1.3 Case study 1: Rice
  • 1.4 Case study 2: Smallholder farming
  • 1.5 Case study 3: Livestock
  • 1.6 Case study 4: Aquaculture

Module 2. Agriculture at the center of sustainable development 

  • 2.1 Emergence of modern agriculture
  • 2.2 Risks under a business-as-usual scenario
  • 2.3 Agriculture & the Sustainable Development Goals

Module 3. Food systems for nutritional security and better health 

  • 3.1 What is food security?
  • 3.2 Nutrition and health
  • 3.3 Consumption and diets 
  • 3.4 Food losses and waste
  • 3.5 Socio-economic dynamics of food systems
  • 3.6 Pathways towards food security 

Module 4. Sustainable intensification of agricultural systems – Part 1

  • 4.1 Sustainable agriculture intensification
  • 4.2 The importance of productivity growth
  • 4.3 Climate change adaptation and mitigation
  • 4.4 Breeding and genetics
  • 4.5 Nutrient management
  • 4.6 Soil fertility management

Module 5. Sustainable intensification of agricultural systems – Part 2 

  • 5.1 Water management
  • 5.2 Crop protection
  • 5.3 Good agronomy
  • 5.4 Sustainable livestock systems
  • 5.5 & 5.6 Functional diversity I & II

Module 6: Rural development for poverty alleviation

  • 6.1 Rural economies and urban linkages
  • 6.2 Rural development
  • 6.3 Markets and supply chains
  • 6.4 International trade
  • 6.5 Development enhancing investments
  • 6.6 Food governance

Module 7: Action for change

  • 7.1 Pathways to change
  • 7.2 Monitoring change
  • 7.3 Mechanisms to stimulate change
  • 7.4 Investing in science
  • 7.5 What can I do? 
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Feeding a Hungry Planet: Agriculture, Nutrition and Sustainability


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