Skip to main content

Institute for Sustainable Food Systems

Innovative solutions for a healthy and productive world

Institute for Sustainable Food Systems

Innovative solutions for a healthy and productive world

Food systems have a wide range of stakeholders, including consumers, farmers, processors, distributors, and those responsible for environmental protection.


FOOD PRODUCTION & ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

Sustainable food production is a key part of food security. Food production on an individual farm is part of a larger system that includes the development and distribution of productive and nutritious crop varieties, the development and testing of cropping system strategies including management of pests and diseases, and methods for distributing food safely. Food systems have a wide range of stakeholders, including consumers, farmers, processors, distributors, and those responsible for environmental protection.

Global food systems face a number of challenges in the 21st century. The growing human population will need increased food production. At the same time that the need for food increases, there will be increasing competition for land use for food, fiber, and biofuel production, putting increasing pressure on wildlands and conservation areas that maintain global biodiversity. Climate change will present challenges as production systems must shift and many regions may have fewer good production options. Emerging crop diseases and pests will require adjustments to cropping systems, as well. Effective responses to all these challenges will depend on good strategies for developing agricultural infrastructure, including research and communication systems, at global and local levels.

ISFS is contributing to the development of better agricultural strategies through analysis of agriculture at the system level. IFAS is rich in experts in different facets of agricultural production. ISFS works to integrate their expertise in models of the effects of agricultural strategies in individual farmers’ fields, across Florida, and globally.

Current Projects

Laurel wilt of avocado: Management of an unusual and lethal disease
Laurel wilt is a significant threat to avocado in Florida and other regions. This project will develop strategies for managing the disease.

Managing Seed Degeneration and Improving Seed Systems
Systems for maintaining healthy seed availability are a major problem, particularly for root, tuber, and banana crops in developing countries. This project funded by CGIAR addresses improved strategies for the problem.

Cassava crop modeling for Africa
This project funded by IITA/ACAI, the African Cassava Agronomy Initiative (ACAI) is a 5-year project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation to increase the availability of appropriate and affordable technologies to sustainably improve cassava productivity in the short- and long-term.

Climate Adaptation and Mitigation in Fruit and Vegetable Supply Chains
Funded by the USDA, team members involved in the project will identify and test climate adaptation and mitigation intervention strategies that can be applied to enhance sustainability and resilience of fruit and vegetable supply chains in the US, thereby providing actionable strategies to maintain a nutritious, reliable, affordable and environmentally-sound food supply.