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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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The 4th Rural Conference (IGU AGLE: Agricultural Geography and Land Engineering) was held from March 24, 9 AM to March 26, 12 AM, 2021 (Paris Time).

This international virtual symposium was held on Zoom and from March 24 to 26. With 85 presentations and 3 keynote speakers, it bought together geographers working on urban-rural relations, analyzing food relocalization or the transformations of built or agricultural landscapes that are taking place in urban, peri-urban and rural settings, in connection with the renewal of food issues.

The conference was organized on behalf of the commissions of rural geography and trade geography of the CNFG (French National Committee of Geography), as well as the commission "Agricultural Geography and Land Engineering" of the IGU (International Geographic Union). It was organized by INRAE UMR Innovation, in partnership with the UMR Art-Dev, the UMR LAGAM, Ecole française de Rome, and the MSH of Montpellier.


Keynote speakers

  • conferenciers


The Geography of Food: An Overview

Guy M Robinson.

Watch the video of this conference 

Department of Geography, Environment & Population, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia. Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

This presentation deals with issues of production and consumption of food, and especially global patterns and relationships affecting who produces food, where and how, who consumes it and what links there are between producers and consumers. It provides a brief overview of the drivers of production and addresses key issues affecting food security. Amongst the various aspects of the geography of food to be addressed will be:

  • Food production, climate change and Climate Smart Agriculture
  • Agriculture 4.0 and applying high-tech approaches to increase output
  • Examples of political support mechanisms for agriculture
  • Globalisation and the rise of ‘financialisation’
  • Resistance to industrial-style food production
g robinson

Guy M Robinson is a human geographer with over 40 years experience of teaching and researching in universities in Australia, the UK, Canada and New Zealand. He has published eight books (including Geographies of Agriculture and Handbook on the Globalisation of Agriculture) over 200 papers in journals/book chapters and participated in numerous research projects. He holds degrees from the Universities of London and Oxford and has held positions at the Universities of Oxford, Edinburgh, Kingston London and South Australia before joining the University of Adelaide in 2015. He is also a Departmental Associate in the Department of Land Economy at the University of Cambridge. He is the Editor of a new journal, Research in Globalization, and previously was Editor of the international journal, Land Use Policy, for 12 years.

Food question and the production of space

Ségolène Darly

My contribution explores how the food question is posed today and in the context of capitalist urban societies (i.e., which have already moved into the post-agrairian period of their history in the sense that most workers are employees outside the agricultural sector) in relation with space dynamics and urban-rural relations. Based on my research on the territorial dimension of agriculture and its integration in the political debate, I elaborate on how the food issue is currently formulated in different scientific, technical or domestic spheres of space production. This will allow me to analyze the territorial dimension of the food issue as it unfolds in an urban question, an agrarian question and a social question.

S darly

Ségolène Darly is Tenured Lecturer at the Geography department of the University Paris 8 Vincennes Saint-Denis, France and member of the LADYSS-Social dynamics and Spatial Recompositions research unit. She received her PhD in geography from EHESS (Paris, France) in 2009 and MS in agronomy sciences from AgroParisTech (France). Her research and teaching deals with land-use conflicts, farm land managment, urban agriculture, land-use planning and food system social geography.

Cultivated land protection and food security under the rapid urbanization in China

Yansui LIU

Watch the video of this conference

Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.

Cultivated land protection and food security are the foundations of national security as cultivated land and food involve national economy and the people's livelihood. The global intertwined problems of population, food, water and environment, have become prominent in the sustainable development of contemporary human society. As the world’s largest developing country, China underwent rapid urbanization with rate increased from 17.8% in 1978 to 60.6% in 2019. During the same period, grain production increased from 305 million tons to 664 million tons and the per capita grain output increased from 317 kg/person to 474 kg/person. China has to feed 20% of the global population (1.4 billion) with only about 7% of its arable land. Although China implements the strictest farmland protection system and the strategy of “Storing Grain in the Land and Technology”, it remains to be an underdeveloped economy with the basic national conditions of a large population, weak foundation and poor agricultural foundation and there are still many practical problems to be solved such as continuous reduction of high-quality cultivated land, land pollution and abandonment. In 2020, China has entered into the new stage of building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way and it has established the system of ecological civilization and implemented the strategy of rural revitalization. Therefore, the protection of cultivated land and food security are facing more severe challenges.

Based on the develop trend and regional pattern of China’s urbanization, cultivated land area and grain production, this research focuses on the following three major issues: (1) the impact of a great deal of cultivated land occupation, rural migrants and food consumption growth on cultivated land protection and food security under the rapid urbanization; (2) the situation and risk of “grain center” moving to the north under the spatial pattern of cultivated land “decreasing in the South and increasing in the north”; (3) the policy innovation and scientific approaches to ensure the sustainable use of arable land and food security in China under globalization. Lastly, combined with the national “14th five year plan” and the requirements of global sustainable development goals, this research further explains the general course and guarantee system of improving the policies of urban- rural construction land increase-decrease hook, balance of cultivated land occupation and compensation, and the strategies of land consolidation project and basic farmland construction and the regional cooperation on food security in China.

Yansui Liu

Yansui Liu is the Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), a professor and Ph.D. supervisor in the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research (IGSNRR), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), University of CAS ( He serves as the Director of Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, CAS; Director, Center for Assessment and Research on Targeted Poverty Alleviation, CAS; Chair of International Geographical Union (IGU) Commission on Agricultural Geography and Land Engineering (AGLE); Director of China Urban-Rural Development Think Tank Alliance; Associate Editor of Land Use Policy Journal.

Prof. Yansui Liu is a specialist of land use and human-economic geography, and his major areas of research are agricultural and rural geography, urban-rural development issues, urbanization and rural revitalization, land consolidation engineering, land-water allocation, land use policy, rural human-land system and poverty reduction. He combines the theories, methods and practical applications and leads the team going deep into grassroots villages for surveys in typical areas, and formed the scientific perception on Chinese rural development and land use problems. These scientific acknowledge has been used to guide regional development planning, policy formulations and national decision supports.

As the principal investigator, Prof. Yansui Liu has undertaken 70 research projects sponsored by NSFC, NSSFC, CAS, MLR, and the Ministry of Science and Technology, etc. He has published more than 500 scientific papers, 150 of which have appeared in SCI/SSCI journals like Nature, Science, Land Use Policy, Journal of Rural Studies, Applied Geography etc. He also has published 17 monographs and 36 commentaries and policy analyses in the country’s official newspapers, and has won more than 20 academic awards including the second prize of National Science and Technology Progress, TWAS International Science Award, provincial and ministerial first awards, etc. He and his team have submitted about 21 important advisory reports to the Central Government in recent years. He was selected as the Top 1% Scientists based on Thomson Reuters and 2018, 2019 “Global Highly Cited Researchers” from Clarivate Analytics.