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Scientific Forum

Food for the Future: Meeting the Challenges with Nuclear Applications

18-19 September 2012

A Scientific Forum is taking place 18-19 September 2012 in Hall E1 in the Austria Center Vienna (ACV), which is accessible from the Vienna International Centre (VIC), and will focus on nuclear applications related to food. The Forum is being held in conjunction with the General Conference. Photo Gallery →


  • Food for the Future - Meeting Challenges with Nuclear Applications, Scientific Forum Report to General Conference, 19 September 2012
  • Director General's Statement to Scientific Forum, 18 September 2012 | Video →
  • In Focus: Nuclear Science for Food Security
  • IAEA Bulletin: Today, around one billion people do not have enough food. Within the coming 40 years, there will be nine billion people to feed. Farmers will have to produce 70% more food. Yet right now, climate change makes droughts more severe and storms more violent, destroying crops and threatening food security. Climate change's effects on farming are expected to worsen. About 500 million smallholder farmers produce as much as 80% of the food consumed in developing countries. They need help in producing more food in difficult growing conditions. This issue of the IAEA Bulletin explains how sustainable nuclear technologies are already helping smallholder farmers in developing countries meet those challenges. More →
  • Conference Programme: From 18 to 191 September 2012, the IAEA's Scientific Forum on Food for the Future: Meeting the Challenges with Nuclear Applications, will bring together international experts to discuss nuclear solutions to these challenges. Find more information about the conference programme and venue here.

Director General Amano Address to Scientific Forum

Director General Yukiya Amano opened the Scientific Forum, stating that the IAEA is in the unique position of being able to make nuclear technology available to developing countries, helping them to grow more food, fight animal and plant pests and diseases and ensure the safety of food products. More → :: Statement →

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Food for the Future: Meeting Challenges with Nuclear Applications

SF People all over the world are benefiting from nuclear techniques in food production, food protection and food safety - many of them aided directly by the IAEA's 200 food-related projects in around 100 countries worldwide. Photo Essay →

Nuclear Technology To Help Small Farmers

SFEveryone should have hope for the future, and hunger reduces that hope. This was Director General Yukiya Amano's answer when asked why food was chosen as the theme for this year's Scientific Forum. As someone who has experienced hunger in his lifetime, Mr. Amano said the issues of food availability and food safety are close to his heart. The 2012 IAEA Scientific Forum on Food for the Future: Meeting the Challenges with Nuclear Applications concluded on Wednesday, 19 September, following two days of presentations and discussions from scientists and experts from around the world and from a variety of organizations. More →

Report On Scientific Forum

IAEA Board of GovernorsA report on this year's Scientific Forum entitled: Food for the Future: Meeting the Challenges with Nuclear Applications provided a brief account of the discussions over the past two days. The report stressed the essential role of the IAEA in assisting Member States to introduce and implement nuclear techniques for food security and the importance of international cooperation in this field, particularly with the Food and Agriculture Organization. More → :: Report →

Food for the Future: Interview With Yukiya Amano

Scientific ForumIAEA Director General Yukiya Amano discusses why he decided to focus on food for the 2012 Scientific Forum and what he hopes to achieve with this event. Video →

Food For the Future

WheatThe High Andes of Peru, the busy streets of Jakarta and the dusty Cameroon bush - all very different places, in diverse parts of the world, with one thing in common: the people here are all benefiting from nuclear science and the support of the IAEA to produce and protect food and make it safer. Video →

Better Crops To Feed Millions

WheatFeeding growing populations is a problem that countries around the world struggle with. The IAEA is working with seven Arab countries in Asia to improve the yield and resilience of wheat and barley, two of the crops the region depends on the most. Video →

Birth of Centenario: Farming in the High Andes

WheatFew plants thrive at altitudes of over 4 000 metres, where soil is poor, water scare and the winters harsh. But farmers in the High Andes of Peru can grow varieties of sturdy grains, such as barley, that can survive under extreme weather conditions. These have been developed with a plant breeding technique that uses radiation on seeds to induce changes in plants. Video →

More Food With Better Soil: Using Isotope Techniques

Better SoilThe tiny Austrian village of Grabenegg may be worlds apart and miles away from the African savannahs, the Asian deltas or the fields of South America. But research being conducted here by IAEA soil scientists could, in the future, help farmers in these parts of the world to grow more and better crops. The aim is to develop simple, cost-effective farming practices that improve soil fertility. Video →

Proper Pesticide Use: Monitoring Impact With Nuclear Techniques

PesticidesFood safety experts from the IAEA are conducting research using nuclear techniques to evaluate the impact of pesticide use on the environment, in food products and surface waters. The project aims to improve agricultural management practices, raise awareness on pesticide monitoring and ultimately develop a simple, "rapid-alert" test for measuring potential contamination from pesticides. Video →

Safer Food For a Growing Population: Food Irradiation in Indonesia

Better SoilIndonesia is one of 60 countries currently using food irradiation to improve food safety and quality. This tropical country, with a growing population of around 250 million, uses this nuclear technology to prevent food poisoning, extend the shelf-life of food and provide a safe diet for people with suppressed immune systems. Video →

Better Fruit For Neretva Valley

Neretva ValleyFarmers in Croatia are using nuclear technology to tackle the Mediterranean fruit fly, a common pest that poses a serious threat to the country's lucrative fruit industry. With the support of the IAEA and the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Croatia is implementing the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT). Video →

Protecting Africa's Lifeblood: Controlling Animal Disease in Cameroon

Better SoilLivestock are the lifeblood of African society, providing financial and food security for around 300 million people. However, it's estimated that 25% of animals die annually from preventable diseases. In countries such as Cameroon, nuclear and nuclear-related technologies are playing an essential role in maintaining animal health and protecting vulnerable communities from outbreaks of disease. Video →

Live Video Streaming of Scientific Forum

Sessions of the Scientific Forum is being live-streamed during the Forum on 18 and 19 September 2012.