This year's Scientific Forum on the topic Food for the Future: Meeting the Challenges with Nuclear Applications, opened on the second day of the General Conference, on 18 September.
Food has been chosen as the main theme this year because it's availability, abundance and safety is under threat. By 2050 for example, global production of safe and nutritious food must increase by 70% to feed the world's growing population.
Nuclear technology is being used and can be further utilised to help solve these problems.
During his opening address, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano, said, "The IAEA is in the unique position of being able to make nuclear technology available to developing countries. We help them to grow more food, fight animal and plant pests and diseases, and ensure the safety of food products. Nuclear technology makes a powerful and critical contribution. Working closely with our partners at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the IAEA supports over 200 projects in more than 100 countries... Clearly, the IAEA cannot solve the world's food problems on its own. But we can make an important contribution."
Panellists, presenters and attendees at this year's Scientific Forum will have the opportunity to discuss a number of topics including: increasing food production; protecting food from animal and plant diseases as well as from animal and plant pests; and enhancing food quality and safety with irradiation and through contamination control.