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Master of Management of Development (MSc) - Specialisation Rural Development and Food Security

Course Description

Local food security in a globalising world

Food security presents different challenges in different parts of the world. In many countries a dualistic agricultural development takes place. On the one side a growing number of large-scale high-external input farms are producing for the world market and the national supermarkets. At the other side there are the small-scale subsistence-oriented farms that produce for local markets, where the poor and rural population buy their food. In these countries the food-distribution systems fail to ensure that the high-output farms feed the whole population.

Although subsistence-oriented farming is often seen as an indicator of poor development, this is not always accurate. In countries whose distribution systems are inadequate, it is - from the point of view of local food security - actually an asset. As globalisation proceeds and these parallel systems coexist, how can agricultural service-delivery organisations help subsistence-based farmers safeguard their ability to ensure local food security? External factors being what they are, such organisations must continuously adjust their structures, policies and programmes.

Many possible answers to such problems are provided in this programme, including possible interventions in the field of food security. The programme is especially suited to mid-career professionals whose organisations are responsible for tackling local food-security issues. It is also of particular interest to consultants involved in rural-development projects and organisations.


At graduation, you will have the ability to:
• define the economic, commercial and marketing needs, constraints and opportunities of those in rural communities who produce for local and regional markets
• analyse food security at a local and global level
• apply tools for diagnosing food security
• analyse the livelihoods of farmers who produce for local and regional markets and understand farmers' coping strategies
• select, explain and design an appropriate development intervention leading to food security
• develop support programmes for farmers, producers and other groups
• mainstream food security within Agricultural and rural development programmes
• define the economic, commercoal and marketing needs, constraints and oppertunities for small-scale producers in rural communities
• formulate and recommend any organisational adjustments that are needed within service-delivery organisations.

Career opportunities

As globalisation proceeds, organisations involved in food-security programmes are having to respond to its effects; increasing numbers of donor agencies now require food security to be integrated within their programmes and projects. There is therefore a considerable demand for professionals who can define and implement this response. Many NGOs and public service organisations are currently reassessing their activities, and see one-year staff training programmes as a worthwhile investment.

Visit the Master of Management of Development (MSc) - Specialisation Rural Development and Food Security page on the Van Hall Larenstein, University of Applied Sciences website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Irene Asare

“I am now approaching the end of this master course on food security. A three weeks module on project planning and the thesis project is all what is left to do. The module on “Agricultural development and food security” provided me with a more comprehensive understanding about food security. Not only food production should be considered, but also food accessibility and utilisation. After coming back to Ghana this will help me to consider much more topics than before with regard to the Ghana School Feeding Program (GSFP) I’m involved in. In the GSFP small farmers
are asked to produce foodstuff for the schools. This provides the children with nutritious food and at the same time the farmers a ready market, by which they can increase their income. From the modules on ‘Management, planning and development’, I have acquired the knowledge and skills that helps me to deal with challenges within an organisation involved in Food Security programs.”


Entry Requirements

To be eligible for admission you have to meet the following requirements: A Bachelor degree, or an equivalent qualification in a relevant subject. A minimum of 2 years of relevant working experience. A good working knowledge of spoken and written English (TOEFL IBT 80 points/IELTS 6,0). Applicants have to prove this proficiency, for example by submitting certificates issued by a recognised language institute such as TOEFL or the British Council .Computer literacy (Windows, Word, Excel and Internet use) is required.

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Recipient: Van Hall Larenstein, University of Applied Sciences
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