AGRO 2015 / FSD5


The 5th International Symposium for
Farming Systems Design

“Multi-functional farming systems in a changing world”

Le Corum conference center, Montpellier, France


Aim and vision


Program outline

Oral presentations

Media corner



Related articles

Related courses

Related events


FSD in a nutshell

FSD is an informal interdisciplinary scientific community of practice. The overall objective of FSD is to promote research and capacity building on methodologies for the analysis and design of Agricultural Systems on a worldwide level.

The core is science: The research focus of this FSD community is the farm system level, the interactions and feedbacks at lower and higher levels of integration and the tools and methods required for understanding and implementing multi-functional farming systems expressing good trade-offs between agricultural production and ecosystems services.

FSD5 focused on “Multi-functional farming systems in a changing world” and has been co-organized by the European Society for Agronomy (ESA) and the Agropolis scientific community.

Vision and mission

Eight years after the launching of the FSD (Farming Systems Design) initiative in Catania (2007), the European Society for Agronomy (ESA) has been mandated to organize the fifth FSD symposium in Montpellier with the specific objective to strengthen the interdisciplinary and methodological focus of FSD. In a time when challenges for farming systems are increasingly defined by other systems operating at higher scales (food security, climate change, natural resource conservation, poverty alleviation….) it is important to keep an active scientific community sustaining innovation and capacity building on farming systems and their interfaces with those embedding systems and global issues.

Congress attendance has been voluntarily limited to allow for more discussions and to focus on the core topics of FSD. 341 delegates came to Montpellier from 41 countries, all continents being represented. Countries most represented were France, the Netherlands and Uruguay. Among the delegates, 50 students attended the conference, and 26 participated to the 1st International FSD Course. The Organizing Committee was able to sponsor participants from the South, by waiving off registration fees, and for 6 of them, accommodation and/or travel.

The proceedings of the conference aim to serve as a compendium of the ongoing research in the FSD domain when considered worldwide and across the various sectors of agriculture (including fish-based systems). They include all the 250 presentations (orals and posters) selected by the Scientific Committee. Part of these submissions have also been selected to compose special issues of major journals in the domain (Agricultural Systems and European Journal of Agronomy) and others will give raise to individual submissions in other journals.

The major achievements and challenges of the FSD approach are browsed through the 6 short sessions of the symposium "Farming Systems Design in Action: Methods, Achievements and Challenges" and are further developed and illustrated in the thematic sessions covering:
• The grounds of the FSD approach in quantitative analysis of crops (session T1. Assessing performances and services of cropping systems) and farms (T2. Assessing performances and services of farming systems).
• The research frontiers on methodologies for systems experiments at field level (W3. Cropping systems design: what can we do with field experiments and expert knowledge?), support of transition pathways at farm level (W4. Farms in transition), integrated analysis (T7. Scaling up from farm to landscape and multiscale scenario analysis of agricultural systems) and design (T8. Co-design and co-innovation with farmers and stakeholders) of agricultural systems.
• A specific focus on crop models (T3. Crop modelling and yield gap analysis for agricultural systems analysis and design) and farm models (T4. What’s new with bio-economic models for the analysis and design of agricultural systems?) and the way they can be developed and used to sustain system’s analysis and design.
• Three typical challenges on which the multi-scale and multi-domain FSD approach is likely to bring significant breakthrough: T5. Designing Climate Smart Agricultural Systems; T6. Designing sustainable agricultural systems with legumes; W6. Pathways for sustainable intensification of African agriculture?
• Applications of the FSD approach to specific types of farming systems: W1. Animal-based systems and crop-livestock interactions at farm and territory level; W7. Aquaculture systems, W2. Annual crops based systems; W5. Silvo-arable and silvo-pastoral systems.

Oral presentations are also online and will remain the active link among the FSD community. A FSD road map for 2015-2020 has been drafted during this conference to stimulate initiatives in the FSD community. It includes the proposal of a 6th FSD symposium to be organized in Uruguay-Argentina in March 2019 and the organization of the second FSD Course to be held in Montpellier in 2016. A specific FSD session is also scheduled during the 2016 ESA conference in Edimburg.

Jacques Wery
President of FSD5
ESA Executive Secretary
Professor of Agronomy, Montpellier SupAgro





Updated 20.12.16

Organizing Committee FSD5
/ AGRO2015
Contact: Brigitte Cabantous - Tel. +33 (0) - Fax. +33 (0)