The Food Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) in partnership with the University of Pretoria and University of Leeds were granted £2 million to set up a Food Systems Research Network (FSNet-Africa).
FSNet-Africa, funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) under the auspices of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Research Excellence Partnership Programme, aims to utilise systems-based research methodologies to develop a new understanding of the African food system. This research will enhance understanding of the components of the food system, the interactions between these components, and ultimately the leverage points for food systems transformation.
Through a structured fellowship, early career researchers will work with mentors in Africa and the UK to co-design research that yields climate-smart, nutrition-sensitive, poverty-reducing solutions through engaging policymakers, private sector role players and grassroots level organisations in six African countries – Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.
Prof Frans Swanepoel, a FANRPAN Board member and Principal Investigator for FSNet-Africa (based at University of Pretoria), highlighted that overcoming Africa’s development challenges cannot be separated from the need to transform the continent’s food systems. He further explained that “One in four people in sub-Saharan Africa face food insecurity and Africa will need to produce 80% more food by 2050. The challenge is not only to ensure that adequate food is accessible, but to provide safe and nutritious food to combat malnutrition as African countries are confronted by the triple burden of malnutrition.”
Dr. Tshilidzi Madzivhandila, the FANRPAN CEO and Head of Mission who is also the Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator for FSNet-Africa, emphasized that meaningful engagement of all state and non-state food system stakeholders across the continent ought to make agriculture and food production in Africa more productive, sustainable and resilient to climate change. Dr Madzivhandila also stated that, “in FSNet-Africa consortium partners will leverage their national and regional networks to engage a wide range of food system stakeholders to co-design and conduct research as well as translate evidence into implementable interventions in support of SDG targets for Africa.”
FSNet-Africa builds on collaborative UKRI-funded projects with the GCRF AFRICAP (co-led by the University of Leeds and FANRPAN) examining food system resilience in South Africa, Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania and the GCRF SWIFT project analysing weather forecasting and communications across Kenya and Ghana. Dr Claire Quinn, the FSNet-Africa lead investigator in Leeds, highlighted that “the concerted and coordinated actions of the food industry (agriculture, production and processing, retail, food service sector and waste disposal) and consumers are all crucial to promote sustainable consumption and production which focuses on reducing all forms of food losses throughout the entire supply chain.”
For more information please contact Dr Njongenhle Nyoni : email@example.com