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FoodLAND: boosting the nutrition performance of local food systems in Africa

FoodLAND includes 28 partners, 18 of which are in Africa
“By bridging the gap between food production and consumption, the project will reinforce the productivity and resilience of food supply chains, and will create new market opportunities on both the local and global scales.”

A €7m research project involving African and European partners and featuring James Hutton Institute social scientists undertakes to boost the nutrition performance of local food systems in Africa. The FOOD and Local, Agricultural and Nutritional Diversity (FoodLAND) initiative, funded by the European Commission within the Horizon 2020 programme and led by Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna (Italy), aims to develop a range of innovations for local agriculture and aquaculture development, as well as to nudge consumers towards healthier eating behaviour in six African countries: Morocco, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The overall project seeks to strengthen agrobiodiversity and food diversity, along with a range of healthy diets to combat the major forms of malnutrition in Africa.

The project will create a network of 14 local Food Hubs—paired with 14 separate cities in these countries—that will mobilise relevant actors in rural, urban and peri-urban communities and serve as injection points for testing and introducing the innovations. Indeed, the 28 partners that comprise the FoodLAND consortium, 18 of which are based in Africa, will work together to develop, implement and validate 12 technological innovations; which include organizational and technological innovations for both vegetable and fish farming and food processing systems, together with 17 novel local food products, ranging from fresh, dried and processed vegetables and fish to composite flours and therapeutic foods.

FoodLAND is adopting a bottom-up approach by basing the initiatives on producers’ and consumers’ motivations, needs and choices. The project will draw a comprehensive picture of the nutritional needs of urban and rural populations, understanding the socio-economic, production conditions, and individual factors that determine the decisions of smallholder producers and processors. Smallholder farmers and food operators will then receive assistance to foster nutrition-responsive and sustainable agro-biodiversity, while consumers will participate in a specific awareness-raising and communication campaign.

Project coordinator Marco Setti, Professor of the Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences of the University of Bologna, said: “By bridging the gap between food production and consumption, the project will reinforce the productivity and resilience of food supply chains, and will create new market opportunities on both the local and global scales.”

The James Hutton Institute will contribute to FoodLAND through the expertise of three agricultural, rural, and environmental economists from the Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences department. Hutton researchers will use experimental approaches to measure behavioural characteristics likely to affect smallholders’ adoption of the FoodLAND innovations and novel food products, such as their risk-taking attitude or willingness to cooperate.

They will also test consumers’ interests for different features of the novel products, like local origin or sustainable production practices, and assess the impact of the innovations on smallholder’s wellbeing in three of the six African countries involved in the research.

For more information about FoodLAND, visit the project website. The FoodLAND consortium includes:

Research partners

  • Alma Mater Studiorum - Università Di Bologna (Coordinator), Italy
  • Agroscope, Switzerland
  • The James Hutton Institute, UK
  • Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
  • Ecole Nationale d'Agriculture de Meknes, Morocco
  • Institut Supérieur Agronomique de Chott-Mariem, Tunisia
  • Institut National Agronomique de Tunisie, Tunisia
  • Mekelle University, Ethiopia
  • University of Nairobi, Kenya
  • Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania
  • Makerere University, Uganda
  • National Agricultural Research Organisation, Uganda

Partners for agriculture/aquaculture promotion and sustainable development in Africa:

  • Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency Tigrai, Ethiopia
  • Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries, Kenya
  • Comitato Europeo per la Formazione e l’Agricoltura, Italy
  • Relief Society of Tigray, Ethiopia
  • Volunteer Efforts for Development Concerns, Uganda
  • Farm Concern International, Kenya
  • Helvetas Tanzania, Switzerland
  • Groupement d’Intérêt Economique Zoyout Dir Béni Mellal, Morocco
  • Groupement de développement agricole Hrayer Gloub thiran, Tunisia

Small and medium-sized companies in the food sector:

  • Kitui Enterprise Promotion Company Limited, Kenya
  • Tamarillo Kenya Limited, Kenya
  • Katundu Traders Limited, Tanzania
  • Nutreal Limited, Uganda
  • AquaBioTech Limited, Malta

Industrial partner:

  • Novamont S.p.A, Italy

Communication and IPR management partners:       

  • Elhuyar Fundazioa, Spain
  • EURICE, Germany

More information from: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, James Hutton Institute, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).


Printed from /news/foodland-boosting-nutrition-performance-local-food-systems-africa on 27/10/20 09:35:15 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.