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Enhancing food security in sub-Saharan countries: Six participatory German-African research approaches
 

Enhancing food security in sub-Saharan countries: Six participatory German-African research approaches

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Securing the global food supply is a central aim of the “GlobE - Global Food Security” funding measure within the German BioEconomy 2030 Research Strategy. In many countries growing competition ...

Securing the global food supply is a central aim of the “GlobE - Global Food Security” funding measure within the German BioEconomy 2030 Research Strategy. In many countries growing competition for food crop land and fluctuating markets are putting pressure on existing food supply systems. In addition, the effects of climate change are also reducing the amount of agricultural land available. This affects in particular sub -Saharan African countries in which the food situation is already unstable.

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    Enhancing food security in sub-Saharan countries: Six participatory German-African research approaches Enhancing food security in sub-Saharan countries: Six participatory German-African research approaches Document Transcript

    • Title: Enhancing food security in sub-Saharan countries: Six participatory German-African research approaches Authors & affiliations: Authors: Graef, F. 1 , Becker, M. 2 , Bokelmann, W. 3 , Buerkert, A. 4 , Denich, M. 5 , Hensel, O. 6 , Marschner, B. 7 , Reif, C. 8 , Sieber, S. 8 1 Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), e. V., Institute of Land Use Systems, D-15374 Müncheberg, 2 Institute of Crop Science and Resource conservation, Dpt. of Plant Nutrition, Karlrobert-Kreiten-Str. 13, D- 53115 Bonn 3 Humboldt University in Berlin, Faculty of Agriculture and Horticulture, Berlin 4 University of Kassel, Dept. of Organic Plant Production and Agroecosystems Research in the Tropics and Subtropics, Steinstr. 19, D-37213 Witzenhausen 5 Center for Development Research (ZEF), Walter-Flex-Str. 3, D-53113 Bonn 6 University of Kassel, Faculty of Organic Agricultural Sciences, Dept. of Agricultural engineering, Nordbahnhofstr. 1a, D- 37213 Witzenhausen 7 Ruhr University Bochum, Dept. of Soil Science and Soil Ecology, Universitätsstraße 150, D-44780 Bochum 8 Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) e. V., Institute for Socio-Economics, D-15374 Müncheberg Abstract: Introduction Securing the global food supply is a central aim of the “GlobE - Global Food Security” funding measure within the German BioEconomy 2030 Research Strategy. In many countries growing competition for food crop land and fluctuating markets are putting pressure on existing food supply systems. In addition, the effects of climate change are also reducing the amount of agricultural land available. This affects in particular sub- Saharan African countries in which the food situation is already unstable. Therefore, measures to stabilize and develop the food supply are particularly important in these regions. For instance, new knowledge and capacity building can make an effective contribution to improve the food situation. Also supporting and increasing productivity and income in agriculture and striking a balance between demand and supply are central challenges of securing the food supply. The aim of GlobE is to support the development of sustainable agriculture in African countries by applying participatory approaches in order to secure a stable food supply for the local population. To achieve this, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in cooperation with the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) of Germany are funding six international research consortia in sub- Saharan Africa over a period of five years. We present the features of this innovative GlobE research strategy and six diverse research approaches spanning over different sub-Saharan countries. GlobE methodology: The GlobE funding initiative requires food securing research approaches to be tailored to the specific target regions in keeping with regional or national research and development (R&D) strategies. The national R&D competences should be combined with local competences and jointly developed to achieve innovative, regionally adapted research approaches and solutions that enable their future implementation by local stakeholders. Collaborations with African partner institutions should be used and intensified and new partnerships established. GlobE pursues the following central aims: - Participatory design of German-African research networks; - Identifying and solving central problems related to the overarching food system in Africa through collaborative research projects; - Developing regional adapted research solutions based on a solid situation analysis of the African target regions; - Supporting and developing research capacities in Germany and in the African partner countries. Results and Discussion An open-theme competition produced six international research consortia which have in common a holistic food system view, sustainability as a central focus, and strong participative features. They focus on the entire
    • food systems with a) use of resources (soil, water, nutrients, energy, labour), b) the use of additional means of production (technical devices, fertilizers, animal feed, seeds and plants), c) the safety and quality of food, d) the consumption and dietary patterns, e) adapted cropping, harvesting, husbandry and storage methods, and f) markets. The processes along the agricultural food value chain (FVC) from sowing to the consumption of agricultural products are regarded as part of a specific cultural, political, social, ecological and economic environment. The six research consortia focus on one or more of the following thematic clusters: - Agricultural production / nutrition / health - Soil / water / material flows and cycles - Minimization of losses along the entire FVC - Agricultural and gender-specific structures Plant breeding, biomass, bioenergy, and livestock can be integrated as well. The focal countries spanning from East to West of sub-Saharan Africa are shown in Figure 1. While capacity building is a joint goal in all GlobE consortia, in the following we show their specific features and the involved institutes (Figure 2). “Trans-SEC” Innovating pro-poor Strategies to safeguard Food Security using Technology and Knowledge Transfer (Tanzania) The features: 1) in-depth analysis of present Tanzanian food systems; 2) action research with stakeholders of the entire FVC 3) the identification of successful upgrading strategies along local and regional FVC; 4) testing of most promising FVC upgrading strategies and adaptation; 5) tailoring these strategies to be disseminated for regional and national outreach; 6) determining transferability to other areas of Tanzania. „Wetlands“ Wetlands in East Africa: reconciling future food production with environmental protection (Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania) The features: 1) wetlands should become the breadbasket of the region; 2) analysis of wetlands status quo and function; 3) assessing technical options for enhancing alternative production options; 3) spatial-temporal dynamics of matter fluxes; 4) ecosystem services and human health aspects; 5) Modelling and assessing for cross-scale integration and regional projections under different global change scenarios. „HORTINLEA“ Horticultural Innovations and Learning for Improved Nutrition And Livelihood in East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia) The features: 1) improve the livelihood and nutritional situation of the rural and urban poor; 2) efficiency of rural and (peri-)urban value chains of indigenous vegetables; 3) accumulate knowledge of how to increase productivity; 4) analyse post-harvest treatment, product quality, processing, logistics and marketing processes; 5) disseminate research results into policies and practice. „RELOAD“ Reduction of Post Harvest Losses and Value Addition in East African Food Value Chains (Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya) The features: 1) reduce post harvest losses in FVCs; 2) decentralise post-harvest treatment and processing; 3) food conservation; 4) focus on fruit, vegetables, roots and tubers, grain, and animal products (meat, milk). "BiomassWeb" Improving Food Security in Africa through Increased System Productivity of Biomass-based Webs (Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia) The features: 1) investigate the production and utilization of biomass in Africa by looking at current and future biomass demand and supply; 2) analyse biomass-based value webs, 3) establish tools to address future biomass challenges and train regional biomass resource experts 4) establish a pan-African biomass network; 4) enhance the capacity of Africa to participate in the international bioeconomy. “UrbanFood Plus ” African-German partnership to enhance resource use efficiency in urban and peri- urban agriculture for improved food security in West African cities (Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Cameroon) The features: 1) develop site-specific, farmer-tailored innovations for improved agricultural production, food safety, and value chains in four major West African cities; 2) on-farm experiments, workshops, and policy dialogues involving stakeholders at different levels; 3) detect bottlenecks in food production and marketing chains, and identify and test-implement options to overcome them.
    • Figure 1: GlobE focal countries
    • Figure 2: GlobE partners