Promoting Nutrition and Food Security in Africa: Role of University Research, Technology and Innovation
Catherine Kunyanga1, Michael Hesse2, Jasper Imungi1
1University of Nairobi, Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Technology, Kenya
Attainment of food security remains a big challenge for most governments in Africa including Kenya. Food security is a complex problem in many countries and requires sustainable solutions to ensure that everyone has access to safe food at all times. Food security has been highlighted as a focal area of concern by the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and African Union (AU) Malabo declarations (2014). Improving food security situation in Africa requires a multi-faceted approach including looking at alternative strategies and technologies to sustainable crop and livestock production. Most regions in Kenya have been facing severe food insecurity problems as depicted by a high proportion of the population having no access to food in the right amounts and quality/safety. The University of Nairobi in partnership with University of Kassel and other East African universities have implemented a 5 year project on Reducing Losses and Adding Value (RELOAD) aimed at addressing postharvest losses in the food value chains as a strategy of reducing food insecurity. This North to South cooperation has been instrumental in reaching out to young students and innovators in the region who have developed technologies and innovations that are transforming the lives of pastoral communities and poor households in Africa. The University has also partnered with the Food Security Center of the University of Hohenheim with PhD Programs on “Global Food Security”. This interdisciplinary collaboration incorporates a multi-faceted strategy that includes diverse approaches and expertise to tackle food insecurity. This paper presentation will give details of some of the top 5 technologies and innovations that have been disseminated to reduce food insecurity and generate incomes for rural poor in Kenya as developed by over 10 postgraduate students and top scientists in these institutional collaborations.
Keywords: Food safety, food security, innovation and technology, institutional linkages
Contact Address: Catherine Kunyanga, University of Nairobi, Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Technology, 29053-00625, Kangemi, Kenya, e-mail: ckunyangauonbi.ac.ke