Promoting Green Nutrition for the Sahel region

Scientific abstract
Senegal and Burkina Faso are already exposed to an increase in extreme weather events such as droughts and floods, due to climate change. As a result, the yields of staple foods are set to decline significantly during the 21st century, adding more pressure on the already highly strained local food systems. An overlooked and underutilized group of plants that could fill this shortfall are indigenous vegetables and tree crops. They are well-adapted to the local climate, less affected by pests and diseases and therefore require fewer inputs. Moreover, many of them are highly nutritious and often part of the resident food culture.

The NutriGreen project will research these traditional plants to understand how their production and consumption can be amplified through sustainable nutri-sensitive food value chains (VCs) to foster a climate-resilient local agri-food system, especially filling the food supply gap during the seasonal hunger period. To reduce volatility in agri-food production and food markets, the project will analyse, identify and test innovative technologies in the production, post-harvest/processing and marketing of selected traditional plants in Gaoua in Burkina Faso and Louga in Senegal. To engage new consumers and improve food security, NutriGreen will develop new products, healthy recipes and information campaigns.

NutriGreen is a multi-actor project, with a strong partner network, that includes local food system actors right from the start. The research will apply a transformative action learning and co-creation of knowledge approach. A group of Master and PhD students will test agro-meteorological learning, sustainable intensification and diversification methods with women farmer groups participating in climate field schools. A second group of researchers will support agripreneurs by co-developing and testing new business models. Both groups will be assessed in framed field experiments treatment (participants) and control groups (non-participants).