SAFOODS

Strengthening African FOOD Systems in the face of climate change and food insecurity

Scientific abstract
Food and nutrition insecurity is a worldwide problem that particularly affects Sub-Saharan Africa today. By 2050 West African countries will face rapid demographic growth and urbanization while stronger climate-related constraints on food systems (FS); hence the urgent need to propose adaptations of African FS.

Despite their importance for health, fruits and vegetables (F&V) are poorly considered in most food security and climate change studies. SAFOODS project considers the need for reshaping West-African F&V FS to sustainably contribute to food and nutrition security, with an emphasis on poor urban consumers. The main objective is to assess climate change-related risks on F&V FS and to co-design innovations with actors of food chains. Two complementary strategies will be explored:
1) the reduction of Food Loss and Waste (FLW); and,
2) the diversification of both cropping systems and foodsheds.

The project will focus on two city-region FS in two countries facing food security challenges and a gradient of climatic situations: Dakar and Ziguinchor in Senegal, Yamoussoukro and Abidjan in Ivory Coast. The case of international chains and risks of climate change on the UK FS will also be studied.

SAFOODS approach is to work downstream to upstream, starting from urban consumers’ diets then tracing back and mapping the food chains, and then identifying critical points where climate change may threaten flows of production and FLW. Using mixed methodologies (surveys, maps, food chains and FS analysis, simulations with quantitative models, foresights with actors) outputs will include scientific knowledge, identification of innovations, capacity building and an overall shared vision with actors of African FS for the future.

An interdisciplinary consortium (agronomists, food scientists, nutritionists, economists, social scientists, and policy experts) comprises ISRA-Bame (Senegal), NRI (United Kingdom), UNA (Ivory Coast) and CIRAD (France), with CIRAD as the Project Coordinator.