InnoFoodAfricaiProject Implementation Takes Root

The InnoFoodAfrica project in full “Locally driven co-development of plant based value chains towards more sustainable African food systems with healthier diets and export potential” is explor- ing climate-smart African crops (cereal-pulse-root crop-fruit) in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda. In Uganda the project is focusing on banana, millet, cowpeas, and amaranth. The project is developing develop and will demonstrate optimal solutions for cultivation practices, processing and productization towards new value chains, thus enhancing nutritionally balanced food con- sumption in Uganda and creating opportunities to reach international markets.

 

The main output is to demonstrate the huge potential of the African crops as healthy ingredients in combating both un- der and over nutrition. The emphasis is to target vulnerable groups, such as malnourished children, pregnant women and adults under the risk of obesity, by increasing the diversity of affordable, nutrient-dense and healthy food products based on local crops, and educating people for improved eating habits.

The project addresses key bottlenecks of African food value chains – low productivity, limited ac- cess to urban markets, affordability and convenience of end products – by tailoring actions on local context to develop novel technologies in agriculture, food processing and use of residual biomass for packaging, and concurrently to investigate food safety, food security and food loss reduction. Trainings, targeting farming and business communities covering farming productivity of indige- nous crops, effective post-harvest technologies, valorization of biomass residue materials, nutri- tional guiding, and entrepreneurial skills. The project will also foster international cooperation with other EU-Africa and inter-African projects (FNSSA).

This far, the project has implemented several farmer participatory research activities in eastern and central Uganda; developed ingredients with improved functional proper- ties from banana, millet cowpeas and amaranth for use in different food applications; surveyed the agricultural side streams and characterized them and is currently complet- ing a food consumption survey in the project research areas.

The project is supporting several graduate students and is working with the private sec- tor to ensure technology uptake and commercialization. The project partners in Uganda include Makerere University, Kulika Uganda, FONUS Ltd, Uganda Manufacturers As- sociation. At Makerere University the project team is composed of Dr. Geoffrey Tusiime, Dr. Stellah Byakika among others and led by Assoc. Prof. Yusuf Byaruhanga. Inno- FoodAfrica project is funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 Program and will be running 2020 to 2023.



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