Ensuring people in Africa have the right amounts and the right kinds of food to support healthy lifestyles is increasingly challenging. Climatic and population pressures will only exacerbate these challenges. But with proactive policies to support appropriate agricultural production and international food trade, future food and nutritional security should be attainable without compromising other sustainability goals.
Held on 29 June, Africa’s future food & nutrition security: Impacts under different climate, trade and policy scenarios drew on recent GCRF AFRICAP research into sub-Saharan food systems. Featuring presentations by Prof Jennie Macdiarmid, Professor of Sustainable Nutrition and Health at the University of Aberdeen, and Richard King, Senior Research Fellow at Energy, Environment and Resource programme at Chatham House (Royal Institute of International Affairs), the event considered some of the major challenges and potential nutritional outcomes associated with different mid-century climate and policy scenarios in Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.
Researchers left the audience with four main messages:
- Grater food item diversities are requires to achieve nutrition security, over and above food security.
- There is potential for crop/commodities production to address nutrient deficiencies.
- Significant changes in trade are needed to achieve nutrition security, as well as changes in production.
- A holistic approach that aligns across policy areas (production, trade, nutrition, climate, economics etc.) is required.
Following research presentations, Prof Simbarashe Sibanda, Leader of Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture Programme at the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) in South Africa, provided a response as the event discussant, drawing on his decades of experience to contextualise AFRICAP’s research within the broader policy landscape in sub-Saharan Africa.
Participants were then invited to share their perspectives on food system and trade policy throughout the region through a discussion and Q&A, facilitated by the event co-chairs, Prof Caroline Orfila and Prof Yun Yun Gong of the University of Leeds.
This event was hosted as part of the GCRF-AFRICAP seminar series. For more events on food systems and climate resilience in sub-Saharan Africa, visit the GCRF-AFRICAP events page.
To learn more about AFRICAP’s trade and nutrition research, read our recent Expert Views piece by Richard King: Can trade help Africa achieve nutrition security in 2050?
View or download the presenter slides from Africa’s future food & nutrition security: Impacts under different climate, trade and policy scenarios.