Sustainable Food Systems

The Future Africa (FA) Sustainable Food Systems Research Chair (FA-SFS) was launched in January 2022 with multiple aims linked to Future Africa’s purpose of developing and unleashing the transformative potential of African sciences to inform and inspire a future of thriving African societies within a global context. In line with the FA focus on transformative, collaborative research that seeks to address complex real-world problems, FA-SFS has the following objectives:

  • Establish and enhance research partnerships.
  • Undertake cutting-edge transdisciplinary research to address societal problems and improve food systems.
  • Contribute towards building the capacity and mentoring of early-career researchers.
  • Establish an FA dialogue series on sustainable food systems.
  • Establish and promote engagement in diverse multi-stakeholder platforms for sharing research findings and informing evidence-based policy development and advocacy.
Prof Frans Swanepoel
Research Chair
Prof Frans Swanepoel View profile
Project and Research Manager
Dr Colleta Gandidzanwa
Research and Project Manager
Dr Colleta Gandidzanwa

Our Programmes

  • New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre (NZAGRC) Greenhouse Gas Measurement (GGM) Project

    NZAGRC GGM involves innovation and research on challenges in the agricultural sector, addressing issues such as sustainable agriculture, indigenous development, and climate change across southern Africa. The central focus is to support scientific capability and institutional capacity to track agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the region.

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  • Feed, Protect, Care Global Collaborative PhD Platform

    The Feed, Protect, Care Global Collaborative PhD Platform is a collaboration between the University of Montpellier and the University of Pretoria. This innovative response to the imperatives of open science and open education focuses on the interconnected societal missions of feeding, caring for, and protecting people, places, and the planet. The platform aims to strengthen the capacity of the global scientific community to inform and support critical transformations to ensure sustainable futures at local to global levels.

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  • Food and Livelihood Resilience from Neglected Plant Species in Western and Southern Africa (FORENS)

    FORENS aims to understand and assess the potential of neglected and underutilised plant species (NUS), with the aim of enhancing the resilience of agro-ecosystems and local communities in Western and Southern Africa to environmental change. The project seeks to produce knowledge that can be used to accelerate food production in Africa while contributing to climate-change adaptation, supporting agrobiodiversity, and improving human health through balanced diets.

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  • African Research Universities Alliance Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Food Systems (ARUA-SFS)

    The African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Food Systems (formerly ACoE in Food Security) was established in 2018 as a partnership between the host institution – University of Pretoria – and collaborating partner institutions – University of Ghana and University of Nairobi. The ARUA-SFS aims to create an engaging global network of talented researchers to move institutions forward in pursuit of a common goal. It is recognised that finding solutions to the food security and nutritional challenges in Africa is a huge and daunting task, and there are many local and internationally based organisations working in the African food and agriculture domain. The aim of the ARUA-SFS is not to duplicate efforts, but to create a critical mass of talented researchers working synergistically to maximise complementarity.

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  • Climate, Land, Agriculture, and Biodiversity (CLAB-Africa)

    The Climate, Land, Agriculture, and Biodiversity (CLAB-Africa) project is a Future Africa (University of Pretoria) initiative hosted under the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Food Systems (ARUA-SFS). CLAB-Africa aims to provide a platform for Africa’s scientific community to contribute to the developmental work of African governments and development institutions in the form of science-based, actionable recommendations within four identified clusters:

    1. climate impact on food systems,
    2. land restoration and biodiversity,
    3. people-animal-ecosystems health and wellbeing,
    4. land-water-energy resources use.

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