After six years of hard work towards better food security in Africa, FoodAfrica programme comes to an end this autumn. The programme’s final report and a policy brief were published in a World Food Day Seminar in Helsinki last Wednesday.

FoodAfrica has been a unique programme for development cooperation. Mainly funded byt the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, the Programme has increased food security in six African countries by multidisciplinary research and capacity building.

The last two years have been dedicated to dissemination and bringing the research-based knowledge in people’s everyday life and political decision making.

FoodAfrica has, for example:

  • trained almost 20,000 farmers in sustainable farming
  • had positive influence on food security of over 300,000 people
  • trained 18 doctoral students and 18 master’s students

Based on the research, the farmers in target markets, for example:

  • decrease the risk of aflatoxin contaminations in maize by 80%
  • multiply milk production and profit by cross-breeding and effective and climate-friendly farming methods
  • get better yields with better nutritional value by improving the soil
  • improve the nutrition of mothers and children by increasing knowledge of local wild foods

Read more about FoodAfrica’s impact on the final report.

FoodAfrica created impact throughout the food value-chain. Image: Tiina Sileoni.

”People don’t eat in the long run. They eat every day.”

FoodAfrica and AFERIA joined forces to host a scientific seminar on food security in Helsinki, 10 October. Promoting the themes of the World Food Day, the event gathered people from academia and policy-making to discuss research needs for the entire food system.

In his opening speech, Mr. Jyri Ollila from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland reminded the audience about wise words of Harry Hopkins. An American social worker during the Great Depression, Mr. Hopkins addressed his famous words to president Roosevelt: People don’t eat in the long run. They eat every day.

The keynote speaker, Dr. Segemut Kelemu from International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecologystä (ICIPE) stressed the importance of holistic approach in improving food security.

“Nature does not work in isolation. Everything links with each other”, said Dr. Kelemu.

In the panel discussion, the need for capacity building was of particular interest. Dr. Sunday Ekesi from ICIPE went as far as stating that 80% of all research funding within food security should be allocated to capacity building. Mr. Mwadime Mjomba, a Kenyan farmer also attending the panel, agreed by saying that knowhow on adaptation to climate change is particularly important.

The FoodAfrica team would like to thank all of you who could attend to the seminar and made it a success!