FoodLAND - Food and Local, Agricultural and Nutritional Diversity

Eurice supports new Horizon 2020 project in its IPR management and exploitation activities

With funding of 7 million euros, African and European partners are leading an international research project to boost the nutrition performance of local food systems in Africa The FoodLAND project is celebrating its kick-off meeting online from 30 September to 2 October 2020.

Twenty-eight interdisciplinary partners will be coming together on the aforementioned dates for the kick-off meeting of the FoodLAND project. Due to the current COVID-19 global health situation, it will take place online. The FoodLAND project, funded to the tune of 7 million euros by the European Commission within the Horizon 2020 programme, and led by Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna (Italy), is committed to developing a range of innovations for local agriculture and aquaculture development, as well as to nudging consumers towards healthier eating behaviour in six African countries: Morocco, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The overall project is aiming to strengthen agro-biodiversity and food diversity, along with diversity of healthy diets to combat the major forms of malnutrition in Africa.

The project will create a network of 14 local Food Hubs — paired with 14 separate cities in these countries — that will mobilise relevant actors in rural, urban and peri-urban communities and serve as injection points for testing and introducing the innovations. Indeed, the 28 partners that comprise the FoodLAND consortium (18 of them are African institutions while the other 10 are European) will work together to develop, implement and validate 12 technological innovations; which include organizational and technological innovations for both vegetable and fish farming and food processing systems, together with 17 novel local food products, ranging from fresh, dried and processed vegetables and fish to composite flours and therapeutic foods.

FoodLAND is adopting a bottom-up approach by basing the initiatives on producers’ and consumers’ motivations, needs and choices. The project will draw a comprehensive picture of the nutritional needs of urban and rural populations, understanding the socio-economic, production conditions, and individual factors that determine the decisions of smallholder producers and processors.

Smallholder farmers and food operators will then receive assistance to foster nutrition-responsive and sustainable agro-biodiversity, while consumers will participate in a specific awareness raising and communication campaign. “By bridging the gap between food production and consumption, the project will reinforce the productivity and resilience of food supply chains, and will create new market opportunities on both the local and global scales,” said the project coordinator Marco Setti, Professor of the Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences of the University of Bologna.

Eurice is task leader for IPR management and the exploitation of project results. A step-by-step approach of IP management activities will help to collectively identify key project results with high potential for further exploitation. This includes strategic planning as well as operational support, and will be implemented in a successive manner throughout the project lifetime.

For more information, see: http://www.foodland-africa.eu/