Message from the Director: Prof Sheryl L Hendriks
Tackling the complexities of one of South Africa’s most intractable problems – food insecurity entrenched through structural poverty and inequality – while ensuring sustainable national food security is no small or simple task!
To start with, food security is complex. Its causes are multiple and inter-related. Ending hunger is an ambitious national and global goal. The University of Pretoria’s Institute for Food, Nutrition and Well-Being (IFNuW) is committed to make a difference in the world in which we live. IFNuW sets out to concentrate and consolidate an extensive network of researchers working on food security-related studies across the University and transform the research system.
The foundations of the IFNuW achievements lie in the people, partners and projects that have driven consolidation and concentration of research efforts to create a critical mass of expertise focused on solving essential problems in the agriculture and food system in South Africa.
The collective pool of expertise represents one of the largest pools of researchers in one institution focused on solving food insecurity. Partnerships are essential to our work. Initially, we focused on building internal partnerships, bringing together researchers who had not worked together but whose research was complementary. Strong research groups and platforms were established. In search of relevance to society, partnerships with communities, researchers beyond the institution, the public sector, private sector and international development aid community were included.
These partnerships enrich and strengthen our research, provide opportunities for greater insight into the problems we research, offering opportunities for expanding our research and providing direct engagement with society at many levels. IFNuW is establishing a sustainable resource base to support long-term research programmes that will continue to provide solid research solutions to crucial problems, drive innovation in the research system, increase our scientific outputs, provide essential information for decision-making, create public goods and offer exciting opportunities for postgraduate and Post Doctoral projects.
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