The four research focus areas (RFAs) and their intersection with the cross-cutting themes of the ARUA-SFS are illustrated below:
RFA 1: Improve Africa’s herds
The purpose of RFA 1 is to protect Africa’s environment and wildlife heritage in a manner that addresses the interface between pastoralist communities and wildlife populations to contribute to food security and nutrition, as well as to livelihoods, with a strong One Health approach.
RFA 2: Unleash the potential of Africa's crops
The purpose of RFA 2 is to explore the soil-seed-water-plant-food-human health nexus to protect African crops, address the yield gap, reduce losses, enhance quality, and secure the safety of food. The goal is to lead the revival of underutilised African crops through exploring phyto-microbiomes and other novel innovative technologies to ensure secure and sustainable food systems.
RFA 3: Provide 21st-century Africa with sufficient safe, nutritious, consumer-driven food
RFA 3 explores the pathways to providing sufficient, safe, nutritious, and consumer-driven food to the populations of 21st-century Africa. The objectives of the focus area are to design foods with local and indigenous African plants and animals that are affordable, marketable, convenient, and nutrient dense rather than energy dense. Furthermore, this RFA seeks to identify and implement appropriate food-processing technologies for SMMEs to manufacture convenient foods and include nutrients of concern in policies and programmes to ensure that nutrient-adequate foods are available, acceptable, accessible, and affordable.
RFA 4: Inform evidence-led food policy
This focus area will concentrate on assessment of public policies related to the other three RFAs and their appropriateness to deliver on the overall vision of the ARUA-SFS – namely, to harness partnerships in research and innovation to drive agricultural and food system transformation to ensure sustainable food security and nutrition in Africa in line with the continental and national development policy aspirations. The research in this theme will produce (i) technical advice on policy issues in the form of technical working papers, journal articles based on single-country cases and comparative analyses, and policy briefs; and (ii) educational resources for capacity development programmes.
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