UP co-hosts CoE for Food Security

Posted on March 14, 2014

Experts will pool their knowledge to help improve access to sustainable and sufficient amounts of nutritious food for poor and marginalised populations. The Centre's research will inform and identify science-based programme interventions and policy mechanisms, evaluate existing programmes and test new innovations to overcome food insecurity and ensure sound nutrition for all South Africans.

The Minister of Science and Technology, Mr Derek Hanekom, recently announced the establishment of five new centres of excellence (CoEs). The purpose of these CoEs will be to promote collaborative and interdisciplinary research among research-intensive institutions, to address the country’s key challenges and to provide high-end skills development in priority research areas.

The new CoEs increase the number of centres established by the Department of Science and Technology and the National Research Foundation since 2004, to a total of 14.

According to Prof Sheryl Hendriks, Director of the IFNuW, the University was in a strong position to submit a winning bid due to the strategic thinking, consolidation of expertise and formation of strong trans-disciplinary teams. This was made possible through the University’s identification and initiation of Institutional Research Themes. Over the past two years, more than 100 researchers from seven faculties and 35 departments have worked together to consolidate expertise in addressing crucial food security issues. 

Addressing the complexities of one of South Africa’s most intractable problems, namely food insecurity entrenched through structural poverty and inequality, while ensuring sustainable national food security, is no small or simple task. Food security is complex and its causes are multiple and inter-related. Ending hunger however, remains an ambitious national and global goal.


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