The Innovation Lab is one of two new research consortiums of its kind announced late last month during the launch of USAID’s Feed the Future 2013 Progress Report in Washington. These Innovation Labs draw on the expertise of top universities and represent a new model of development, using science and technology to address challenges in agriculture and food security.
Together, the consortium will work with governments, researchers and private sector stakeholders a number of Feed the Future focus countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America to increase agricultural productivity, improve dietary diversity and build greater resilience to challenges (like climate change) that affect livelihoods. The result: higher incomes for farmers, higher quality diets at lower cost for consumers and greater stability in food markets.
“UP is an equal consortium partner on this project, explained Prof Sheryl Hendriks, Director of IFNuW. “The overall goal of the programme is to promote inclusive, agricultural productivity growth, improved nutritional outcomes, and enhanced livelihood resilience through improved policy environments.
“The exciting part for UP is that it aligns and extends the University’s Institutional Research Theme (IRT) on Food, Nutrition and Wellbeing and the work of IFNuw addressing the complexities of food insecurity and hunger. The programme will form a large part of the strategic area identified through the design of the IRT on food policy and its impact on improving food security in Africa. The programme will draw on UP experts associated with this IRT,” said Prof Hendriks.