Projects currently funded
1. ADDA: Agriculture and Dietary Diversity in Africa
In four African countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi and Uganda), the drivers of nutritional quality and pro-nutrition innovations based on household data will be identified. Representative household data sets will be assembled and statistically analysed. Econometric models will be used to determine the influence of a varied and diverse agricultural production and other socio-economic factors on the nutrition of individual household members.
The results shall be translated into practicable agricultural innovations and strategies to improve the nutrition. These innovations will be tested and evaluated with regard to their impact. Furthermore, factors that determine the uptake and spread of the promoted pro-nutrition innovations.
2. NutriHAF-Africa: Diversifying agriculture for balanced nutrition through fruits and vegetables in multi-storey cropping systems
The research aims to enable poor male and female smallholders in Ethiopia and Madagaskar to sustainably increase their agricultural productivity and diversity by integrating fruits and vegetables into multi-storey cropping systems. An analysis of existing local diets and consumption patterns will be carried out in a participatory approach. The information will be used to improve existing cropping systems and to integrate appropriate fruits and vegetables.
Knowledge about these systems will be developed via practical implementation. Capacity building will be carried out on the nutritional values of different foods, fruit and vegetable production as well as processing, food preparation and quality. The information will be shared among farmers, consumers and decision makers to promote balanced diets.
3. Crops for Healthy Diets: Linking Agriculture and Nutrition (HealthyLAND)
The aim of the project is to identify pathways to improve the nutrition of resource-poor farm households in target areas in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. The study areas currently follow a monoculture strategy for survival with energy rich crops, serving to sustain caloric intake. Local food systems and their contribution to the diets of the target population will be analyzed (household food security, dietary patterns, nutritional status of the study populations, knowledge, attitudes and practices of farmers).
The project studies if improvements in these farming systems impact on diversity in food and nutrition availability. It is planned to introduce innovations based on ecological considerations. These are expected to bring firstly a higher variety in the cultivated crops, secondly improve soil health and thirdly stop land degradation.
Agro-forestry and integrated cropping strategies will be demonstrated with the aim to increase food options. A comparison of agro-biodiversity at the same sites will be carried out.
Farmers perception of agro-biodiversity and the need and willingness of farmers to innovate their practices and generate income (incl. legumes, fruit trees, nitrogen fixing and food trees) will be explored. Improved food preservation methods (minimize food losses) and culturally acceptable recipes will be developed.
4. Scaling up Nutrition - Implementing Potentials of nutrition-sensitive and diversified agriculture to increase food security
The aim of the project is to improve the food security and reduce malnutrition and undernourishment of the rural population in selected areas of Tanzania while supporting and further developing a diversified and sustainable agriculture.
A nutritional baseline survey will characterize the current status. Nutrition habits of the population, traditional food preparation, origin of food and storage of food as well as nutrition related health issues will be investigated. To protect vitamins and the availability of nutrients, traditional meals will be analysed and modified ways of preparation suggested. Adoption of the new recipes will be measured and results be disseminated via workshops and materials at all levels.
A participatory approach will be applied to take stock of local value chains for agricultural products and to identify how they can be further developed. Stakeholders (producers, processers and consumers) will be involved from the beginning. Results will be disseminated via capacity building programs at all levels.
5. BAFOOD - "Enhancing local food security and nutrition through promoting the use of Baobab (Andansonia digiata L.) in rural communities in Eastern Africa"
The iconic baobab tree, also commonly known as monkey-bread tree or upside-down tree, occurs naturally throughout the drier parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. It’s potential to improve local diets and livelihoods in Eastern Africa is not fully realized. The project aims to promote the use of the Baobab tree, the processing and market development of baobab for improved food/nutrition security and rural livelihoods in Kenya and the Sudan. To ensure a sufficient and sustainable supply of highly nutritious baobab products for the local communities in the target regions the research activities will touch on all parts of the value chain, from biological and ecological enquiries into the baobab tree, to the production, marketing, and consumption of baobab foodstuffs and products.
6. UFISAMO - Urban farming in Southern Africa – improved food safety and income options for urban disadvantaged communities in Maputo, Mozambique and Capetown, South Africa
An increasing number of people in african cities engage in urban agriculture. The project aims to investigate possible means to increase availability, consumption and marketing of diverse, safe and nutritious foods through improved production and marketing of crops and animal products in disadvantaged communities of Maputo and Cape Town. The project analyses food habits, consumer behavior and current systems of Urban Agriculture, their benefits and risks for human health. The project will enhance local capacity building via local organizations. The current agricultural research and education network of the partner universities in Urban Agriculture shall be extended further and feed project results into policy formulation.
7. ICH LIEBE FISCH Fish - Improving Community Health-Nutrition linkages through Solar Energy based Fish and Crop integrated Value Chains
The project focus is on research to achieve sustainable aquaculture of Oreochromis karongae, a favored and high quality source of protein for human nutrition in Malawi. An innovative linkage of fish and crop/vegetable production in integrated aquatic systems will be developed, tested and implemented with farmers in Malawi. It facilitates more efficient resources use and enhanced productivity. Food, health, nutrition and income levels of beneficiary smallholder households will be improved by implementing labor saving and low cost IAA systems designed for small-scale farmers. The project will thus contribute to a diversified, continuous and sustainable food supply especially in rural areas, considering vulnerable groups and will improve income security for these groups.
8. FOSEZA - Food Security in rural Zambia – Integrating traditional Fruit and Vegetable Crops in Smallholder Agroforestry – Systems
The project addresses malnutrition in Luapula Province of Zambia and aims at developing sustainable diets and farming systems, well adapted to the ecological conditions in the wetlands of the Congo Basin where about 56% of children under-five in the Northern and Luapula Province are stunted. Based on a status quo analysis to characterize chronic and transitory food insecure smallholders in the study region (mapping of target farming systems, different livelihood strategies, stakeholder analysis and market analysis), opportunities regarding diversification for smallholder cropping systems will be identified. Diversified farming systems will include fruit trees and an assessment of the potential to integrate fish and edible insects in the present food systems.
9. Aflatoxin - Networking on Aflatoxin Reduction in the Food Value Chain
Aflatoxins are potent, naturally occurring carcinogenic mycotoxins produced as byproducts by fungi (moulds) that grow on maize, groundnuts and other food crops. The uptake of aflatoxins in the diet, even the regular uptake of minor amounts is associated with stunting of children and poses a serious threat to national public health. The project aims to establish a long-term network between scientific and development partners in Kenya/East Africa and Germany to address the reduction of aflatoxins in the food value chain. First tangible solutions for the reduction of aflatoxin in the food value chain in Kenya will be developed via a carry-over study of aflatoxins into milk, examination and verification of available aflatoxin rapid detection test and development of aflatoxin minimization strategies using molecular methods. The results and publications will be widely published to decision takers in politics and networks in Kenya, Germany and Europe using new social media.
10. Ebola Foresight - The relevance of livestock, domestic animals and wildlife as a source of Ebola virus infection – a cooperation project between the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, the Institut Pasteur in Conakry, Guinea, the Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute and the Njala University in Sierra Leone
The project examines the role of livestock, domestic animals and wildlife as potential hosts in filovirus infections. The project will also investigate whether novel and so far unknown filoviruses circulate in these countries. It is planned to develop diagnostic assays such as novel sequencing techniques and serological tools for the detection of filovirus infections in relevant animal species. All of these techniques will then be implemented in the respective African partner laboratories and will avail rapid and specific responses to future outbreaks of zoonotic diseases. In complementation of the capacity building approach, on-site PhD students and laboratory staff will be trained in the respective techniques. Furthermore, the partner institutes will be enabled to establish successful and high-quality research projects in the long term. The molecular and serological studies will be complemented by additional experiments in the newly established high containment laboratory at the FLI.