How can you ensure that Eastern African farmers harvest more from their land, while nature simultaneously flourishes? And can these food systems contribute to solving issues like inequality, poverty and youth unemployment? These questions are at the basis of the new collaboration between the IKEA Foundation and WUR in the project ‘Food Futures East Africa’. In total, the IKEA Foundation granted nearly 3,5 million euros for this project.
The IKEA Foundation has challenged WUR researchers to answer these questions together with East African partners in science and practice. Other investors, governments and donors committed to improve food systems and security in East Africa are equally looking for these answers. The complexity of the questions requires an multidisciplinary approach within WUR. That is why all five science groups at WUR are involved in this project.
Vision for the future
The project builds upon many experiences from regenerative and inclusive food practices in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia. Our East African partners will initiate ‘living labs’ in which they bring stakeholders together to design food futures that illustrate their vision on these sustainable food systems. These visions are based on local opportunities and fed by scientific insights.
Local innovation potential will be mobilised and a broad exchange and collaboration will be set up in each country and among the three countries, to enrich visions and innovations and to make upscaling of sustainable innovations possible.
The results of this project, alias REFOOTURE, will also be discussed with the international food security network. The aim is to develop joint strategy to further support these local living labs in realising their goals.