Food production per capita is declining in Africa and the number of undernourished people is increasing. In most African countries the agri-food sector is the engine for growth and poverty alleviation, and could be the key to halt this trend. Wageningen University & Research contributes to agriculture transformation in various ways.
Research and Innovation
To deliver food security in terms of access to affordable, safe, and nutritious diets to all, all parts of the food systems need to work together. This includes all processes and activities involved in food production, processing, transportation, and consumption. These take place within a certain socio-economic and biophysical environment, and interact with each other. Hence, transforming food systems means dealing with a myriad of challenges to address vulnerabilities and future shocks, while at the same time realising opportunities such as youth employment and other food system livelihood outcomes.
Wageningen University & Research has expertise in all these domains. Through our research and innovation projects we support the sustainable transformation to a more robust and inclusive agri-food sector in Africa. We do this by working in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary international teams with companies, civil society organisations, governmental agencies, and research partners.
Education and capacity development
We support the delivery of high quality scientists and professionals who are capable of addressing Africa’s agri-food challenges. In Wageningen we educate and train large numbers of African MSc and PhD students. In an average year we host 250 to 300 African PhD students, which is one of the largest group of African PhD students at any given university in the world. Wageningen University & Research also offers short courses for mid-career professionals. These are attended by many Africans active in the food, agro- or pharmaceutical industries as well as policy makers and NGOs.
Our African alumni make a significant contribution to the agricultural transformation in Africa as they are the (future) leaders of Africa.
Wageningen University & Research also collaborates with many African universities and research institutions to co-create scientific contents and provide educational support to enhance the delivery of quality teaching. For example, we have assisted with the revision of curricula, development of new teaching methods, co- supervision of students, and setting up quality assurance systems.
This helps us to further build on our strong network in Africa.