Rural transformation through food system development

Support to food system transformations is considered critically important for working on the Sustainable Development Goals 1 - reducing poverty - and 2 - combatting hunger and malnutrition. In this project, commissioned by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Wageningen University & Research will translate analytical insights into practical pathways for improving food systems performance. The project supports the design of future IFAD’s programs on rural transformation with a concrete food system orientation.

Project activities focus on evidence gathering on different strategies for supporting nutritious, inclusive and sustainable food systems and on assessing prospects for effective scaling and governance of food system change in different (regional) settings.

Nutritious, Inclusive, Sustainable, and Efficient

The goal of the project is to systematically generate and share insights about different strategies for supporting Nutritious, Inclusive, Sustainable, and Efficient food systems

The project will outline pathways of change that indicate the potential effects of interventions, innovations and incentives on food systems interactions and identify possible trade-offs or synergies between food systems outcomes. This will feed into a comprehensive and systematic analysis of robust evidence available from key international sources that provides insights in the impact of different types of interventions on multiple food system dimensions and for specific target groups (children, women, youth).

Key activities

Wageningen University & Research works closely with its international knowledge network in conducting the project’s key activities, including:

  • Stakeholder & expert stocktaking workshops
  • A series of evidence background papers on:
    • Key food system transitions
    • Simulation modelling to assess long-term outcomes
    • Pathways for overcoming food systems trade-offs
  • Field clinics with regional stakeholders
  • A final report for the UN Food Systems Summit 2021

Expected results

The outcomes of the project will contribute to better insights into strategic and practical policy and investment opportunities that may support food system transitions towards nutritious, inclusive, sustainable and efficient outcomes for poor rural and (peri)urban households.

The outcomes of the project will contribute to better insights into strategic and practical policy and investment opportunities

This evidence is also important to enhance the communication between agricultural production, trade and marketing, consumption & nutrition communities that need to coordinate actions for overcoming food system trade-offs. Also it supports the upscaling and anchoring of potentially promising programs and initiatives.

Supporting food system transformations will take stock of ongoing impact evaluations by IFAD and is expected to deliver practical guidelines for the planning of actionable rural development policies and the design of future IFAD programs with a concrete food system orientation. This project will therefore also support the position of IFAD as a key agency in the domain of food system transformation with convening power to broadly involve public, private and civic stakeholders from different parts of the food system (producers, traders, processors, retailers, consumers) that are required for a global food system coalition.

Project results: