Contribution of traditional fermented foods to food systems transformation : value addition and inclusive entrepreneurship

Materia, Valentina C.; Linnemann, Anita R.; Smid, Eddy J.; Schoustra, Sijmen E.


To date, many efforts to eradicate hunger include increasing agricultural production, processing of raw materials and supplementation, and fortification of foods. Locally produced foods represent a significant part of Food Systems as they contribute to tackling hunger and malnutrition. However, few studies have investigated the processing of traditional fermented foods at household level as a means to improve nutrition and triggering inclusive entrepreneurship, two crucial dimensions Food Systems build on. Fermentation is an ancient processing technique that relies on transformation of raw materials by microbial activity and is mainly undertaken by women. This paper posits that upscaling small scale fermented food processing activities while enhancing functional food properties and fostering women entrepreneurship contributes to prevention of food losses, promotion of nutrition and health, and entrepreneurial opportunities for current processors. This is key for effective policy interventions to foster food security in challenging contexts.⨪.