Nakaseke farmers3

FoodLAND adopts a bottom-up approach and bases the initiatives to be carried out on producers’ and consumers’ motivations, needs and choices. The starting point is to draw a picture of consumers’ and producers’ preferences and behaviours, to detect food-related decision-making processes and factors.

Then a training phase is foreseen, aimed to provide local smallholder farmers and food processors with knowledge and conditions about the environmental challenges, technological advancements and consumers’ nutritional needs, for their empowerment and engagement with local, regional and global markets, and thus contributing to the sustainability of food supply chains and the durable development of the rural areas.

Several technological innovations (including new tools, processes and products) will be developed, adapted and validated together with local smallholder farmers and processors, both for farming systems and for food processing systems, to strengthen nutrition-responsive agro-biodiversity and integrated aquaculture systems. In line with these technological innovations, a set of innovative food products will also be released, which aim to help alleviate the nutritional needs, where priority will be given to mothers and children within the first 1,000 days of life.

All these activities will be performed at the network of 14 local Food Hubs that FoodLAND will create in the six African countries and pair with 14 separate cities.

FoodLAND defines the Food Hub as a community of local operators aimed at making shared R&D decisions and enabling the adoption of innovations.

The Food Hub will act as a centre of innovation:

  • providing an organizational/institutional framework for the collaboration between private and public actors/organizations operating in the local food value chains;
  • providing information as well as logistical and organizational facilities;
  • strengthening the sustainability, nutrition-responsiveness, agro-biodiversity, cultural value and food diversity of local food systems.

At the Food Hubs, relevant actors and organizations (smallholder farmers, food processors (SMEs), authorities, researchers, and NGOs) aggregate to develop or enhance the organizational, technological, cultural, and operational conditions enabling local food supply chains improvement, as well as to strengthen the nutrition-responsive agro-biodiversity and food diversity in the area. Synergies among the Food Hubs will be enhanced, encouraging exchanges of results and feedbacks across the network of Food Hubs and fostering the replicability of the validated innovations.

The organization of the local Food Hubs – focused on participatory methods and learner-centred training courses – will enable smallholder farmers and food processors (SMEs) to make shared decisions, adopt common business models, deploy open innovative systems and tools at an appropriate scale, facilitate contractual agreements, build interrelationships with stakeholders, and run participatory activities.


Expected impacts

Production level:

  • Reduction of resources (water, feed, fertilizers) for food production
  • Increase products’ quality, in terms of safety and nutrient content
  • Increase of crop and fish production yields
  • Increase engagement of farmers to local Food Hubs and the technological innovations


Food processing level:

  • Increase of fresh products shelf-life
  • Reduction of food losses at storage and food waste
  • Increase of manufacturing yields
  • Increase engagement of food processors to local Food Hubs and the technological innovations


Consumers’ level:

  • Ameliorated products’ functional and nutritional properties
  • Increase interest of consumers in buying novel products
  • Increase proportion of women in reproductive age consuming nutrient-dense diets