Impact Stories: The GCRF AgriFood Africa Programme and AgriFood Africa Connect

The GCRF AgriFood Africa programme aimed to collaboratively explore solutions to AgriFood challenges in Africa.

Posted on: 05/02/2024
African man holding grain after harvest

Over the past five years, the GCRF AgriFood Africa programme has connected hundreds of partners in the UK and Africa to collaboratively develop new products and services to support food security.

The programme draws to a close at the end of March 2024. We will be showcasing the breadth of its projects and activities.

The programme aimed to capitalise on the role that research and technological innovation can play in solving key development challenges. Growing a network of ambitious innovators via networking events and funded projects has resulted in strong, productive industry-academia relationships.

AgriFood Africa has helped us open doors to new collaborators that we might never have had connections with; new levels of expertise, new opportunities for collaboration, new insights.

Sarah Halse, Research and Sustainability Manager at Abagold Ltd in South Africa

Discover more about the GCRF AgriFood Africa programme

In this video, Innovate UK’s Global Deputy Director, Janet Geddes, and Kathryn Miller, Innovation Lead for Food and Nutrition, explain how the multimillion-pound funding has helped address African AgriFood challenges through collaborative knowledge exchange between Africa and the UK.

The programme was delivered through three strands:

  1. Innovate UK AgriFood Africa Connect
    A hub for connections, AgriFood Africa Connect brought together the AgriFood community in the UK and Africa through events, funding, information sharing and partnering.

    Sarah Halse from Abagold with the University of Bedfordshire, developed a model in their AgriFood Africa Innovation Award to predict harmful algal blooms (HABs) which threaten the safe production of abalone. In this video, Joanna Scales, Project Lead at Innovate UK KTN, describes the activities of the AgriFood Africa Connect.

    Watch now

  2. AgriTech Catalyst and Seeding Awards
    The development and scaling of new ideas to address African AgriFood challenges was supported through several funding competitions. These included the AgriTech Catalyst, delivered by Innovate UK, and the Seeding Awards, delivered by BBSRC.

    In this video, Prof. John Jones from the James Hutton Institute explains how their AgriTech Catalyst project with the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture in Kenya used improved potato varieties to reduce crop loss from nematode pests. Chris Lyons, Innovation Lead for Agriculture at Innovate UK, summarises the impacts of the AgriTech Catalyst.

    Watch now

  3. African Agriculture Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (AA KTPs)
    Embedding world-leading knowledge and expertise from academia in businesses enabled critical challenges to be addressed to support the growth and impact of the AgriFood industry.

    Valentine Acahriabasam from Savannah and Sahel commodities in Ghana talks about their project with the University of York and the University of Development Studies. This investigated fortified blended flours to improve access to nutrition. In this video, Richard Lamb, Knowledge Transfer Partnership Programme Manager at Innovate UK explains how this programme worked.

    Watch now

What’s coming next from AgriFood Africa Connect?

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be highlighting some of the impact. We take a deep dive into projects which address global farming challenges such as food loss and waste, access to nutrition and improving rural livelihoods. Our ‘Focus On’ series of articles also investigates technical solutions across the livestock, aquaculture, forgotten foods and energy sectors.

Subscribe to our AgriFood Africa Connect mailing list to receive our newsletter and stay informed and to hear about the latest impactful activities from this programme.

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AgriFood Africa Connect

AgriFood Africa Connect

Innovate UK AgriFood Africa Connect brought innovative people and organisations across the UK and Africa together to develop solutions for the sustainable management of AgriFood systems in Africa.


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