The application of bacteriophages in the African AgriFood sector

This report, put together by Innovate UK as part of AgriFood Africa Connect, explores opportunities for the development and implementation of phage-based technologies in the AgriFood sector in Africa.

Posted on: 22/03/2024

Bacteriophages (phages) are bacteria-specific viruses that can be used in targeted therapy against pathogens. Phage-based technologies and therapies can be used to treat human pathogens, as well as those in livestock and crops, and to improve food and environmental safety. Phages could be used to support efforts to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR). There are opportunities to implement phage-based approaches to manage infection or the spread of disease at multiple stages of livestock, crop, and food production.

Opportunities for phage-based technologies

Through a series of interviews with key experts from African countries, we bring together the ongoing work in this area and highlight opportunities for innovation in livestock, aquaculture, crops and food processing. The report also considers barriers to realising the potential of phage-based technologies in the African AgriFood sector, and a set of case studies take a closer look at ongoing work in Africa applying phage-based technologies in the AgriFood sector.


Key findings

  • There are many opportunities to apply phase-based technologies in AgriFood supply chains
    Phage based technologies have the potential to support One Health approaches to address challenges within the AgriFood sector.
  • International collaboration is crucial
    Antimicrobial Resistance is a global challenge. International collaborations and utilising the activities of global networks will deliver impact, build capacity and address shared barriers.
  • Sharing knowledge will speed up phage-based technology development and adoption
    Transferring technologies and learning from existing Case Studies will identify routes to market for novel products and technologies.


Who is this report for?

  • Innovators interested to explore the applications of phage-based technologies in Africa
  • Policy makers or funders keen to understand the opportunities phage-based technologies present to solve challenges in the AgriFood sector
  • AgriFood sector stakeholders looking to understand the barriers to the application of phage-based technologies

Our Experts

Related programmes

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.

Phage Innovation Network

Phage Innovation Network

Driving innovation in the regulation and development of phage-based technologies for applications across multiple sectors, ensuring the UK maintains its strong stance on tackling antimicrobial resistance and solidifies its position as a world leader in phage research. 


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