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Locally-driven co-development of plant-based value chains towards more sustainable African food system with healthier diets and export potential

InnoFoodAfrica explored the development and business potential of traditional African climate-smart crops. The project followed a ‘farm-to-fork’ approach, starting with a farmer participatory research with small-scale farmers in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda, targeting to improve farming and primary production practices and to boost productivity of the climate-smart crops. The crops were then used as raw materials to develop safe and nutrient-dense food ingredients and food products with acceptable sensory properties. Approximately 15 healthy flours (e.g., protein and β-carotene-rich flours) and food prototypes (puffed snacks, crackers, composite bread, texturized vegetable proteins, quick-cooking grains, pasta and porridge) were made from African climate-smart crops.

The non-edible parts of these crops, stems and leaves, were explored for use as bio composite materials for packaging and other purposes to increase resource-efficiency and create value from local side streams in rural areas.

In terms of consumers, the nutritional needs of vulnerable groups (small children and women of reproductive age) were assessed by collecting new dietary data from urban and semi-urban areas in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, and South Africa. Moreover, another survey performed in those African countries, but also in Europe (Finland, France, and Norway) assessed the consumers attitudes towards the food products developed from the African climate-smart crops. The main outcome was the demonstration of the potential of African crops as healthy food raw materials in combating the different forms of malnutrition in the African continent.

To get all these innovations generated in the project implemented, the Africa Innovation platform ( was created to provide support for scaling-up the developed solutions.

Schedule of the project: August 2020 – January 2024


Raija Lantto

Natalia Rosa-Sibakov

Publications produced during the project.

Organisations participating in the project.

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