Our programmes & research focus

Following our establishment in 2014, we adopted an approach of targeted food security research to address the key constraints in the South African development context.

Between 2015 and 2016 we concentrated on forming an integrated research framework, moulding the initial identified key focus areas into more focussed, prioritised programmes. From 2017 - 2019, we will continue to focus on the causes (determinants), context (status quo, situation and experience of people) and consequences (impact) of food security for poor and vulnerable populations in a changing food system, and in the face of the triple burden of malnutrition and that of poverty, inequality and unemployment. We will also research the systemic and structural factors that shape food access, dietary choice, and health and nutrition outcomes, as well as the role of the survival and food security strategies, choices and decisions of poor and vulnerable people. Furthermore, we will investigate the coherence of current policy concerning food security, and the capacity to govern inter-sectoral challenges in comprehensive and coordinated ways. Finally, we will develop opportunities to contribute towards improved food security through innovation.

To address the above named issues, our research is organised through Six core Programmes that can vary in scope and complexity. In addition to the six Programmes that are directly funded by the NRF, our research also include a Programme on the Humanities and Food Insecurity funded by the Mellon Foundation, and a South Africa/United Kingdom Bilateral Research Chair in Social Protection for Food Security funded by the Newton Fund and the NRF.

Current Programmes

Governance, Power and Public Engagement in Food Systems

South Africa’s agro-food system is undergoing rapid, corporate driven restructuring with implications...

Technological Innovation

The technological and enterprise innovations that build livelihoods and food security in...

Nutrition, Health and Safety

Food security exists when all people within a society, at all times,...

Leveraged Projects

In addition, the UNESCO Chair in African Food Systems held by CoE-FS...