Maize and sorghum are staple foods for many African countries and are major sources of calories and affordable, high quality protein for humans and animals. Decrease in production of these crops is thus a serious threat to food security.

Innovation and Technology for Enterprise Development (INNOVATION)

The focus of this programme is to investigate the organisational and technological innovation of food systems in terms of food production and processing required to maintain and improve livelihoods through enterprise development for food security. The nature of the problem is complex and requires a trans-disciplinary approach. The technological transformation for enterprise development should impact positively on environmental, economic, social and nutritional health. This programme focuses on answering three research questions, namely:

  • How will production systems be sustainable and resilient in the face of changing environmental conditions and soil degradation, and what
    innovations and technological transformation are required to address this while still providing sufficient food for South Africa’s urban and rural
  • What innovations and technological transformations will contribute towards the mitigation, and ultimately the reduction of diet related non-communicable diseases (obesity and diabetes, cardiovascular diseases) and child malnutrition in terms of creation of safe, nutritious and affordable food with good sensory appeal; and
  • What innovations and technological transformations are required to increase livelihoods for small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) involved in food production, processing and distribution through enterprise development.

Food Sovereignty and Organic Farming

Reclamation of heavy metal contamination and soils

Drought Responses in cereals and legumes

Professor Ndiko Ludidi

Associate Professor Naushad Emmambux

Related Articles & publications
Modelling predicts that soybean is poised to dominate crop production across Africa

The superior agronomic and human nutritional properties of grain legumes (pulses) make them an ideal foundation for future sustainable agriculture. Legume‐based farming is particularly important in Africa, where small‐scale agricultural systems dominate the food production landscape. Legumes provide ...

Inhibition of NOS- like activity in maize alters the expression of genes...

Nitric oxide synthase-like activity contributes to the production of nitric oxide in plants, which controls plant responses to stress. This study investigates if changes in ascorbate peroxidase enzymatic activity and glycine betaine content in response to inhibition of nitric oxide ...

Drought and exogenous abscisic acid alter hydrogen peroxide accumulation and differentially regulate...

Increased biosynthesis of abscisic acid (ABA) occurs in plants in response to water deficit, which is mediated by changes in the levels of reactive oxygen species such as H2O2. Water deficit and ABA induce expression of some RD22-like ...

Principal Investigators

Professor Ndiko Ludidi

Professor Ndiko Ludidi is head of UWC's Department of Biotechnology. His reasearch focuses on research on the genetic control of...

Associate Professor Naushad Emmambux

Associate Professor Naushad Emmambux is based at UP's Department of Consumer and Food Science. His research applies food chemistry, cereal science...

Social Protection for Food Security

One in five children display stunted growth. Yet since South Africa's democratic transition in 1994, social protection programmes have increased dramatically.

Food Politics and Cultures: Humanities Approaches to Food

The POLITICS Programme explores human relationships to food, the power dynamics around food production and access and the meanings that food acquires in particular cultural and social contexts.

Food Governance and Policy Reform

The POLICY programme facilitates dialogue between researchers, the community and policy makers to inform policy making and shape research.

Persistence of Child Malnutrition in South Africa

The CHILDREN programme examines trends, determinants and consequences of food insecurity for mothers and children in South Africa

Shelves, Baskets and Plates

The PLATES programme investigates the dietary intake of poor and vulnerable South Africans, and details the food environments that shape food preferences and choices.

Food safety hazards that affect food security and how these can be...

If food is not handled, stored, distributed and prepared correctly, it can become contaminated and no longer be fit for human consumption.

Understanding the National and Global Food System

The SYSTEMS programme is concerned with the structure, dynamics and influences on the South African food system and how this is changing.