Technological Innovation

The technological and enterprise innovations that build livelihoods and food security in the food system must be reconfigured to be nationally and regionally relevant for Africa. Together with embracing the global needs of technological innovation, it is also important to pay attention to African indigenous crops and those that are intensively consumed in the continent, and entrenching their importance and relevance for global efforts to achieve food security. Thus, the focus of this research programme is twofold.

The first area of focus explores 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. Specifically, this refers to the creation and processing of ‘SMART’ [safe, marketable, affordable, ready to eat and tasty] foods and food ingredients that have been enriched to combat malnutrition and diet-related non-communicable diseases; as well as developing appropriate food processing technologies to enable entrepreneurs to produce affordable, safe, convenient, consumer-driven, nutritious foods and food ingredients.

The second focus of this programme aims to prevent the negative impact of drought and heat stress on food and nutrition security, without reducing soil health and without excessive use of limited water resources. The research will explore innovative solutions to sustainably improve agricultural crop and livestock resilience to climate and environmental change, while addressing aspects related to safety and quality of agricultural produce that are impacted by these changes.


Climate change resilient livestock

Fungi and Mycotoxins in crops

Food Sovereignty and Organic Farming

Comparative study – staple cereals and legumes to drought and salinity

Cropping systems and soil health in SA

Reclamation of heavy metal contamination and soils

Drought Responses in cereals and legumes


Related Articles & publications
Decoding Heavy Metal Stress Signalling in Plants: Towards Improved Food Security and...

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 ...

Principal Investigators

Professor Ndiko Ludidi

Professor Ndiko Ludidi heads the University of the Western Cape's Department of Biotechnology. His research focuses on research on the...

Professor Naushad Emmambux

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

Governance, Power and Public Engagement in Food Systems

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

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...