Circular food system to respect human and planetary health in Ethiopia

Project: PhD

Project Details


The Ethiopian food system faces many challenges today due to several factors: limited infrastructure and shortage of agricultural inputs, leading to consistently low crop and animal productivity. In addition, the demand for food, particularly animal sources food, is increasing due to a growing population and increased incomes, which further increases the pressure on the food system. Therefore, reducing malnutrition in all forms (stunting, wasting, micronutrient deficiencies, and overweight/obesity) is a daunting challenge. Furthermore, agriculture with a focus on livestock production largely contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental challenges. Therefore, the big question is how can Ethiopia face those challenges and sustainably nourish its future population? This study aims to assess if a transition to a circular food system will respect human and planetary health in Ethiopia. Circularity is a promising solution to increase nutrition security while reducing the environmental impact by recycling losses in the food system. Therefore, this thesis will focus on four sub-studies. The first study aims to assess the GHG emission and land use from the current food system of Ethiopia and its contribution to a healthy diet. Next, the potential of circular food systems to reduce the environmental impact of the food system and meet the nutritional requirements based on Ethiopian food-based dietary guidelines (FBDG) will be examined. Third, the effect, synergies, and trade-offs of circular food systems on economic and environmental indicators at a regional level will be explored. Finally, methods to integrate circularity in the current food systems pathways will be studied. With this study, we aim to contribute to the sustainable development of the Ethiopian food system. PhD student: Ruth Bekele Supervisors: Dr. Hannah Van zanten Dr. Jeroen Groot Dr. Inge Brouwer
Effective start/end date1/10/21 → …


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