Towards Sustainable Shifts to Healthy Diets and Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa with Climate-Resilient Crops in Bread-Type Products: A Food System Analysis

Martijn W.J. Noort*, Stefano Renzetti, Vincent Linderhof, Gerrie E. du Rand, Nadéne J.M.M. Marx-Pienaar, Henriëtte L. de Kock, Nomzamo Magano, John R.N. Taylor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Massive urbanization and increasing disposable incomes favor a rapid transition in diets and lifestyle in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). As a result, the SSA population is becoming increasingly vulnerable to the double burden of malnutrition and obesity. This, combined with the increasing pressure to produce sufficient food and provide employment for this growing population together with the threat of climate change-induced declining crop yields, requires urgent sustainable solutions. Can an increase in the cultivation of climate-resilient crops (CRCs) and their utilization to produce attractive, convenient and nutritious bread products contribute to climate change adaptation and healthy and sustainable diets? A food system analysis of the bread food value chain in SSA indicates that replacement of refined, mostly imported, wheat in attractive bread products could (1) improve food and nutrition security, (2) bring about a shift to more nutritionally balanced diets, (3) increase economic inclusiveness and equitable benefits, and (4) improve sustainability and resilience of the food system. The food system analysis also provided systematic insight into the challenges and hurdles that need to be overcome to increase the availability, affordability and uptake of CRCs. Proposed interventions include improving the agronomic yield of CRCs, food product technology, raising consumer awareness and directing policies. Overall, integrated programs involving all stakeholders in the food system are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number135
JournalFoods
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Bread
  • Cereals
  • Climate
  • Food and nutrition security
  • Food system
  • Pulses
  • Wheat

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