The European Commission (EC) is currently accepting proposals to improve food security and nutrition in African cities.
In line with the European Green Deal priorities and the farm to fork strategy for a fair healthy and environmentally friendly food system, as well as with the EU’s climate objectives for 2030 and 2050, the EU’s “Comprehensive Strategy with Africa” calls on the EU to “partner with Africa to maximise the benefits of the green transition and minimise threats to the environment”. In support of this strategy, the EU and the African Union are implementing a ten-year roadmap (2016-2026) on research and innovation in food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture to which the successful proposal will contribute. It will also contribute to the transformation of food systems to deliver co-benefits for climate (mitigation and adaptation), environmental sustainability and circularity, dietary shift, sustainable healthy nutrition and safe food, food poverty reduction and empowerment of communities, and thriving businesses.
Proposals are expected to address the following:
- Understanding: promoting multi-stakeholder collaborations in assessing data on food challenges (including harmful marketing and advertising and unequal access to healthy food for the urban poor), and identifying opportunities and indicators in developing urban food policies.
- Engaging: mobilising a wide diversity of food system actors (from farm to fork, the public and private sector, and society, organic and conventional); in particular higher education institutions and research centres to work with local actors in support of evidence-based food policy development and to help provide local solutions to integrated food system challenges.
- Mutual learning: reinforcing or creating new networks of African cities and towns to share good practices and learn from and support each other. This implies also involving cities (in Africa, Europe or elsewhere) with well-developed food policies to provide guidance and lessons learned, as well as new forms of collaboration/twinning.
- Innovation: proposals should envisage a space for mentoring and accelerating innovative business concepts, including social innovation and upscaling in view of African or European food business entrepreneurs with special consideration of women and the diaspora using cascading funding opportunities. Proposals may involve financial support to third parties e.g. to academic researchers, start-ups, SMEs and other multidisciplinary actors, to, for instance, develop, test or validate developed assessment approaches or collect or prepare data sets or provide other contributions to achieve the project objectives.
- Where relevant, creating links to and using the information and data of the European Earth observation programme Copernicus, the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and the global Earth observation system of systems (GEOSS).
- Exploring how the food environment can become crisis-proof (whether something can be learnt from or has changed with the COVID-19 crisis) and how to create resilient local, regional food systems with border regimes, which do not disrupt supply chains.
- Governance: developing and evaluating innovative multi-actor urban food systems governance processes and capacities for science-backed integrated policy making and implementation actions that deliver on the international collaboration dimension of the farm to fork strategy objectives and Food 2030 co-benefits for health, environment, climate, circularity and inclusion, while minimizing trade-offs.
- EU-AU partnership: proposals should have a clear plan on how they will collaborate with other projects selected under this topic and similar projects funded under the EU-AU HLPD-FNSSA priority from different funding sources including Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe, ERA-Nets, African Union research grants, DeSIRA or PRIMA.
- Social innovation is recommended when the solution is at the socio-technical interface and requires social change, new social practices, social ownership or market uptake. This topic should involve the effective contribution of SSH disciplines.
The check will normally be done for the coordinator if the requested grant amount is equal to or greater than EUR 500 000, except for:
- public bodies (entities established as a public body under national law, including local, regional or national authorities) or international organisations; and
- cases where the individual requested grant amount is not more than EUR 60 000 (lowvalue grant).
Projects results are expected to contribute to all or some of following expected outcomes:
- A shift to food security and improved nutrition in five African cities (could encompass rural urban centres and cities) through a shift to healthy and affordable diets that reduces the pressure of food production on land and water use and reduces the climate footprint of downstream activities from farm to fork.
- Reducing the food-system-related environmental footprint, improving circularity (e.g. food and packaging waste), and providing citizens with new, sustainable and healthy products.
To be eligible for funding, applicants must be established in one of the eligible countries, i.e.:
- the Member States of the European Union, including their outermost regions;
- the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) linked to the Member States;
- eligible non-EU countries:
- countries associated to Horizon Europe
- low- and middle-income countries.
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