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Call for Papers - Food Systems Innovation in Africa

Guest Editors:

Paolo Prosperi: Associate Professor, PhD, Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Montpellier & Montpellier Interdisciplinary Center on Sustainable Agri-food Systems, France
Senior Scientist Mila Sell: PhD, Bioeconomy and Environment Unit, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Finland
Prof Kaleab Baye: PhD, Center for Food Science and Nutrition, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

Submission Status: Open   |   Submission Deadline: 29 February 2024

Agricultural and Food Economics is calling for submissions to our Collection on Food Systems Innovation in Africa. The collection aims to include theoretical and empirical papers on economic, social, environmental, nutritional and political aspects that influence innovation towards more sustainable African food systems. In particular, it will consider fundamental research that contributes to the understanding of transition and change in food systems. The collection welcomes action-research that improves the design, monitoring, and assessment of research to address urgent challenges. It also looks at participative multi-stakeholder approaches that provide new scientific and local knowledge in which the contribution of farmers, farmers’ organizations, NGOs, advisory services, private firms, business stakeholders.

About the collection

Agricultural and food systems in Africa are strongly challenged by economic, social, environmental and political drivers that influence their functioning and performance. Climate change, population growth and urbanisation exert a strong pressure on resource availability and management for food production. Local productivity is often low and raw materials are sold or exported as low value added products, while at the same time food imports increase - including high value added products. This puts both African producers and consumers in vulnerable economic conditions. 

There is an urgent call for innovation at different scales and levels of intervention within African food systems across the whole value web. Innovation should focus on improvement of environmental and nutritional performance of food systems, while guaranteeing economic and business viability for the stakeholders involved, as well as social and gender equity across different groups of population. 

In a context characterised by a rapidly growing youth population, it is important to consider the great potential of business and technological innovation, including the creation of new employment opportunities and generation renewal in the agricultural and food sectors. 

An important part is innovation and development of the local food industry in Africa, including those success stories of innovation that are inspiring examples to enhance the sustainability of food systems, from niches to larger scales of intervention. Value should be added to local produce through local models and products, developing an African food industry, rather than copying western standards of intensive farming, which has proven detrimental to both environment and animal wellbeing. What locally relevant solutions and opportunities can be innovated?

The key goals for innovation in the food system, in order to support transformation include:

  • Improving market access, to connect smallholder farmers to local, regional, and international markets through a number of means, while complying with trade regulations
  • Enhancing investments in the application of certification and standards, and addressing food safety and animal welfare.
  • Minimizing food losses during production, storage and transport as well as food waste by retailers and consumers.
  • Considering socio-economic, equity and gender implication to build more sustainable value chains within changing food systems. 
  • Developing and using information technologies and digitalization to achieve the above-mentioned goals.
  1. This study examines the relationships between healthy diets’ affordability and food systems performance across Nigerian states. On a composite index (FSI) constructed from key food system components, states in...

    Authors: Daniel A. Mekonnen, Olutayo Adeyemi, Rachel Gilbert, Dare Akerele, Thom Achterbosch and Anna Herforth
    Citation: Agricultural and Food Economics 2023 11:21

Submission Guidelines

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This Collection welcomes submission of Research Articles. Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you have read our submission guidelines. Articles for this Collection should be submitted via our submission system.

Articles will undergo the journal’s standard peer-review process and are subject to all of the journal’s standard policies. Articles will be added to the Collection as they are published.

The Guest Editors have no competing interests with the submissions which they handle through the peer review process. The peer review of any submissions for which the Guest Editors have competing interests is handled by another Editorial Board Member who has no competing interests.