The Food Systems Transformation in Southern Africa for One Health (FoSTA-Health) project is evaluating the One Health outcomes associated with food systems transformation in Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia. 

Across southern Africa, a combination of environmental and climatic changes, and external shocks to governance systems, food systems and supply chains (including those resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic), are creating new challenges for meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These challenges, particularly as they relate to human, animal and environmental health, are interconnected in complex ways. Key transformation agendas in the region include: 

  • Innovative methods for improving soil health and agricultural practices in maize production systems, as well as efforts to diversify away from maize to improve climate resilience and human and animal nutrition. 
  • Large land acquisitions and investments in irrigation infrastructure and inputs in order to improve total productivity and excess production for export markets. 
  • The transition from domestic and local level supply of food, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, towards export markets as a means to grow the rural and food sector economy.
  • Diversification of diets away from the overreliance on cereals in order to improve nutrition. 

In relation to these food system transformations, FoSTA-Health aims to strengthen transdisciplinary and contextual understandings of the interactions between human, animal and environmental health and simulate these interactions, within a novel integrated and participatory modelling framework. We will collaborate with a diverse range of stakeholders in exploring pathways of food system transformation into the future to understand their impacts on health and to inform policy and practice. 

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Funding UK

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