Overall Objective

Overall Objective

To enhance the contribution of Higher Education Institutions to food and nutrition security of communities in Eastern [ampersand] Southern Africa

Specific Objective:

Specific Objective:

To improve the capacity of Higher Education Institutions in Eastern and Southern Africa to provide practical training and research solutions in food and nutrition sciences.

Target groups

Target groups

The target groups for this action include participating universities, graduate students, university faculty and technicians

The final beneficiaries

The final beneficiaries

Include employers of food and nutrition science graduates (food industries, governments, food analysis laboratories, food regulatory agencies, agricultural produce handling companies), farmers and general public (food consumers).

Strengthening research capacity

Strengthening research capacity

This action seeks to strengthen research capacity, including the capacity to develop the required speciality foods. It will therefore contribute to addressing the problem of malnutrition.

© 2016 PASUFONS. All Rights Reserved.

About

Brief on the Partnerships to Strengthen University Food and Nutrition sciences training and research in Eastern and Southern Africa (PASUFONS) project launch and stakeholder consultative workshop that took place on 14th May 2014

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High postharvest losses, low produce quality, and dismal value addition limit the benefits derived from food production in Africa. Malnutrition is also wide spread on the continent and this is attributable, among others to inadequate food availability, insufficient levels of some essential nutrients in staples and inadequate nutritional knowledge among the populations. In spite of current food and nutrition research and training efforts at universities on the continent, these problems persist. PASUFONS project seeks to enhance university capacity to contribute to amelioration of these problems through enhancing interaction between training institutions and the food and nutrition sectors in Eastern and Southern Africa. The project will also facilitate sharing of training and research resources.

The PASUFONS project was successfully launched at the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bioengineering, Makerere University conference hall on 14th May 2014. The launch was one of the main visibility actions aimed at informing stakeholders about the project, as well as ensuring stakeholder buy in. The project launch also provided an avenue for initial interaction with stakeholders concerning their skill needs (research and training), as well as preferred means of engagement with HEIs. Stakeholders present included representatives of the food industry, government, higher education regulatory agencies, food standards bodies, nutrition promotion organisations, universities management, researchers, alumni, students and potential students.

The objectives of the project launch and stakeholder engagement workshop were to:

i.Publicize PASUFONS and inspire stakeholders to contribute

ii.Provide an opportunity to stakeholders to interrogate current food science and nutrition training programs at Makerere and other HEIs in Uganda as a first step towards strengthening them

iii.Gather stakeholder needs with respect to competences of food and nutrition sciences graduates

iv.Identify stakeholders’ food and nutrition sciences research needs

v.Establish stakeholders’ preferred mechanisms of engagement with HEIs.

Presentations on current Food Science and Nutrition curricula in Makerere University and other Universities and competencies required of Food Science and Human nutrition graduates provided a general background of the existing situation. The discussions mainly focused on the existing gaps in the Food Science and Human Nutrition training and Research programs at Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), how these programs can be strengthened, and how to engage HEIs and stakeholders in the process.

The workshop provided an opportunity to inform stakeholders about the project, and solicit their ideas, and provided a springboard for the subsequent planned engagements.

Overall, the project was well received and it is hoped that stakeholders will continue to participate to facilitate its successful implementation.

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