Systems Approaches to Achieve the SDGs: Zero Hunger

Moderator:
Dr Lindiwe Sibanda
Panellists:
Dr Aldo Stroebel
Dr Willeke de Bruin
Prof Alice Pell
Prof Linus Opara

Dr Aldo Stroebel

Dr Aldo Stroebel is Executive Director Strategic Partnerships at the National Research Foundation (NRF), South Africa, and Visiting Fellow at the Institute for African Development at Cornell University, USA. He is a former President of the Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association (SARIMA), serves as South Africa’s National Contact Point for the ERC to H2020, and holds Ministerial appointments to the boards of the Water Research Commission (WRC), the Agricultural Research Council (ARC); and the National Education and Training Forum for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (NETFAFF). He was a founding member of the SA Young Academy of Science, and is an elected Fellow of the Uganda National Academy of Sciences (UNAS). Education credentials: University of Pretoria (BSc- and Hons-degrees); University of Ghent, Belgium (Masters in International Agricultural Development); University of the Free State and Cornell University, USA (PhD); Postdoctoral research at Wageningen University, The Netherlands. He has published widely in smallholder farming systems, and has been acknowledged as a leader in internationalisation of Higher Education, and research and innovation management.

Dr Lindiwe Sibanda

Dr Lindiwe Sibanda is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for the Advancement of Scholarship at the University of Pretoria, and the former Vice-President for Country Support, Policy, and Delivery at the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). She has 25 years of trans-disciplinary experience in agriculture and rural development, public and private sector reforms and management. Dr Sibanda has also served in a variety of roles with agricultural institutions critical to the continent’s development, including as board chair at the International Livestock Research Institute, a trustee for three International Agricultural Research Centers, and as adviser to and advocate for numerous international food and nutrition security-related initiatives. She is a member of the African Union Commission (AUC) Leadership Council, and has received numerous awards for her contribution towards agriculture and food security, including the Yara-Africa Prize in 2013. She holds a Masters and PhD in Agriculture from the University of Reading, UK. Prior to joining AGRA, Dr Sibanda was the CEO and Head of Mission for the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), active in food and nutrition security policy development across 17 African countries

Dr Willeke de Bruin

Dr de Bruin is a Post doctoral Fellow within the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Food Security at the University of Pretoria and holds a PhD in Plant Pathology. Her research fields address food security and food safety within the agricultural sector. Her current research focus emphasises the critical importance of sustainable agriculture and evidence based policy formation and how this is instrumental towards achieving the Malabo declaration, STISA 2024, the Science Agenda for Agriculture in Africa, Agenda 2063 and more broadly the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Prof Alice Pell

Professor Alice Pell joined the Department of Animal Science in Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in 1990. She directed Cornell’s International Institute for Food and Agricultural Development (CIIFAD), a university-wide center for sustainable agricultural and rural development in Africa, Asia and Latin America during 2005-2009. Prof Pell served on panels supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, the African Academy of Science, the Gates Foundation, the U.S. Academy of Science and the MacArthur Foundation. During 2008-2013, she was Cornell’s Vice Provost for International Relations. She is a cum laude graduate of Harvard University (1972), holds a Master’s degree in international education from Harvard (1973) and M.S. and PhD degrees from the University of Vermont in animal nutrition (1982, 1984). Prof Pell is an Extraordinary Professor at the University of the Western Cape, and was a STIAS fellow at Stellenbosch University in 2016. She has been involved in research and graduate training programmes in Botswana, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, India and Indonesia.

Prof Linus Opara

Prof Opara is the DST-NRF South African Research Chair in Postharvest Technology, and distinguished Professor in the Department of Horticultural Science at Stellenbosch University. He joined Stellenbosch University in 2009, and is a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf). He graduated in agricultural engineering from the University of Nigeria Nsukka, and holds a PhD from Massey University in New Zealand. His multi-disciplinary research team is the leading group worldwide working on postharvest practices that improve the postharvest handling, packaging and marketing of pomegranate fruit. Prof Opara is recognised globally as the leading individual researcher on postharvest technology of pomegranates. Recently, he was recognised by the African Union with the AU Kwame Nkrumah Continental Scientific Award for senior researchers, and is the 2015 IMPRESSA Award laureate. He is the founding editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Postharvest Technology, and has published over 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters and industry journals.

Global food systems produce enough food, yet more than 800 million people go hungry every day; 2 billion people lack key micro-nutrients such as iron, zinc and Vitamin A; while 2 billion adults are overweight or obese. To meet the projected global food demand by 2050, agricultural production will need to increase by 50%, despite limited land and water resources, and negative impacts of climate change. Increased productivity of both land and labour is also a significant contributor to reducing poverty through sustaining rural livelihoods. Agricultural research has a fundamental role in the effort to transform agriculture in food systems, specifically considering how synergies can be achieved, and how unintended consequences that may arise in making progress in one dimension, at the expense of another, can be avoided. This calls for a need of systems thinking to inform the future research agenda, considering the interactions in the overall agri-food system, and the necessary uptake pathways. The session is contextualized to identify within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) the role of agricultural research, increased synergies, managing trade-offs, and ensuring implications for the science-policy interface.

2018-11-29T12:43:42+00:00