AccelNet-Implementation: US-Africa Sustainable Food Systems through Water-Energy- Food Nexus Networking (SustainFood)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Global change is driving changes in agricultural systems around the world. Food production requires sustainable practices in the use of water and energy under pressure of growing populations and accelerating climate change. The SustainFood network synthesizes research on issues of sustainable and equitable food systems, renewable energy transitions, and water governance in Africa to safeguard ecosystems so that they are resilient to weather extremes and political instability. The network links scientists, communities, and policymakers to research challenges at the nexus of water, energy, and food (WEF) security. These dynamics are critical for US interests in relation to scientific innovation, sustainability, and human and environmental security. This network addresses the need to improve agricultural yields while maintaining environmental integrity and supporting social equity. These collaborations investigate climate-change impacts on food production, processing, distribution, and use. The SustainFood network links research and teaching institutions, policy and practice NGOs, government, and civil-society participants to develop solutions that address food insecurity challenges across Africa with relevance for the US and elsewhere. The network contributes to science and expands knowledge on urban landscapes as areas of food production to promote food security through socially and environmentally sustainable practices.The SustainFood network identifies challenges and develops solutions by promoting: 1) systems-level understanding of sustainable water, energy, and food security; 2) increased STEM participation of underrepresented groups in identifying solutions; and 3) advancing science-to-policy impacts. The network uses the nexus of interactions among food, energy, and water security as the framework for sustainable food systems. It develops integrated modeling and tradeoff analysis, fills data gaps, and engages with decision-makers to address rising food insecurity. The group supports bidirectional student exchanges between the US and Africa and works with small and independent farmers, communities, and public and private service providers to share new practices with global stakeholders. The data science tools, scientific understanding of WEF systems, and evidence-based policy engagement emerging from this team’s work in the US and across African countries contribute to use-inspired research, policy uptake, and social impact. With regionally focused research and policy solutions, Africa can achieve WEF resilience through better planning that sustainably fosters well-being at home, in the US, and globally.The Accelerating Research through International Network-to-Network Collaborations (AccelNet) program is designed to accelerate the process of scientific discovery and prepare the next generation of U.S. researchers for multiteam international collaborations. The AccelNet program supports strategic linkages among U.S. research networks and complementary networks abroad that will leverage research and educational resources to tackle grand scientific challenges that require significant coordinated international efforts. This project is funded by the Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE).This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
Effective start/end date7/1/226/30/27


  • National Science Foundation: $2,000,000.00


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