The School of LiSBE (Continue'd)
African Centre of Excellence in the School of Life Sciences: CREATES FNS:
With nearly 850 million hungry people globally in 2010-12, there are social, ethical, and political imperatives to put more emphasis on food and nutritional security, particularly in the Eastern and Southern Africa region, which is characterized by high food and nutrition insecurity ranging between 37% and 76%.Efforts to ensure food and nutrition security in the region have been compounded by a number of challenges; poor agricultural productivity caused by poor agricultural practices, prevalent diseases and pests, climate variability, low plant and animal genetic potential and also the food loss, which is characterized by reduction in quantity and quality of the produced food along the value chain. Furthermore, as a consequence of spatial expansion of agriculture in order to produce more food, a number of inadvertent negative consequences have been observed.
These include the loss of biodiversity and threatening of endangered species as well as the close interactions between humans and wildlife, which has precipitated outbreaks of diseases that are threatening survival of humans and their livestock. To address these complex challenges, the proposal seeks to establish an Eastern and Southern African Centre for Research, agricultural Advancement, Teaching Excellence and Sustainability in Food and Nutritional Security (CREATES-FNS), which will use a multidisciplinary approach to ensure environment-sustainable food and nutritional security. The Centre will provide innovative research, training, and outreach programmes in the region, taking advantage of the strong existing international and regional collaboration activities in the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST). CREATES-FNS will serve as a regional excellence hub to achieve and promote specific Sustainable Development Goals and the Tanzania Development Vision 2025 under the following aspects:
|Figure 1. Four main pillars of the CREATES-FNS programme.|
- Research based training and support of excellent professionals and academia.
- Provide an e-learning platform to promote graduate teaching programmes, research activities, and dissemination of information;
- Serve as a state-of-art core laboratory to support Life Science and related research fields;
- Promote technological research output in good agricultural practice (GAP), food safety, nutrition and health using bio-nanoscience and bio-repositories for future research activities;
- Establish data repository to build capacity on predicting risks generated through climate variability and to provide scenarios on climate mitigation and adaptation.