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Enhancing agricultural productivity and resilience to ensure food security in Africa


The agricultural value chain and food security in Africa face a myriad of interconnected challenges that impede the continent’s ability to ensure sustainable agricultural development and address food insecurity. At the heart of these challenges lie systemic issues such as limited access to modern farming inputs and technologies, inadequate infrastructure, and the impacts of climate change. Outdated farming practices prevail in many regions, resulting in low productivity and inefficiencies throughout the agricultural value chain. Smallholder farmers, who constitute a significant portion of Africa’s agricultural workforce, often lack access to essential inputs such as high-quality seeds, fertilizers, and mechanized equipment, further hindering productivity and income generation. Additionally, inadequate transportation networks, storage facilities, and market access contribute to post-harvest losses and reduce farmers’ ability to reach markets and obtain fair prices for their produce. The continent’s vulnerability to climate change and variability exacerbates these challenges, as unpredictable weather patterns, droughts, floods, and pest infestations disrupt agricultural activities and threaten crop yields. Furthermore, socio-economic factors such as poverty, political instability, conflicts, and market distortions exacerbate food insecurity by limiting access to food and driving up prices, particularly for vulnerable populations. Addressing these complex challenges requires a holistic approach that encompasses investment in agricultural research and development, improved access to inputs and markets, infrastructure development, climate resilience strategies, and policy reforms that promote inclusive and sustainable agricultural growth.

What We Do

AISCR aims to contribute to the development of a more resilient, sustainable, and inclusive agricultural sector in Africa, ultimately improving food security, livelihoods, and economic opportunities for millions of people across the continent. We offer a comprehensive set of research solutions aimed at addressing the complex challenges facing agricultural value chains and food security in Africa. Our research focuses on optimizing value chains through the identification of inefficiencies and the development of strategies to enhance productivity, reduce post-harvest losses, and improve market access for smallholder farmers. We also explore the adoption of innovative technologies to modernize agricultural practices and increase efficiency and sustainability. Additionally, our research addresses climate resilience by developing adaptation strategies and supporting farmers in managing climate risks. We analyze barriers to market access and trade, providing insights and recommendations to improve market connectivity and facilitate trade for farmers. Through policy analysis and advocacy efforts, we work to promote supportive policies and regulations that foster sustainable agricultural development.

Key Research Focus Areas

Here are some key research focus areas:

  1. Smallholder Farmer Empowerment: Research strategies to empower smallholder farmers through improved access to inputs, finance, technology, and markets, thereby enhancing their productivity, income, and resilience to food insecurity.
  2. Market Access and Trade: Investigating barriers to market access for smallholder farmers and exploring solutions to improve market connectivity, reduce post-harvest losses, and enhance value addition along the agricultural value chain.
  3. Climate-resilient Agriculture: Studying climate-smart agricultural practices, such as drought-resistant crops, water-efficient irrigation systems, and agroforestry, to build resilience to climate change and ensure food security in the face of environmental challenges.
  4. Nutrition-sensitive Agriculture: Researching interventions that promote the production and consumption of diverse and nutritious foods, address malnutrition, and improve dietary diversity within communities, particularly among vulnerable populations.
  5. Policy Analysis and Advocacy: Conducting policy research to inform evidence-based policymaking, strengthen institutional frameworks, and advocate for policies that support sustainable agriculture, food security, and inclusive growth.
  6. Value Chain Optimization: Analyzing value chain dynamics to identify opportunities for value addition, market linkages, and income generation for smallholder farmers, with a focus on reducing post-harvest losses and enhancing market access.
  7. Capacity Building and Knowledge Sharing: Developing capacity-building programs and knowledge-sharing platforms to empower stakeholders with the skills, knowledge, and resources needed to adopt best practices, innovate, and address challenges in agricultural value chains and food security.


Established in 2019, the African Institute for Supply Chain Research (AISCR) provides supply chain research, education, outreach, and networking solutions for a better Africa.





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