The main objective of CultiAF is to improve food and nutrition security in Eastern and Southern Africa by funding applied research to develop and scale-up sustainable, climate resilient and gender responsive innovations for smallholder producers.
Developing practical and sustainable solutions
CultiAF supports applied research that builds the capacity of stakeholders to generate practical, lasting solutions that are economically viable, socially acceptable, and environmentally sustainable.
Research topics include nutritive value-added products, post-harvest storage technologies, crop insurance, irrigation, and women and youth entrepreneurship, among others. Researchers are engaging the private sector, young and women entrepreneurs, and policy makers through business models that can take these innovations to scale.
Innovations to enhance women’s productivity, nutrition and income
CultiAF funds research that responds to the needs of men, women, and young people and has the potential to transform inequitable gender relations. Research focuses on enterprises that are important for women: fisheries, poultry and pig production, beans, sorghum, and water for production. Research activities are based on strong gender and social analysis.
They address inequalities in underlying social norms and in men’s and women’s ability to access and manage resources and make decisions. Technologies and products being tested, such as precooked beans and solar dryers, have the potential to increase women’s income and reduce the workload and drudgery involved in producing and processing food.
Engaging youth in entrepreneurship
The agricultural sector has potential to provide employment for rural and urban youth. It would also benefit from the resourcefulness, technological savviness, and organizational skills of young people. CultiAF projects are actively engaging youth, building their capacity and entrepreneurship to take new innovative business models to scale.
Private sector engagement
CultiAF-supported researchers are engaging with the private sector, NGOs and civil society organizations early in the research design to foster innovative partnerships that provide insights on markets and product development; extension delivery mechanisms; and pathways for policy engagement. The research teams develop and test innovative business models to move the results of the research to a large scale.