Challenge 1: Improving access to safe and nutritious food

Last changed: 14 June 2023
Irrigation system Cambodja

This challenge will focus on how poor households can have better access to safe and nutritious food. This includes food loss in the various stages of production, aspects of food safety and how to connect smallholder farmers to markets.

Smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa, South and South-East Asia face many challenges related to pre- and post-harvest losses, connecting to markets, and access to nutritious and safe food. This results in large parts of the population suffering from micronutrient deficiencies, where mostly women and children are affected.

Approximately one-third of the food produced globally for human consumption gets lost or wasted every year. Reduction of these enormous food losses is thus one critical component of improving food security in SSA and South and SE Asia. Furthermore, inadequate food safety resulting in food borne diseases have serious implications on livelihoods and consumer health. Smallholder farmers also face challenges when it comes to accessing markets.

This might be of special importance for women who often are side stepped in the food value chain. A focus of this AgriFoSe2030 challenge will cover aspects of how households in poor communities can have better access to safe and nutritious food. It will also focus of food loss in the various stages of production such as harvest, storage and transportation, and aspects of food safety and how to prevent, detect and respond to threats caused by food borne diseases.

Another focus area will be on how to connect smallholder farmers to markets to increase their income and productivity and ability to respond to increasing demands for safe and nutritious food.

Black Soldier Fly in Vietnam

Milk Value Chain Video 1

Milk Value Chain video 2

Projects in Challenge 1

  • Sustainable goat management in Laos:
    Full name: Smallholder goat production in Laos – improving quality of
    extension services and access to markets
    Location: Laos
    Start date: December 2020. End date: 31 Dec 2022
    About: The project aims to improve the quality of extension services and access to markets for smallholder goat farmers in Laos and thereby improve goat production and increase access to goat meat for the consumers.

  • Edible insects’ production and trade in Zimbabwe:
    Full name: Improving market access and scaling up trading of safe and
    nutritious edible insects by women and youths in Zimbabwe
    Location: Zimbabwe
    Start date: May 2021 End date: May 2023
    About: The overall aim of the project is to enable women and young people in Zimbabwe to sustainably operate insect businesses to produce safe and nutritious insect-based food. The project seeks to empower women and youth to actively participate in the development of the insect value chain, provide consumers with a nutritious and safe food source, as well as improve their income.

  • Black Soldier Fly for rural development in Vietnam
    Full name: Application on Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) rearing
    technology as a tool to improve environment safety, sustainability and rural development in South of Vietnam: Emphasis on aquaculture production
    Location: Vietnam
    Start date: 1 April 2022. End date: 30 March 2023
    About: to supply BSF larvae as a sustainable source of protein to livestock/and aquaculture farmers in order to improve food security, raise rural farmers’ income and improve farming practices in Vietnam

  • Gender and livestock value chains in dairy sector in Uganda:
    Full name: Gender-based approaches for improving food safety, value
    addition and marketing in livestock systems in western Uganda
    Location: Uganda
    Start date: September 2021. End date: September 2023
    About: The aim of the project is to empower women to produce and market safe milk products, do value addition and be able to access lucrative markets to increase household incomes and improve food security in smallholder households in western Uganda.

  • Transformation of pastoral livelihoods in Kenya: (Challenge 1 & 4)
    Full name: Transformation of pastoral livelihoods through enhanced capacity for adaptation of nutrition and commercialisation policies to local contexts: West Pokot-Kenya
    Location: Kenya
    Start date: June 2021. End date: June 2023
    About: The aim of the project is to support livelihood transformation through;
    a) local decision-maker awareness creation and policy change on the
    concept of food security and the local strategies for its achievement and; b) capacity building of pastoralists and their institutions in order to improve value addition, market access, profitability of livelihood strategies and ensure food and nutrition diversity and security so that poor smallholders can have stable access to and consume safe and nutritious food.


Elisabeth RajalaElisabeth Rajala, DVM, PhD

Challenge leader of Challenge 1
Department of Biomedical Sciences and Veterinary Public Health, SLU
Telephone: +46 18-67 20 36, +46 73-801 33 56








  Fredrik Fernqvist, Senior Lecturer 

 Assistant Challenge leader for Challenge 1, AgriFoSe2030
 Department of People and Society, SLU
 Telephone: +46 (0)404-153 88