Food Sustainability

Launch of Dairy Value Chain SupportCETRAD carries out research to support rural development, especially in the arid and semi-arid areas of Kenya. This we do through research and development projects in different parts of the country. Through the results of one of our projects done in Mt Kenya region the Umande Cooperative Society has  been identified for support to construct a house for a Milk Cooler Machine as one of the activities of a broader capacity building initiative to improve dairy value chain for the farmers in the area.

The project activities commenced with a public launch on Friday 5th October 2018. The ceremony started at 12.00pm at Karachi Grounds near Umande Shopping Centre was graced by the presence of the CECM Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Development, Laikipia County, Member of County Assembly, Umande Ward.

Watch Video: Speakers


Towards Food Sustainability: Reshaping the coexistence of different food systems in South America and Africa

Despite of significant technological transformations in food production, more than 800 million people still suffer from hunger worldwide and many more from chronic undernutrition. Many scientists agree that food security is not in the first place related to production levels: Today, more than enough food for everyone is being produced according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. There is consensus that the principal cause of food insecurity is poverty and inequality, which is exacerbated by the environmental degradation caused by Green Revolution production logic and the impacts of climate change. There is also wide consensus that the major challenge to feed 9 billion people in 2050 is not primarily to increase productivity, but to reorient national to global food and agricultural policies to allow an advancement from the normative goal of ‘food security’ to ‘food sustainability’.

This six-year research project aims at establishing food sustainability as a framework for investigating food systems and for developing policy recommendations. The framework integrates five principle pillars with respective indicators: food security, the human right to food, the reduction of poverty and inequality, environmental sustainability, and social-ecological resilience.

Using this framework, an interdisciplinary team studies different food systems in Kenya and Bolivia in terms of different food system activities from food production to consumption. We take into account a diversity of coexisting, albeit often conflicting food systems, including those of small-scale family farmers, indigenous communities, and medium and large-scale industrialized food producers.

Research is being organized in four modules, embracing the legal-political context, institutions and actors, value chains and related livelihoods, as well as environmental impacts and the resilience of the different food systems. Based on the results, policy recommendations and transformative pilot actions together with different actors from the food systems are intended to contribute to improve the sustainability of different food systems as well as their forms of interaction.

Diversity of Food Systems


Responsible applicant: Prof. Dr. Stephen Rist, Centre for Development and Environment CDE, University of Bern

Co-applicants: Dr. Christophe Golay, Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Graduate Institute, Geneva

Prof. Dr. Thomas Cottier, World Trade Institute WTI, University of Bern

Dr. J. M. Freddy Delgado Burgoa, Agroecologia Universidad Cochabamba AGRUCO - Probioma, Bolivia

Dr. Boniface P. Kiteme, Centre for Training and Integrated Research for ASAL Development CETRAD, Nanyuki, Kenya

Prof. Dr. Tobias Haller, Institute of Social Anthropology, University of Bern

Prof. Dr. Chinwe Ifejika Speranza, Center for Development and Environment CDE, Uinversity of Bern & German Development Institute DIE, Bonn