FEMOZ International Conference on Rural Food Environments

FEMOZ International Conference on Rural Food Environments

The FEMOZ project proudly looks back on the recent International Conference on Rural Food Environments. The conference was deemed a great success by the participants with various interesting and discussion sparking presentations and keynote speeches. The conference hosted by the Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo was attended by national and international scientists, qualified students, and representatives from the Mozambican public sector. The hybrid format allowed a broadened active inclusion of participants from other countries and universities in the north of Mozambique. The excellent simultaneous translation offered a unique opportunity for a lively exchange among Mozambican and international representatives.

Each of the conference’s four sessions, all tackling key aspects of rural food environments within the Mozambican, but also international context were kickstarted by a keynote speech and followed by parallel subsessions expanding on the topic. In total, there were 17 of these subsessions with topics ranging from the influence of food desirability and convenience on eating, to the impact of policies on food environments as well as technological innovations for improving food security in rural areas in Mozambique. African and German institutions were represented with speakers from Mozambique, i.e. the Eduardo Mondlane University, Lúrio University and UniRovuma (Mozambique), the Federal University Dutsin-Ma (Nigeria) and the TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences, the Frankenförder Forschungsgesellschaft and Humboldt University Berlin, Centre for Rural Development - SLE (all Germany). The keynotes were all delivered by international experts.

Session 1: Rural food environments: theories, concepts and methodological approach was opened by Dr Christopher Turner of Greenwich University who spoke on the concept of Rural Food Environments and highlighted the growing global interest in the topic. Dr. Alexander Fekete of the TH Köln was the keynote speaker for Session 2: Rural Livelihoods: resilience and food security in the context of disaster risk and discussed the daily and annual relevance of multi-risks of food security and natural hazards. Day 2 of the conference kicked off with Session 3: Strengthening Healthy Food Environments: Policy, governance and academia. The presentation of Dr Amos Laar, representing the University of Ghana, centered on making healthy food environment policies palatable in sub-Saharan Africa with lessons from Ghana, sparked a healthy round of discussion on policy and public health in the Mozambican context. Session 4: Neglected or Underutilized Crop Species (NUS) for food and nutrition security closed off the event. Dr Fátima Portilho of the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro showcased the development of NUCS in Brazil while Dr. Irmgard Jordan from the Alliance Bioversity International and CIAT Kenya presented results from co-creation studies in Kenya on the topic of improving dietary diversity and livelihoods using farm and wild biodiversity. Accompanying the conference was also a multimedia exhibition with posters on various relevant topics as well a short film about Neglected and Underutilized Crops in Mozambique, part of the project results.

The conference concluded with a panel discussion moderated by Prof. Dr. Sabine Schlüter on How to transfer research results into political action: Challenges and opportunities with input from Prof. Dr Amos Laar, University of Ghana (Ghana), Dr Mariam Abbas, The Rural Environment Observatory – OMR (Mozambique), Claudia Lopes, Mozambican Government Technical Secretariat for Food Security and Nutrition – SETSAN (Mozambique), Dr Elda Famba, Ministry of Health (Mozambique), Dr. Eduarda Mungoi, Ministry of Commerce (Mozambique) and Prof. Dr Samuel Quive, Eduardo Mondlane University – UEM (Mozambique).

The FEMOZ team would like to thank the participants for joining, the speakers for their insightful contributions, and the Eduardo Mondlane University for their generous hospitality and support. Keep an eye out for the abstracts from the presentations and posters that were featured at the conference on the FEMOZ website.

Opening ceremony (Prof. Dr Samuel Quive, Prof. Dr Sabine Schlüter, Prof. Dr Klaus Becker and UEM Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs Prof. Dr. Amália Alexandre Uamusse)
Opening ceremony. Prof. Dr Samuel Quive (FEMOZ local scientific coordinator), Prof. Dr Sabine Schlüter (FEMOZ general project coordinator), Prof. Dr Klaus Becker (Vice-President for Research and Knowledge Transfer of the TH Köln- University of Applied Sciences) and  Prof. Dr. Amália Alexandre Uamusse (UEM Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs)
Welcome notes from the local scientific coordinator of the FEMOZ Project and Director of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Prof. Dr Samuel Quive
Speech by the General Coordinator of the FEMOZ Project, Prof. Dr Sabine Schlüter
Prof. Dr Amos Laar, Dr Rui Pedroso (FEMOZ scentific coordinator), Prof. Dr Maida Khan
Prof. Dr Samuel Quive, Dr Mariam Abbas, Prof. Dr Amos Laar, Prof. Dr Sabine Schlüter, Dr Eduarda Mungoi, Dr Elda Famba
FEMOZ Conference Group Photo
Prof. Dr Fátima Portilho and Prof. Dr Luís Artur
Poster session (Prof. Dr Klaus Becker and Dr Rui Pedroso)

Photo credits: FEMOZ