Addressing complex and multifaceted issues underpinning agri-food system transformation.

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In partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) is running a one-year pilot programme to develop a researchers’ network (RESNET) to address complex and multifaceted issues underpinning agri-food system transformation.

The vision for RESNET is a global platform designed to facilitate South-South and Triangular Cooperation on agri-food system research. Triangular Cooperation involves Southern-driven partnerships between two or more developing countries supported by a developed country(ies)/or multilateral organisation(s) to implement development cooperation programmes and projects. 

The aim is to stimulate learning, problem-solving and co-production of knowledge in this area. The programme will involve bringing universities and cross-disciplinary academics together, as well as research centres and relevant bodies from across the Commonwealth, and beyond.

RESNET will support capacity strengthening, knowledge sharing, and the formation of South-South and Triangular Research clusters on agri-food systems transformation. This approach reflects the interests of ACU members whose research seeks to explore the many, interconnected factors shaping agri-food systems transformation at different scales and in different locations.  

In February 2024, the ACU held its first stakeholder engagement meeting attended by agri-food systems researchers across the UK, and in Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Singapore, and South Africa. During this meeting, several issues were discussed related to inequity in the agri-food system, research approaches, and multi-level agri-food system policy. Inequity in the agri-food system and capacity strengthening were identified as cross-cutting themes in the development of RESNET beyond the pilot phase.  

In the remainder of RESNET’s pilot phase, the ACU will hold three stakeholder consultations with agri-food systems researchers across the Commonwealth and beyond, including one in May 2024 on agri-food systems transformation and climate change. This process will allow us to continue to refine the mission, vision and activities associated with RESNET should it be extended beyond the pilot phase.  

If you are interested in participating in the next meeting, or if you have any questions, please contact RESNET Project Manager Anouk Patel Campillo.