Ghent University leads a 5 million EU-funded partnership to strengthen Food Safety System in the African Union

(14-12-2023) Ghent University's 'UP-RISE' project, funded by Horizon Europe, aims to improve African Food Safety Systems by combating mycotoxins, starting January 2024.

The Ghent University obtained a European Horizon grant to create a groundbreaking EU partnership, to strengthen the African Food Safety System (AFSS). The project entitled 'EU-AU Partnership for Resilient, Inclusive and Safe Food Systems for Everyone,' or simply 'UP-RISE' will be led by Prof. Sarah De Saeger and Prof. Siska Croubels and aims at developing solutions to create safe food systems free of mycotoxins.

UP-RISE is a concerted effort by a consortium of 12 international partners committed to creating resilient, inclusive, and safe food systems for everyone associated with mycotoxin contamination in the African Union (AU). Focusing on five target AU member states including Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa across three AU regions (West, East, and South), UP-RISE assembles five building blocks for knowledge generation and implementation:

  1. Roadmaps for quality culture and informal sector integration
  2. Strengthening regulatory frameworks by Empowering both formal and informal sectors
  3. Early Warning Systems via the development of systems to prevent mycotoxin contamination and adaptation to climate change,
  4. Innovative microbiome-based solutions to reduce mycotoxins
  5. Co-creation, training, and mentoring.

UP-RISE will showcase its co-created solutions through demonstrations of representative fermented food product value chains, for maize, millet, sorghum, and milk. These solutions will be implemented in ten business cases of SMEs in the target AU member states.

The project was funded by Horizon Europe for a budget of 5 million euro. The project will start on the 1st of January 2024 and will last for four years.