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Research and innovation

Partnership on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA)

Partnership on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA) as part of the AU-EU HLPD on Science Technology and Innovation

About the partnership

Food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture was the first common priority research and innovation area, as part of the AU-EU High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on Science, Technology and Innovation, embedded in the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES). The partnership and roadmap were endorsed at the AU-EU Summit in 2017.

The partnership address the challenges set out in UN Sustainable Development Goal 2 - end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture - by stimulating joint AU-EU research and innovation activities for an initial period of 10 years.

Activities complement current research and innovation partnerships supporting the food security objectives of the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA-2024)

The partnership is evolving with the new political priorities of the AU and EU. It is part of the green partnerships in relation to the European Green Deal and Farm to Fork strategies.

The partnership aims to boost the impact of AU-EU joint research at local level by addressing the entire value-chain, strengthening capacity-building (human, research infrastructures and institutional) and focusing on demonstration projects and pilot actions to bring research and innovation results to users. It also aims to improve access to sustainably produced, nutritious and safe food, enhance income growth and promote rural development, contributing to Agenda 2030

The partnership has channeled a joint investment of €381 million on 4 priorities 

  • sustainable intensification of agriculture
  • agriculture and food systems for nutrition
  • expansion and improvement of agricultural trade and markets
  • cross-cutting topics

Several projects began in 2020: FOODLAND | InnoFoodAfrica | HealthyFoodAfricaEWA – BELT | SustainSAHELSustInAfrica | UPSCALE | Soils4Africa


The roadmap proposes the basis for a joint research agenda, short-to medium term actions and reflections on long-term options for implementation (2018-2020 and beyond) and is based on the input of 3 working groups: 1. An expert working group with 5 African and 5 European experts, set up by the High Level Policy Dialogue Bureau. 2. A High Level Policy Dialogue Bureau working group led by the United Kingdom and South Africa  3. A High Level Policy Dialogue Bureau working group led by Burkina Faso and Portugal that developed the monitoring and evaluation framework of the  partnership.


Working group

A joint FNSSA working group was set up in March 2017 to implement the project, supported by the LEAP4FNSSA project and the former EU funded project research and innovation network for Europe and Africa RINEA

The working group met 8 times in 2020 and has approved a study on policies, which takes account of the changing policy priorities and will help to develop the partnership further. 

The FNSSA partnership is further associated with DeSIRA (Development Smart Innovation through Research in Agriculture). DeSIRA aims to contribute to climate-relevant, productive and sustainable transformation of agriculture and food systems in low and middle-incomes countries. The FNSSA partnership supports the initiative by fostering international research, especially in Africa.


At the request of the AU-EU Summit 2014, an African-European expert group was tasked, under the guidance of the HLPD, to draft a roadmap towards an AU-EU research and innovation partnership on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA). This roadmap was adopted by the HLPD Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in April 2016.


11 JUNE 2021
Food system resilience: Recommendations for the EU-Africa R&I partnership on FNSSA
(1.25 MB - PDF)

25 DECEMBER 2020
Concept note for the EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA)
(399.64 KB - PDF)

12 FEBRUARY 2021
FNSSA infographic
(169.99 KB - PDF)

Draft report to the LEAP4FNSSA work package 1 partners
(2.2 MB - PDF)

25 DECEMBER 2020
Study on the projects funded to support the FNSSA Partnership
(1.91 MB - PDF)

5 APRIL 2016
EU-Africa FNSSA roadmap
(437.7 KB - PDF)