The University of Pretoria is one of five research-intensive universities in South Africa. The university’s long-term strategy, entitled UP 2025, is centered on research that addresses societal problems, in particular problems faced by Africa as a developing continent and region. It hosts a number of institutes and centers related to SDG 2 and collaborates widely with South African, African and international institutions.
The university coordinates its focus on the issue of addressing hunger and food security through several initiatives, including the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Well-being (IFNuW), the Centre of Excellence in Food Security (co-hosted with the University of Western Cape), the South African SDG Hub, as well as lead roles in three Feed the Future Innovation Labs (Food Security Policy, Food Processing and Sorghum and Millet), among several other initiatives and programs related to food security and related topics.
At IFNuW the university has pioneered transdisciplinary research in food security and nutrition, and in just five years it built an active platform of over 85 academics drawn from across the university and different departments of the institutions have made significant contributions to SDG 2. A breeding project is run by the Department of Animal and Wildlife Sciences and it contributed to the development of the Bonsmara cattle, now the breed of choice in South African beef production, and the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences researches vertical farming. The Department of Consumer Science conducts research focused on indigenous food that is readily available and can withstand drought, and the Department of Agriculture Economics, Extension and Rural Development has contributed to capacity building for African policymakers through its training on agricultural issues.
At the national level, a transdisciplinary team from the university supported the development of the South African SDG report. Many university staff participate in international fora where they inform national and continental development agendas related to food security, for example university experts serve as members of the UN Committee on World Food Security High-Level Panel of Experts.
The institution has also prioritized the integration of the SDGs in its curricula across all faculties and schools while partnering with the UNLEASH program to collaborate on solutions that meet all SDGs.
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