#PlanetPartners: University working to ensure nobody goes hungry
06 May 2021
Collaborating with farmers in countries with challenging climates to develop low-carbon, low-budget solutions is part of the University of Reading’s work to put healthy food on the plates of millions around the world.
The University’s institutional and research to address world hunger are underpinned by the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aim to resolve societal and environmental challenges across the planet and are closely aligned with the University’s own strategy.
This May, the University of Reading is running a new #PlanetPartners campaign, inviting its entire community to share examples of work towards all the SDGs.
SDG2: Zero Hunger comprises work to support people who cannot access adequate nutritious food, by promoting sustainable agriculture in difficult environmental conditions and food security for all.
“We need to break out of traditional silos if we are going to tackle hunger." - Professor Rosalind Cornforth, Director of the Walker Institute
Examples of work by the University to address SDG2 include:
- Producing hundreds of graduates every year in Agriculture courses that include sustainability aspects
- Providing skills and knowledge to the AgriFood Training Partnership courses and workshops, teaching the next generation of food industry professionals.
- Serving free meals to Reading students every year who find themselves in financial difficulty, and teaching others how to cook fresh, healthy meals on a budget.
- Supporting farmers in sub-Saharan Africa by investigating the impact of climate change on vital sweet potato crops through Walker Institute research, and by providing climate data and forecasts to farmers and policymakers through the Participatory Integrated Climate Services for Agriculture (PICSA) and Rain Watch projects, which supports 20 countries around the world.
- Delivering climate-smart agricultural practices direct to African farmers via the Farmers’ Voice Radio, set up in partnership with the farmers themselves and the Lorna Young Foundation, and through Farmer Agri-Met Village Advisory Clinics (FAMVACs), in schemes also led by the Walker Institute.
Professor Rosalind Cornforth, Director of the Walker Institute, said: “We need to break out of traditional silos if we are going to tackle hunger. At the Walker Institute, we adopt a systems-based approach to research; a decision-centric framework that absolutely requires us all to work in partnership across all levels of governance.
“By partnering with a wide range of experts and stakeholders, including farmers themselves, we aim to turn interdisciplinary research into implementable policy changes that build capacity and increase the resilience of rural populations to recurring food crises.”
The UN’s SDGs incorporate themes across the ‘five Ps’: People, Prosperity, Planet, Peace and Partnership. These align with the University of Reading’s own strategic themes: Community, Excellence, Sustainability and Engagement.
This campaign follows the publication of the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2021, in which Reading participated for the first time and ranked in the top 200 globally, which scored participating universities on their support of the individual SDGs.
The University’s latest campaign is a continuation of the #PlanetPartners campaign launched by the University in October 2019, which is highlighting ways the University is working with global partners on projects that benefit the environment.
Follow the campaign and share your examples of work on Twitter: @UniofReading | Facebook: /theuniversityofreading | Instagram: @uniofreading | LinkedIn: University of Reading | TikTok: @uniofreading using the hashtags #PlanetPartners and #sdgoals