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Birkbeck academic awarded grant to develop resilient food supply chains in Ghana

Dr Fred A. Yamoah has received £10,000 from the Science and Technology Facilities Council Food Network+ to create a novel digital platform to connect Ghanaian fish farmers with customers.

Picture of fish farmers in Ghana

The Department of Management’s Dr Fred A. Yamoah has received a grant from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Food Network+ to work on a project developing more resilient food supply chains in Ghana.

The project, Using STFC Technology to Create a Novel Digital Platform to Integrate Fish Farmers and Customers in Ghana, aims to address problems in the fish supply chain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and to improve the resilience of the supply chain for the future.

In Ghana, fish farming is a major source of nutrition and livelihood for small-scale farmers. However, lockdowns prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic have caused huge disruption to the aquaculture sector, resulting in a loss of income and limited consumer access to this nutritious food supply.

Dr Yamoah’s project aims to address this problem by creating a novel digital platform that will connect fish farmers with customers, addressing supply, market and transparency challenges that face the aquaculture food system in Ghana.

Building on contemporary food delivery systems such as Uber Eats, the platform will link fish farmers with customers directly, ensuring that farmers are able to access the wider market and to sell in a safe environment. Ultimately, the project aims to create, harness and sustain fish supply chains in Africa for improved livelihoods, nutritional outcomes and social and environmental impacts.

Dr Yamoah said: "The Covid-19 pandemic has been a major setback to Ghana’s budding aquaculture industry. It is therefore an exciting challenge as a research team to have Science and Technology Facilities Council Food Network+, UK funding to not only attempt a mitigation approach to counter present disruptions, but to create a resilient aquaculture supply chain."

The STFC Food Network+ brings together STFC researchers and facilities with research and industry in the agri-food sector. Their aim is to provide a sustainable supply of nutritious and affordable food using less land in the context of global climate change.

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