EU project INCiTiS FOOD: Integrated and circular technologies for sustainable food systems in African urban regions 

The current food systems in African cities are facing major challenges: food and nutrition safety, health and environmental sustainability. Due to the population growth in African cities, under- and malnutrition in the population is on the rise, too. Supply of affordable animal-based protein, vegetables and fruits is insufficient. The African food system requires fundamental change in order to be able to feed the urban population. INCiTiS FOOD (INtegrated and Circular Technologies for Sustainable city region FOOD systems in Africa) therefore wants to develop scientifically sound, circular agricultural and food technologies for African cities.  

The technologies and business models include soilless plant cultivation (hydroponics), recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) and insect farming for human consumption, fish feed, and organic fertiliser production. These circular agri-food technologies require little land, water, energy and investment, while contributing to the circular economy.  

The project is based on a multi-stakeholder approach involving eight Living Labs (LLs) in six countries from three African regions: East Africa (Kenya), West Africa (Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone) and Central Africa (Cameroon, Gabon). Based on an analysis of the country-specific, (peri-)urban food systems, local, innovative stakeholders jointly test and develop suitable agricultural and food technologies in the eight living labs. One focus of the interdisciplinary approach of INCiTiS FOOD is the integration and promotion of marginalised groups, particularly women and young adults. Prototypes are developed in the LLs through mutual support in building expertise and capacity, using evaluation processes and regular exchange of experience. These are to be further developed into scalable business models, which are further validated in a demonstration phase on the basis of two open tenders (cascade funds). These innovations and business models help improve the supply of safe, affordable, nutritious and healthy food, reduce waste and reduce the environmental footprint in African cities.  

Project aims and fields of work

The INCiTiS FOOD project aims to improve food and nutritional security in African urban regions, develop sustainable food systems and reduce the environmental footprint. In order to achieve these objectives, the project will introduce circular agri-food technologies and practices as well as innovative business models. The project focuses on soilless crop cultivation, circular systems for aquaculture and insect farming. The project is based on a multi-stakeholder approach involving eight living labs in six countries from three African regions (East: Kenya; West: Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone; Central: Cameroon, Gabon).

Target groups

INCiTiS FOOD follows a bottom-up multi-actor approach targeting disadvantaged groups (especially women and young adults), start-ups and SMEs. Relevant stakeholders and future Living Lab participants will be identified in the respective city regions. The multi-actor approach benefits from the existing networks of living labs managed by the African project partners.

Target groups that benefit from the project results:

  • (Peri-)urban food producers and suppliers, cooperatives, associations, consumers
  • Marginalised groups, especially women and young adults
  • Start-ups and SMEs in the food systems of African urban regions
  • Scientists from the fields of agriculture and food technology, hydrology, microbiology, sociology, economy, business administration, food safety and urban food policy
  • Municipal and national policy-makers

BayFOR as a partner

Until the project began in January 2023, BayFOR was actively involved in the development and preparation of the EU application – in particular in the structuring and budgeting of the application and in the identification of cooperation partners. As a project partner, BayFOR supports INCiTiS FOOD in day-to-day financial and administrative project management.

Funding period

The project will be supported by the EU framework programme for research and innovation Horizon Europe from January 2023 to December 2026 with an EU contribution of approximately EUR 6 million (Call: HORIZON-CL6-2022-FARM2FORK-01) under the Grant Agreement ID: 101083790.


INCiTiS-FOOD involves 23 partners from twelve countries in Europe and Africa:

European project partners
University of the Bundeswehr Munich, Germany
Technical University of Munich, Germany
South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences, Germany
Aquaponik manufaktur GmbH, Germany
University of Bologna, Italy
Foodscale Hub Greece, Greece
Foodscale Hub Serbia, Serbia
Agrifood Lithuania, Lithuania
Bavarian Research Alliance, Germany
Stichting Wageningen Research, Netherlands
Women Engage for a Common Future, Netherlands
ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland

African project partners
Aglobe Development Center, Nigeria
Njala University, Republic Sierra Leone
Université des Sciences et Techniques de Masuku, Gabonese republic
University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Bamenda University of Science and Technology, Republic Cameroon
SunLight Future Africa, Republic Kenya
Youth 4 Development, Republic Kenya
Kenyatta University, Republic Kenya
University of Development Studies, Republic Ghana
Egerton University, Republic Kenya
African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association, Republic Kenya

Asian project partners
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, State of Israel

Further information


Project Coordinator

Prof. Dr. Gertrud Buchenrieder
University of the Bundeswehr Munich

Contact at BayFOR:

M.A. Birte Wolff
Project Manager
Environment, Energy & Bioeconomy
Phone +49 (0)89 9901 888 –129

Dr. Thomas Ammerl

Dr. Thomas Ammerl
Head of Unit Environment, Energy & Bioeconomy
Phone: +49 89 9901888-120

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