INNOECOFOOD Project Kicks Off at CIIMAR Headquarters.

Last Week February 6th to 8th, 2024 FSPN Africa Team got the opportunity to attend The INNOECOFOOD Project kick-off meeting at the CIIMAR headquarters in Matosinhos, Portugal organized by CIIMAR.

Funded by EU under The Horizon Europe Programme, the project is devoted to the create innovative production/business ECOHUBS and the improvement of local aquaculture farms in six African countries through the integration of AI and IoT technologies.

Comprising partners from diverse regions including Europe (Portugal, Germany, UK, and Turkey), East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania), Southern Africa (Namibia), West Africa (Ghana), and Northern Africa (Egypt), the consortium’s coordinating institution is CIIMAR in Portugal.

The project, which comprises a consortium of 20 partners from Europe and Africa, aims to equip rural farmers, youth, and women with the skills to innovatively produce and process nutritious aquaculture catfish and tilapia, blue-green cyanobacteria spirulina, and insect value chains that will be processed into certified marketable human food products and feed.

The specific objectives are to:

1.⁠ ⁠Conduct scoping of aquaculture practices (living labs) and establish four sustainable and innovative agribusiness rural ECOHUBS using renewable solar/wind energy for the production, processing, and marketing of aquaculture value chains (fish and Spirulina) and insects in diverse African countries, to address AU and EU green deal and trade.

2.⁠ ⁠Optimize the production of eco-farmed fish, spirulina, insects, sustainable feeds, and post-harvest processing technologies using sensors, AI, and IoT technology in aquaculture ECOHUBS and living labs sites.

3.⁠ ⁠Scope suitable plant products; upcycle fish waste nutrients and make novel products from fish and co-products, spirulina, and insects by solar-powered drying and extrusion processing, using AI sensors and IoT.

4.⁠ ⁠Validate nutritional and sensory quality, microbiological and chemical safety, consumer acceptance, life cycle analysis impact, and implement certification schemes for fish, spirulina, and insect processing and products, for consumption, marketing, and trade.

5.⁠ ⁠Create a database and train locally 120 youth and 120 women in the ECOHUBS and 5000 rural workers.

This project marks a significant milestone for FSPN Africa as a key member of the consortium where we are thrilled to see FSPN Africa's AI-IoT-enabled digital tools The Shamba Calendar and the Community Virtual Hubs(CVH) at the center of the project to ensure access to knowledge and innovative services provided and products developed in the ECOHUBS.