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30 March 2016
Organisation: Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)
Food Security and Energy Access

Energy access and food security in sub-Saharan Africa

More than two-fifths of the world’s population depends on unsustainably harvested wood energy for cooking and heating. This has significant impact on health, food production and nutrition, and the climate. Energy and food security are often dealt with as separate issues, yet energy is directly and indirectly embedded in food production and preparation. Lack of energy can force people to change their cooking and eating habits or switch to less nutritious food as shown in the video.

This calls for the need to explore the linkages, synergies and conflicts between energy access and food security, focusing on household and local level issues for rural populations, but recognizing connections to national, regional and global policies.

The SIANI expert group on energy access and food security comprises of voluntary membership from four key institutions, namely: Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), African Forest Forum (AFF) and Centre for Agricultural Research and Development (CARD).

They work on information synthesis, identifying research gaps and bringing to the public attention issues that fall at the intersection between energy access and food security.

Their work is focused around three sub-themes: i) Joint food-energy production systems; ii) Re-use of agricultural wastes in maximizing energy/food production; iii) Links between energy access and nutrition.