Director of the ARUA Centre of Excellence in Food Security@LMSibanda
Food Planet Prize Jury Member Lindiwe Majele Sibanda runs the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Food Systems at the University of Pretoria. Former CEO and Head of Mission of the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), Professor Sibanda is also a serving member of Champions 12.3 coalition, and a serving Board member for the ONE CGIAR, World Vegetable, and Nestlé. She has received numerous awards for her work with agriculture and food security in Africa.
Q: What do you see as the most pressing issue(s) in reshaping the global food system?
To me, there are five pressing issues shaping the global food system:
- Ensuring that we deploy technologies that utilize fewer resources while producing more food for the growing population.
- Producing healthy, safe, affordable, and accessible foods.
- Reducing food loss and waste
- Ensuring that climate-smart technologies are upscaled
- Making the food systems transformation agenda everybody’s agenda, as everyone has something to contribute – from consumers to producers, processors, distributors, scientists, and policymakers.
Q: What would you like to achieve by being a member of the Food Planet Prize Jury?
My expectations are high and two-fold. First, on a personal level, I see this experience as a great opportunity to learn from fellow Jury members and from the diversity of submitted initiatives we get to evaluate. It will broaden my knowledge and thinking beyond my discipline and connect me with like-minded planet ambassadors, which for me is invaluable. Second, for the common good, I hope to find genuine innovations and new paradigms that will benefit our planet.
Q: What unique experiences or knowledge do you bring to the jury?
Farming is in my blood. I am a practicing farmer but also an animal scientist who has worked as an agricultural researcher, an entrepreneur, and a policy advisor to numerous governments in Africa, as well as in international private and public institutions.
So, I understand science, business, and sustainable food systems policy development, as well as what this means at the grassroots level.