Area of investment and support

Area of investment and support: Sustainable enhancement of agriculture and aquaculture production

This initiative supports innovative research to develop solutions to current food security issues and challenges relating to sustainable food production. It will translate research into measurable real-world outcomes that increase prosperity in sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia or southern Asia.

up to £3.4 million, between the Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
2019 to 2022
Partners involved:
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)

The scope and what we're doing

The sustainable enhancement of agriculture and aquaculture production initiative (SEAAP) supports high quality, innovative research translation to address current food security development and environmental challenges related to sustainable enhancement of food production.

The initiative aims to increase and speed up the uptake and impact of NERC and BBSRC funding into practical application, supporting multidisciplinary translation projects focused on a crop, livestock or aquaculture food production system. These will be balanced across the remit of NERC and BBSRC, and should seek to translate existing research in order to address global food production, sustainability and food security challenges.

This initiative will be impact-focused, translating excellent research into measurable real-world outcomes to raise economic and societal prosperity in Development Assistance Committee-listed countries in the sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia or southern Asian regions.

Why we're doing it

To meet the needs of a growing global population projected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050 – compounded by climate-related risks to food security following the projected 1.5°C global warming – solutions are needed to sustainably increase global crop, livestock and aquaculture production productivity. At the same time, there is a need to prevent degradation of the land and wider environment which supports those production systems.

The United Nations’ 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out the challenge: to achieve zero hunger (SDG Goal 2) by 2030 we will need to double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers. We will need to do this while ensuring that the sustainable food production systems and resilient agricultural practices that are implemented help maintain ecosystems and strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters.

Climate change mitigation in food production involves shifting to sustainable practices that increase food production in ways that are less greenhouse gas intensive and protect the health of ecosystems and the natural environment.

Providing food security for people in vulnerable regions will also require protecting food systems against biotic and abiotic threats which have deleterious impacts on productivity and yields.

Who to contact

Ask a question about the programme

Sarah Newport, Senior Programme Manager


BBSRC enquiries


Last updated: 18 October 2022

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