Food security through digital technologies

23. June 2021

In many emerging countries there is an urgent need for action with regard to secure access to food. The Institute for Service Management (CROSS) of the Neu-Ulm University of Applied Sciences (HNU) is working on this problem together with the University of Mauritius (UOM) in a research project. It has now received the funding surcharge of 850,000 euros from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The project is investigating how digital technologies can support food security in the affected countries and preparing these findings for a new master’s course at UOM.

The reasons are diverse, the consequences everywhere equally serious: In many emerging countries, the population still has no secure access to food. One of the countries struggling with poor food security is Mauritius. Despite all government initiatives, the African island state is still more than 70 percent dependent on imported food. COVID-19 has exacerbated the problem for the Mauritian population: with the sudden onset of the pandemic, food availability plummeted significantly.

Artificial intelligence, blockchain and data integration: digital technologies for better access to food. 

The INFINITY project funded by the DAAD and BMBF is working on digital solutions for this problem. Together with the UOM, the CROSS is researching in several sub-projects which digital technologies can increase food security in emerging countries such as Mauritius. It examines, for example, how technological platforms for food logistics can be set up, how entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector can be given targeted support and how artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies can guarantee increased transparency in the food supply chain. In addition, the collected findings of the BMBF research project are processed as part of a project funded by the DAAD and taught as a new master’s degree in “Intelligent Information Management” at the UOM in order to develop new technology skills in the food industry in the long term. The project is funded for five years with a total project volume of 850,000 euros and carried out jointly by HNU and UOM.

Contact person Prof. Dr. Heiko Gewald // Institute for Service Management (CROSS) 

Project work at the University of Mauritius [Foto: University of Mauritius]