BCFN YES! 2017: the finalists for the contest on food sustainability

BCFN YES! 2017: the finalists for the contest on food sustainability

October 25, 2017

BCFN YES! 2017: the finalists for the contest on food sustainability

The BCFN Foundation is strongly committed to addressing the future challenges of food, such as reducing hunger, fighting food waste, and promoting healthy lifestyles and sustainable agriculture: the future of our food system will be guaranteed by investing in young and brilliant researchers. 

Youth plays a key role in driving the sustainable development movement, and the BCFN Foundation is an active stakeholder in this global mobilization, by supporting knowledge and cooperation among young researchers from all over the world with the BCFN Young Earth Solutions (YES) Research Grant Competition. 

BCFN YES! is an international competition for PhD students and postdoctoral researchers under 35, from all over the world and from any educational background, applying with innovative proposals to promote environmental, economic and/or social sustainability in agro-food system. 

The sixth edition of the contest saw more than one-hundred applications from forty-three countries across the five continents, an indicator of strong research movement and interest for the future of our food system and our planet. 


The BCFN YES! Jury, made up of international experts in different fields, selected the ten best teams, based on the scientific solidity, theoretical framework, innovation and research study design. All finalists will present their research proposal at the Eighth International Forum on Food and Nutrition on December 4th. On this occasion, the Jury will select a maximum of three winners that will be awarded the 20,000 Euro research grant

Let's discover together the finalist proposals. 

The issue of malnutrition is addressed by Joana Abou Rizk and Theresa Jeremias, who plan a cross-sectional and an intervention study among to improve maternal and child nutrition, and fight against the double burden of malnutrition and hidden hunger among refugees and host communities in Lebanon and post-conflict Syria. 

Egdar Jr Reyes will promote better understanding of the small island ecosystem stability's relationship with food security, and suggested measures for environmental protection and food security to achieve equity and improved quality of life in the Philippines.

Several projects intend to pursue the quest for sustainable agriculture in the African region, with multiple approaches. Ebenezer Offei Ansah intends to examine the effects of market institutions on the performance of third- party certification programs in Ghana and how certification programs, in turn, affect intermediary buyers and the services they provide to smallholders. Christian Andres has chosen the same country to analyze Appropriate information technologies (AIT) shared with farmers to prevent cocoa swollen shoot virus disease and to overcome gender gaps in terms of access to agricultural information. 

Ikoko Chioma Bella's objective is to enhance environmental quality improve crop yield and farmers’ livelihoods in Nigeria by assessing the effects of pawpaw seed wastes and moringa seeds in enhancing soil remediation, crop yield and biogas production under cowpea cultivation. Leon Gwaka aims to characterize the food systems envisioned and desired by rural communities and map the community resources available to achieve the desired food systems. 

Crop diversity is essential for diversified food security strategies, and as several threats hang over this diversity, Morgane Leclercq proposes to consider this difficulty as a consequence of the incoherence in the legal regimes applicable to seeds and to modell West African legal pluralism related to seeds. 


Matthew Cooper's research focuses on remotely sensed data on rainfall and land cover with global nutrition data, to measure the benefit that forests and other natural areas provide to people during times of climate stress.

Back in Italy, Laura Garzoli says YES! to bats with a research project to promote a reliable Integrated Pest Management strategy based on the enhancement of ecosystem services provided by bats in rice agroecosystems. Giovanni Sciaccaluga, with his team Isabella Querci and Francesca Maoli will analyze, from an international and European Union law perspective, the feasibility of measures such as a (meat) carbon tax aimed at reducing meat consumption within our societies. 

Young people today have inherited several issues associated with a broken food system, but the BCFN YES! finalists are demonstrating that young researchers are determined to change that. Each team strives for sustainability with a different perspective, but thanks to each of them a sustainable food system becomes more at hand. 

The BCFN Foundation invites you to participate at the International Forum on Food and Nutrition on December 4 and 5, live or in streaming, to discover more about the projects and discover the winners of this year's edition. 

Katarzyna Dembska – BCFN Alumni and YES! Coordinator

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