Healthy SMA²RT Snacks from Climate-Smart Crops

Healthy SMA²RT Snacks from Climate-Smart Crops



Traditionally rural communities in SA, Botswana and Lesotho prepared nutritious snacks and meals from indigenous cereal, legume, fruit and vegetable crops. However, with urbanisation and adoption of Western-type foods, consumption of such diets has declined in favour of convenient, easy-to-prepare or ready-to-eat products. Snack foods available to consumers, while tasty, are often high in fat, sugar and salt but poor in protein, micronutrients and dietary fibre. Southern Africa's burgeoning cities, with increasing numbers of young people with disposable income has created a demand for Safe, Market-ready, Acceptable African, Ready-to-eat/use, Trendy (SMA2RT) healthy snack foods.

Within this context, opportunities arise to create viable enterprises based on manufacturing and marketing of SMA2RT foods using climate-friendly neglected crops (e.g. sorghum, millets, melons and cowpeas).


The Project Involves

  • Use of existing products of sorghum baked biscuits to develop entrepreneurship skills in students from the University of Pretoria and the National University of Lesotho.
  • Commercialising a variation of the Motoho drink with a commercial partner, Denmar Estate (Pty) Ltd.
  • Furthermore, an instant fermented/soured cereal-melon composite powder will be developed in Botswana to assist in the production of an instant melon porridge.



The long-term impact of the project can be divided into several categories. It has the potential to create jobs and include more local content along the value chain; small-scale farmers will be able to obtain a livelihood through cultivation of the crops involved; nutritional status of communities can be enhanced; opportunities to promote cultural heritage will be created; and graduates can be equipped to start their own businesses in the value chain.  


Project Team

Prof Henrietta de Kock 

Project Leader

University of Pretoria — South Africa


Dr Pulane Nkhabutlane 

Co-project Leader

National University of Lesotho (NUL) – Lesotho


Dr Rosemary Kobue-Lekalake 

Co-project Leader

Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BUAN) – Botswana


Prof John Taylor 

Project Scientific Advisor

University of Pretoria – South Africa


Project advisory committee with commercialisation and business expertise

Dr Melodi Botha 

Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship

University of Pretoria – South Africa


Ms Ansie Potgieter

Center Manager 

Business Information Centre of South Africa


Dr Thimothy Thamae 

NUL Science, Innovation and Entrepreneurship – Lesotho


Dr Makoala V Marake 


Agribusiness Incubation Center – Lesotho



Two graduates from UP

Two graduates from NUL

Project Type

Seed project

Countries involved