Knowledge for a sustainable world

BSc, BScHons, MSc, PhD, Member of the Academy of Sciences of South Africa (ASSAf)

Professor Sheryl L Hendriks is Professor of Food Security and Director of the NRI. She previously held positions at the Universities of Pretoria, KwaZulu-Natal and Natal, South Africa. She is an internationally recognised transdisciplinary researcher focussing on food security. She has extensive experience in the design of policy frameworks, policy analysis and programme design. Her research focuses on food security policy analysis at the national and global levels. More recently her work has focussed on food systems analysis, including sustainable and healthy diets.

She is actively engaged in high-level global food security policy think tanks and panels as well as being influential in food systems research and policy debates. Some of these engagements include co-leading the Action Track on Nutritious, Safe Food for the United Nations (UN) Food Systems Summit Scientific Group, the Malabo-Montpellier Panel advising African governments on public policy choices and a member of the UN Committee on Food Security’s High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition from 2010 to 2015. She led the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme’s (CAADP) Food Security Pillar from 2006 to 2010 and the drafting of the Inter-Academy Partnership’s consensus report on Food and Nutrition and Agriculture report and was a member of the team drafting the global synthesis report on this topic. This work led to her appointment as a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa in 2020.

My research focusses on transdisciplinary solutions to our complex global challenges to influence the next iteration of the global development agenda. I am particularly interested in the tensions, tradeoffs and opportunities determined by eight elements: 3 Cs (climate change, COVID and conflict) and 5Fs (food, fodder, fuel, fertiliser and finance) – each a crisis and yet interconnected. I am curious to understand the impact of these decisions and options on our future, especially how the impact of food system transformation processes and dietary shifts could have on climate change and planetary boundaries as well as on health, nutrition, affordability and inequality.

  1. Hussain, I; Hendriks, SL; Schonfeldt, HC. (2023) The effect of land tenure across food security outcomes among smallholder farmers using a flexible conditional difference-in-difference approach. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, 21 (1):2220900. doi:
  2. von Braun, J., & Hendriks, S. L. (2023). Full-cost accounting and redefining the cost of food: Implications for agricultural economics research. Agricultural Economics, 1–4.
  3. Atieno P and Hendriks SL (2022).  The effects of outdated data and outliers on Kenya's 2019 Global Food Security Index score and rank. Paper submitted to  CABI Agriculture and Bioscience, 4:6. DOI: 10.1186/s43170-023-00140-y.  
  4. Sixt, GN; Tichenor Blackstone, N; Engler, A; Robins, J, Webb, P. A New Convergent Science Model is Needed to Achieve Food and Climate Systems Transformation. Paper accepted by Food and Energy Security, 11:e423.
  5. Kennedy, E., Torero, M., Mozaffarian, D., Masters, W., Steiner, R., Hendriks, SL., Morrison, J., Merrigan, K., Ghosh, S., Mason-Croz, D. (forthcoming), Beyond the Food Systems Summit: Linking Recommendations to Action -True Cost Accounting. Paper accepted for publication in Current Developments in Nutrition, Nove 2022.
  6. Madalitso A. Kamenya, Sheryl L. Hendriks, Colleta Gandidzanwa, John Ulimwengu and Sunday Odjo (2022). Public agriculture investment and food security and nutrition in ECOWAS. Food Policy, 113, 02349.
  7. Hendriks, SL; Benson, T; Badiane, O; Castro de la Mata, G; Fanzo, J; Guinto, RR; Montgomery, H; Soussana, JF. (2022). Climate, COVID-19 and conflict threaten health, food security and nutrition. Invited paper accepted for publication, British Medical Journal, 378: e07153.
  8.  Hendriks, SL (2022). More sustainable small-scale fisheries can help people and the planet. Nature, 606: 650 - 652.
  9. Hussain, I; Hendriks, SL; Schonfeldt, HC. (2022). The effects of smallholder land tenure on child malnutrition in Nigeria. Land Use Policy, 119:106214,
  10. Fitawek, W and Hendriks, SL. (2022). Large-scale agricultural investments and household vulnerability to food insecurity: Evidence from Kenya, Madagascar and Mozambique. African Journal on Land Policy and Geospacial Sciences, 5 (1), 107 – 138.
  11. Fanzo, J.; Haddad, L.; Schneider, K.R.; Béné, C.; Covic, N.M.; Guarin, A.; Herforth, A.W.; Herrero, M.; Sumaila, U.R., Aburto, N.J., Amuyunzu-Nyamongo, M., Barquera, S., Battersby, J., Beal, T., Bizzotto Molina, P., Brusset, E., Cafiero, C., Campeau, C., Caron, P., Cattaneo, A., Conforti, P., Davis, C., DeClerck, F.A.J., Elouafi, I., Fabi, C., Gephart, J.A., Golden, C.D., Hendriks, S.L., Huang, J., Laar, A., Lal, R., Lidder, P., Loken, B., Marshall, Q., Masuda, Y.J., McLaren, R., Neufeld, L.M., Nordhagen, S., Remans, R., Resnick, D., Silverberg, M., Torero Cullen, M., Tubiello, F.N., Vivero-Pol, J.L., Wei, S., and Rosero Moncayo, J. (2021) Viewpoint: Rigorous monitoring is necessary to guide food system transformation in the countdown to the 2030 global goals.  Food Policy, 104,102163.
  12. Christoph Oberlack, Markus Giger, Ward Anseeuw, Camilla Adelle, Magalie Bourblanc, Perrine Burnod, Sandra Eckert, Wegayehu Fitawek, Eve Fouilleux, Sheryl Hendriks, Boniface Kiteme, Livhuwani Masola, Zaka Diana Mawoko, Sara Mercandalli, Aurélien Reys, Maya da Silva, Michael van der Laan, Julie Zaehringer, Peter Messerli (2021). Why do large-scale agricultural investments induce different socio-economic, food security, and environmental impacts? Evidence from Kenya, Madagascar, and Mozambique. Accepted for publication in Ecology and Society, 26(4): 18.
  13. Sheryl Hendriks, Jean-François Soussana, Martin Cole, Andrew Kambugu, and David Zilberman (2023). Ensuring Access to Safe and Nutritious Food for All Through the Transformation of Food Systems. In: Joachim von Braun, Kaosar Afsana, Louise O. Fresco, Mohamed Hag Ali Hassan (Editors). Science and Innovations for Food Systems Transformation, Springer, Cham. Page 31 – 58.
  14. Sheryl Hendriks, Adrian de Groot Ruiz, Mario Herrero Acosta,Hans Baumers, Pietro Galgani, Daniel Mason-D’Croz, Cecile Godde, Katharina Waha, Dimitra Kanidou, Joachim von Braun, Mauricio Benitez, Jennifer Blanke, Patrick Caron, Jessica Fanzo, Friederike Greb, Lawrence Haddad, Anna Herforth, Danie Jordaan, William Masters, Claudia Sadoff, Jean-François Soussana, Maria Cristina Tirado,Maximo Torero, and Matthew Watkin, (2023). The True Cost of Food: A Preliminary Assessment. In: Joachim von Braun, Kaosar Afsana, Louise O. Fresco, Mohamed Hag Ali Hassan (Editors). Science and Innovations for Food Systems Transformation, Springer, Cham. Page 581 – 602.
  15. William A. Masters, Elena M. Martinez, Friederike Greb, Anna Herforth,and Sheryl L. Hendriks, (2023). The Cost and Affordability of Preparing a Basic Meal Around the World. In: Joachim von Braun, Kaosar Afsana, Louise O. Fresco, Mohamed Hag Ali Hassan (Editors). Science and Innovations for Food Systems Transformation, Springer, Cham. Page 603 – 624.
  16. Ousmane Badiane, Sheryl L. Hendriks, Katrin Glatzel, Fadi Abdelradi, Assefa Admassie, John Asafu Adjaye, Miltone Ayieko, Endashaw Bekele, Thameur Chaibi, Mohamed Hag Ali Hassan, Mame Samba Mbaye, Fatima Ezzahra Mengoub, Douglas W. Miano, John H. Muyonga, Tolulope Olofinbiyi, Racha Ramadan, and Simbarashe Sibanda. (2023). Policy Options for Food System Transformation in Africa and the Role of Science, Technology and Innovation. In: Joachim von Braun, Kaosar Afsana, Louise O. Fresco, Mohamed Hag Ali Hassan (Editors). Science and Innovations for Food Systems Transformation, Springer, Cham. Page 713 – 736.

Member: CAB Reviews journal Editorial Advisory Board, 2021 – ongoing.

Editorial Team member, Global Food Security (October 2022 – current).

Member Expert Advisory Group: FOODCost (EU-funded) project led by Wageningen University’s, 2022 – 2024

Member: Economist Intelligence Unit’s Expert Panel for the revision of the Global Food Security Index, 2022

Member: Scientific Group and Action Track Core and Leadership Team, UN World Food Systems Summit, 2021

Member: Malabo-Montpellier Panel - a group of leading African and European experts from the fields of agriculture, ecology, nutrition, public policy and global development. (2017 – current).

Member of the InterAcademy Partnership Working Group for the drafting of the Food and Nutrition Security and Agriculture report for Africa and the Globe (2016 – 2019).

Member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (admitted 2021)

B2 rated researcher (internationally acclaimed), National Research Foundation of South Africa (2022 – 2027)

Member of the UN Food Systems Summit Scientific Group, 2021

FR Tomlinson Commemorative Medal (Feb 2018). Association of Agricultural Economics of South Africa.

Founding Member:  Committee for World Food Security (CFS) High-Level Expert Panel (HLPE) on Food Security and Nutrition, September 2010 – Oct 2013. Reappointed Oct 2013 – 2015.

Nils Westermark Award for the best-contributed poster paper, International Agricultural Economics Association Conference, Gold Coast Australia, 12 – 18 August 2006. 

Distinguished Teacher’s Award, University of Natal, 2003 for teaching excellence and establishment of the Food Security Programme.

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