Agro-Food Players Chart Post-Harvest Loss Abaters

Sep 23 , 2023

Over 450 farmers, traders, researchers and policymakers from various parts of Africa convened in Addis Abeba to discuss food waste, particularly post-harvest loss last week. The All African Post-Harvest Congress & Exhibition was held at the African Union Commission headquarters. In the opening remark, Josefa Sacko, Commissioner of Rural Economy & Agriculture of the African Union Commission, indicated that 30pc of the food produced in the continent is wasted while 278 million people are in dire need of food aid. She stressed the need to improve food and nutrition security while applying effective post-harvest laws. Solomon Rutega, the secretary-general at the Inter-African Coffee Organisation with close to 25 coffee-producing countries, said post-harvest management boosts inter-Africa agricultural trade and sustains the coffee industry in the African market. A presentation that focused on the impacts of waste was put forth by Heiko Feuring, president of Buhler Group in the Middle East, Africa and India. Headquartered in Switzerland, Buhler Group is a family-owned business that has been in operation for 163 years. The Company is in a unique position to turn the global concern into a sustainable and profitable business as their equipment indirectly reaches two billion consumers worldwide, according to him. The constraints of agriculture processing in Africa include poor raw material production, climate-related challenges, and unsuitable storage conditions, which will result in low agriculture productivity and significant imports of raw materials to compensate for low local production. While Africa has 65pc of arable land, challenges with postharvest loss stem from limited infrastructure, particularly low cold storage, processing and marketing capacity. Heiko unveiled their plan to reduce post-harvest losses by providing advanced storage facilities such as a controlled atmosphere in partnership with government agencies, non-governmental organisations, and private sectors. The Associate Vice President & General Counsel International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Katherine Meighan, indicated their focus on financing small-scale producers to realise agricultural transformation.


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