Panel targets food waste to cut Africa's harvest losses

In Kenya, Rockefeller Foundation panel says 1/3 of food never makes if from farm to table

Panel targets food waste to cut Africa's harvest losses

World Bulletin / News Desk

Efforts to solve hunger in Africa and worldwide must address the issue of food wastage and spoilage, marshaling that uneaten food to fill empty bellies, said participants at a Rockefeller Foundation panel in Kenya on reducing post-harvest losses among African farmers.

“One-third of all available food never makes it from farm to table – enough to feed the world’s 1.2 billion hungry or undernourished people. With 2 billion more people expected on the planet by 2050, this is unsustainable,” said Mamadou Biteye, managing director of Rockefeller’s Africa Regional Office.

The event in the capital Nairobi brought together government representatives from Kenya, Tanzania, and Nigeria as well as representatives from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Program (WFP), and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

The panelists spoke on who farmers in Africa are, what they do, and their needs and challenges when it comes to post-harvest loss.

Biteye said that in African agricultural production, “On average 30-40 percent is lost every year due to poor handling during harvesting, poor storage, broken links to markets, lack of access to technology used in farming, and poor infrastructure.”

Biteye told the representatives from African governments that Rockefeller has launched a $130 million initiative to help governments, farmers, and various stakeholders reduce post-harvest loss by half.

In Kenya, the Rockefeller Foundation indicated that it is working with the mango food crop category chain in reducing post-harvest loss, while in Nigeria and Tanzania the organization is working on tomatoes and maize (corn) respectively.

Rockefeller says that since January, when the $130 million initiative was launched to reduce post-harvest loss in Kenya, it has helped some 4,000 farmers in the mango value chain sell a value of $1.2 million.

The panel agreed that if problems with inefficient harvesting, processing, storage, and marketing are handled, then the African country may not only feed itself but also benefit from increased profits which will grow economies on the continent.

Last Mod: 27 Ekim 2016, 08:55
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